Why do you think Abstract Art is not popular here?

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Old 07 July 2005   #1
Exclamation Why do you think Abstract Art is not popular here?

Here is a question for you. Why do you think Abstract Art is not popular on these forums? Is this a generational preference? Is it the influence of realism in games and technology? or is it misconceptions about what Abstract Art is? or may be other reasons !!

Just curious
 
Old 07 July 2005   #2
Another question- Do you think it should be more popular? If so, why?
 
Old 07 July 2005   #3
Well perhaps that it seems to take a PHD degree to distinguish good abstract art from the bad.. what does the artist mean? Is he just messing around with the viewer? etc. etc.
Figurative art is much more accesible, yet can take more than a lifetime to master (how many true great masters do we have?). Anybody can understand figurative art instantly (well maybe not the finer details or symbolism) or at least appreciate its decorative merits..
I think that's some of the reasons why abstract art isn't quite popular here (deviantart anybody? hmm).
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Old 07 July 2005   #4
If I am going to produce an "image" for people to look at for a bit and think "Oooh.. look at that" then I make it figurative and let it be as ugly as is needed.

However, when I think about putting it on the wall, I may decide that people will think I am a bit odd.

Abstract paintings, contrary to popular opinion, are not really for thinking about but are more for putting on the wall to brigten the place up a bit - or maby for gazing at whilst you contemplate something else.

It is odd that one of the figureheads of modernism, Clement Greenberg, decided that modern painting should not be a form of entertainment but should be intelectual. He then said that he was the guy to say what modernist paintings should look like. (or at least that is what my art history tutor told me.. a quick google shows that he may have been talking out of his arse)

As far as I can see, his comments were mostly "don't do this, don't do that" Rather than anything positive so the art ended up a bit bland in intellectual terms.

The fact is that the majority of important subjects which artists paint about are to do with the way that rich people shaft the poor and take where they can. They obviously don't want to buy those kinds of paintings. They would prefer something that looks "quite nice".

Don't get me wrong... I like abstract paintings and have done some myself (just look at the gallery animation on my website) www.johnkeatesart.com . But they are best suited to peoples' walls.

Last edited by John Keates : 07 July 2005 at 06:20 PM.
 
Old 07 July 2005   #5
I'm guessing since this is a relatively 'tech head' branch of the arts, a lot might want the rational readable path as stated.

And I think taking the time to understand abstract art is not something usually done when point-and-clicking around for a quick tutorial or answer, or a movie site or whatever it could be. Thereby decreasing exposure to it, and also creating the room for misunderstandings about abstract art.

Most branches of the industry have little or no use for abstract arts I guess, so there's another problem. And 3D doesn't seem to be well geared for controlled abstract compositions, with it's simulations of real world phenomenon.

That's my 2 cents.
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Old 07 July 2005   #6
Most professional CG work is representative in nature. Concept art, matte painting, game art, 3D modeling... all require that the artist (for the most part) produce graphical assets that are instantly recognizable. As such, anyone looking to get a 2D or 3D CG job usually focuses on this kind of work, as it is what companies are looking for, and the kind of work that can be most easily used to gauge the skill level of a CG artist.

When learning art in general, it's common practice to start by studying and trying to recreate things that already exist (people, nature, objects, etc.) The reason for this is that there is something to compare the final work to, and a goal to strive for (accurate re-creation of the subject matter). Eventually, the artist may choose to explore abstract art, but having a solid understanding of the artistic process through representative studies helps that exploration on its way.

The early work of Pablo Picasso was representative.... this self-portrait, for example. His later work, despite its far more abstract nature, still relies heavily on his foundational knowledge of form, shape and craft.

There are exceptions to the rule of CG art being representational, of course. My first (and, thus far, only) job as a professional (Lead) 3D CG artist/animator primarily involved designing, modeling and animating abstract interstatial scenes. However, even then, there were representational 3D scenes to create as well.

There was one abstract asset that I was originally slated to produce that just didn't work in 3D: comic book-style motion lines. After about 5 failed tests, I suggested that they simply draw them in 2D. A couple of interns, pencils, rulers, and sheets of animation paper later, the effect was complete.

The scene I initially created as an intern that caused the studio to give me a chance was representative (albeit simple) in nature. And, after the contract ended, I found that the footage on my reel did not open many doors to further 3D work, due to its abstract nature.

If these were forums primarily dedicated to painting or the fine arts, then there would most likely be a great deal more abstract art. However, being a CG forum, the above is (most likely) at least part of the reason you don't see it as much as representative art.
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Last edited by Imagus : 07 July 2005 at 06:48 PM.
 
Old 07 July 2005   #7
It's pretty much because a lot of the stuff on www.depthcore.com and other "abstract" sites is a lot of kids making things that look nice but don't mean anything. I'm guilty of doing this, myself, but basically, people who want to spend time in CG want to create things, not just make wallpapers for their computer. It takes more skill to cross the line from "here is some lines and blobs" to "here is a human figure" and most people, as they evolve, want to bridge that gap.
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Old 07 July 2005   #8
Thanks for your remarks folks,

Originally Posted by SpeccySteve: Another question- Do you think it should be more popular? If so, why?

It would be good to be open minded about other forms of visual expression, but I won't use the word "should"
Originally Posted by Renzsu:
Figurative art is much more accesible, yet can take more than a lifetime to master (how many true great masters do we have?). Anybody can understand figurative art instantly (well maybe not the finer details or symbolism) or at least appreciate its decorative merits..

What is it that need to be understood in figurative art? it could tell an action, story, interaction, event, etc..These things do not need to be understood, they need to be comprehended and recognized. Well, in saying everybody could tell what a piece of figurative art is, is not true. There are millions of people who see the Mona Lisa every year and very few could appreciate it. Figurative art could be very meaningful and deep, and in that case, few people will be able to enjoy it fully. Similarly, with Abstract Arts, it could be very meaningful and deep and few people would enjoy it. Similarly, the level of difficulty in abstract art is quite high to master and it could take a lifetime to be fully rewarded with a distinguished style. There is a lot of garbage abstract art out there, similarly there are tons of garbage figurative art. I don't see your comparison being objective. However, I fully agree with you that it is more accessible, yet for the majority of people, since it has a comparable language to the ordinary.

John Keates: Your abstract work is awesome. It's a great compliment to art if it is able to stand in an architectural space and be part of the social event in that space, better than a harddrive for sure

jmBoekestein: I would definitely take your 2 cents, they are worth more than that I do also think that there is a lack of exposure to good abstract art, and many seem to look at it as visual jargon that anybody could do it, while in fact it is extremely difficult form of art to create and make it comprehendable at some conscious level to the audience.

Imagus: Thanks for your comments, I see your point of reasoning and I think it is absolutely true. On the other hand, I anticipate in the future that current directions will move closer to abstraction, as a necessary evolution stage in the maturity of CG culture. . . Why? I won't tell you :]

Ghostscape: Interesting site you are referring to. Well, I don't see any guilt in experimenting and taking risks. It will be really stupid not to take chances and try different possibilities. If those kids do not know what they are doing and it is meaningless, it doesn't necessarily mean it's "bad art". If it inspires motivates and moves, then it doesn't really matter whether it is figurative or abstract, or does it?
 
Old 07 July 2005   #9
For me abstract art is all about the atmosphere it creates, whether it's sculpture or painting. I think most CG art is inspire driven and there isn't a lot of art to inspire CG artists to create abstracts right now.
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Old 07 July 2005   #10
I guess the reason is exactly what you said - it's very hard to create abstract art. Or any art for that matter.
So what we mostly get in abstract cg now is 'kitsch' or whatever you want to call it - for instance, teenagers with no talent, schooling or experience, following tutorials on how to make a cool wallpaper in Max and Photoshop ("make a simple spikey shape, copy it a hundred times using some script or deformer combo, make it glass and raytrace, add some grunge in Photoshop"). I suppose the principle of 0.001% really good stuff versus 99% really bad stuff goes for all media, it's just that with abstract art it's easier for the average viewer to lump all 100% into a single category of "I don't like it".
 
Old 07 July 2005   #11
Stahlberg: I am glad that you acknowledge the common grounds between different media in terms of what it takes, and I am not surprised. I say this, but at the same time it amazes me that there are some really talented artists around here with great skills and knowledge as you are yet sticking to fewer styles. The primary thing about abstraction is that it engages both the mind of the artist and the audience at a different level where imagination is supreme.

Personally when I encounter an abstract painting I don't look for things to understand, rather for structural relations suggested to have an open meaning yet inclusive. What I mean by that, is like the difference between centrifugal force and the centripetal force (sorry some physics). The first pushes the subject out of the canvas into a story outside, while the second one pulls the subject(s) into the canvas, diving towards its centre. Both cases require great deal of mastery in technique but in a different way. I still think that the world have not seen it all regarding abstract art, and it is a matter of time until some talented CG artist adopt that form of expression to rock the world of art.

Last edited by ashakarc : 07 July 2005 at 04:36 PM.
 
Old 07 July 2005   #12
One of the main reasons folks post art up here is for comments and critiques. I'm not sure how comfortable someone would feel posting artwork of an abstract nature. Not that it might get heavily dissed or doesn't belong or even wouldn't be welcome, but there's not much to compare it to that's already here. Like walking into a gallery that favors figurative artwork, and your portfolio is all color-field paintings.

I remember a company a few years ago called Xaos that had a program called Pandemonium which seemed to excell at creating very unique 2D art effects. I enjoy seeing artwork of that nature, but sometimes giving a useful critique of it is difficult, as if using a critique formula on something abstract is at odds with the whole concept, if that makes any sense. Most of our critiques here for instance rely on if the object looks correct. With abstraction, the process is the thing, not so much the subject matter.

-David
 
Old 07 July 2005   #13
Originally Posted by dbclemons: With abstraction, the process is the thing, not so much the subject matter.


Bang ! nail on the head. Process Critique is partly trying to rationalize occurrences, and partly a wine tasting party. What's more fun than that ?!
 
Old 07 July 2005   #14
at the same time it amazes me that there are some really talented artists around here with great skills and knowledge as you are yet sticking to fewer styles.

I really like the first part, thanks! But if by the second part you mean that you think I should try abstract art, well that'll never happen. I make images with my feelings, not my brain - I use my brain ONLY as a tool for my feelings to express themselves as well as I can. I guess I'm just not smart or educated or discerning enough for abstract art.

You used wine-tasting as an example - good example. That's pretty much how I feel about the 0.001% of abstract art that's actually good - over my head. I can drink wine and I can like it (in very small doses, at the right occasion), but I can't love it and I can't critique it and I can't make it.
 
Old 07 July 2005   #15


I can drink wine and I can like it (in very small doses, at the right occasion), but I can't love it and I can't critique it and I can't make it.


Very nice sayt,i think its something you need adleast art schooling for or something,
i think 99% would simply stare and ad the end say:"nice colours,what is it?"

like some ppl that are not formiluer to 3d and see a wireframe,would be excact or coming close to be the same adleast you can make out the forms in 3d,but in abstract its totaly diffrend.

this guy his abstract seems to vage,wail if seen some other abstract that i could really say,hey thats a chicken and thats a house.


Its ok to look ad abstract paintings for a wail,but i wouldn't make it my hobby,

plus ppl mixt in bad things could get a trip by allthose colourse
 
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