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Separating the art from the artist

Folks

This episode of the BBC program “The Why Factor” is good listening (18 min).

Why can’t we judge art at face value? How does the identity, behaviour and cultural context of the artist play a part in how we approach their artwork? Edwina Pitman explores why we can’t seem to separate the art from the artist.

Guests:
John Myatt, artist
Paul Bloom, Professor of psychology and cognitive science at Yale University
Michelle Hartney, artist
Lionel Shriver, novelist
Ananya Mishra, PhD researcher in English, University of Cambridge
Svetlana Mintcheva, Director of Programs, National Coalition Against Censorship, New York
Bob Sturm, Associate Professor in Speech, Music and Hearing at Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

Presented and Produced by Edwina Pitman
Editor: Richard Knight

Photo: Woman looking at the Pablo Picasso painting 'The Dream'
Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images



There is is much to think about in this issue. Carried to some of the radical propositions there are serious consequences.

Denis

Summer

Comments

  • SummerSummer -
    edited April 15
    We don't talk about politics on DMP as it relates to art because it seems to disrupt the harmony that exists here.  I personally have been warned against such discourse on this site.  But here we are today listening to The Why Factor and recognizing that on the historical and international stage of art politics cannot be banned as easily as it is here.  I am convinced that the politics of art certainly can and does disrupt as I am about to have my morning coffee with this sick feeling in my gut after having listened to this BBC program.   
  • Summer's response has made me want to give it a listen. Will check it out later

    I don't really get that painting though - does she have a giant penis on her head while she is touching herself? Is there a message under that? I'm guessing this is a famous painting I don't know about
    Boudicca
  • Human beings are complex. Truly good people can commit heinous acts given the right circumstances and truly evil people can commit acts of charity. And the fact is, no human being is above reproach. The history of Soviet Russia, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan in the last century, proves that we all all capable of this. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn said, "The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being."

    Imagine a world without Michelangelo, Caravaggio, Dr. Seuss? 

    I cannot. 

    And although the premise for the podcast is that humans instinctively give value to art if they know who's art it is, it does not expound on that but rather discusses ways in which we can dismiss artists because we judge them rather than their work.
    I grew up in a family in which we enjoyed art not because someone told us to but because it was good art: film, literature, paintings, sculpture. I think there can be a universal truth in art. I think that premise can be changed if we look at things differently. Does the artwork speak to you?

    The premise of this article is true for artistic idols: a lot of money is paid for a guitar used by Elvis. And yet, if my dad had used it, it would be of little value. 

    So why should the object of the creation be regarded differently depending on who created it? 
    PaulBtassieguyBancroft414Summer
  • CJD said:
    Summer's response has made me want to give it a listen. Will check it out later

    I don't really get that painting though - does she have a giant penis on her head while she is touching herself? Is there a message under that? I'm guessing this is a famous painting I don't know about
    I think its a Picasso (I'm 99.9% certain)

    Renoir
  • Politics in art.  Are these realities, politics in art, why @PaulB keeps saying that he is not an artist.  And, why I keep saying I never want my art to make me famous?  Makes me wonder what other secret thoughts artists on DMP are thinking that would surprise us.  Hmm. 
  • Summer said:
    Makes me wonder what other secret thoughts artists on DMP are thinking that would surprise us.  Hmm. 
    Bob: I need more hats..
    RenoirSummerBancroft414Julianna
  • The accumulation and maintenance of "artistic credibility capital" within a field of artists and art consumers explains who's art work is defined as superior and why.

    I recommend Bourdieu's The Rules of Art (it's focus is on the literary field but I find it highly applicable to the field of Art)

    https://www.amazon.com/Rules-Art-Structure-Literary-Aesthetics/dp/0804726272


  • Amen Lionel Shriver.  She couldn't have said it any better as far as I am concerned.
  • That was interesting, if a bit brief,  to cover such a broad topic. Personally, I think transparency rather than censorship is the way to go. I can then make my own choices. 
    dencaltassieguyRenoir
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