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  #151  
Old 05-04-2007, 03:03 PM
Philip Hitchcoc Philip Hitchcoc is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

My apologies, Steven, but I had to shorten it for artistic reasons... I still have the other "half" if you'd like it back.

PH
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  #152  
Old 05-04-2007, 03:17 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Bwahaha,

A good sense of humor is 90 percent of the battle.
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  #153  
Old 05-04-2007, 08:54 PM
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Aaron Schroeder Aaron Schroeder is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

About five years ago I got to see Philip Hitchcoc's work at a good friend's restuarant ( Dragonfly NeoV ) in Columbus Ohio. Since I lived down the street,I would frequently drop in and chat with the owners. Even though I missed the opening for Philip I still spent alot of time in the Gallery thinking about his work and how I felt about it. At first I was kind of shocked, not so much by the depiction of nudity but by the fact that an artist would put such provocative and potentially contraversial work in a public place and then deal with all the consequences. Any body that is willing to engage the public concerning human sexuallity gets my respect by default, it's a charged topic that can get intense. Initially I wasn't to impressed with the body casts, I thought it was gimmicky but like alot of art I think you have to spend some time with it to get the full effect and come to a level of appreciation. I think it can be difficult to appreciate Philip's work, the subject, the method, from photographs and even initial direct impressions but spend a little time with these pieces and you come to realize that they are about the very real people that they represent. Even though Philip arts them up a bit they capture a real person in a way that even the best artist interpretation can't. They are like 3-D photographs that freeze a temporal moment in a persons life. In a way I came to feel that I would much rather look at as close a representation of a real person than an idealize interpretation of a person. A person as a work of art. Philip may not be a great artist from a classical perspective but what he does, provides alot of meaning and alot of feeling for alot of people. His body castes capture what the best artist can't, exact temporal details of real people. Philips work isn't about philips hand/eye coordination, or his superior abilities as a sculptor, it's about the real models and their real bodies. In many regards more interesting than anything he could have done any other way. Philip, love him or hate him, I'm glad I got to spend some time with his work, it changed the way I look at sculpture and people. In a good way. Hopefully Philip will look past the sillyness of this thread and visit us every now and then and share with us some of his knowledge and experiences. Many of you may not appreciate what he does but I do.
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  #154  
Old 05-04-2007, 11:54 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Remember all, To those not calloused by daily doses of this forum we might seem to be a motley crew of over-verbose arrogant brutes sometimes. One must ease his/her way into the mix to reap the benefits of the typed tongue-lashings that can occur. But I'm sure if they took the time to visit the art lounge and kick back a little they would'nt feel so defensive.

And Jason is enviably smart, pure, sincere, passionate, idealistic and seemingly benevolent in his typings...he's probably mortified that he would be the object of someone's typed aggression, perceived as a slanderous attacker.

My few posts here wavered on the side of our annoyed responders. But many of the posts in disagreeance with mine caused me to remember the truth of the stone, not unlike the truth of steel. The world will judge us by our product, waving their arms and casting opinions after only a glance. but we judge ourselves by our process; how well we model the hours and days away efforting to give them all their illusions. We may sell the product but we keep the important part forever.
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  #155  
Old 05-05-2007, 05:07 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

I think that this is why I love this site so.

As for posting images of Mr. Butler as well as Mr. Hitchcock’s work, it has been correctly pointed out in post number 139 of this thread by Araich concerning “Fair Use”, these images have and may legally be used for the purposes that have been employed on this site.

Russ there would be many of us here, including myself who would be pleased to offer what ever assistance is required to protect the ability of this site to present commentary and criticism as it has legitimately made in this instance.

Mr. Gillespie I respect your opinions and back your attack on life casting.

I am sorry but I can’t refrain from commenting on some past posts.

I wonder if the “long list of satisfied clients” as stated by Mr. Roy W. Butler, knew that the works contained body casts? In order to make an informed opinion as to the legitimaticy of Mr. Butler’s art.
Further, as Mr. Butler requires a “high level of detail” that he is “renowned to obtain” I would like to suggest that there are a many other artists who obtain a high level of detail without resort to technical copying by casting.
Although I am sure that “it is often very hard for the trained eye to tell where one technique stops and the other begins” I would suggest the one cast begins at the wrists of the USCT National Memorial, and the other cast ends at the wrists.
I was sorry to hear that the “The pose has absolutely nothing to do with artistic pose composition,” as the truth of this statement is over whelming. “it has to do with official military protocal as directed by people with considerable” … “historical knowledge”
It is unfortunate that the historians are now trying to create art but this sculpture is certainly much less about art than history.

StevenW
Wow,

Regards
Blake
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  #156  
Old 05-21-2007, 12:56 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

To all,

My apologies to the parties who deem themselves somehow insulted and/or perceive their copyright to have been infringed. While I side with fritchie and Araich and their earlier remarks on the matter, I understand their unwillingness to be scrutinized in a manner that might be uncomfortable. I would not want too bright a light shown upon my activities if I were similarly engaged. (my opinion)

Had I not been in the throes of finishing my final semester in school I would have removed the images myself...but I haven't been to the community in sometime. Again, sorry for not responding to earlier requests.

To those who stood in the gap while I was detained...thanks. The free discourse on this site is an important part of its meaningfulness and it is hoped (on my part at least) that we can feel at liberty to continue it without too much censure.

Blake,

Quote:
It is unfortunate that the historians are now trying to create art but this sculpture is certainly much less about art than history.
It is only unfortunate in the present, the true history that transcends even those who attempt to direct it...will erase or record the names of those of us who it deems worthy.

I second Evaldart's comment......Our efforts will either cause us to be remembered for our gifts or our lack thereof....or forgotten entirely. Our work will be our judge.
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  #157  
Old 05-23-2007, 11:52 AM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Quote:
Two major practioners of bodycasting are by their own actions making a strong case for answering the original question of this thread in the negative.
They don't seem to want images of their work displayed on a site dedicated to the discusion of art.
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In coming back and rereading the responses since the initial firestorm of "copyright infringement" accusations, a nugget of great interest to me resides in GlennT's above remarks. Not that I think that Mr. Hitchcock or Mr. Butler's reactions in and of themselves make it plain that a negative response to my initial query is pro forma....I do not. I do, however, think that the fact that neither gentleman wish to use the opportunity afforded them in this thread to defend and prove wrong my assertion strange. What exactly are we talking about? Isn't it the validity of a form...one they use and seem to hold in esteem? Wouldn't they have much to say on this score?
I for one care about the health of the arts and think debate an integral part of maintaining its well-being. Mr. Hitchcock, at least, wants to dismiss our interest in this topic and such discussions by marginalizing the source of scrutiny.......

Quote:
And most of this criticism has come from middle-aged men, so failed in their life’s pursuits, that they retreat to the security of academia during a time which should be their “prime earning years.” They hide anonymously behind monitors and keyboards and call me a coward. They are unsuccessful men with questionable talent on whom, Starbuck's depends to brew their espressos...
Despite the speciousness of this remark, it is telling. One who uses a method of fabrication to earn his living is calling those that use their skill to create....men of "questionable talent". The irony is ready to be cut..bring on the knife.
While I personally know my own talent and am more than willing to put it up against either of these gentlemen with no fear of the outcome..... I do take umbrage at the blanket condemnation of the rest of those here who have participated...in a pursuit of greater understanding...in trying to answer the question I originally posed. The sort of mentality this personal attack represents...the sort that is generalizing/oversimplifying/undifferentiating of form or content and seemingly unwilling to give a rationale that would support such behavior.....is, in my opinion, what corrupts and undermines the arts in almost every sector.

I can not expect those who think that bodycasting is a formal sculptural method to understand or agree with my point, but I would expect them to at least listen. (I know I try and do the same.) Neither Mr. Butler nor Mr. Hitchcock seem to want to. I suppose it may be because they are both taking full advantage of their "prime earning years". Perhaps I should apologize for wasting my time trying to hone my skills and elevate my art while at the NYAA instead of the more important earning of the green. In that event, I should probably go ahead and do the same for the upcoming time I plan on spending in Italy this summer studying stone carving. I just hope Starbuck's will hold my postion for me until I get back.

To those here who disagree with me, but have the patience to listen...my hat is off to you...you do more justice to the notion you defend than these two who actually practice the method.
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Last edited by JasonGillespie : 05-23-2007 at 03:35 PM.
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  #158  
Old 05-23-2007, 01:58 PM
Tlouis Tlouis is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Is bodycasting really art?

BRAVO! Jason

You've got Mr. Hitchcock and Mr. Butler dead to rights. Dare say they haven't the intellect, erudition or intelligence to offer a rebuttal to your on target post. It's always a pleasure, and I dare say, good learning experience reading your posts.

Have a great time in Italy. I envy you,

Ciao, Lou
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  #159  
Old 05-23-2007, 03:17 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Tlouis,

The pleasure is mutual. As the saying goes..as iron sharpens iron so does one man sharpen another. I imagine we all benefit from our time spent here... I know I have learned a lot while here. It is why I keep coming back. Thanks.
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  #160  
Old 05-23-2007, 04:49 PM
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StevenW StevenW is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake
I wonder if the “long list of satisfied clients” as stated by Mr. Roy W. Butler, knew that the works contained body casts? In order to make an informed opinion as to the legitimacy of Mr. Butler’s art.

StevenW
Wow,

Regards
Blake
I'm not sure what I did to merit (or demerit) a "wow" Blake, but what you point out goes a long way to separate the genuine from counterfeit in my mind in any arena or spectrum and not just art or sculpture. I think it is very important in order to validate any serious assertion that one must present, view and weigh both sides equally and sift through all given content to ascertain some real measure of truth. I respect Aaron’s view of Phillip’s work (#153) [quote=Aaron] At first I was kind of shocked, not so much by the depiction of nudity but by the fact that an artist would put such provocative and potentially controversial work in a public place and then deal with all the consequences. Any body that is willing to engage the public concerning human sexuality gets my respect by default, it's a charged topic that can get intense…. In a way I came to feel that I would much rather look at as close a representation of a real person than an idealized interpretation of a person. A person as a work of art. [quote] as compelling and it deserves notice and I suspect similar arguments could be generated on Roy’s behalf. If what Aaron says is all that need be done to validate body casting as a formal method of sculpture and art with a capitol “A”, then the argument would be sealed for me and I would concede to greater opinions than my own. Jason however; is steadfast in his assertions with effortless simplicity. Who can ignore? (#157) [quote=Jason] I for one care about the health of the arts and think debate an integral part of maintaining its well-being. [quote] This is the kernel of Jason’s intent and not some drive-by or anything of the sort, it is the unmitigated protection of something valuable and with real and tangible meaning vs. the erosion, mitigation and marginalization of sculpture in its formal sense. I think to be fair on any level it is also important to investigate with an open mind and keep personal attacks out of the debate or at least maintain some level of civility. I took opportunity to visit both artist websites, Phillip's clearly uses "Body Casting" in bold letters on the front page and even goes so far as to educate the reader on the process and I defend him as being just, he makes no pretense and sincerely promotes the method. Roy uses “casting”, but I felt the description was murkier and led to believe that the work was created through “hyper-realistic sculpture techniques”. I pictured 1mm chisels and painstaking effort with Italian rasps and such and not some kind of molded silly putty. There are many artist statements in web, galleries and exhibits, which border on lies and hypocrisy from “genuine artists”, never mind art manufacturers and I ask myself why build up and mislead when the simple truth would do? Personally, I don’t care if a man sat on Mt. Olympus with Hephaestus himself chiseling away the deep, dark secrets of stone and metal. I don't care how many countries and cultures they lived with and what famous Italian sculptors they studied under and learned from or what registries they sit in or what academic letters follow their name. Let the work and the raw impact or lack thereof speak for itself and expect and allow others to do likewise. Even great Chefs know they’re only as great as their last meal and Denny's cooks fair no worse or better.

Russ, even if it was technically legal to keep images posted, I think you did the right thing removing them if for no other reason than to be polite, this forum should remain so. It’s not hard to replace them with hyperlinks and I’m glad to hear Jason say he would have done the same.

Roy, I think the subject of your work is noble and being an amateur Civil War buff, I appreciate what you’ve created simply for what it is, it needs no further embellishment. I personally don’t care about the congressional societies it is listed with and wish that your site gave further indication of what “Hyper-Realistic” technique you employ and what you truly think about it and what it means to you. I also wish you continued success in your journey.

Phillip, I like your humor and quick wit, you seem like a fun loving, passionate and well-spoken guy and I like that you defend yourself in a room of seemingly hostile and anonymous strangers; I hope you continue to succeed and participate here even though I personally feel the end result of body casting is a technical manufacture and not art with a capitol “A”. Perhaps I could still be convinced otherwise, but I have my doubts. FWIW though, I always doubt myself first and foremost before others. I defend you strongly nonetheless in the sense that you make no pretense about your work and you come clean under my Starbuckonian scrutiny. From what I’ve seen of your work, I sincerely believe that you possess passion and skill and vision and I personally feel that body casting lies somewhere between sculpture and silly putty and I’m not sure to what degree or where exactly on that spectrum it is. Time will tell perhaps and despite any technical critique, I echo Aaron’s remark that it takes guts to explore human sexuality (I still want the other half of my penis back btw). I encourage you to explore what makes you happy and if that is earnings and fame then so be it, but something tells me otherwise and that you have higher aspirations than money and success alone. I agree with you that academia by itself cannot judge the work, nor tell you what “Art” is and in the end it is up to you and your clients to determine what makes you sleep well at night and not some middle-aged critic like me. In any event, its nice talking to you and I’m glad you took the time to respond with some level of dignity and good humor.

Jason,
I agree with Evaldart about your disposition and your horror and would add to his remarks that; I think sculpture itself is so inspiring that good sculptors need no pretense, evil or malicious thoughts. In this sense I don’t think you have anything to apologize for whatsoever. I believe you have every reason to defend sculpture and be upset as I and many others are upset. Manufacture dawns the guise of sculpture and seemingly reigns supreme and countless other arts as they were once known and relished are systematically replaced with "hyper-realistic" methods, materials and techniques which ultimately (to me anyway) contain less value and meaning. It is a tribute to you that you seek to educate, defend and point out the differences and I thank you for helping me to better understand the issue at-large. Somewhat analogous to the thread and of interest to me was the story of Bobby Fischer. Fischer went quite mad defending his one passion in life, Chess, in which he thought lies and hypocrisy (politics) could not survive, but less known to almost all (particularly and ironically modern Chess Masters themselves); he did more to eradicate communism in our world than Reagan, the cold war and the free world combined. Crushing the Russians at their own national game forced them to re-evaluate their political and cultural superiority on a purely social level and they ultimately rejected their own form of government as a result.
Having the courage to force people to re-think their position, while mindfully evaluating your own is what makes men great and Emerson said; “To be great is to be misunderstood”.
In a throw-away society where we have now and pay later, it is no surprise the difference between “Art” and manufacture are misunderstood as well and to me it is as clear as the difference between Shakespeare and Stephen King. I would rather history forget me and my failed attempts at sculpture than remember me for my successful productions.

Steven
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  #161  
Old 05-23-2007, 07:44 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

StevenW
I applaud your words and commend your voice.

The “Wow” expressed an impression concerning the dimensions of the genital exposed in the previous post to which you admitted partial legal rights.

My comment in an earlier post
“It is unfortunate that the historians are now trying to create art but this sculpture is certainly much less about art than history.”

Was to mean that the sculpture appeared, in my opinion, to be more like a historic replica of the soldier for the USCT National Memorial, than a work of art. This would be the same class of “art work” that I would associate with wax museums. I do not deny that there is talent and ability required to create a work of that nature I just don’t consider it to be the highly creative form of art from which I draw my inspiration nor to which I aspire to create.

I have felt that this forum allows and encourages the opportunity for artist and non artists to express their opinions and examine the many items that are today considered to be “ART” and I feel that we had very good examples of a variety of opinions both for and against body casting.

I will still hold that the law allows the “fair use” of images for the propose of education and criticism and that the photos referred to were posted for that purpose and not for “advantage or monetary gain”, and could therefore appear on this site “in public” without reproach. However, I agree that this is a polite and proper community and should continue to maintain the respectful attitude that has been demonstrated.

I congratulate the contributors of the debate that was shared here and I personally feel that I have gained for having participated.

Blake
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  #162  
Old 05-23-2007, 08:07 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake
StevenW
I applaud your words and commend your voice.

The “Wow” expressed an impression concerning the dimensions of the genital exposed in the previous post to which you admitted partial legal rights.
I congratulate the contributors of the debate that was shared here and I personally feel that I have gained for having participated.

Blake
Oh, yes of course I had forgotton,..The Crippler. I recant my earlier demand and share it freely in the spirit of “fair use” and not for “advantage or monetary gain”. This, despite years of drive-by princesses behaving rudely with it like so many kittens at a bowl of milk.

Thanks for reminding me.

Steven
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  #163  
Old 05-24-2007, 09:24 PM
mountshang mountshang is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Correlative to the topic of this thread:

"Is photography really art?"

... and if so ... why would the mechanical reproduction of an image pass muster -- while bodycasting would not ?

(for the record -- I don' think either question is very important -- but while I do enjoy momentary glimpses at some people's photographs --- I would as soon look at a mangled corpse as view a bodycast)
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  #164  
Old 05-24-2007, 09:41 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Mountshang - Thanks for bringing up the analogy with photography. I've been tempted to do that myself. Mostly years ago, I shared many conversations with a couple of area professional photographers on just that subject, and I went back to art books and the early photographic artists such as Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz, and others of their vintage to decide the issue for myself. I came away agreeing with them (of course) that photography CAN BE an art, if the proper person is handling the camera and probably controlling his/her own image presentation in the transition to positive form.

Obviously, not every photographer is an artist, nor is every sculptor of body casts. The final product decides the question.
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  #165  
Old 05-25-2007, 10:17 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

"The Art of photography"
"The Art of bodycasting"
"The Art of furniture design"
"The Art of landscaping"
"The Art of cabinet making"
"The Art of painting"
"The Art of sculpture"
"The Art of war"

If we are using the term "art" to indicate a step beyond/above the mastery of the craft...

(When I was a lad, working construction in the summer, occasionally a worker would show up and make difficult tasks seem easy, efficiency of motion, sure and careful use of the toolkit, confidence in his skills, and always, a product that epitomized the skill and virtue of the craft.
The other workers would say of him, "He's a real artist")

in such a context
,
sure, why not?

I liked Hitchcoc's site because he was upfront about what he does and how he does it. On his site he seems proud to be a bodycaster, while here, he seemed a tad defensive...

My only objection comes when people call:
bodycasting ..."sculpture"
war..."a police action"
despotism and tyranny ..."the patriot act"
gas chambers..."the showers"

need i go on?
........
epimetheus:
When it comes to mastery/artistry of a craft...bodycasting... I think Philip Hitchcoc has done it.
Sculpture just happens to be a different craft.

Last edited by sculptor : 05-25-2007 at 10:22 AM. Reason: epimetheus
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  #166  
Old 05-25-2007, 02:13 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Blake,

Thanks for the clarification. I found that fact interesting as well. I am something of an aficionado of old photography and especially the Civil War era and still don't think the replica uniform was cut right. The cloth hangs much more where the cloth in photos of troops from that time seems to billow more...as if it is a thicker material. Too the fit for the figure is awkward. You are right....his effort has very little to commend it as a pleasing work of art. Your observations are well made.

If a moment's digression is allowable....let me return to a remark made by Roy Butler
Quote:
Mr. Gillespie, you do not know me and quite apparently know nothing of my professional sculpting skills, regardless of whether my total body of work is created from scratch in clay, lifecast or any other medium or combination of mediums that I might choose to utilize.


As Mr. Butler was insistent that I had not the knowledge of what he was capable of when modeling himself (though to me the differences between hand modeled work and casts from the body are always pretty obvious), I did my research and found his site with examples of that very thing. Here is the link... http://www.androscollection.com/andros.php ........draw your own conclusions.

I think Mr. Butler has given us the clue by which this whole situation can be unraveled when he said...
Quote:
My long list of satisfied clients are the sole, end decision makers of whether my work is legitimate art, not you.
Money is the arbitrator here. Whether or not it is art is entirely out the window. What is important is will it suffice for the job and will it bring a paycheck? These very practical questions are answered in the affirmative and are why our culture is dismal when compared with those of the past....those that valued the thing itself above what it could get you...the creator, the client, or the investor. I just went to see the new Greek and Roman exhibt at the Met again and am continually overwhelmed by a culture...cultures that held the arts in such esteem that every aspect of life was enhanced by artistic erudition and refinement. It is a shame we have our priorities so far askew.


Mountshang,

Quote:
"Is photography really art?"

... and if so ... why would the mechanical reproduction of an image pass muster -- while bodycasting would not ?
Photography is not and has never has been a memetic replacement for an actual painting (though we use the process in lieu of paintings). I've heard this sort of argument made before and it seems to always force an issue that is basically an apple and orange situation. We do not confuse the two because they are so different. Photography is a diffrent process with a different outcome. Where this way of thinking falls apart is in assuming just because a process has reproductive abilities it must be memetic. Not so. The question of "is photography art" should always be an obvious "YES" because we recognize that it is a singular process that owes nothing to painting. Is origins are in a different area (science of optics, chemistry, etc..). It is irrelevant that it has been used as reference by artists and is at times combined with painting. This intermarriage of two intrinsically diffrent forms only creates a third new form which still doesn't lend itself to this sort of comparison. (Except perhaps when the artist use is solely a tracing of said photograph....and this comparison would be against not for bodycasting. Interesting that you should pose the question if you could care less.)

Lifecasting can not say this. It has always been a part of the sculptural process It is by its very nature a sculptural byproduct...though usually in history seen as a tool for creating reference material for the sculptor. To employ it is to create an object that is exists through sculptural techniques...minus the important factor of sculptural skill.

Oh yes,...
Quote:
The final product decides the question.
Another way of saying the end justifies the means. I do not subscribe to this as a way of approaching art. (And a good many other things as well) Why...because I feel that it is flawed logic in that it is unreasonable to assign an equal measure of value to those that work to achieve a refined result and those who do not.
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  #167  
Old 05-25-2007, 05:17 PM
Denis Denis is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Does body casting rise to the level of fine art ?

That should be the question. The issue of "what is art?" has been given over to the "Whatever" crowd several decades ago.

Well does it ? What do you think about this work ? It is "Woman Bitten by a Snake" By Clesinger 1847. I think it does.

It is a body casting. If you don't think it's fine art then you need to get to the Orsay and look at it...truly beautiful. Heavy sigh here. She would now be what ? 187 years old.

The real problem is that body casting seldom rises to this level but when it does we as artists should celebrate it.

Denis
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  #168  
Old 05-25-2007, 05:41 PM
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JasonGillespie JasonGillespie is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Denis,

The sculpture in question (Woman Bitten By Snake 1847) was rumored to have been bodycast, but considering Clesinger's other works (he was a pupil of Thorvaldsen and a very skilled modeler as well as marble carver) and the mastery they show it has been put to rest. The current opinion I have found by most scholars is that the sculpture was modeled from a bodycast of a Mme. Sabatier and was previously vilified as a lifecast due to its great naturalism...but in the end is not itself a lifecast piece.

This public scandal was much like the one Rodin would be embroiled in decades later when he exhibited Age of Bronze. It is a testimony of sorts that even when artists of great reputation or ability in the past did works that were highly naturalistic, they could run the risk of being negatively viewed of using a technique, lifecasts, that would utterly destroy the positive qualities of their work as art.

It is only in the most recent past that this way of thinking has been turned on its ear...and mostly it has resulted in a dumbing down of the general viewer in regard to what is a sculpted work and what has been fabricated through the means of the lifecasting technique. Nowadays the "artistry" of what many assume, erroneously, to be sculpted is merely the novelty of lifecastings inherent documentation of the living form...not an artist's skillful rendering of form.
The mistaking of the Clesinger piece as well as Rodin's as lifecasts were not the beginnings of this trend though and should be seen for what they are.... a natural cultural backlash against what might be construed as charlatanism on the part of a public that has a general grasp of what skill is needed to create such a work. (A grasp that sadly is no longer in evidence.) It is a reflection of Clesinger and Rodins' technical skill that the issue was raised at all....(and a shifting in stylistic leanings which both sculptors were advancing).
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Old 05-25-2007, 06:51 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

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Originally Posted by Denis
Does body casting rise to the level of fine art ?

Denis

According to this it is a "mimic" of fine art. http://www.androscollection.com/lifecast.php

Is this bronze spray paint? :|

The "Whatever" club is a dangerous one too I think.
One of their proudest members, Rosie O'Donnell, just left the "Vue".
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Old 05-26-2007, 12:01 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

StevenW,

You are right. The bronze painted resin casts are almost funny....more a parody. In every way it is a facsimile of a sculpture, yet falls short of the real thing by virtue of the sum total being as weak as its parts.

I suppose this was meant to be somehow related to Greek or Roman fragments from antiquity. What might have escaped the casual observer (or casual artist) is the high degree of manipulation that both the Greeks and the Romans subjected the human form to when rendering them. They were willing to change subtle anatomical details when it created a more pleasing sense of rhythm in the overall form. The bodycast has no such rhythms and is only an exact copy...minus whatever artistic editing the sculptor would make to enhance the form.
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Old 05-26-2007, 01:22 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

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StevenW,

The bronze painted resin casts are almost funny....more a parody.
It certainly covers the theme of tragedy quite well. Nonetheless, 2007 is not 600 B.C. and the figure manipulation of which you speak, the idealization of the human form personifying flow and rhythm as opposed to the license plate stamping of one is perhaps lost. I feel sorry for the archaeologists ten thousand years from now who will be sifting through the rubble of the Walmartonian epoch.
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Old 05-26-2007, 08:18 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Re Post 166: "Oh yes,...
Quote: [from Fritchie]
The final product decides the question.

"Another way of saying the end justifies the means. I do not subscribe to this as a way of approaching art. (And a good many other things as well) Why...because I feel that it is flawed logic in that it is unreasonable to assign an equal measure of value to those that work to achieve a refined result and those who do not."

Jason - My take on this is that we both probably were careless in our thought processes here. To be a little more careful, it certainly is possible for an amateur, even a child, to produce an occasional good or even excellent photograph, given that the film was submitted to some professional firm for developing and/or processing into a final image.

What determines the work of Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz and many other photographers to be art, and them artists is their capability to produce excellent work again and again. It is the vision of such people, together with their technical mastery of process, that classifies them as artists and their work as art. Even here, some of their work will rise above or fall below their average standard, but overall, one has to consider them and the work to be what I have said.

To be sure, I have read only a small part of this thread overall, but I cannot agree with your apparent premise that only work produced by one with ability in a relatively work-intensive medium should be called an artist, and the product of such a person, art. I'm fairly sure this question has been asked, and probably with following commentary, also: What mimimal portion of a person's work must he/she do in person for the result to be called art? Must a sculptor fashion his/her own tools, gather and refine the clay and bronze, build the furnace necessary for pouring, if the end product is bronze? Why should a photographer be treated any different, if he/she uses a ready-built camera, tripod, and other equipment? Ansel Adams, for example, another photographic artist I admire, is said to have chosen the exact season of year and time of day, cloudiness of the sky, position of the moon, and other factors in composing his work.

Where is the dividing line between art and craft for you, in light of these examples? I find art in the conceptualization ability of the artist, and his/her mastery of the techniques needed to give physical form to those ideas. (Not to overlook Conceptual Artists who partly forego the last step, or even people who submit their ideas to others for fabrication.)
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:34 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonGillespie
The sculpture in question (Woman Bitten By Snake 1847) was rumored to have been bodycast, but considering Clesinger's other works (he was a pupil of Thorvaldsen and a very skilled modeler as well as marble carver) and the mastery they show it has been put to rest. The current opinion I have found by most scholars is that the sculpture was modeled from a bodycast of a Mme. Sabatier and was previously vilified as a lifecast due to its great naturalism...but in the end is not itself a lifecast piece.

This public scandal was much like the one Rodin would be embroiled in decades later when he exhibited Age of Bronze. It is a testimony of sorts that even when artists of great reputation or ability in the past did works that were highly naturalistic, they could run the risk of being negatively viewed of using a technique, lifecasts, that would utterly destroy the positive qualities of their work as art. .. .
Just a passing comment. Apparently they could not, or didn't want to get out of the age old mind-set that their nude figure sculptures must be life size. Just creating them different from life-size would avoid havng all these doubts being thrown at them.

This is perhaps partly, but not wholely, the reason Ron Mueck makes his either bigger or smaller.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:24 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merlion
Just a passing comment. Apparently they could not, or didn't want to get out of the age old mind-set that their nude figure sculptures must be life size. Just creating them different from life-size would avoid havng all these doubts being thrown at them.

This is perhaps partly, but not wholely, the reason Ron Mueck makes his either bigger or smaller.
Rodin did just that in his second major work, St. John the Baptist, (aka) Striding Man or similar title. He made it about 7 - 8 feet tall, as I recall, in response to that criticism about Age of Bronze. Unfortunately, he still was very poor and working in a studio where things froze in cold weather. That piece fractured from the cold, and all he was able to preserve was the torso, with, I believe, fragments of the upper legs and portions of the arms. The head today is intact, but I don't know if he kept it in good shape or remodeled it.

Probably one reason for the lifesize casts is that people can relate better to those than to much smaller or larger figures. I've been startled frequently on seeing some lifesize pieces out of the corner of my eve, thinking for a brief instant I had seen a living person, even though the material and color were not correct.
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:57 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

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Originally Posted by fritchie
I've been startled frequently on seeing some lifesize pieces out of the corner of my eve, thinking for a brief instant I had seen a living person, ...
These are figure sculptures in the days of plaster, marble and bronze. Not now. It would be horrid if you see this life-size in an art museum.

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Last edited by Merlion : 05-28-2007 at 04:31 AM.
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