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  #51  
Old 06-25-2006, 03:23 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

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Unfortunately in the world of making a living with art. I find there are way too many people on committees that don't know the difference between the many styles of figurative art or the difference between good and bad figurative art. With this in mind, my concern is for the craft person who may get sidelined by the new digital technology which can create a 3-d photo rendering of something without the need of a professional sculptor, merely someone to lay clay onto a surface and rake it. This to me is not fine art.
I think here Keropian, inadvertently, hit upon a possible way of understanding the problem "is bodycasting sculpture?". Because the lack of understanding among many outside of the art world (and some inside) of what is good and bad figurative art, there is a blanket acceptance of whatever looks relatively "realistic". This acceptance doesn't take into account the ease or difficulty in creating the sculpture or even whether or not there is artistic ability involved in the process, merely the outcome is considered.

While artistry may be applied in the use of bodycasting once the cast is made...the actual casting of a real body is no different than the 3-D technology Keropian describes....both displace the need for a sculptor who can create a figure. The body cast is, in a manner of speaking, a "photograph" of the body that has no artisic interpretation or artistic skill involved its creation. It is not art.

Remember, we are talking about figurative sculpture...not abstract/non-objective sculpture where the use of non-artistically fabricated elements is common. Oftentimes process becomes art in the abstract/non-objective realm. In figuration process is never a replacement for ability...though some try to make it seem that way. To forget this distinction is to lump the creation of all sculpture together as if their are no differences....and.......to do this is to is to ignore the history of figurative sculpture as if the advent of Modern art made such distinctions irrelevant.


Quote:
I see that some people feel that this is not sculpting but i think it is either indifference (which is fine) or it could be sour grapes, lack of knowlege on how to use the tool of bodycasting when needed for the outcome of the project.
Now, it is easy to call into question the motives/abilities, etc..of those that don't agree with you. Be that as it may, making a mold and casting is not an artistic process despite realsculpt's comments to the contrary. I know people who are excellent at making molds and making casts, but cannot sculpt themselves....these are processes that can be learned whether you have a smidgen of artistic apptitude or not. I've known skilled foundry workers who haven't any real scultptural ability, but they can piece a sculpture together and turn out seamless finished work. There is artistry in how they use their tools, but they would not presume to call themselves sculptors. Skill and artistic skill are not the same thing though some confuse the two. One is in the domain of the tradesman and the other belongs to the arts. Though both may show artistry in their use of their skills, only one is an artist.


If to some this seems a redundant comment...my apologies.
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  #52  
Old 07-04-2006, 10:38 AM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Thankyou, Jason, for this interesting thread.

Unbeknownst to me -- I was touting a body-caster (Isabel McIlvain) on my blog -- and now Jason has provoked me to discuss this issue here:

http://mountshang.blogspot.com/2006/...y-casting.html


Overall -- I'm not as skill oriented as Jason.

I appreciate that without great skill, nothing could be made that I like -- and that without reference to skill, the notion of art becomes meaningless (or institutional) -- but I confess that over the past few years, the word 'art' has increasingly become less important to me - as I approach the position of the classic artworld outsider: "I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like" --- while adding that "other than it's institutional history -- or for specific technical purposes -- there's nothing about art to know"

Maybe you could say that I prioritize results over process -- and the act of viewing over the act of making. I want a work to take me to a (good) place --- how I got there is irrelevant. (And, by the way, I have found nothing to like in George Segal, Antony Gormley, or Duane Hanson - and every body-cast that I have ever seen in person has depressed me -- as dreary, awful, creepy things that need to be swept up and thrown away)

I would also suggest that this arrangement (result over process) is what has summoned the historical work that we identify as great achievements today -- while the reverse (process over result) is what resulted in the forgettable stuff that we call hack-work. I would further suggest that even students should prioritize results -- by seeking teachers who make things that they especially enjoy -- rather than just those who are good teachers of various skills. Great skill is necessary -- but only as it serves a great vision. (which should not be called a "great idea" since it is not an abstraction that is independant of its physical presence) (but I suppose this is moving off topic -- isn't it ?)

BTW -- it's very exciting to watch Jason negotiate the conceptual rocks and shoals of contemporary art education (can you guess that I've just been river rafting?) -- and I'm very curious about his work.

Chris
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  #53  
Old 07-04-2006, 11:45 AM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Thankyou, Jason, for this interesting thread.

Unbeknownst to me -- I was touting a body-caster (Isabel McIlvain) on my blog -- and now Jason has provoked me to discuss this issue here:

http://mountshang.blogspot.com/2006/...y-casting.html


Overall -- I'm not as skill oriented as Jason.

I appreciate that without great skill, nothing could be made that I like -- and that without reference to skill, the notion of art becomes meaningless (or institutional) -- but I confess that over the past few years, the word 'art' has increasingly become less important to me - as I approach the position of the classic artworld outsider: "I don't know anything about art, but I know what I like" --- while adding that "other than it's institutional history -- or for specific technical purposes -- there's nothing about art to know"

Maybe you could say that I prioritize results over process -- and the act of viewing over the act of making. I want a work to take me to a (good) place --- how I got there is irrelevant. (And, by the way, I have found nothing to like in George Segal, Antony Gormley, or Duane Hanson - and every body-cast that I have ever seen in person has depressed me -- as dreary, awful, creepy things that need to be swept up and thrown away)

I would also suggest that this arrangement (result over process) is what has summoned the historical work that we identify as great achievements today -- while the reverse (process over result) is what resulted in the forgettable stuff that we call hack-work. I would further suggest that even students should prioritize results -- by seeking teachers who make things that they especially enjoy -- rather than just those who are good teachers of various skills. Great skill is necessary -- but only as it serves a great vision. (which should not be called a "great idea" since it is not an abstraction that is independant of its physical presence) (but I suppose this is moving off topic -- isn't it ?)

BTW -- it's very exciting to watch Jason negotiate the conceptual rocks and shoals of contemporary art education (can you guess that I've just been river rafting?) -- and I'm very curious about his work.

Chris
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  #54  
Old 07-04-2006, 01:08 PM
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Tandigon Tandigon is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Body casting goes back to Roman history. To imply that body casting is a symtom of the modern impatient era is questionable.

Is body casting art? is the question of this thread. So are we saying that this is art and that is not. Or that that is craft but not art. In that case forget about body casting but ask instead what is art.

Go on a visit to the Vatican and purchase an almost identical replica of the 'Pieta' in scaled down version. Then go to a rapid proto shop and arrange two models with drapery and all, emoting the moment, scan that scene and mill it out. Presto! Was the emotion projected art and the rapid proto tech used a craft. Is art the medium? Is art the skills involved?

In my line of work, I do body casting on a daily basis to replicate the disfigured part of an individual. Then I create a restoration in silicone rubber. Is my work art, or is the fact of psycho social benefit to the disfigured individual.

Art in its true sense, like beauty, is abstract. It creates an aesthetic experience. I've seen a lot of photographs many done by creative individuals, which were able to move me.
Was it art?

Like I said before, in my line of work I used to model the restoration painstakingly in plasticine or wax. Today others in this line of work are using RP to do the same. Should I protest?

"Tandi honey have you seen that bicycle seat with the handles just above it. Does it remind you of a bull?' " Sure it does baby, and a famous artist put it together"
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  #55  
Old 07-05-2006, 10:51 AM
Kevro Kevro is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

All creative expression is art. Best, Kevro
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  #56  
Old 07-05-2006, 03:46 PM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Now -- you've got me curious.

The ancient Romans made body-casts ?

Can anyone offer any more details on the phenomenon ?

(I've seen the life-casts that Vesuvius made in Pompeii and Herculenum -- but that's something different -- isn't it ??)
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  #57  
Old 07-06-2006, 12:25 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

'In Rome, it was not the apotheosis of the deceased, the fusion with the gods that was celebrated as it was in Egypt, but his terrestrial grandeur, his virtues and his merits; only worth ensured immortality.

The imago was molded directly on the deceased's face, painted naturally by a specialized polinctor, adorned with embedded eyes and false hair. It was exhibited next to the body during the conclamatio, it accompanied the convoy to the tomb; in the Forum, it even substituted for the corpse, as the orator addressed his laudatio to it, as thought it were a separate being. Its final resting place was in the atrium among the ancestors, and a wooden tablet, the tabulinium, was devoted to it, on which was inscribed the text or the summary of the elegy. But the effigy's role was not limited to the glorification of the deceased; the imagines took part, as did all the household spirits, in the life of the people. During the funeral of one of the family members, they were taken from their reliquaries and were made part of the ceremonies.'
http://www.bergerfoundation.ch/Fayou...el_romain.html
http://www.geocities.com/regilifecaster/index.html

Lets begin here, then we can go to the Egyptians!
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  #58  
Old 07-06-2006, 07:38 PM
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Texstralian Texstralian is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

This has been a very interesting thread to follow...
I am a very new sculpture student. Mostly I am a suburban housewife who goes to museums on a reasonably regular basis without any background or education in art. And while I am embarrassed to admit this, it may go some way in supporting an aspect of Jason's argument- I have apparently seen figures that have been casted and thought them to be sculpted, as I remember being amazed at the virtuosity of sculpting in the pores and fine lines of the skin! So again, I admit to being a total rube, but now I also feel misled. I like seeing effort, skill AND creativity all wrapped up together. Art has a fairly tenuous position in modern society, it seems. While the boundaries keep getting pushed by artists they leave us rubes so far behind we just scratch our heads, because so much of it seems irrelevant and removed from our understanding. I'm not saying art has to hold our hands, stroke our hair and spell everything out, but I think artists have to understand that it will be harder and harder to find the money to support urine in a jar with a crucifix because average joe thinks it's either sacriligious or puerile. From the outside it appears to be a secret society where art is made for other artists and then we get to pay for the priviledge of it in our museums. Perhaps this is part of Jason's point, or at least part of what creates the desire to make a distinction. Anyway.... just two cents from the "rube" contingent.
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  #59  
Old 07-06-2006, 09:15 PM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Wow -- thanks for the history lesson about ancient Rome.

Although I'm not sure how the ancient practice of death masking makes body-casting any more of an art -- i.e. requiring extensive skill, practice, training, finesse, knowledge etc. How long does it take to learn how to pour a good death mask ? Ten minutes ? How long does it take to learn how to carve a marble portrait to the level of the masterpieces of ancient Rome ? (it must take a very long time -- because I don't think anyone has done it since the 19th Century -- or even earlier - depending on your judgement)

So my suggestion that contemporary art schools teach body-casting instead of figure modeling/carving because it's oh-so-much easier still stands.

Teaching modeling is like teaching the violin --- there's a long period of unhappy, frustrating results -- and many people just never get the hang of it.

But teaching someone how to body cast ? That's like teaching someone how to spin records at a party.

My own experience in body casting was very memorable.

For some reason, a handsome and playful Iranian friend of mine back in the seventies (before the Revolution) had the notion of making a torso-cast. He had tried it with his girl friend -- and it was a disaster. She was burned by the plaster -- she lost her public hair -- she nearly suffocated -- the pieces had to be broken off of her with a chisel -- and she never spoke to him again.

So he ran a help-wanted ad and got a retired army sargent who couldn't wait to be punished.

We slathered him with vaseline and covered him with plaster from the waist up. So there he was -- eyes covered -- - breathing through two straws -- and staggering under the weight of all that plaster. I guess it was cruel of me to laugh -- but he sure looked funny stumbling around the studio until we pulled the mould off -- and presto -- a perfect reverse-image -- containing all his chest hair that had come off in the process. And wouldn't you know it -- he asked us if we might do it to him again.

Come to think of it -- making a full body mould with plaster -- that did require a certain touch -- because the mould had to be separated at the precise moment when the plaster was setting but not set. But making a death mask over a face ? I think that's on the same skill level as shining shoes.
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  #60  
Old 07-06-2006, 10:06 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Texstralian,

Having read your post I would say you are not the 'rube' that you think you are. You understand some basic human responses better than quite a few experienced artists do.


Tandigon,

The Romans used this form of 'bodycasting' in creation of an effigy that was used in funeral ceremonies specifically...not as a part of their creation of figurative statuary. The distinction may seem small, but it removes the usefulness from the parallel between them and our present culture's use of body casting as art.

I'll grant you that it does establish the age of the process though. It makes sense that man began early to experiment with 'duplicating' his own image in a more direct fashion. The use of skill to fashion classical sculptures, however, was the norm and not by using any casts from life. All the way down to Rodin's day, to be thought of as one who cast from life was to be considered a hack....less than an artist.

Last edited by JasonGillespie : 07-06-2006 at 11:47 PM.
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  #61  
Old 07-07-2006, 04:31 AM
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Tandigon Tandigon is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

I once read some apocryphal accounts of early Roman attempts at bronze casting. A slave would be covered in a mold and molten bronze poured. Possible / probable in the days of early experimentation. But the use of face death masks as a model for replication in bronze or marble seems to be factual.

We seem to be in a debate as to what is art and what is not, as also who is an artist and who is not. The repeated line of reasoning seems to be that art is a skill and artists are skilled. A multitude of viewers at art galleries wonder about the skill of Picasso or Henry Moore or Alexander Calder, or a M.F. Hussain. Whilst they have no problem admiring British or Euorpean equestrian art, the Last Supper, or the Pieta. While modern day collectors will spend a fortune for old masters for sheer investment value, they will decorate their corporate offices will modern art to impress that they are very much with the times. In other mediums, like photography, some pictures which hit the front page can make or break a nation, can create mass reaction, and can even cause grown ups to cry. During a trip to Vienna, Mozart uplifted me, as Bruckner caused me to wonder. At home my son freaks out on dark side of the moon. And then there is modern ballet, and musicals just as there was Shakespeare.

Pray tell what is art and who indeed is an artist.

"Tandi honey.." " Not now babe, I have an identity crisis"
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  #62  
Old 07-07-2006, 09:42 AM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tandigon

Pray tell what is art and who indeed is an artist.


This topic is currently being discussed in another thread "Is contemporary art a fraud".

In contemporary art, the question "Is this practice an art?" (as if it were important to distinguish between art/non art) is presented simultaneously with the assertion that "any practice can be an art" --- and it's a position that I have claimed is fundamentally fraudulent -- and culturally catastrophic when accepted as the basis for education in the arts.
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  #63  
Old 07-07-2006, 07:19 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

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We seem to be in a debate as to what is art and what is not.........
For the purpose of this thread it isn't necessary to debate such a universal question. (Though the above question/debate may control our responses)
In the context of a figurative tradition that spans many millenia and many continents it is, I think, only needful to question whether or not 'art' (figurative)that is created through non-artistic means(body casting) can be given the same degree of credibility as 'art'(figurative) made by a skilled artisan using artistic means(sculpting).


Since body casting has no connection to non-objective art it can't be considered by non-objective standards. It must be viewed and scrutinized through the lense that all figurative art is seen. It seems that this distinction may be a stumbling block for some. There is a prevailing body of thought that sees ART as a hodge podge where all things are equal, the same and no lines of demarcation are drawn..... but that isn't applicable here. (Here I sense a storm approaching and its name may be... 'what is figurative art?')

Be that as it may...figurative art....by its nature.....has critera that governs it that non-objective does not have. Body casting, in my opinion, violates that criteria by circumventing the purpose behind the act of creating an artwork that resembles a human form. Body casting is a copy, a three dimensional xerox and is as close to a sculpture in its nature as a color copy of the Mona Lisa is in its nature to the original painting in the Louvre. Though some disagree, it is a clear cut case of apples and oranges.

Now, I will heartily agree that the question/topic quoted at the top of this post and those who answer it with a non-specific 'anything or everything' are the ones who make body casting acceptable at all. Perhaps in that light the question of 'what is art' might be turned inside out and prove useful by remaking it into, 'why is everything art or why can anything be art?'. Then perhaps the distinction I speak of in the preceding paragraph might grow more clear for some as they try to defend...logically....what is ultimately an illogical view point.
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  #64  
Old 07-10-2006, 12:23 AM
Alex Alex is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Yes, bodycasting/lifecast really is art . Lifecast might be the best art. Because it is created by the greatest artist of them all......Mother Nature.

Alex
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  #65  
Old 07-10-2006, 04:42 AM
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Tandigon Tandigon is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

It is apparent that this discussion will go nowhere as long as 'some' of us close our mind to other points of view and are opionated. In his first post on this thread, Jason wrote that he wanted to know what others think about this topic. And others are telling, but...

Instead of filling up the chasm that seperates art and the people at large, this attitude of anything and everything cannot be art, will deepen it. Why on earth do we try to create art? For our own gratification? For public monuments? For praise of our ability to carve a Michaelangelo? To make a statement? To earn a living? What is our purpose? Can anybody and everybody afford to purchase our creations? How does our work impact on the lives of people at large?

If 'some' of us want to use a live mask of an individual long dead, to create a portrait, and then perhaps indulge in the glyptic art, thats just fine. Or perhaps one may proceed to the lost wax process, leaving the actual process to those who do it routinely.

If it is my objective to study the human form with the dedication of Michaelangelo and achieve the skill he had to bring marble to life, I will dedicate my life to the activity. But I will not write off others who use other methods to achieve the same, because I am too focused on my own work.

Are we trying to increase the distance from the mundane by saying that art cannot and should not be trivial. Is my five year old grandson's sketch of me trivial? I love his sketch because of its originality. Or should I wait until he grows up, studies sculpture, and carves my likeness in marble, without the spontaneity.

Lets us take the question of 'what is art' , turn it inside out and ask 'why is everything art or why can anything be art?

Before you try to shoot me down, let me tell you that I studied the nude for four years until 1969, and since then I use my skills to create likenesses down to skin textures. Why ? Because my art is actually used by people who are disfigured (as a camouflage), so my creation has to be so lifelike as to be mistaken for the real thing. I have mentioned this before in other threads and somewhat explained the process.

But catch me looking down at the means others use.

"granpa tandi, see my sketch" "At last I know what my soul looks like, sonny"
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  #66  
Old 07-12-2006, 11:21 PM
janeb janeb is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Jason suggests in his original posting that it is the likeness to reality of the bodycast, which gives the work incorporating the bodycast its claim to “legitimacy” as a work of art.

This discussion has been lively, but perhaps most participants agree more than might be apparent. I haven’t understood anyone to be claiming that a bodycast per se, should be valued as a work of art. Regardless of the fascination in seeing features like skin pores reproduced, I don’t think anyone is claiming that this confers artistic value. We probably all agree that photorealistic likeness to reality is neither a necessary, nor a sufficient condition for something to be a work of art.

As Fritchie says, “a work of art … carries its own value”, and so rather than pursue a fruitless consideration of what constitutes “Art” – a question argued about by philosophers since at least the ancient Greeks – perhaps it would be helpful to consider how one goes about making judgements on the artistic value of any specific work.

I expect there are a few readers of this forum who, like me, have no education in art but would like to know how to regard dubious objects posing as being “art” worthy of our regard and contemplation and purporting to offer us an experience worth having.

A short and very readable book that I found helpful guidance in how to think about art is:

Looking at Pictures : an introduction to the appreciation of art
Author: John Armstrong
ISBN: 0 7156 2701 5

Don’t be put off by the fact that is written by a philosopher! Here is a sample from the Preface of the readable style:

“There are no shallow-ends in philosophy, wise people say … But there are deep-ends and deep-ends. Some books insist that you leap from storm-lashed rocks into raging torrents from which no one has emerged alive (Nietzsche), some take you far out to sea in a tiny, minimal skiff which then disintegrates leaving you to slip deep into the icy waters (Kant). But there are other, less traumatising deep-ends. There is the quiet, sunny pool, with clear water, calm voices and sensible help at hand; this book is, I hope, of the last kind. It is written for those who think they might like to do a little philosophical swimming, if the weather turns out nice …”

The book is specifically about painting, and the resources of painting, but similar considerations apply to sculpture. The author makes the point that rather than the paralysing “But is it art?” question, there are many other smaller questions we can ask of any specific work – questions which do admit of answers, and which together can provide us with means to make a judgement of the object’s merit as a work of art.

The author suggests a framework for consideration of an object as a work of art (regardless of what other value it might have), in which the “But is it art?” question becomes the question: “Does this object have intrinsic value, is it irreplaceable and has artistry been exercised in the creation of such value?” The specific considerations covered by these terms, and what the author means by valuing something “as a work of art”, you need to read the book to understand.

I took notes for myself when I read it, and this is a paraphrase of a point made by the author, which directly relates to one of Jason’s concerns:

“This kind of valuing [described in the book] is more important than the discussion of whether something is or is not to be called a work of art. It was to this category of value that all the great artists of the past took their work to belong. We cannot stop this category of value being central to us, but we may find that the cultural institution of the ArtWorld provides us with less and less that matters. It remains open, however, and always will, for someone to take up his brushes and paint works which are valuable in the way described; and their value is utterly independent of whether or not they are labelled ‘art’.”

So Jason, while it is true we can’t stop anyone who wants to from calling himself an artist, this need not bother us. That some “art works” are given a status they do not deserve by the current Art Establishment does not, as you suggest, “decrease the meaningfulness of all art”.

As Armstrong discusses in the book mentioned, the fact that we can not “measure” artistic value in an empirical sense does not preclude us from making valid judgements about it. An obvious and trivial example would be my claim that my work has artistic value comparable to that of Michaelangelo’s work. You can be quite sure that you judge rightly when you declare me to be seriously deluded! Of course, whether I accept your judgement does not actually matter at all, to anyone.

While it’s important to protect the public from charlatans who would call themselves mechanics or doctors, when it comes to artists this really doesn’t matter. We are all capable of forming judgements about the merits of their works. As ExNihiloStudio points out, if bodycasting is used as a second best choice to compensate for lack of ability, the piece will be correspondingly lacking.

Have you seen the bumper sticker: “Hairdressers do what only hairdressers can do”? It’s the same with sculptors.

A bodycast, regardless of how it is valued, can not have the same intrinsic values as a sculpted work made, as Rod puts it, with “attendant skills in service of an aesthetic”. Armstrong would explain it: “It is precisely the fact that it is painted [sculpted] which makes a picture [sculpture] valuable in subtly different ways from other lovely or fine things.” Sculptures produced by means of bodycasting, regardless of their own value, can not demean or devalue what you are trying to do.
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  #67  
Old 07-13-2006, 11:39 AM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Thanks for introducing me to John Armstrong. I like his approach.

In his Amazon book review, the conservative commentator Orrin Johnson wrote:

"But the points he's (Armstrong) making all deal, as his subtitle suggests, with internal reactions and personal likes and dislikes. This is fine up to a point, but there does come a point where this kind of intensely individualistic approach really abandons the idea of art and particularly of great art."

I agree with Orrin -- but am less concerned with such an abandonment.
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  #68  
Old 07-13-2006, 03:26 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

janeb

Like mountshang, I appreciate your making me aware of Armstrong. I will look for a copy of the book you mentioned.

I do actually agree that on a certain level that it really doesn't matter about what others think or perceive in regard to the art you make. It is every person's perogative to create what they themselves like and find enjoyable...worthwhile. This type of art is done outside of the 'art world' and not for comparison or scruntiny by those who are in it. I made this distinction as a art teacher..helping students do the best work they could, not with any intention of comparing them to a master artist. They were creating for individual enjoyment. It is a different application. I think, from the little of his writings you provided, that Armstrong is viewing all art this way. He seems to be espousing lumping all art made by anyone into one category.

There is, however, a difference between 'Art'...as we consider those great works down through the ages....and what the little old lady down the street paints on weekends, the public school student creates in class, or some person has thrown together with no understanding of what they are doing and a result that shows it. It is an important distinction that gets lost in today's discussions about art. Perhaps some might see it as unfair to have such 'standards', but that is just recent politically correct thinking and lacking in logical or historical support.

The reason art is art is because we have always been able to distinguish it from something that wasn't art. Therefore there is that which is art and that which isn't..despite the attempts to confuse the two. Now, we can remove those distinctions, but then what would be art...there is no defining it any more.

And though you say:
Quote:
While it’s important to protect the public from charlatans who would call themselves mechanics or doctors, when it comes to artists this really doesn’t matter. We are all capable of forming judgements about the merits of their works.
The fact is it isn't true. Our present educational institutions don't teach student's not majoring in art how to appreciate a painting or a sculpture...and sometimes they don't teach the students that are majoring in art either. You give institutions and people too much credit for being able to intuitively understand a work of art.....or what isn't a work of art. Some do have that innate discerning eye...but is by no means commonplace. Personally I have witnessed in the course of my life too much ignorance of art to believe otherwise.

We may all have judgments, but they aren't all equal. I am not going to tell the neurosurgeon what he should be doing in the operating room and he shouldn't be instructing me...because we have different knowledge bases. Read the journal of Delacroix or writings of Rodin on art and sculpture, Robert Henri's, (and others) and you will realize that great art isn't a happy coincidence....it does conform to a science of sorts. It has definite innate rules that create pleasing or unpleasing convergences of lines, shapes, colors, etc.... It isn't just something you walk up to and instantly understand or know how to do.

This is part of why it is important, in my opinion, that we do keep the charlatans from being given blanket acceptance. If the world you write about existed it would be different.....there we could rely upon everyone to keep each other honest because everyone would know the difference...but that isn't the world we live in.
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Old 07-14-2006, 05:32 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Just went to the link on mountshang post number #53 and had my first taste of body casting.
It left me feeling quite empty, the work feels utterly lifeless and cold, which is odd given that it is actually portraying humans. I can not reconcile this in my mind, being accustomed to feeling both the life force of the artist in the work and in good art - the individual life force of the work itself. My gut instinct says this work was not done by an artist but by a technician because it has no energy - it feels dead or like a zerox copy.
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Old 07-14-2006, 11:19 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

I have no general comment to add on to what I wrote on this topic quite sometime ago.

What I want to add is about the acclaimed English sculptor Anthony Gormley, winner of the 1994 Turner Prize, and creator of 'The Angel of the North' and 'Another Place'. My apology if this has already been mentioned here. I quote a webpage on him, "Almost all of his work takes the human body as its subject, with his own body used in many works as the basis for metal casts." and more clearly, "many of his works are based on moulds taken from his own body".
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Old 07-15-2006, 04:42 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Quote:
It left me feeling quite empty, the work feels utterly lifeless and cold, which is odd given that it is actually portraying humans. I can not reconcile this in my mind, being accustomed to feeling both the life force of the artist in the work and in good art - the individual life force of the work itself. My gut instinct says this work was not done by an artist but by a technician because it has no energy - it feels dead or like a zerox copy.

MountainSong's remarks are dead-on observations of what happens almost everytime some one uses bodycasting...there is a lack of life, a lack of spark that moves the figure. The static quality that is a result of the process creates an anomaly...an artistic deadness in a figure that should have the qualities of life.
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Old 07-16-2006, 03:48 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

In another thread I have come upon an artist "Isabel Mcllvain" at
http://www.isabelmcilvain.com/
and I thought how does she sculpt detail like that? I am very impressed with the work, thinking that I have found another mentor, another sculptor that I need to study and learn from. Then I find out it is a body cast, my initial reaction is disappointment, but then I have to say that I think it is beautiful and technically this is excellence. The poses are simple but I think that the work is beautiful. As casts I wonder if I can learn something from her work, to me it is like working with a live model, but I do think that there is something that I can take away from seeing her work.

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Old 07-16-2006, 09:07 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

I'm not sure what to think about casting. I'm sure it's a lot of work and talent but it seems to me it is different in a few ways. Like not having your hands in the clay. It is a little more rigid. And I think people in general will be disappointed when they find out it was cast. Her work is amazing but a little disappointing too. It's like computer art vs (shall I say it?) fine art. But what do I know? Scout
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Old 07-16-2006, 09:08 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

To Blake: Same artist. The work is empty. I can't think of any other way to described it. It is simply soulless - like looking at bones. A mortician trying to do the David. It speaks of what was, not of what is. You could learn perfected anatomy from her but not timeless living art.
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:57 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainSong
You could learn perfected anatomy from her but not timeless living art.
I understand what you are saying and perhaps the beauty that I see is in the perfect anatomy. There is beauty in the perfection, it may be considered as technical perfection, but I can see the beauty here and I would say that this is the only example of body casting that I could say that about.

I may still be able to learn something from this artist that I can apply to my work, much like George Segal, to whom I have learnt a great deal, there are always things to learn.
Blake
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