Professional Artists

All things outside of Burning Man.
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karine
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Professional Artists

Post by karine » Sun Nov 04, 2007 8:34 pm

So I wonder how many of us REALLY suffered for our "art". Do you have a BFA or an MFA? A BA of MA in Art History? Do you live off making and selling your art?

3 out of 5 people in our dome every year have varying degrees of education in the Fine Arts (2 BFA, one MFA and one professional artist who is completely self-trained). This must be more common than I had expected, if our dome is any kind of representation of the playa.

What's YOUR story? What does your camp hold ?

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Post by AntiM » Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:54 am

I think it depends on the camp, and how the initial connections were made between the campmates.

Our camp has military associated folk, veterans, retirees, dependents and active duty, well over half the camp.

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Post by karine » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:01 am

AND produces some quite exceptional playa art, too!

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Post by AntiM » Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:25 pm

Ah shucks, we thank you.

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Post by regynalonglank » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:27 pm

depends on what you think of as an artist. many of the people in my camp make their living in kites. making them, flying them, fixing them...it is an art. but would you call them a professional artist?

i lived with a bunch of art majors in college, and we used to argue on this point quite a bit. they called my beaded hangings a craft. they said dance is not an art, it's a craft. i was a dance major...and i found that quite insulting really. a craftsperson is a noble thing, and I value that. but the line between art and craft is thin for me.

personally I think if you make something with your own hands and it is beautiful in its execution that is art. not beautiful like pretty, but well made. original, and done by hand. there are many arts...some more accepted than others. dance is like the poor step sister of the arts. but that's another topic.

so what is art? what constitutes a professional? methinks we needs to unpack the terms, define the parts before i can accurately answer the question...which i find quite intriguing...

and is it really necessary to suffer? what if you're madly successful, is that still art?
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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:43 pm

That whole suffering thing is a legacy of the Romantics and a great deal of hooey.

The arts crafts thing gets me too. The rule of thumb White Guys do Art, Women and Brown Guys do craft. Oversimplified, but boiled down to essentials... (Given the prominance of women in dance adds another level to your old arguments._

I distrust art school type stuff. Like a lot of school it's about something other than education. Not that I knock any of you for your degrees, art or other, I just question what they actually mean. And I gotta wonder how important writing grant apps and artist;s statements is in success in the arts.
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Post by regynalonglank » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:51 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:I gotta wonder how important writing grant apps and artist;s statements is in success in the arts.
yeah, you said a mouthful there. that is a whole art in and of itself, methinks. I used to work for a place that helped people learn how to do that stuff, and it was very interesting... http://www.thefield.org/ as a matter of fact, did a lot of internship hours there.

this just makes me think of a friend of mine who creates amazing articles of clothing, paying homage to paintings she likes...no one has ever accused her of being an artist. but then one day she ran into one of the artists while wearing an outfit inspired by same, now she's living in new york working for that artist as a studio assistant. pretty durn cool if you ask me. and yeah, clothing is art too, i'm thinkin, if you do it right.
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Post by mdmf007 » Mon Nov 05, 2007 8:48 pm

What is Art?

Like Poter Steward said -
"I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it"
Of course he was talking about defining pornography, but i think it fits here.

Art is in the eye of the beholder, I have seen art in museums that should have never been there, and was there only because of their name. Like any piece an artist with a name touches is instantly art.

I have seen pieces in yards that were magnificent. i.e. in Gerlach right before you get to Bevs bar there is a great collection of western art pieces. Some made from leftovers, some from milk jugs and other artifacts. Great stuff.

I have files of the pictures that my daughters have drawn and painted throughout their lives - all priceless art to me.

IMHO - I think art can be, Painted, built, sculpted, sketched, acted, sang, spoken in poetry, written, filmed, photgraphed, danced, fireworks, mixed, electronic, played, and so many more genres theres no point in me going on.

An artist to me, is someone who can do something I cant. Not something I can learn to do easily like machine parts (although the machined parts can be art) but something that can convey passion, feeling, emotion, maybe a story?

I do not think I can define it personnaly to do art any justice.

So for me, - "Can't define it - but I know it when I see it" is the best I can do.
later

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Post by theCryptofishist » Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:08 pm

Oh I'm very catholic in my definition of art. Dance, clothing, no problemo. A lot of art was at one time used in creating or decorating sacred space or performing sacred ceremonies, and that might be a definition I'd use. It isn't immedieately obvious how Manga would fit in that, but I'll be it has roots there too.
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Post by cowboyangel » Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:18 am

I was a Catholic now I'm a pagan. I wonder sometimes if craft can 'rise' to the level of art...I spend most of my time as a professional craftsman and sometimes I do see instances where it happens.
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Post by Valkyrie » Tue Nov 06, 2007 3:53 pm

regynalonglank wrote:i lived with a bunch of art majors in college, and we used to argue on this point quite a bit. they called my beaded hangings a craft. they said dance is not an art, it's a craft. i was a dance major...and i found that quite insulting really.
You know? I can't rightly see this. How could you argue dance as a craft? The only distinction I've ever seen is that to "craft" is to make something useful. I fail to see how dance could be considered useful or functional in any way. Another argument for "craft" over "art", which I suspect your snobby artist friends were using, include the ability to train the skill without necessarily any talent involved. (where talent is inborn and skill is acquired) I would have to guess they never met people who just didn't move well. Or at least they didn't notice...

The kite example is another interesting dimension. There is no practical purpose for a kite. Generally, kites are considered toys or hobbies. Is that a function? Is it a practical one? Is a kite flying, suspended by the wind, not a thing of beauty?

I think everyone would agree that beauty is a defining feature of art. Defining beauty parallels the challenge in defining art.
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Post by regynalonglank » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:11 pm

now that is an interesting point.

"the ability to train the skill without necessarily any talent involved. (where talent is inborn and skill is acquired)"

don't all of these things require a certain amount of inborn talent? you can train a skill, but if someone isn't good with their hands they won't be able to learn how to do small crafty work. but I think you're right...I think that is exactly what the division is.

kites can be used for practical purposes, some believe the pyramids were built using kites to lift the large stones into place. sorry, no cites, me workin, but there have been demos, recently.
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Post by mdmf007 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:28 pm

Thats kind of what I was thinking - a craft to me is something someone enjoys, but have not taken to the level of art.

I enjoy stained glass work - I can make some pretty cool windows, effects, and enjoy it. Is my glasswork an art? While I believe that stained glasss can be art, mine is not. So I would have to say that a dancer with skill enhanced by natural ability is an artist. The amatuer dancers that have no clue what they are doing on tv and went to auditions simply for the chance to get on tv are craft people at best. Without dedication, and perseverance they will never rise to the level of artist. I also believe someone without any natural ability can eventually rise to the level of artist through perseverance and dedication as well.

Just my opinion for what its worth.

later

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Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:44 pm

Okay, I'll accept that. But that's a difference with achievement within a discipline, not a difference between disciplines, which i find a load of crap.
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Post by mdmf007 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:48 pm

Me too - I am thinking there can be art in just about everything.

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Post by Eric » Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:04 pm

I'll start with the disclaimer- I can be considered an artist (photography, painting, sculpture, pen & ink) and a craftsman (jeweler), all self taught, and I've sold things in all mediums except pen & ink. I make my living working at an art supply store, and deal with all levels of artists daily.

That being said- any distinction between "artist" and "craftsperson" is artificial and modern- for most of human history there was no distinction. What we now look at as "art" was part of daily life- peasants whittled spoons and carved shutters and made clothes in the winter when they couldn't farm, the rich hung tapestries to keep out the cold and had silver and gold dishes to showcase their power.

Michelangelo & DiVinci, Fra Angelico & Raphael, as well as almost every artist before the 19th century came up through the apprentice system- start by sweeping the floor, eventually you get to grind the pigments, one day you're allowed to paint the background sky, and finally when you're talented enough you create the cartoon (the original sketch for a painting or fresco) and paint the faces. Being an artist was a learned skill- some, such as those mentioned above, were highly talented, most were pedestrian at best.

Anyone can be taught to make art- painting, drawing, sculpture, jewelry, any of it. That doesn't mean they'll have vision or more than pedestrian skill, but they can be taught.

I'll leave the argument over what is or isn't art to philosophers- to paraphrase what Mdmf said, I like what I like.

I just think the artificial distinction between "artist" and "craftsperson" is stupid, but if I had to choose I'd rather be called a craftsman any day.
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Post by K-mom » Tue Nov 06, 2007 11:12 pm

I prefer the term artisan, thank you very much ........
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Post by spectabillis » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:00 am

i am working on different things..

- a biochemical reagent tagged into certain bacteria commonly found in radiators that are grown on an antifreeze mulch that ants eat. strong uv light reflection so you can easily trace out the ants paths so i am working on training them to traverse predefined patters, maybe even pictures in the dust. unfortunately the drones are always on strike so nothing much gets done, i think the bacteria somehow stimulates growth of the ego function.

- getting enough cattle intestines to make a ten-foot diameter birds nest, in the middle are large ceramic eggs with small audio players of various 'mooing' sounds. a twenty foot tall robotic chicken with a tank turrent for a head comes and destroys the eggs spewing fake embryo's and yolk over everything as the chicken is driven to a mad feeding frenzy. i call it "mad avian disease in two bovine parts."

- a large replica of the queen of englands jeweled broach with dried blood over the diamonds and all the angosphere country flags embedded in the gold setting. instead of the central ruby is a series of concentric mechanical cogs with hypodermic needles pointing outward in a star pattern to symbolize the infection of the capitalist industrial revolution into the world. stuck to the back is a hidden rotten dog carcass to give it that old empire odor.

- writer, mostly fiction... obviously.

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Post by pinemom » Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:34 am

wow...Spect'

you have just truely earned my vote!

...especially on the Cow'...I so totally saw it come to life in my head!

So with that in mind...could it possibly be that an artist is only an artist if someone appreciates the art?
Or like Hollywierd...good, bad or indefferent media...you instantly become more famous.....

For the idea that a critic, even bats an eyelash, and makes a huge "public comment"...is that he/she thought it entirely worthy of mentioning to get the play off others who read the critique, would go and see for themselves.

~rambles to self~
Most true artist's are completely crazy....
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Post by pinemom » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:22 am

wow, just got this in a email from mom....check this"artist out"

http://www.petercallesen.com
Names pinemom, but my friends call me "Piney".

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Post by Teo del Fuego » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:27 am

spectabillis wrote:- getting enough cattle intestines to make a ten-foot diameter birds nest, in the middle are large ceramic eggs with small audio players of various 'mooing' sounds. a twenty foot tall robotic chicken with a tank turrent for a head comes and destroys the eggs spewing fake embryo's and yolk over everything as the chicken is driven to a mad feeding frenzy. i call it "mad avian disease in two bovine parts."
Simply Amazing...that is exactly what I am working on right now!

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Post by mdmf007 » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:48 pm

pinemom wrote:wow, just got this in a email from mom....check this"artist out"

http://www.petercallesen.com
This guy has a ton of these on youtube. Single sheet of paper and all sorts of things can be made.

Now that is an example of art.

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Post by BitterDan » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:50 pm

Wow those are great. He must have tremendous dexterity to make those tiny cuts.
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Post by karine » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:55 pm

I think I hear what you all are saying, about WHO IS AN ARTIST and who isn't and your beefs with both. As far as the snobby college roomates, I think they were just re-gurgitating what they had been taught in school.

" What an artist is, is something that came out of the time after WWII. When EVERYTHING became 'professional'.

If a person was a professional, then they were successful. Professional office manager, professional mechanic.. whatever, you name it.
The 'professionalization' even went into the arts. Hence, the arrival / invention of the MFA (Master of Fine Arts). It's 1960, and now you needed a degree to be an artist. At least a serious artist.
Everyone esle is a wanna-be, uneducated 'off the bus', could be dedicted but just isn't quite a 'serious professional' as we are kinda artist.

So we hit the 1960s - and since .. your 'pedigree' ... it matters.
New York runs the "who is who in artists'. If you are there, showing in certain places there... you are in. If you are not, you are not. "

I am not saying I agree - but that ~could be~ what your roomates were rooting for.

So they are BIG STARS in New York, now, huh?!

wink

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Post by theCryptofishist » Wed Nov 07, 2007 7:28 pm

Probably on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, doing caracatures.


Isn't it interesting how petty I can get about people I don't even know?
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Post by karine » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:26 pm

I wonder how many hit the playa, too!

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Post by Zulegoona » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:57 pm

I think the “ professional Artistâ€

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Post by stargeezer » Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:59 pm

I guess I define art a little more open than most. I think art is anything made that generates a strong emotion. For example, I think Mt. Rushmore is the greatest piece of art ever created. The emotions I felt when I first experienced it were unbelieveable, but I was viewing it as someone who appreciated the engineering aspect, and what it took to imagine what could be done and follow it through to completion.

Another great example is the Contraption that LCN has discussed in a couple of threads here. His initial discussion thread sparked strong emotion in many, with responses from a variety of views or experiences. From what I have read, the Contraption also sparked stong emotions out on the playa. Is it a piece of art, or simply an interesting mode of transportation? While it is out of the realm of what many would consider art, it moves me more than anything that can hang on a wall.

Maybe like beauty, art is just in the eye of the beholder.

Just my two cents.
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Post by karine » Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:21 pm

I hear ya, StarGeezer. You are a sweet heart.

LCN's contraption, along with a lot of other projects out there- take quite a lot of thought, emotion, sweat and tears.

(and - the difference between 19th century art & 20th +? = concept. )

It takes more than skill to make a great piece of playa art! I think it takes planned gifting of INTERACTION! I LOVE the interactive art on the playa. Man, where else on Earth can you find so much joy in giving OTHER people joy ?!

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Post by pinemom » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:27 am

My mom and I had a funny late night conversation, about a decade ago that I re-call, barely, way to much smoggie smoggie and wine....but it went a little something like this....

An experiment on society would be to test the theory of mass media saturation.....Pick a random name, Joesph Blowersworth, Janis Doer,Matthew Smithern....whatever...or better yet, up and attempting artist....
onward to test....Probably would only work for people who live or interact in a very artistic venue saturated area's....

Name dropping!
Senerio, your at a art opening/gallery/college campus/coffee house...ect...

while on the mish mash of artistic topics, you say OMG, have you seen that one artist Joesph something....something...OH YEAH Blowersmith...((repeat the name to get it straight, Joesph Blowersmith, yeah thats it Joesph Blowersmith..) I saw an article on him and crap for the life of me I cant remember where? But his works were fantastic! I even tried to look him up on the internet but NOTHING? I'd really like to get to see a bunch more of his stuff.

Have this same conversation in a bunch of artistic gatherings over the period of a year. trying to hit at least 75% of the lil' pod's of people standing with glass's of champagne in their hand. Trying to prevent the same person.(as to not let anyone catch on to the ruse)
You could even contact friend's and relatives on the other coast or artist type geographical area's and have them be doing the same thing.

Media saturation....the name game!

scary but funny....that JOE BLOW could be the newest most talented artist the world has ever seen, and everyone would lay stakes to having seen his work or had dinner with him and his wife!

...and he doesnt even EXIST!
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