The place for morality


I am wondering how many people here sit around thinking about moral issues and whether that effects their art.

It seems that there isn’t much art around that really deals with moral issues in a big way. There are some people in the ‘fine’ art world who have an axe to grind, usually some kind of femanism, but not all that many people making moral art to do with other people.

I think that the reason is probably money. People don’t want moral messages on their wall and it is hard to make a moral computer game without an overly black and white view of good and evil.

It strikes me that a lot of the art shown on this forum is tacky (to my tastes) even if very well done. Maybe if there was more discussion about the subtler, trickyer aspects of morality then people might make more interesting art?

Don’t get me wrong, this is not meant as a blanket statement about this commnity (I have huge respect for a lot of people here), it is just that the range of subject matter seems rather slim and a lot of potential seems to get missed.

There is a huge amount of talent in the commercial art world and it seems to me that there is a lot of un-tapped power here.


I guess it’s due to people making art for different reasons. Not all artists are self important, beret wearing pot heads who wake up, look out the window at a tree, sigh, and go back to sleep. Ok, so this is a very stereotypical view of a student-like “artist” but i detest people like that. They seem so self-important.

I make art because i think it looks cool. I don’t see a flower, get a flash of inspiration then draw a goat getting raped by a bit of splintered balser wood and emblazen “CAPITALISM” all over it with my own blood. Ok, so i am being stereotypical again. What i mean to say is, i personally am certainly not a “morality artist”, and, unless it has some sort of well-portrayed story behind it, i tend to see art at it’s face value.


Is everywhere and always. The shear fact that it doesn’t appear in art means it isn’t really there, just slumbering. Morality is very important and without it a society falls into decay. Not to mention the horrors people can inflict and suffer before very long without it. You’ve inspired me and I’m going to make moral statements for sure.:thumbsup:


Post some of your work so we can see what you are talking about.


Damn skippy.:scream:


huh…well it depends what you mean by ‘moral issues’, and your morals are likely different from mine - which is the problem. ‘Moral’ artwork polarizes people in the same way that political or reliigious artwork does. Orcs and pin up girls are less threatening to most.

No, we don’t need more discussion on the “subtler, trickyer aspects of morality”. Wars have been started over this sort of stuff, and we certainly don’t need the flaming kind of war on cgtalk.


Hi Ryan,

“Post some of your work so we can see what you are talking about.”

Well I don’t claim to be the best proponent of the type of thing that I am describing but here is one of my paintings…

It isn’t meant as a big moral message. I don’t claim to have all the answers. I don’t even expect people to get what it is supposted to be about. Hopefully there is some interest here and there. Enough for someone to want to put it on their wall and maynbe ponder a bit.

I won’t say what it means to me. I would be interested to see what others think.

I often find that I can get into a painting if there is a feeling of some kind of moral crux to it. I focus a lot more.

Hi Tryn,

“‘Moral’ artwork polarizes people in the same way that political or reliigious artwork does.”

I don’t think that this has to be the case at all. I would regard dogmatic views about what is absolutely good and what is absolutely bad as imoral in themselves so they are not what I think of when I think of morality. So, for me at least, moral art doesn’t have to be troublesome at all, just open, empathetic and questioning.


Morals are generally codes of behavioral conduct. Without morals there will be chaos and extreme civil unrest (which historically leads to societies being annihilated through civil war). There MUST be morals to maintain civility. You want to live a life without morals? Then you better be prepared for the results… unhappiness and death.

What morals do we use? How about some where people aren’t getting killed, and have liberty and justice for all? And that leads us to religion, which typically has been the base for moral codes. In the USA the morals and laws are based on Judeo-Christian values. I’m betting that if the masses want to get rid of that base then the USA will turn on its self and will perhaps result in one of the greatest blood-baths known to mankind. I’m also betting that if the people and power-that-be accept the historical-morals, then the people will thrive and prosper. Capitalism so far has done well for the people in allowing them to thrive and exist in the current morals codes. However when capitalism matures, it wrecks havoc on the people. The governing system is supposed to keep it in check… but every now and then, things go whacky, and not only does capitalism mature, but also it takes over the governing system. That leads to totalitarianism and a week kingdom based upon monetary gain, which then turns the masses into instant slaves… which is never fun.

On topic…
Typically works of art that become classical deal with the issues of greatest interests to the people… those being of a moral nature… good-vs-bad, righteousness-vs-wickedness. The extremes generate a lot of excitement… and the concepts of how to behave-for-happiness are usually very interesting to all people (those who don’t find interest in happiness and or well-being either have become desensitized to such idea though a complete neglect or abuse of livelihood in one way/form or another…). Even the mystery of such concepts is exciting.

I think that there are many other realms of purpose and motives behind great works of art, but moral issues are some of the most exciting and interesting. But one has to know the moral issues and have some serious personal experience to be able to bring it out in their work. Otherwise its merely repeating and or copy.

…my 2¢


Definitely. In the past, a lot of paintings got their morality from old mythology (they had to or the artist got hurt). These days we are free to make whatever art we like but still the subject matter seems rather narrow. Attractive ladies with swords sitting on top of dragons and that kind of thing is nice, don’t get me wrong. But it seems that we are neglecting a whole load of stuff.

I have seen artists who are good at what they do and are even sincere, but they are a one trick monkey and can only do the one thing. So they start to make insincere art to get out of the rut. I think it is much better to stay sincere and change yourself rather than keep yourself the same and try to change the art.

I guess part of the problem is that things are just so complex these days and it is hard to know what to believe. Whenever I try to get into world affairs my head gets in a spin. But maybe art is a good way to deal with stuff without being too explicit. Like the way that some films will get people talking about something but withuot putting across a particular view.


OK, that’s a beautiful painting to start of, nice of you to indulge us!:thumbsup: I fully agree with Got btw.
Our values are like an agreement on how to deal with certain issues, like a handshake. I believe it came into existence because people used to kill eachother very often in the dark ages. Eventually when you wanted to talk to someone you’d show your hands so they knew you weren’t hiding a weapon, and now it’s a sign of trust and a way to break the ice amongst others. These things are what shape our societies.

OK the painting. I think it has several layers which I can see. I see that it’s about how our beastly nature inhibits us from becoming moore in oursleves and how this keeps going on and on. I also see an escapist in the boy/girl on the bed, who’s dreaming a new world where everything makes sense and at the same time less things make sense to him/her. Maybe that’s a parallel to the reallife of him/her, the more he flees into his personal world the less gets to him from outside. I like it, it gives me something to think and I love the colours. Great job I think.

edit: hey you preposted me!


Interesting. In other words perhaps, one must be honest with himself to be able to create “FINE” works of art… otherwise they are simply executing a set of protocols and or formulas that will for the most part appear pleasing but will lack a certain content, a content imbued into the piece by the inner workings of the artist. The spirit of the work?

I like to think that current state of the artist has a lot to do with the work one is involved with. Whether that state be anger, love, sorrow etc. I also like to think that the intentions and motives behind the work somehow get included, even if the viewer (or creator for that matter) can’t readily detect it.


Wrong. Morality spawns a lot more from deterrence and general culture. Religions like to claim that they are the source of morality in the modern world, but in absence of deterrence, religions have justified everything from immolating untold numbers of ‘Witches’ in Europe, of which one could be accused under hearsay without any evidence (and what the hell is a Witch anyways? They’re supposed to be the offspring of Succubi, an even more outrageous religious fabrication) to mass killings in the holy crusades, to burning the young and old who claimed that they had seen holy visions because the established churches felt threatened. Religious morality in the modern sense has just become an excuse to ostracise people for having deviant private lives.

As for the topic at hand…I’d say that art to certain extents should stay outside the boundaries of cultural morals. Better for people to explore their thoughts on paper then to have those thoughts manifest into actions.


Hey, jmBoekestein,

Thanks for the compliment. You give an interesting interpretation of it. I would like to hear what other pepole say also. I think it suffers from low resolution-itis a bit as there are some details that arn’t so clear but never mind.

I get what you are saying about morality. Yeah, I think that a lot of morality is kind of universal and that is why some art has a long-lasting appeal. But human nature is a little twisted. For instance, I have known people who have “look after your own” as a guiding force. This means that if they see someone looking at their freinds girlfriend funny then they go and beat the **** out of them as a way of showing love to their friend. This seems a pretty universal instinct judging by the amout of similar behaviour going on in the world.

This is where our intelect has to step in and say that what feels right isn’t necesseraly right at all. Like how we know that fatty food is bad for us so we deny ourselves the pleasure of it.

Unfortunately a lot of art seems to be of the fatty food variety and that limits it.


Right :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:


How is making a picture an action? Isn’t it best for people to talk things through and work out what they look like rather than hide them away?


I think thats what he meant? :slight_smile:


How can I argue against such concise logic? :stuck_out_tongue:

Indeed :thumbsup:



My point exactly. When people start in on the “I’m right and you’re wrong” “argument” (an argument is a fight without physical violence) they go nowhere fast. I was attempting to share some information and reason. The more that practice becomes second nature the longer we’ll all last and the happier we will be.



All we need is less corruption from people who are in power and some sense of morality in our leaders and we could actually turn out fine in the end.

But I guess for now we’ll have to look to ourselves for guidance. What a world, sometimes it gets real messy from mi POV.


Have some brains before you post trash like this. You need to make a distinction between the principles of a religion, and those who masquerade under its banner while not following its principles.

If a bunch of guys puts on a bunch of T-shirts that say “CGTalk” on them, and them walk into a video game convention and murder a few dozen people, you would not say that CGtalk is to blame for the incident, would you?

Anyway, this is the kind of stuff that’s not allowed CGtalk. No religion bashing, and no politics, etc, etc. You should know better.