Note: To protect the privacy of our members, e-mail addresses have been removed from the archived messages. As a result, some links may be broken.

Lesson Plans


Good art-bad art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Ben Schasfoort (Ben.Schasfoort)
Mon, 13 Jul 1998 22:24:31 +0200


What have I done?
A (in my view) rhetoric question is taken seriously and I get hints for
good art.
Reatha offered to send me the principles of design (please do, I am
interested in the American viewpoint)
Teresa Toreseca (if that is the right name) wrote:
"it is not difficult to recognise good art, may not always in the
contemporary scene were even art critics makes mistakes but in the past in
the different cultures and contexts,..."
Ken and Chris said (in their too small characters which I can hardly read):
"Our criteria for good (in classroom critiques)include general aesthetic
properties: unity in variety, coherence, balance, harmony, etc."

I suppose this is all about criteria, not about standards. Take balance: is
it the best if left and right are equal? Is that A level? Or is it just the
nearly or total unbalance that makes a work interesting?

That we have less problems with work from old times is because the work
people did not like, has gone. There is also a huge quantity of art in
museumstorage that is never shown? (Could that be bad art?).

The more I hear about ART, the more I become suspicious. I changed my
habit and said to myself: "there is no art, art in itself does not exist."
Then I felt better. Now I can look at things, made by people, to
communicate for instance. People are very creative, I must admit. They use
words, body gestures, eyemovement, sounds and even use visual images to
communicate. Some work good, some very good, some work good in a Russian
wintercamp, some in a hotellobby in Las Vegas and not at all in Kitingo's
village in Ndebeleland. Some work in my neighbours house (she is an art
critique) but defenitely not in mine.

What about the patato-eaters Van Gogh painted (he did it several times, but
they are not that different that one would say this is a good oe and that
one is bad)? It is a small, dark piece of work, the people are not well
proportioned also. I bet that most people (even "them from the art world"
would ignore it if they had trained to the Pavlovreaction of:
"you-should-love-van-gogh-because-he-is-a-famous-artist."

I will agree with everyone who states that visual images can be used for
communication. That brings teachers at two problems. 1 How can I learn my
students to read what is the message in that visual object (if I can read
it myself)? 2 How can I train my students to use visual images as
communication tools in a way that they really work?
When I have reached both goals, my time is over and I do not have to
discuss about art at all.

(By no means I will say that this is the only object in art education, but
if I have to do one thing ....)

(Who invented the word ART should be punished.)

Ben Schasfoort, nl


  • Maybe reply: Rosa Juliusdottir: "Re: Good art-bad art"