Art for Art's sake

Does (can) Art stand on it's own?  Should (can) a viewer objectively judge whether or not they like a work of Art independent of any bias re. the  identity and personalty of the Artist?


e.g. Can you like art created by an artist you dislike? 


This inquiry is not meant to be directed "personally" in any way.  I am motivated by a more pressing issue to my mind... does and can Art generally stand on its own in the eye of the viewers (or society) ... or does it lean (and perhaps heavily) on the "persona" of its creator.

For example, suppose someone dislikes an Artist and professes to dislike all their works.  Now, had they seen that artist's work in the absence of any indication that the artwork was by him, and in the absence of any indication of the personality, philosophy, or disposition of the artist, is it safe to say they would actually dislike them all (notwithstanding that they would claim so in any case)?


I'm trying to work out:
  
How does (can?) a viewer independently judge art?  Does the identity, personality, philosophy, motivation, "likability" or politics of the Artist matter at all?  Does the opinion of the person standing next to viewer, or the prevailing  opinion of the "experts", specifically about the Artist as a person, matter one iota?

Can a person say "I like that art" without any entanglements in any ideas about the personality behind it's creation?  Can an artist succeed by creation of great art or does he/she need to "be" what is expected, accepted, liked, or desired etc. in the "persona" of an artist?



How much is art, or has art been, (or perhaps always been)... "social media".   

Upvote, Like, Dislike, Cancel.
because #theArtistNotTheArt



marieb

Comments

  • edited September 15
    Interesting topic.

    I think I can like a work of art without any consideration of the artist's personality. For example, I really like a lot of Monet's work. If I found out that he was a right b*stard of a man who cheated others and beat his wife, I don't think it would alter my opinion of his work. I admire Picasso's work and he was a b*stard to women. It's the same with music. I love Beethoven's work but by some accounts he was a pig of a man given to sharp dealing and was often cantankerous and diffucult to be around. He was a flawed individual (like us all) but I'll always love his work nonetheless.  Caravaggio  killed a man and was sentenced to death for murder.  But were his paintings good? Do I like them? You bet I do. And if I knew that a particular artist was goodness and kindness personified it would not make me like his work if I thought it was no good.  

    So, in short, for me, the personality of the artist has no bearing on what I think of his/her work. And I don't think it should. As for what critics/experts say about an artist or the quality of the work, they don't sway me one way or the other whatever they say. A glowing review or a damning critique is not going to alter my opinion of the work. 
    CBGanweshamarieb
  • CBG

    I answer ‘yes’ to all your questions except …does the art rely on the persona of the artist? … answer ‘no’.

    I have examined and worked through various critical appraisal processes for art works and even compiled one myself. None of the parameters used to evaluate the art included the personality of the artist. Just not relevant to the evolving consciousness of art over the centuries.

    I imagine hundreds of thousands who painted, sculpted, played, composed, wrote and sang were reprehensible characters who abused women and children and others. To the human rights groups the work will be downgraded but the vast majority will love and value the artists contribution to art.

    Denis
    CBGmarieb

  • I'm trying to work out:
      
    How does (can?) a viewer independently judge art?  Does the identity, personality, philosophy, motivation, "likability" or politics of the Artist matter at all?  Does the opinion of the person standing next to viewer, or the prevailing  opinion of the "experts", specifically about the Artist as a person, matter one iota?

    Can a person say "I like that art" without any entanglements in any ideas about the personality behind it's creation?  Can an artist succeed by creation of great art or does he/she need to "be" what is expected, accepted, liked, or desired etc. in the "persona" of an artist?



    How much is art, or has art been, (or perhaps always been)... "social media".   

    Upvote, Like, Dislike, Cancel.
    because #theArtistNotTheArt



    Graph 1   Of course people are influenced by market hype. The gallery where a piece is shown. Reviews. But that doesn't mean much if the art is transcendent.
    Graph 2   Of course.  But what do you mean by succeed? In the academic and gallery world CV is more important than good work. It is a money game. There are of course breakthroughs. Few artist succeed in the money game. But they may be successful in personal fulfillment through art.  
    Graph 3  I don't agree. Art until the Industrial Age was mostly illustrative allegory. A one way street.


    CBG
  • edited September 17
    what an interesting discussion!

    In my opinion,  it is easier to separate the two when the artist has reached a great mastery and the work itself speaks of it.

    But with today's divisiveness in social media over political opinions or actually any opinion on the hot subjects of the day may affect "social media followers", who rather not see a different opinion, but the actual art collector? I dont think good art can drive them off.

    To become "what is expected" by each and every collector? that's a difficult task and sometimes impossible, as one would like you to be a peculiarly dressed person, an eccentric look, someone would like you to have the same mother tongue/background to be more relatable, someone would like to feel they are helping a starving artist.. the best are those who are just happy with your work that spoke to them and any more input from you is a cherry on top. If one needs to be the only marketing person for one's work probably it helps to be a person easy to talk to.


    CBGmarieb
  • edited September 16
    It's a great question. How much does what we surround art with shape and colour our appreciation of it? An artist's image. The name of the artist. The story of the artist ('He never sold a painting.' He cut his ear off.') The fact that people we respect say it's great and it's sitting in the gallery in pride of place.
    I think of Milli Vanilli. Grammy award. People loved the music. The music? Suddenly the music itself became completely irrelevant because of what surrounded it. It was really ugly old studio musicians, not cool looking dudes. And we had been misled. What surrounded it apparently disqualified it? The music didn't change. Not a note.
    The new drawing by Vincent is 'impossible to say what it's worth.' Because that drawing is that amazing? Some of Vincent's early work was a bit rubbish in my view. Some left me breathless when I stood before it.
    Some types of art such as genuine abstract have left me breathless. Some of it is not much different to trying to appreciate random patterns on my bathroom tiles. I look at the title and it doesn't help. But some of this is surrounded by supercilious people who make assumptions about you as a human being if you don't agree with them.
    So... a part of me loves art that cuts through with real impact on anyone. Whatever genre. I don't care if it's graffiti in an alley or hanging in a gallery. (Ok, i'll stop before I turn it into a rap.)

    CBGmarieb
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