Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Nicky

Modern Art or Toddler Art?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

6/11

 

I think this is from one of John Stossel's old 20/20 segments.  I'm glad he has his own show now, but sometimes I think he did more interesting and higher quality work for ABC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4/11.
I would like to think that the artists, after all those years of practice, would have produced pieces with a little bit more polish. Honestly, if you have to feed and water your own toddler daily to see the difference . . . what's the point?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

6/11

 

I think this is from one of John Stossel's old 20/20 segments.  I'm glad he has his own show now, but sometimes I think he did more interesting and higher quality work for ABC.

 

He had a bigger budget then.  I got to meet him at Freedom Fest years a go when he was promoting his first book and one tid bit was that he was already an outsider with many at the Network so my guess is that they did not renew his contracted deal from when he took over the anchor possition on 20/20.  The original deal included him getting his Specials to do the reporting he wanted and I can see ABC not wanting it when time came to negotiate a new contract.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got 8/11. My strategy was: if it looked like the artist was at least trying to make something attractive (an attractive mix of colors as opposed to an unattractive one), I chose "toddler art."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9/11 and they were pretty obvious. And I am not a painter nor do I have any special background in the subject of painting.

 

Two points:

 

(1) This would be easier if the entire canvass were shown.

 

(2) Easier if the actual painting (rather than on a computer screen) were shown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9/11 and they were pretty obvious. And I am not a painter nor do I have any special background in the subject of painting.

 

Two points:

 

(1) This would be easier if the entire canvass were shown.

 

(2) Easier if the actual painting (rather than on a computer screen) were shown.

It would be even easier if the author was shown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wait, the article says only that on a certain test some artists and critics did poorly. The article does not say that this is the SAME set of paintings as in this particular article (is it?). 

 

I'd like to see a panel of artists and critics, all named (not merely described anonymously as "artists and art historians"), and all of whom are clearly accomplished in art history and criticism, and they are shown actual paintings, not reproductions and certainly not just images seen on this or that computer monitor. 

 

And, of course, how a bunch of random people walking through a shopping mall score is pretty much irrelevant.

 

By the way, a friend of mine just took the test and got 11/11, and like me he has no special background in painting and even less involvement in the visual arts than I have. 

Edited by GrandMinnow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Wait, the article says only that on a certain test some artists and critics did poorly. The article does not say that this is the SAME set of paintings as in this particular article (is it?).

I'd like to see a panel of artists and critics, all named (not merely described anonymously as "artists and art historians"), and all of whom are clearly accomplished in art history and criticism, and they are shown actual paintings, not reproductions and certainly not just images seen on this or that computer monitor.

And, of course, how a bunch of random people walking through a shopping mall score is pretty much irrelevant.

By the way, a friend of mine just took the test and got 12/12, and like me he has no special background in painting and even less involvement in the visual arts than I have.

Also a correction: I got 10/12, not just 9/12 as I mistakenly first wrote.

 

So what you're saying is that you and your friend are great at modern art, but not so great at counting to eleven?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would be even easier if the author was shown.

By 'author' you mean the person who made the painting? If so, I don't see your point. My point is that a painting is evaluated as a whole painting not just a cropped portion, and best evaluated by seeing the painting itself rather than a reproduction, especially as reproduced as a computer image file viewed on this or that computer monitor. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what you're saying is that you and your friend are great at modern art, but not so great at counting to eleven?

I edited my error out as soon as I realized I forgot that it was 11, not 12. This is of no consequence.

 

P.S. And the point is not that we're "great at modern art" but rather that even a non-expert can have a good enough eye to basically see the difference, at least per this particular test.

Edited by GrandMinnow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He had a bigger budget then.  I got to meet him at Freedom Fest years a go when he was promoting his first book and one tid bit was that he was already an outsider with many at the Network so my guess is that they did not renew his contracted deal from when he took over the anchor possition on 20/20.  The original deal included him getting his Specials to do the reporting he wanted and I can see ABC not wanting it when time came to negotiate a new contract.   

 

That makes sense.  I remember thinking of him as my favorite journalist back when he was taking on the Teacher's Union, but stuff like that probably rankled ABC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9/11 and they were pretty obvious. And I am not a painter nor do I have any special background in the subject of painting.

 

Two points:

 

(1) This would be easier if the entire canvass were shown.

 

(2) Easier if the actual painting (rather than on a computer screen) were shown.

 

Exactly. If we were to use the same method of tightly cropping in on portions of realist paintings, most people wouldn't be able to distinguish them from images of random patterns and stains on cracked plaster walls. If effect, the quiz is intentionally set up to get the results that it wants. It's an example of the pursuit of confirmation bias as a substitute for science.

 

Using a similar method, we could also "prove" that novels and fictional films are not art, and that most people can't tell the difference between them and news reports or historical documentaries. If we don't tell people in advance that they're reading fiction or watching a drama, and a majority of them can't tell if what they've read or seen is reality versus art, would that mean that literature and drama should not be categorized as art? Or would it just mean that perhaps someone has selected a very flawed tactic to try to convince people of his opinion that those art forms are not art?

 

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly. If we were to use the same method of tightly cropping in on portions of realist paintings, most people wouldn't be able to distinguish them from images of random patterns and stains on cracked plaster walls.

Oh I bet that if you used THE SAME method (on average, about half the painting is shown, and always the part which is the center of attention), they could distinguish them just fine. But feel free to prove me wrong.

Edited by Nicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Using a similar method, we could also "prove" that novels and fictional films are not art, and that most people can't tell the difference between them and news reports or historical documentaries. If we don't tell people in advance that they're reading fiction or watching a drama, and a majority of them can't tell if what they've read or seen is reality versus art, would that mean that literature and drama should not be categorized as art? Or would it just mean that perhaps someone has selected a very flawed tactic to try to convince people of his opinion that those art forms are not art?

 

I'm guessing that if you put a segment from a piece of literature up against a short story written by a first grader, most people could tell the difference there.  That would seem a more apt comparison to this exercise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't very much doubt that one can set up tests gaining various results. Indeed, there have been cases (or at least one case) in which children's art was bought for high prices as it was mistaken for professional painting.

 

But this particular test (at least from what we know of it here) is not quite credible for these reasons:

 

(1) The panel of artists and the one critic are not identified. We don't know their qualifications.

 

(2) It is not made clear that the examples in the test here are the same as those in the test given to the original panel.

 

(3) Overall, it is not even very hard to tell the difference anyway. This decisively negates the test. The result is the OPPOSITE of any debunking: With the particular examples in the test - it takes only a modicum of sensitivity to art to tell the difference. 

 

(4) A better test would be of full paintings seen in person and not cropped portions of image files seen on monitors of various quality. And the supposed counterexample that this would not be required for a test involving representational art is not convincing since non-representational pieces may depend more on an evaluation of their whole.

 

If one were SINCERE to find out about viewer discernment, then one would provide reasonable context, not instead to contrive to make discernment obscured by showing only small sections (in which there is no evaluation of the success or lack of success in making an overall composition) and not to draw too firm conclusions from responses to mere image files (in which the actual techniques of brushstroke, et. al are not as apparent).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I bet that if you used THE SAME method (on average, about half the painting is shown...

No. On the Richter painting, about a quarter of it is shown.

...and always the part which is the center of attention)...

Heh. How did you come up with this theory of yours about identifying "the center of attention" in abstract paintings? Abstract paintings are compositional!!! Like architecture, their "center of attention" is the entire COMPOSITION of abstract shapes, textures and colors. Cropping an abstract painting is like showing someone one wall of a building.

...they could distinguish them just fine. But feel free to prove me wrong.

I'll post some images next week. I'm betting that I'll get as few correct responses as when I've asked Objectivists to identify subjects and meanings in realist still lifes and in works of music.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't very much doubt that one can set up tests gaining various results. Indeed, there have been cases (or at least one case) in which children's art was bought for high prices as it was mistaken for professional painting.

 

But this particular test (at least from what we know of it here) is not quite credible for these reasons:

 

(1) The panel of artists and the one critic are not identified. We don't know their qualifications.

 

(2) It is not made clear that the examples in the test here are the same as those in the test given to the original panel.

 

(3) Overall, it is not even very hard to tell the difference anyway. This decisively negates the test. The result is the OPPOSITE of any debunking: With the particular examples in the test - it takes only a modicum of sensitivity to art to tell the difference. 

 

(4) A better test would be of full paintings seen in person and not cropped portions of image files seen on monitors of various quality. And the supposed counterexample that this would not be required for a test involving representational art is not convincing since non-representational pieces may depend more on an evaluation of their whole.

 

If one were SINCERE to find out about viewer discernment, then one would provide reasonable context, not instead to contrive to make discernment obscured by showing only small sections (in which there is no evaluation of the success or lack of success in making an overall composition) and not to draw too firm conclusions from responses to mere image files (in which the actual techniques of brushstroke, et. al are not as apparent).

An additional issue is that the examples of "toddler art" that are shown were not actually created solely by toddlers. They included help and instructions from parents and teachers. So, apparently we can call anything "toddler art" if a toddler participated in any way in its production. For example, I've created custom paint-by-numbers projects for nieces and nephews. They filled in the colors as they were instructed. If I can find my scans of them, I'll include them in my test later in the week, and we' ll see who here can distinguish these examples of "toddler art" from realist art created solely by adults.

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A hilarious comment I read about this on some comment section I glanced over (I'm paraphrasing): calling modern art bullshit because people at a mall can't recognize it is like calling the wine industry bullshit because regular people can't tell the difference between a 20 dollar bottle and a 1000 dollar one. LOL. It is.

 

Art isn't good because some snob learned how to tell it apart from trash based on techniques employed and the quality of the paint, just like a wine doesn't have a "unique personality" because some snob learned how to recognize it based on a combination of incidental factors, some of them not even taste related.

Oh I bet that if you used THE SAME method (on average, about half the painting is shown, and always the part which is the center of attention), they could distinguish them just fine. But feel free to prove me wrong.

Oh look, Jonathan doesn't want to prove me wrong after all.

Edited by Nicky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Oh look, Jonathan doesn't want to prove me wrong after all.

 

What are you talking about?!!!! Heh.

 

Anyway, here are ten images that are cropped just like the images in the quiz that was linked to in the initial post:

 

10144018365_6da6b311cd_o.jpg

 

Identify which are copped portions of legitimate art (according to what Objectivism accepts as legitimate art) that were created by individual adult artists, versus which are items that were created by children (possibly with as much adult supervision and guidance as was present during the creation of the children's images from the quiz linked to in the initial post).

 

J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×