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Journal of No. 118


November 11th, 2004

$17 million crap @ 02:49 pm

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= $17,368,000.

Becca? Ice? Toren? Joyce? Anyone? Bueller? They look pretty easy to fake. I bet we could sell them out of the back of a van. "Psssst? Buddy... you wanna Rothko or a Mondrian, cheap? $5 million for one, or get two for $8 million."

ETA: new link to the art in question
 
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From:therrin
Date:November 11th, 2004 07:35 pm (UTC)

Damn art.

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I swear, I just do not get or enjoy modern art. This theory of paying so much money for things even I can do in my garage seems beyond silly. I was in the sculpture garden today, and I was looking at this three holed ellipsoid thing, and it was named Potolemy III, and I'm just thinking "huh?" Of course that was leaps and bounds more interesting than 17 million for a thing using two colors and a mixture in between. :(
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From:the_undertow
Date:November 11th, 2004 09:22 pm (UTC)
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art is all about status.

what really would kill you would be jeff koonz. he doesnt even make his art. hes a "conceptual artist"...he's my hero. i want to be paid a bunch of money, marry a porn star, and do absolutely nothing but say stuff like, "hey, i want michael jackson and his monkey...go make it," and get paid.

people who kill me are people like thomas kinkade. *rips hair out*

my opinion, my opinion only (though i know people who share it)...painters...i mean this may be crap, but at least it's not performance art. performance art is CRAP.
From:aaronjv
Date:November 12th, 2004 12:43 am (UTC)

art

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Although I do agree that most modern art is crap (like that Rothko Mr. Tice shewed), not all of it. My definition of art, too is "anything I can't do," so it's a pretty wide definition. But I could do that Rothko.

The trick is, who would've THUNK UP such a thing? What if that was the first time ANYWHERE that someone would dare to declare three primary colors on canvas as art? It completely changes your perspective of the medium, which is what art should do. In that instance, I think the painting would be worth $17 mil.

My pet theory on art is that there are only a minuscule number of true visionaries, who can see beyond the medium's limitations, and who are able to break it into an amazing new method of human expression. Oftentimes, though, these visionaries are so "out there" that their contemporaries (and the public) don't recognize their art for what it is--it's too far out there. However, there's a slightly higher number of "perceptive geniuses" who can see what the visionary is doing, take it, maybe water it down or cut the drug with some mediocrity, and then they sell it and become HUGE, because the extreme art example was too strong for the public. I consider Trent Reznor to be in this "perceptive genius" category. He took what true visionaries like...uhm...that guy from Scraping Foetus (JG Thirwell?) was doing, dumb it down a bit to make it more palatable to untrained ears, and then he becomes huge. Not saying that NIN is just a copycat band, or bad (I prefer NIN to Foetus) but that he didn't come from nowhere. HP Lovecraft is a true visionary, and others followed in his footsteps (he died young and poor, mostly unknown).

The Ramones, IMHO, were true visionaries. The Clash were perceptive geniuses who were better musicians, but not visionary.

Performance art:
I haven't seen much of it, but I kinda like some of it. It depends on your definition. Is an S&M whipping at the Dungeon performance art? What about a homeless guy speaking in tongues? I'm trying to get a group to go see Osseus Labyrint at UCLA next week, and I'm defining it as performance art. Do you want to go? If not, I'll report back on the experience.

Remember, 90% of everything is crap, despite what KLOB says. Since there's not that much performance art, maybe you haven't seen that awesome 10% yet. But don't give up on conceptual art just yet.

Last example: an art student I worked with at UCLA did an "installation piece" as his final project one semester. I came by to check it out. Hanging from a long chain in the middle of the room was a big (3 x 3 x 3 foot) black box (wood, painted black). I thought that was it. I commented to my friend, and he said "Look underneath". I get down on hands and knees, and see that there's a hole cut out of the bottom. I stick my head in there, and see that the inside is covered in spent (?) shotgun shells. The walls completely lined with them, in all different colors (shells come in a wide variety of colors). There was a line of shells rimming the hole (don't snicker), and behind that barrier lurked...a cute bunny (a real live rabbit). I'll never forget that.

I could have done it, but...would I have thought of it?
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From:the_undertow
Date:November 12th, 2004 02:40 am (UTC)

Re: art

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i agree. artists need to be innovative in order to be completely successful. you can create something that is aesthetically pleasing, but unless it really starts a movement or strikes a chord with a lot of people, it's fairly worthless and expendable. mondrian was innovative. koons is innovative. da vinci, monet, dali, picasso etc.

there is a reason why their paintings cost so damn much.

i think i have a very bad perception of performance art- only because ive been exposed to ...really, really bad performance art.
ie- my video teacher singing about joe dimaggio while video taping him from her car. or...yoko ono on stage telling people to cut her shirt up. i find a lot of this senseless bullshit, and i want to discard the ideas. i dont believe that they are art. but then, who am i to decide what "art" is?

also, performance artists, the ones ive met or read about, have a tendancy to believe that he/she is elite and eccentrically genius- that he or she sees something no one else can see. i dont see them creating, or even provoking any sort of thought beyond the stretchable bullshit most art students learn in any sort of introductory course to art theory. a lot of performance art is very introspective, and frankly, it sounds just like my bullshit livejournal...i definitely dont think my lunacy online is art. performance artists tend to believe that everything is art. but if everything is art then nothing is art.
From:aaronjv
Date:November 12th, 2004 03:06 am (UTC)

Re: art

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Couple quick comments:

Just because a so-called artist is an egotistical asshole doesn't mean they aren't talented. If that were true, we'd never have rock n' roll.

However, yes, most performance art is all about THE ARTIST, when it should be about human experience. Or at least be entertaining. Have you heard/seen of a group called Survival Research Labs? Maybe they aren't performance art, though.

Do you think the group Improv Everywhere is a performance art group or ingenious but puerile pranksters?

i definitely dont think my lunacy online is art.
Easy for you to say, you got Warren Ellis on your side.
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From:the_undertow
Date:November 12th, 2004 03:16 am (UTC)

Re: art

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ok, i shouldnt discredit all performance artists. there are a few that are good. chris burden comes to mind. he's interesting without being overtly egotistical. maybe that's just because he's incredibly masochistic... all for art, right?

i think, from the little i just read, that improv everywhere isn't performance art. i think to call it performance art it has to be evocative, have a point, and get that or some point across to the audience. if you leave your audience confused and muddled, what was the damn point?

survival research labs looks interesting. i see it as more performance than art. i sort of feel the same way about rabbit in the moon. amazing performance, but was it just a stage performance or was it art? or maybe it has pieces of both. mmm ambiguity. the survival research labs people need a better front end designer for their site. :d

im just disgruntled.
From:aaronjv
Date:November 12th, 2004 03:55 am (UTC)

Re: art

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if you leave your audience confused and muddled, what was the damn point?

Maybe that was the point...to question the vast void that can separate two people standing right next to each other with a simple pair of headphones.

the survival research labs people need a better front end designer for their site

I kinda think SRL folded, or is just hanging on. Their website is probably last of their concerns.

im just disgruntled.
What else could you be?

Go to bed.
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From:the_undertow
Date:November 12th, 2004 07:21 am (UTC)

Re: art

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Maybe that was the point...to question the vast void that can separate two people standing right next to each other with a simple pair of headphones.
yeah but i often feel that way about performance art that actually has a really long explanation. and it's not that im completely dense [most of the time], it's just that i totally didn't see it
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 11th, 2004 11:52 pm (UTC)
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Looks like a Frank Zappa album cover. Also looks like any one of several of my daughter's old preschool works of art. And if you hate performance art... I will never forget how one of my friends submitted as his UCLA performance art thesis: himself and a friend, walking slowly around a circle — one of them mimicking an hour hand, the other a minute hand — for like several hours. Then again, what I got from UCLA was a penchant for beer and a proclivity for cramming for exams. Yea UCLA!

Pat.
http://popepat.blogspot.com/
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:November 12th, 2004 07:15 am (UTC)
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Hey, I remember that! Rebecca and I saw it when Naomi unofficially added herself as the second hand.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 12th, 2004 10:05 am (UTC)
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I kind of like it. Not $17 million like it, but half of what I paint looks like that. I saw many similar things at the Tate Modern in London, and I liked them too. Aaron thought I was weird. I tend to be very inclusive when it comes to art, which means I don't get very worked up about it. So what if you could paint one just like it? Most people don't. So what if it doesn't tell you about the human condition? You want the human condition, go read a book. For me it's about using one sense only - vision - and not thinking the damn thing to death. I've come to hate the little descriptions at the sides of the paintings that tell you all about what the artist had in mind - no doubt due to all the people who see stuff like this in museums and get outraged. You don't have to like the art. Maybe somebody else does.

The trouble is many people take this Art thing way too seriously. And then the profit aspect takes over and fucks everything up, half because the rich people want to be seen as intelligent and forward-looking, and half because other people realize how much money you can make off the first group. In a hundred years it will all sort itself out, I suspect, and the people who spent all that money will all be dead, and everyone will have brand new art to complain about.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:November 12th, 2004 09:32 pm (UTC)
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I dunno. The Mannerists have been worth complaining about since about 1600. Bad art sometimes sticks around. I say, don't tolerate it because it'll be gone in 10 years--excoriate it, in case it'll be around in 4 centuries. But I'm drunk, so that's no yardstick.
From:aaronjv
Date:November 13th, 2004 03:44 am (UTC)
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She is weird, but not just because she sometimes likes modern art. I mean, she lives with me, how weird is that?

I did like some of the installation pieces in the Tate Modern.

Ooh...I think I just had an epiphany (again). I think I like art that tells a story, or suggests a story...the painting in My Last Duchess for example.

When I see something like the Rothko above, I'm not thinking anything. "Yellow, white, blue. That's nice." I move on. Of all the posts I've done on this thread, I don't think I've looked at it more than ten seconds. Still, some people like it, and honestly, I'd love it if more rich people gave that kind of money to LIVING artists a little more often. Like...filmmakers, for example.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:November 13th, 2004 07:47 am (UTC)
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Since this appears to be my most fecund of entries, I'll venture a few more words.

For me, it doesn't necessarily have to tell or suggest a story, but I want art to cause at least some thought process, however trivial. The Rothko by itself inspires my brain to do nothing. The fact that it sold for $17M stirs up quite a few thoughts, but the thing itself is just.... bleah. It looks like someone is repainting a wall and made a couple test patches.
I can even appreciate modern abstract art that displays an interesting and/or harmonious shape.

But Rothko & Pollock just look like products created like this or this.
From:aaronjv
Date:November 13th, 2004 02:27 pm (UTC)

!!!

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That second picture is Spike!

Kirsten is trying to train Spike. I think we should train him to paint.
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From:the_undertow
Date:November 21st, 2004 12:42 pm (UTC)
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i saw a rothko yesterday. it's large. very large and very impressive in real life. there is an ineffable quality to the paintings.

id say go see them in real life and you would understand, but maybe it's just me.

Journal of No. 118