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  #76  
Old 07-16-2006, 12:30 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

I understand what you are saying Blake and agree. There is always learning to do and observations to be had and they can come from the most unlikely of places to the most obvious. It is the observing and learning that are important.
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  #77  
Old 07-16-2006, 04:21 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Blake,

I can see the artistry of Isabel Mcllvain's work...or should I say the artistry in her seamless use of the body casting technique.....not the 'sculptures' themselves. Though I still think that she hasn't created art...rather very good facsimiles of an actual human form...there is an informational merit to her work that is based on the beauty inherent in the models she pulls these very well made molds/casts from. I can see how one could learn form her work...just as you would a real model or an ecorche.

As a result I respond to a number of the models on her site the same way I would if they were really standing in front of me living and breathing. Some of them are graceful or have an interesting morphology that is artistic in and of itself......but it is due to the slavish qualities of technique she uses...Mcllvain can take none of the credit for any of the artfulness of her work save the expertise in creating the body cast and posing them...and many of her poses are still quite mediocre.

Mcllvain is an excellent example, in my opinion, of why there is a natural flaw in work done using this technique. What is artistic in her work isn't her work. And it is equally true for all who use body casting to attain a naturalistic result.

Now, Gormley and Segal are a different breed..there is no confusion in their work between the model/body cast and the sculpture. Though they still don't use traditional techniques to attain the form, there is no deceitful memesis at work in their art and I can turn a blind eye of sorts how they achieve it.
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  #78  
Old 07-16-2006, 04:44 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

From what I saw of Mcllvain's work I can not call it anything but art! It's very beautifully executed. It actually makes one think it's not a life cast. If the description of being an artist doesn't require one to have to actually do the work theirselves but to only come up with the initial idea ( see thread Help In Understanding http://www.sculpture.net/community/s...ead.php?t=2836 ) How can this be any different? Isn't there more work in this than hiring a fabricator to bring your idea to fruition?
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  #79  
Old 07-16-2006, 05:01 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

When I studied in Italy the sculpture that won the student show was a bodycast of the front of a women cast in bronze.The Italian Locals loved it,I though it was an easy way out of not having to sculpt it in clay first,or maybe an attempt by a desperate sculptor to see real teets?Regardless,it was art.....................IA
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  #80  
Old 07-16-2006, 07:18 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Dear Jason
I would agree with you that there is artistry in her seamless use of the body casting technique but I think that you have identified what I find beautiful....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonGillespie
What is artistic in her work isn't her work. .
She has beautifully reproduced the anatomy and I am unable to see that as being anything but beautiful. Her reproductions have also given me some ideas that I will borrow so I have learned something from her models as well.

Blake
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  #81  
Old 07-17-2006, 05:29 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Ordinarily I stay away from severely criticizing any specific artist, but I have to say, after visiting her demonstration page, that I find her work as dead as Mountainsong says. These works come across to me as plastic mannequins, utterly devoid of value as art. I certainly would not want to own one, and I think I'd be disappointed in a museum that displayed one, except as a curiosity.

I see she teaches at Boston University, and I'm sure she is excellent in teaching technique.

There are sculptors using bodycasts as starting points whose work I admire, so it's not just a question of technique. It may be the air of detachment I see in the figures. On her demo page, only a few works can be seen in magnified view, but I think that is a factor in my reaction
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  #82  
Old 07-17-2006, 10:12 PM
deborah4923 deborah4923 is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

I just looked up McIlvain's website. Her work is beautifully photographed. I find it interesting the whole website (www.isabelmcilvain.com) is just these beautiful photographs. She doesn't say anything about her work. I wonder how she feels about it.

My sister and her husband have a large foundry. I am amazed at the number of "artists" casting with them who cover a form (taxidermist's form, for example) with clay, scratch around on the surface and then sign their name to it. (Or have their studio assistants do eveything but sign the name.) Personally I don't consider this to be art and I feel the same about body casting, whether the cast itself is the finished piece or whether it is used as a basis for more work.

I realize this is a little simplistic, but one of the things I love about sculpting is the rush that comes when I get somewhere near what I see in my head and heart. Maybe that goes away when you become well-known and the pressure is on to play to the crowd. But when I look at art, I want to see the heart of the artist, not what I can see in an anatomy book.
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  #83  
Old 07-18-2006, 09:56 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Is the entire body cast at one time, no seams? It might be cool to have one made of ourselves. Spooky. Scout
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  #84  
Old 07-18-2006, 10:59 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake
Dear Jason
I would agree with you that there is artistry in her seamless use of the body casting technique but I think that you have identified what I find beautiful....



She has beautifully reproduced the anatomy and I am unable to see that as being anything but beautiful. Her reproductions have also given me some ideas that I will borrow so I have learned something from her models as well.

Blake

agree-----'cepting the main question-is it art or artistry-or craft-or skill set

She obviously touches up her castings and does a darned excellent job of it---maybe 'cepting the pubic hair
I wish I had her skill
wouldn't it be wonderfull to do several body casts, and have them cluttering up the studio as permanent stationary models
sculpt a second degree of seperation piece using the legs of one, breasts of another neck of another, face of another---etc.etc

technique?
how does one approach bodycasting a standing figure

my old caveat remains-the poses are rather static---limiting factor
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  #85  
Old 07-18-2006, 05:30 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

you cant cast someone running. the pose would never be as dynamic as a skillfuly sculpted one. You are limited in certain ways. But then again the castings are another realm of artistic expression in itself. The way you cast it doesnt neessarily lend itself to a copy of the the model. Like you said hack an arm off here, assemble a leg on there, switch things around, turn a head 180 degrees. I would say yes it is art but it doesnt fit in the same category of traditionally sculpted pieces. And I have to add that it depends on the context in which you are considering it as art. Manequins are frequently cast from models but they are used to display clothes. I think this all comes back to our friend Marcel Duchamp.
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  #86  
Old 08-04-2006, 01:02 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

interesting opinion about Ron Mueck

The Great Pretender

"Ron Mueck is supposedly having an exhibition at this year's Edinburgh festival. I say supposedly because I'm not convinced the artist actually exists. Perhaps a clever novelist made up Mueck just to expose the tastelessness and stupidity of our time?"

http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/culturev...eat_prete.html
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  #87  
Old 08-04-2006, 07:12 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

It is from the UK Guardian, but it is a blog.

Bloggers say all sorts of things including hoxes to get attention, and to get their blogs read. Making such comments also attract responses.

There was a term for this sort of comments in the newsgroup days.
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  #88  
Old 08-20-2006, 05:30 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Great blazing balls of fire! I have never read such a gushing torrent of words about a subject less deserving. Body/life casting DOES NOT produce art. This method of working is dishonest, cowardly, contemptible, even shameful that can only result in a pathetic, utterly dead simulacrum no matter how the surface is jazzed-up or finished. And as for George Segal, ex-chicken farmer...what piffle! Wake up! If you haven't the guts, imagination and innate creativity to make art with your own two hands, a few tools and suitable material, then give it up. Go and do something useful like volunteer work at a children's cancer hospital or your local library.
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  #89  
Old 08-28-2006, 09:12 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

hi all i would say yes bodycast is a art form i do life cast it is not a simpel as it look it take me +- tree jaer of tral and erra to get it rigth but what one das with it after you taken the cast then the art work realy get going take a look at www.lifecasting.org and let me know what you think.
waiting to hear from you
anton
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  #90  
Old 08-28-2006, 11:04 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

A long time ago we were in a big city and we saw a sculpture of a women sitting on a bench with I think her groceries. I thought it was amazing. I've thought of it many times. Unfortunately, if I thought it was a body cast it would loose some of the appeal. Also unfortunately that kind of general attitude exists and it may take a while to correct it. All anybody can do is work at what you know you will be great in some day. We all reach for that "some day" and the knowledge somewhere deep inside you that tells you every time the next one will be even better! Scout
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  #91  
Old 08-28-2006, 08:25 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

I found this all quite interesting if a bit drawn out. As far as is it art or not I say it can be. 1st of all it is an artifact. There are many who view an oriental rug, Native American pottery as 2 examples to be art. Is it? In my opinion at least some of it is. To make a blanket statement is a bit presumtuous.

I happened on a John DeAndrea nude quite by accident in a Fine Art gallery owned by Foster Goldstrom over 20 years ago. He had put it in the restroom on the toilet. Maybe the setting had something to do with it but I had an immediate and very strong emotional reaction to it. More than most art moves me to. It was spooky and haunting and quite the experience. There was no social statement being made. It was a piece of art that was a natural extention of practices that have been around for centuries.

Now you might argue that it was not sculpture. Maybe not, but it definatly was art. I don't know if DeAndrea is a sculptor because this is the only artifact of his I have seen. Picasso is known mostly for his cubist paintings, blue paintings and what I consider to be mediocre at best sculpture but he was producing master, like in old, quality drawings at a young age and no matter what your feelings are about his art you have to agree that he was an artist. DeAndrea might be a great sculptor but his market is life casting. Who cares?

In my opinion the super realism that lead to the life castings of DeAndrea and Hanson is a direct desendent of the Tromp D'oil (don't know if I spelled that correctly but everyone knows it means "Fool The Eye") that has been practiced in European painting for centuries. It gets down to materials and practices. If they had the acrylics, air brushes and other things that we have at our disposal now back then somebody would have already been there done that long before our time. The fact that Estes and others were making a living selling paintings that were in a way more realistic than a photo could be, and who really cares what the technique used to do it was, then it follows it was going to be tried in a sculptural form.

How do you best make an artifact that is more realistic than a photo in 3D of the human body. Life casting. It is just a means to an end. The end is art. The means is materials and process.

Does the fact that I do most of my carving with power tools instead of a mallet and chisel make me less an artist. I am absolutly sure that there are a number of folks would say yes.
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  #92  
Old 08-28-2006, 11:12 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Well done Thatch!
Ever since Uni, this question about what is art and what is not kept cropping up. Art like beauty is abstract, leading to an aesthetic experience. But to try to put a finger on it and say that this is art but that is not, is to miss the whole point. Like you rightly pointed out, various artifacts throughout history have been considered art. What this forum is doing is discrediting a whole lot of individuals who don't meet their standards of what constitutes art, and this kind of attitude of intolerance is hardly what one expects from an art community.
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  #93  
Old 08-29-2006, 02:30 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonGillespie
Recently, as a result of my graduate studies, I have become interested in what other sculptors think in regard to the technique of bodycasting. My main interest, and the reason I am attending NYAA, is to develop my understanding and ability to render the human form to a high level...with my reference point being reality.....and expressly to do it with my own skills and talent. That puts me at the opposite end of the spectrum from this technique and firmly in the camp of bodycasting not rising to the level of Art. (Well, maybe art with a lowercase "a".)

That being said, I will say that there are some sculptors that use bodycasting as a preliminary to a further process and I wouldn't consider them as true bodycasting sculptors. The best example that comes to mind of this type of sculptor would be Antony Gormley. His work does not bear the image of the person being cast rather it is a rough framework for him to build upon and manipulate. His figures are worked beyond this technique and have meaning in their own right as a result. ( To see what I am refering to go to http://www.antonygormley.com )

Those who follow in the footsteps of the grandfather of bodycasting, George Segal, however, are, in my opinion, creating something, but it isn't Art. Their work is dependent upon the likeness drawn from the bodycast to give their work legitimacy. Herein is the problem I have. The likeness has nothing to do with their ability or skill. How they may compose or patinate the figures is the extent of their artistic effort. This in and of itself, I think, does not rise to the level of sculpture or art. A very good example of this type of sculptor is Marc Quinn with his "sculpture" of Alison Lapper in Trafalgar Square. Not only did he rely upon a bodycast of his subject as the positive for his work, he then had other artisans transfer and carve it in marble. You can go to http://www.marcquinn.com/ to see the above mentioned work.

I am interested in hearing what other sculptors, figurative and non-figurative might think about this and why. By all means try and convince me otherwise if you are in favor of bodycasting. I by no means have a comprehensive understanding of the subject.

A point, my interest is in a dialogue not a brawl. Please keep posts on topic.
Hi Jason.The bodycast is a tool.You can turn it in art .But it will cost more time and work .The bodycast is a shadow of complete object.So you have to make degenesis of the shape in order to inplant your art idea.Or use it as a contsept in modern art.Arnis
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  #94  
Old 08-29-2006, 10:38 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Tandigon,

When you said...
Quote:
What this forum is doing is discrediting a whole lot of individuals who don't meet their standards of what constitutes art, and this kind of attitude of intolerance is hardly what one expects from an art community.
I think you might have oversimplified the situation.

Art is defineable...it exists distinct from things that aren't art. The whole point in trying to discuss these sort of questions is to come to a better understanding of what art is. That there must be some standard is obvious...otherwise it wouldn't be art.

Now, if you advocate having no standards so everyone can be an artist your indictment might have validity, but it won't change the fact that there are some people who just can't create art...try as they might. I am not going to lower the bar so they can become artists. That is like going to college, making bad grades and still wanting a diploma...or asking to be made a doctor without ever having gone to medical school. You must meet some criteria before being considered an artist. It doesn't need to be academic or educational...but it should show in the work itself. In my opinion good intentions are not enough. Every other type of work/job has this same ethic.

As to your comment about intolerance....if you want to make having a standard of ability, having some sort of skill ...in whatever area of art....a case for intolerance, you are going to be stretching the meaning of the word a bit. Your expectation of the art community's tolerance seems to border on blind acceptance.....and that is something I would never expect from the art community.





Quote:
The bodycast is a tool.You can turn it in art .But it will cost more time and work .The bodycast is a shadow of complete object.So you have to make degenesis of the shape in order to inplant your art idea.Or use it as a contsept in modern art.
Arnis,
I do think that bodycasting is a tool and your reference about a shadow is a good one. I know some use it only as a tool to construct something that is wholly different from the original casting and the bodycasting is therefore a smaller part of a larger work of art....which no longer resembles the cast. (like Antony Gormley's great conceptual work)

But then there are those who use it as the means by which they create distinctly figurative works...works meant to supplant those modeled by hand....figurative works that they wouldn't otherwise be able to produce without this process. This is still a problem for me. The element of charlatanism about this kind of work is too strong for me to ignore or make peace with.

I appreciate your comments as well as the varied reasonings offered by others and have learned more than a little from the responses in this thread. The line between the above two ways of using the bodycasting technique is more definite for me now and I appreciate the clarification.
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  #95  
Old 08-29-2006, 11:46 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Hi, In the right hands, Segal (I forget his first name, I want to say George, but isn't he the Actor? Maybe they're both named George!) for instance made a career out of body casting and as far as I'm concerned, he did it very well.
Of course, It (in his case, at least) wasn't about the figure, but about the situation, alienation and loneliness that he put them in. A commentary on modern society, so to speak.
That's what makes them ART!
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  #96  
Old 08-30-2006, 12:40 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Ironman,

I concur about segal. He not only used it first as a form, he also did it in a very original way that was far removed from traditional sculpture. His figures were certainly about the idea first and foremost and as such did not worry themselves with the details normally associated with figurative works. While I don't like every work of his....there are some that are quite effective. The work below is, in my opinion, one of his best.
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  #97  
Old 08-30-2006, 01:50 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Wow Jason, you took my wind!
First let's recap............

"I think you might have oversimplified the situation."

Really?

"Art is defineable...it exists distinct from things that aren't art."

Pray, tell us about that distinction and standards.

"Now, if you advocate having no standards so everyone can be an artist your indictment might have validity, but it won't change the fact that there are some people who just can't create art...try as they might. I am not going to lower the bar so they can become artists."

Jason, I am passed 60, but I don't suffer from dementia. So please point out to me where exactly I advocated having no standards. My point is that you are trying to judge the work of others by your standards.

"That is like going to college, making bad grades and still wanting a diploma...or asking to be made a doctor without ever having gone to medical school. You must meet some criteria before being considered an artist. It doesn't need to be academic or educational...but it should show in the work itself. In my opinion good intentions are not enough. Every other type of work/job has this same ethic."

As I said before, this kind of simplistic explanation is like talking down to a child. Let's raise the bar.

'As to your comment about intolerance....if you want to make having a standard of ability, having some sort of skill ...in whatever area of art....a case for intolerance, you are going to be stretching the meaning of the word a bit. Your expectation of the art community's tolerance seems to border on blind acceptance.....and that is something I would never expect from the art community."

Wow Jason, this is turning out to be a brawl. You seem to be reading whatever you want in my sentences. You sound so accusatory. Now thats intolerance of the point of view of others, if anything.

Some examples of intolerance:
bodycasting not rising to the level of Art. (Well, maybe art with a lowercase "a".)

Those who follow in the footsteps of the grandfather of bodycasting, George Segal, however, are, in my opinion, creating something, but it isn't Art


BUT:
I realize that this topic seemingly presents a lot of "grey" area and would be willing to make George Segal fall on the other side of the line because of his texturization and excellent use of the figures to create meaningful compositions...and..... mostly because he did it first as a mode of expression that was meant to stand on its own merits.

I actually like Segal's work. His pieces about societal alienation are very well done.

More intolerance:
Bodycasting is a technique which alleviates the "sculptor" from having to do the work themselves. In the past these people would have been considered charlatans and fakes. Today we give them a pass....worse we treat them as if they had actually created something. They may have fabricated something, but that is not the same as the act of creation.

Not so bodycasting. It is in no way an artistic element. By its very nature it can't be. It has no intrinsic artistic merit as an object


Finally:
I am interested in hearing what other sculptors, figurative and non-figurative might think about this and why. By all means try and convince me otherwise if you are in favor of bodycasting. I by no means have a comprehensive understanding of the subject.


Jason, I really do not care to convince you. For that matter I do not care to convince anyone. I do not need to. Art is a very wide topic with a total spectrum. You do not have to approve or like or agree for art to be. Art has no boundry, no standards, its open ended. My grandsons art is just as valid as yours. The true mark of artists would be creativity not skill. And finally from my personal experience, another characteristic of true artists is tolerance.

And hey, I would not hit below the belt.
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  #98  
Old 08-30-2006, 03:45 PM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

This is going to seem to be OT but bear with me it isn't.

I studied sculpture at university, had a career in fine wines, know how to cook as well as most professional chefs and do consider myself an audiophile. My ex is a stage actress and director.

All these things are subjective yet each and every one requires objectivity, training and a specialized vocabulary to be able to communicate about them. The key words here are subjective and objective. All people rely on their senses to create their reality. When you view, smell, taste and listen it causes a reaction that is subjective and personal.

To be able to communicate about our subjective perceptions we become objective and with specializations even create a vocabulary.

Since one persons subjectivity is not the same as anothers the emotional context created by viewing, smelling, tasting and listening is going to vary. We are each and every one the center of our universe and how we percieve it is personal. It is not possible or correct to assume that our objectivity based on our subjectivity is the only way to percieve things.

Thus is Art. It is emotion. It is subjective. No objective arguement can change that. To make an example of a unique artifact and state that it is or isn't art based only on personal subjectivity about the process used to create it is..............fill in the blank.

Thatch
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  #99  
Old 08-31-2006, 01:26 AM
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Tandigon,

I will beat this horse for one more post. You said
Quote:
What this forum is doing is discrediting a whole lot of individuals who don't meet their standards of what constitutes art, and this kind of attitude of intolerance is hardly what one expects from an art community.
I was responding to your accusation of 'intolerance' within this art community and your expectations that it is somehow not living up to.

The complaint you registered was about the standards that some are wanting to maintain in regard to art. If you notice, I never said you were advocating no standards...I said if you advocate having no standards because I was not sure. I am not talking about judging by my standards in this post...I am advocating having standards. At some level, however, we do make artistic judgments...it is a normal process that brings us to understand what is the difference between mediocrity and excellence. One does not get better with out judging oneself against those around and we must make judgements about who we think is a good influence on our work or what medium suits us best, etc....That is another discussion though.

What is and isn't art is a topic too large to try and address in this thread...it deserves its own space. Suffice it to say I do believe there are distinctions between the two and I am by no means alone in this belief.

I apologize if my analogies seemed as if I was talking down. I prefer simplifying ideas whenever possible.

There is no brawl...your original comments were quite pointed and I was giving my response and using questioning hypotheticals....without slinging mud. There was no name calling...or personal attacks. If you were to address all my points as I was trying to do yours....then we would be discussing.....the point of a forum in the first place.
Reread my post and notice I use words like I think, if you, seems...words that do not imply assumption....because I could be wrong. I used these words to preface my remarks regarding your post so you could clarify your comments or my understanding....which ever needed to happen.

You, my friend, are the one who made a broad generalization about this forum discrediting a whole lot of individuals and that this was...using the word you like to throw around...intolerant. I did not read anything into that remark of yours....you were not specific and did not give examples. If you don't see the oversimplification of this sort of statement...then we will agree to disagree.




One thing that needs clarification though...just because I say something that isn't embracing of all art...that doesn't make it intolerant. We all have the right to disagree or not like something and that doesn't mean we are intolerant. It seems you are misusing the word. Intolerance means you don't tolerate.....you do not put up with something. (see definitions below) My saying I don't think this or that is art.....isn't intolerance. If I was trying to stop others from creating art I didn't like or advocating that they stop....that would be intolerance. I may express my dismay at this or being disgruntled by that, but that does not constitute intolerance.

I don't mind if people want to create anything they want or think differently than me, but I have the right to say whether or not I like it. We all do.
Are you are trying to say just disliking or disagreeing with something is intolerant? I am unsure, but it seems that way almost.
The paradox there is....the meaning you seem to want to give the word intolerance....one person not agreeing with another person....would make you intolerant as well....because you very vehemently don't agree with me.

Anyway, don't convince me...that is fine and your right. Honestly, I'd rather discuss the topic at hand than respond to negative posts, but...I did it on behalf of the many fine people who I have met here whom I think you might have 'discredited' with your comments.


Just for FYI

Main Entry: in·tol·er·ant
Pronunciation: -r&nt
Function: adjective
1 : unable or unwilling to endure
2 a : unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters b : unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights : BIGOTED
3 : exhibiting physiological intolerance <lactose intolerant>


in·tol·er·ant (ĭn-tŏl'ər-ənt) pronunciation
adj.

Not tolerant, especially:

1. Unwilling to tolerate differences in opinions, practices, or beliefs, especially religious beliefs.
2. Opposed to the inclusion or participation of those different from oneself, especially those of a different racial, ethnic, or social background.
3. Unable or unwilling to endure or support: intolerant of interruptions; a community intolerant of crime.

Last edited by JasonGillespie : 08-31-2006 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 08-31-2006, 09:55 AM
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Tandigon Tandigon is offline
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Re: Is bodycasting really art?

Jason

I rest my case!
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