Four Year Old Calgary Girl's Scribbles Praised By Some Critics As High Art

Fox12

AccursedT- see you space cowboy
Jun 6, 2013
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Wow, a lot of hate here. I'll play devils advocate, I guess.

I went to a modern art exhibit once, and we all had a good laugh at the work. We were staring at a painting, and it was nothing but a canvas with a ton of paint spattered on. There was a random wooden stick protruding from the canvas, like somebody just smacked it with a piece of wood. It was the dumbest thing we'd ever seen. As we walked away, I turned around one last time to look at it, and... it suddenly made sense. It was a real painting, but it only made sense if you looked at it from a certain angle. I stopped everyone, and we had to admit, it was actually pretty beautiful. You just had to work to understand it. There was another one in black and white I didn't get. Then some polite art student dude explained that it was supposed to mimic the texture of water (or something). It was actually pretty interesting. I'm more open minded now. Most people accept that you have to work really hard to understand Faulkner, T.S. Elliott, or David Lynch. Why is it that we only make fun of visual art when we don't immediately understand it? I'm not a visual artist, but I think there's a lot more to modern art then we give it credit for. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, at least.

"...some technical proficiency ? it?s inconsistent, but the use of colour, rhythm, and movement seems to be there.

Mr. Hushlak, however, struggles to say whether the paintings are good."

I don't think this is unreasonable. All he's said is that she's got some basic natural talent. She has an innate understanding of artistic concepts. She isn't a master artist, or something. She just has potential. It's like if a toddler had a basic understanding of meter and rhyme without being taught. He may not be the best poet, but he's showing early talent. I actually kind of like the paintings, keeping in mind that they aren't really selling for all that much (as far as art goes). Besides, they've given all the money to charity (which may factor into WHY they sold as much as they did). I can't begrudge them success.
 

MetalShadowChaos

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Feb 3, 2014
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I was expecting some sort of crayon drawing to be honest. Sounded about right.


They're not that bad actually. First one is a bit of a mess but from then on she's started to literally fill in blank space and make them stand out a bit. Not exactly charged with socio-politics or anything, but still rather good.
 

HardkorSB

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Mar 18, 2010
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Story said:
In your opinion kind of artwork, if any, belongs in a museum?
I'm going to assume you forgot to type "what" :)
The kind of art I would like to see in a museum would either be something that takes incredible skill to make or something groundbreaking that pushed the art forward.

Should we even have a professional art market in the first place?
Of course.
Just because I'm saying that people are idiots for spending untold amounts of money for a thing which, in my opinion, isn't worth it, doesn't mean I think they shouldn't be able to so that.

However, then there's stuff like this:

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ItmVqnAC+76sLUrZ9PWFte8qHwnfLdgSs7R6Sorh9cQa+fy3ARPLiJ0rJvsLaAr4pLnuFLSslfclgR4828qowotklYUo5hQfkgbeLW4lPFW5wSPR44PO7Gwyw3MXll1jYPwNMjinfvI01juJSk+zuBnJp2zTyAfa9rWuBJ+7MqEu1YoOu7raWawkuItFQZVVCVPhl3Bxq3KhbdujuGQrtZ4riBOSYuOGDNI1t368nx6Ralb67hDk10MNS45e8B23x7fEGTtzcOAuWHj4lxqccgJOSeeZBc48MeZ7iEH/9k=

This was bought by the National Museum of Canada for $1.8 million.
From what I understand, that museum is state funded which means that the tax payers payed a lot of money for 3 stripes.
That's ridiculous.
 

Angelowl

New member
Feb 8, 2013
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Reminds of the swedish art student that pretended to be severly autistic for half a year as her art project, wasted quite a lot of tax money that was supposed to go to people that actually needed it. She was sued for quite a lot of sum of money.

Honestly, in my mind "Art" means something that takes talent, training, dedication and patience to master. Something that not anyone can do in a handflip. And thus most modern art fail to live up to the basic definition of an art form. The literary equivalent would be to frown upon those who write actual words and try to convey a meaning to the reader instead of just facerolling the keyboard to make gibberish. It would mean that Tolkien as an writer not being praised but met with scorn since he invented entire languages instead of just pretending to do so.

It is a farce. I try to learn to be a novelist in my spare time, read works from different eras and different cultures, finding out how they convey enviroments, feelings, characters, interactions, subtext, symbolism in a way that effect the reader, that they understand what I mean that they start to think. As a creative artist of any sort your objective is as a rule to reach out to others, if you fail to do so then it means that you are bad. Not that they are too stupid to understand your brilliance (narcissism much)?
 

The Madman

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Dec 7, 2007
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Don't take it too seriously, Calgary is full of people desperately trying to overcome this provinces reputation as 'Canada's Texas' and overcompensating by being all artsy an stuff (Pretty sure that's the technical term for it, artsy an stuff.) in some pretty silly ways.

My favourite recent example.

It's kinda charming sometimes, frustrating other times. I was pretty fond of the cow statues thing from awhile back (Various artists and companies given a cow statue and allowed to decorate and alter it, they were then displayed in various public places around Calgary) and I do like how all the electrical boxes and such downtown are getting nice paint jobs from local artists to make them less ugly.

Other times you get $470,000 blue loops and 4 year old artists. It happens.
 

Story

Note to self: Prooof reed posts
Sep 4, 2013
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HardkorSB said:
Story said:
In your opinion kind of artwork, if any, belongs in a museum?
I'm going to assume you forgot to type "what" :)
The kind of art I would like to see in a museum would either be something that takes incredible skill to make or something groundbreaking that pushed the art forward.

Should we even have a professional art market in the first place?
Of course.
Just because I'm saying that people are idiots for spending untold amounts of money for a thing which, in my opinion, isn't worth it, doesn't mean I think they shouldn't be able to so that.

However, then there's stuff like this:

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ItmVqnAC+76sLUrZ9PWFte8qHwnfLdgSs7R6Sorh9cQa+fy3ARPLiJ0rJvsLaAr4pLnuFLSslfclgR4828qowotklYUo5hQfkgbeLW4lPFW5wSPR44PO7Gwyw3MXll1jYPwNMjinfvI01juJSk+zuBnJp2zTyAfa9rWuBJ+7MqEu1YoOu7raWawkuItFQZVVCVPhl3Bxq3KhbdujuGQrtZ4riBOSYuOGDNI1t368nx6Ralb67hDk10MNS45e8B23x7fEGTtzcOAuWHj4lxqccgJOSeeZBc48MeZ7iEH/9k=

This was bought by the National Museum of Canada for $1.8 million.
From what I understand, that museum is state funded which means that the tax payers payed a lot of money for 3 stripes.
That's ridiculous.
Yeah, I did mean "what". I type too fast for my own good sometimes. x)
So thanks for reading my post answering my questions regardless of the typos.

The first part of your answer is understandable, but what is skill exactly? Do you mean recreating images exactly as they are in real life on canvas? And if you do consider a few things. First is that high art changed direction with the times. After photography painting something as realistically as possible wasn't a commercial necessity anymore. In some cases it wasn't desirable either as art wanted to set itself apart from photography (which initially wasn't considered art at the time). Second is that artists were starting to question what is valued as art, kinda like what this thread is doing now. They even rejected the high art academies which often didn't include artwork from outside western cultures. Finally, to be fair, these days creating art based on skill is done in modern art today so that still has value for sure. Chuck Close is a photorealist/expressionist artist that is one of the most paid modern artists today. It's not really hard to see why is work is appealing since it's not completely abstract and easily recognizable.
Earlier work:
Current Work:

When you mean something that "pushes the genre forward", I would argue that this is exactly what modern art does. Modern artists were constantly pushing for the new or avant garde. That's honestly why art started to get strange. I'll just use color field Painting as an example because we mentioned it already. In color field painting the idea is to use large plains of solid color to show an artists' constancy and form. In addition, the reason why this genre was unique at the time was because it was "free" from an objective identity meaning its not trying to mimic something it is not (like Close's works) it what it is: a canvas displaying color. Color as well as shapes were believed by the artists at this time to be universally understood by as many people as possible and broke cultural barriers. (No joke, this was the first time the concept was thought about or at least taken seriously by the high art community.) That is at least partly why this type of art became popular. Color field painting was the beginning of abstraction expressionism. This movement lead to such genre pushing ideas like: art shouldn't be just paint and canvas or marble, art should be as simple as possible, it shouldn't have any recognizable from...ect.

Finally, something you mentioned earlier about art being weird just to be weird, I do agree we are in this stage of art where shock value is king. It is an after math of modern art and artists trying to make a name for themselves in contemporary art market which is more crowded than ever.

As for the other question, yeah fair enough.
Museum curation is something I wish I knew more about.
It is kinda amazing what people will spend on art which even though I enjoy the hell of it, has honestly no practical value. Not really. Now to play devil's advocate (as if I wasn't already) some would argue that most things in a museum aren't worth as much as they are if they are funded by tax payers money. In that case, artwork from the past even just modern art, is as important when understanding human history as a collection of dinosaur bones.

Also I remember that painting. It's by Newman another color field painter like Rothko. I do remember the news stories criticizing the purchase of that painting in particular so obviously you are not alone on that one. Plus, I have to say that piece sold so high not because of its perceived "prettiness" or because of how complicated it is, but mostly because Newman, like Rothko is such an historic name in the art world and that piece is pretty typical of him.

Wow that was a lot of typing, probably full of typos too haha. Kudos if you or anyone else read any of it. Regardless of our different opinions about art, I like talking about this stuff and I don't get to do it that often as I'd like as you might imagine.
 

Neverhoodian

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Oh that rascal PsychicTaco and his satirical news repo-wait...

*Scrolls back up*

Well...shit.

It's stuff like this that gives "modern art" its laughingstock reputation in the eyes of the general public. It suffers from the same problem the old Star Wars Expanded Universe grappled with; no quality control.

Oh well, could be worse. I'd rather have a four-year old's dabblings praised over douchebag hipsters creating imagery out of feces or vaginal blood.[footnote]No, I did not make that up. Those are actually things that have happened.[/footnote]
 

Story

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Neverhoodian said:
I'd rather have a four-year old's dabblings praised over douchebag hipsters creating imagery out of feces or vaginal blood.[footnote]No, I did not make that up. Those are actually things that have happened.[/footnote]
How about a jar of piss with a crucifix in it! :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piss_Christ

Okay, okay I'm not doing the art world any favors by posting stuff like this...but I couldn't resist.
 

Vault101

I'm in your mind fuzz
Sep 26, 2010
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oh yay....a discussion on high art

look people like what they like, they wanna pay a lot for it then let them

if youre saying "but it doesn't LOOK like anything" then you're saying that 100years too late, such is modernism and post-modernism
 

Nazulu

They will not take our Fluids
Jun 5, 2008
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Being an artist seems like the most insulting job since anyone can make random shit and become famous.

The picture behind her has a nice set of colours, but fucking high art!? I guess 'high art' is an abused term like so many, to the point it doesn't mean anything. Well, till we something that does blow us away.
 

DementedSheep

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Hey, if some dumb shit wants to pay for that let them. Some of the moneys going to charity so at least it will get some use.
 

Ambitiousmould

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Apr 22, 2012
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Not as bad as the one where they put a ladder on the wall and sold it. They didn't even make the sodding ladder. I somehow doubt that the designer of said ladder ever saw a penny, too. Which basically makes it fraud/copyright infringement/general bastardry.
 

Foolery

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Was just at an art gallery showing last friday. Those scribbles by that kid, aren't much different than a few of the paintings done by adult that to me, looked like unfinished drywall. It didn't take finesse or skill, and these people wanted 1,300 for one of the scribbles. High art can be pure bullshit at times.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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I love one of the lines from the articles that talks about how art critics critique paintings:

One of the metrics by which critics will judge a piece of art is by how much it sells for
So basically, if some poor idiot gets convinced by a pushy con artist to shell out thousands of dollars for a piece of crap it's judged as being better and more important than something that sells for less, even if of the two pieces the one that sold for less showed much greater actual talent and skill.

Imagine if movies were given Oscars just based on how much money they made. And you wonder why people think art critics are full of shit. They themselves don't know what's good or not, "oh, it sold for a high price, must be good then."
 

NiPah

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I've never been much of a fan of modern art, my taste was always more for Jan van Eyck and other older artists.
That being said these paintings are actually kindof interesting, much more interesting then the tired mantra of people saying modern art sucks, but I guess those too are kindof interesting in their own sick sort of way.
 

Arnoxthe1

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All of this just highlights a problem with any kind of art. The problem of how utterly subjective art is. How do we measure something that is so subjective? We can't. And because of this, really bad ways of measuring art (such as how much money someone spent for it) are established by others because they feel they need SOME way of measuring art. To get rid of such would be to make these people admit this problem and I don't think they want to.

If that made any sense...
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

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You know what; if this rich idiot's money pays for something useful, like cancer research or something or hell even if it was bought privately and could pay for this kid's college/university education: then I say money well spent.
 

Chaos Isaac

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Jun 27, 2013
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Art is dumb.

Meh, it's unfortunate but i've seen better looking paint specks on some of the canvas' that's come through my job space.
It's silly, but hey, you have to willing purchase meaningless stuff for hundreds of dollars. So, nothing wrong there. Whatever floats your boat.