Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Art in nature, the nature of art


Wednesday is the day the Art Gallery of NSW remains open till late (9 pm) for ART AFTER HOURS. I'll most probably be going. Looking at modern art, which explores all avenues of creation, often prompts me to ask myself what can be called art. Is it enough for the author to proclaim it is art or must there be something else? I took this photo on the rock platforms at my beach. No editing, my work was only about framing the composition. Please also look at this photo and this one I also took around Sydney's rock platforms : would you say it's art ? And why or why not ?

Le mercredi c'est Art After Hours, le jour où le Musée des beaux-arts du NSW reste ouvert jusqu'à 21h. J'irai très probablement. Quand je regarde de l'art moderne, qui explore tous les axes de la création, je me pose souvent des questions sur la nature de l'art. Suffit-il que l'auteur proclame que c'est de l'art ou doit-il y avoir autre chose ?
J'ai pris cette photo dans les rochers de ma plage. Je ne l'ai pas transformée, je n'ai travaillé que sur le cadrage. Retrouvez aussi cette photo et celle-ci, également prises dans les rochers du bord de mer à Sydney. Est-ce de l'art ? Si oui ou si non, pourquoi ?

23 comments:

Norman said...

In our postmodern world, Nathalie, Humpty Dumpty has triumphed over Alice, and words are threatened with becoming close to meaningless. Nature contains much that might be deemed beautiful, but unless 'art' contains an element of conscious human intervention, it's destroying the distinction between two quite separate concepts. The fact that Nature might be an inspiration for art is another matter.

"Art" (from the appearance of the camera?) has gone off in new directions, until we now (with our desire to "democratise", sic, so much of human endeavour?) find the whole scene Humpty Dumtyised to the point of making it mean whatever one wants. And any word which coverss everything, ends up covering ---- ????????

So although I still visit the Gallery regularly, enjoying the art. and contemplating the 'thinking' of some elements in the art world, I spend considerably more time rambling happily in the bush enjoying (some) aspects of Nature.

Olivier said...

apres la redaction, un peu de philosophie ;o) sympathique ;o). Ta photo est tres belle, tu l'as recadre (donc retravaille) ,et voila c'est cela l'art. J'aime l'art moderne, mais j'avoue que certaine fois j'ai du mal. par exemple les monochromes de Klein (parcontre il a fait des oeuvres magnifiques), je ne comprends pas la facination. Ok le peintre a osé (c'est peut etre aussi l'art, oser !!!!) mais bon.
Je sens que je vais reprendre un cafe, dans une tasse faite par ma petite niece (c'est aussi de l'art, tres post moderne ;o) )

hpy said...

L'important c'est que cela nous plaise, que ce soit de l'Art ou du cochon. Et n'oublions pas que dans le cochon, tout est bon!
Et moi, j'aime les trois photos - qui pourtant ne sont pas cochonnes.

Sally said...

I really have no idea what the "It" factor is, but there is something that makes art art. Having said that I appreciate many many forms of art, and am loathe to dismiss something just because I don't like it. Someone else does.

There has long been a dichotomy between "art" and "craft" as well, and sometimes I think that is a false dualism. The work I do in making my small artist trading cards (ATCs)involves some pretty traditional "crafts" - inking and stamping, paper work etc, but I like to think that what I am doing each time is creating a small piece of art. It feels like art to me, pleases me, frustrates me when I can't get it "right" in order to convey what I am trying to.

Maybe that's the definition: art involves a conscious attempt to convey meaning, or convey beauty.

Beauty can exist outside consciousness (as in nature, or a beautiful combination of colours). So a rock platform is beautiful in and of itself, but your attempt to convey the beauty - pass on that beauty thru mood, feeling, capturing texture etc, is art. Ugliness and conflict abound but they are not art. Yet, Picasso's attempt to convey it thru a work like Guernica is most certainly art.

A socierty which makes baskets or pots or other crafted objects for purely utilitarian purposes may also be creating something with a sense of aesthetic beauty, hence a Neolithic pot is not out of place in an art gallery.

So there - that's my definition of art.Or rather ramblings!

Muriel said...

Je rejoins Norman: l'art, c'est une production humaine. La nature produit de la beauté sans en avoir l'intention. La combinaison entre la beauté de la nature et le reportage qu'en fait l'homme peut entrer dans la définition de l'art, à cause du cadrage qui délimite une vision. Cela dit, l'art n'est pas forcément beau ni émouvant.

I acknowledge Norman: art is part of human conscious intervention. Nature is beautiful without intent. Combination between beauty of nature and human report of it can be called art because of the framing bringing the vision. This being, art is not always beautiful nor heartmoving!

Sally said...

PS At first I thought today's pic was a closeup of the bark of a London Plane tree as seen all over Sydney.

John said...

Nathalie,

Art is all around us. The artist is God himself. We are God's artwork. He created us. What does God's art reveal about the artist as we marvel at His works?

Peter said...

As I also understand it, the defintion of art should involve some kind of (human?) creation, innovation. In that kind of aspect, this is perhaps not "art", but it is anyhow beatuiful.

I like very much the idea of taking photos of "details" like this. You can get some surprising, wonderful and very decorative results. (Sometimes, the details can also be frightning...)

RamblingRound said...

You have creatively captured the design of nature. While I don't exactly consider art to be math, mathematics reigns in nature's art.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Having been an "artist" all of my life, I can contribute very little to your request.

It used to be that an artist who sold "fine art" was considered an "artist." If the same artist sold paintings or drawings of things like trucks or homes or office buildings, they were often called, "commercial artists," and frowned down upon.

I made and sold small paintings and very large paintings over 12 feet long. I was paid. I think of myself as a "fine artist."

I also do sculpture in wood and stone. I also carve letters in stone. I do callilgraphy and manuscript illumination from medieval styles to modern styles.

I am a book author with many books published. I do television or did television shows. I created the script and all the books, posters and stage sets and hosted the 13-half-hour series.

I did a lot of these kinds of things and still consider myself an artist.

I am a "different" kind of artist and my "art" is different from the photographs you have taken. Your "art" and my "art" are two distinctive types of things.

Look at a dandelion blossom about to be blown away on the wind. That is surely as artful or art as anything mankind can do. It is a classic design.

I am not sure what art is if it is not everything around us.

Thanks too, for visiting my blogs.

Kate said...

Art for me is a product of human activity and creativity, including both visual and other skills and media: sculpture, photography, painting, music, architecture,crafts,literature, drama--you get the idea. It excludes nature despite its splashes of beauty because it is not a conscious effort that includes a human being's attempt to produce "art." There is both "good" and "bad" art but I don't think that is part of the question.

Cergie said...

Bien sûr que c'est de l'art !
Je me souvenais de la photo bleue...
L'art est là dès que tu interprètes les choses.
Et tes photos sont très belles toutes les trois.

isabella said...

Even by the purest definition of Art - the product of human creativity - I think you hit the nail on the head with your statement in the Bondi post,and I quote:

"Art is everywhere! But it is the artist who reveals it to the world."

Ming_the_Merciless said...

Wow, the colors are amazing. Well done!

Ming_the_Merciless said...

Oh wow, I saw the yellow Bondi beach and the blue quartz photos.

They are all amazing.

Maxime said...

Un artiste est juste quelqu'un qui cherche à faire quelque chose à la perfection. On a appelle ce qu'il produit de l'art. Des fois, cela éveille un écho dans la tête de ceux qui regardent, comme une corde qui vibre. Cette vibration dépend à la fois du produit, du contexte, et du spectateur.
En fait, on appelle cela de l'art uniquement parce qu'il faut mettre un nom sur un produit avant de le commercialiser, mais cela n'a rien à voir avec le fond des choses : l'harmonique particulière de la vibration.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I don't know where else to tell you or answer your question. No, I did not use Photoshop on the magazine cover. I use Fireworks for it. It is now also owned by Adobe.

Jilly said...

Your eye perceived this as art and showed it to us. You framed it for us.

poody said...

I love all the photos and the blue one is one I would love to frame alongside this one too!

pusa said...

beautiful! for me, anything that is beautiful is an art

Nathalie said...

Thank you so much all for your contributions to the definition of art. They all make for fantastic reading. Interesting that it goes from Muriel "art is not necessarily beautiful nor heartmoving" to Pusa "to me, anything beautiful is art"...

Looks like we all agree on human intervention and that's why I believe my photos qualify. Beauty may be everywhere in nature but the way I chose to frame these particular pictures is mine alone.

They are my creations.
And because they were made with an eye to artistic merit and creativity, I hereby solemnly declare them as art.

jacqueline noyre said...

chère nathalie, ce qui fait oeuvre d'art, c'est en premier l'intention.
Ici, ton intention c'est ton regard et comme il est unique, cette image est déjà une oeuvre d'art. Pour que tes images fassent oeuvres, il faut seulement et essentiellement un "acharnement" à la prise de vue.Si ce besoin constant de prendre des photos, si chaque jour tu tries, tu répertories, tu classes tes clichés, si se dégage du sens dans ta recherche frénétique ton travail, tes images font oeuvres. Tout peut faire oeuvre à partir du moment où il ya une quète impérieuse et vitale.
Après, le regard des autres va intervenir à travers cette réflexion commune "j'aime, je n'aime pas" qui tient du subjectif,de l'émotion, de l'inconscient chez tout être humain,
ensuite il y a le fric, le marché mais parle-t-on alors d'art?

Nathalie said...

Jacqueline, j'aime ton idee qu'il faut l'intention et aussi la constance dans l'intention. La continuité dans l'effort, née d'une quete impérieuse et vitale. Le vrai artiste n'est pas un dilettante...