Archive for the ‘Aesthetics’ Category

Richard Corben’s Figure Paintings

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010
Richard Corben

Richard Corben

Richard Corben is an amazing artist. His most famous work is Den for Heavy Metal Magazine in the 1970s, at a time when that publication was something special. Back in the days when illustration was considered something different than and less than fine art it was always forgotten that almost all illustrators were also “fine artists” even by the most conservative definition of that term. Corben, for instance, has always produced work for no other purpose than self expression.

His website can be found here.

Richard Corben

Richard Corben

Latvian Art

Thursday, November 6th, 2008
Franceska Kirke

Ever wonder what kind of art they make in Latvia? The work above is by Latvian artist Franceska Kirke. The painting below, called Rabbit Boy and a Girl is by Jana Brike. Both artist are represented by Gallery Bastejs.

Jana Brike

Birmingham News story on now missing local Banksy work

Friday, September 5th, 2008

Wall believed to bear art of British artist Banksy vanishes in Birmingham

Thursday, September 04, 2008
News staff writer

Although the image of a lynched Klansman was covered in black spray paint, a wall that possibly held a painting from famed graffiti artist Banksy disappeared Tuesday afternoon.

Marc Schiller, founder of the New York-based Wooster Collective, a Web site that tracks Banksy’s career, said it is not unusual for people to take walls where the British artist has left his work.

The Birmingham image was painted on the side of an abandoned Bush Boulevard Chevron on Friday, when the artist was rumored to have visited the city. First someone completely painted over the image, then later the entire wall vanished.

Banksy, whose name has never been publicly revealed, has sold works for millions, including one purchased earlier this year by celebrity couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie for approximately $1.7 million, according to news reports.

Because of such reports, people often take the artist’s works, which are often spray-painted on the sides of buildings using stencils, Schiller said.

“Everyone is looking to exploit his work,” Schiller said.

However, because the image was painted over, Schiller said it is unlikely there will be a big payday for whoever took the wall. “What they took was not the piece, it was a wall with spray paint on it. The piece was ruined before it was taken,” Schiller said.

It was unclear who painted over the image or who took the wall.

One community resident said Wednesday she thinks it was someone in the Bush Hills neighborhood who did not understand the message the artist was trying to convey.

“It was an unknown; it was a mystery, but it didn’t look like a positive thing,” said Gwen DeRu. “Some people in the neighborhood didn’t want it to bring trouble.”

DeRu, however, said she believes Banksy is an “artist who, in his own way, is trying to pull the world together.”

“This is an internationally known artist and this is his artwork here in Birmingham. It shouldn’t be something people should want to see destroyed,” DeRu said.


Winners of Art Kudos announced

Friday, August 15th, 2008
Art Kudos

The painting above is Lust by Marcel Franquetin.

The painting below is Mute Shout by Oleg Radvan.

Art Kudos can be found here.

Art Kudos

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Sunday, July 20th, 2008
Stephen Smith

What is the value of art? It’s worth whatever you can get for it. But how much can you get for it? That depends on who you are. Are you a pushy salesman? Are you a crummy, unaggressive salesman who lets rejection wear him down?  One’s ability to sale doesn’t reflect on the quality of a work of art but it does reflect on its value. Value can be seen as price. But what about value as quality? When we question the value of a work art we aren’t questioning its price. The price can often be found on a little sticker on the wall beside the work of art. What we are asking, in aesthetic terms, is what is the innate value?

Value can only be determined in relationship to other objects. Money, itself, used to be nothing more than pieces of paper with pictures powdered-wigged or mutton-chopped former presidents before they started putting microchips and stuff in it. Even when money was based on the gold standard what was the value of the gold? Gold doesn’t have the sort of innate value of something really useful like say a glass of water and a sandwich. Does art have a function? Before the advent of modernism art was more of a craft. It served as decoration, was used in religious ceremonies or maybe just told a story. But it did something. Eventually art became a victim of its own success. When art began to be thought of as having some indescribable, sublime qualities the the function of art became unspeakable value judgments difficult if not impossible.
This line of thinking is a dead end. If value only exists as a relationship between entities and is subjective, it is useless as a descriptive quality of a work of art. Especially recently when comparisons are virtually impossible given that so much art has no similar aspects of other works of art. Here we are basically back to the value of art being what you can get for it. But that leads us no closer to the absolute value.  So is it impossible to arrive at this elusive quality of value?

Like most other philosophical disciplines, aesthetics has suffered from the troubling issue of the vague, nonsensical words. Even before modernism, when the goal of aesthetics was to define and qualify “beauty”, we were still chasing after a meaningless word. What is beauty? Saying it’s some subjective value judgment gets us nowhere. It’s impossible to go about the practice of aesthetics with the same naivety of our predecessors.  Not only can’t we come up with a good working definition of beauty we can’t come up with a good definition of art. So much of modernism involves expanding the definition of art. “See, this can be art too.” It’s amazing that that’s still considered clever in some circles.

So basically we’re left with no objective value for art. All we have is what you can get for it. So the value of art is relative to salesmanship and marketing. Things we can measure in dollars and cents.