To add to the very profound answer by photographer Giles Duley, can I just pick and choose 3 quotes by Marcel Duchamp? Why him? Because he challenged the whole idea of what art actually is:
Can works be made which are not 'of art'?
The word 'art' interests me very much. If it comes from Sanskrit, as I've heard, it signifies 'making.' Now everyone makes something, and those who make things on a canvas with a frame, they're called artists. Formerly, they were called craftsmen, a term I prefer. We're all craftsmen, in civilian or military or artistic life.
What art is, in reality, is this missing link, not the links which exist. It's not what you see that is art; art is the gap.
When I don't know much about art... 🤔 Seven questions to ask yourself when looking at art : 1 Does the artwork tell a story? 2 Are there any issues in the work? 3 what kind of images, objects, materials or symbols are there? 4 Does it have a title? 5 Is colour important? 6 Does the work interact with the space it is in? 7 How was the work made? How to visit a modern art gallery and enjoy it nceptual art can be intimidating: it is a brave new artistic world of works that can range from the obtuse to the confrontational, provoking both outrage and confusion. "People perceive there to be a barrier when it comes to contemporary art, says Emma Thomas, head of learning at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead and creator of Smart Arts, a light-hearted course offering a way into the subject. "There's a fear factor with people wanting to find out more. So for those of us taking our first tentative steps into Tate Modern, the Baltic or one of the countless other modern art galleries dotted about the country, what should we expect? Paul Merrick, a contem porary artist and Smart Arts course teacher, suggests keeping an open mind: "It's not necessary to have an art degree to enjoy contemporary art, just curiosity. We're all inquisitive, so it's important to simply go in and ask yourself, your friends, even members of staff questions about the art galleries are much more open places now, so the crew members tend to be knowledgeable, friendly and willing to talk. If you hate a piece, ask yourself why you hate it rather than just dismissing it. The key thing to remember is that there's no single way to interpret a work just allow yourself to think about it. Today's media tends to bombard people with quick, easy answers, so the idea of really having to spend time looking at and thinking about something as unusual as contemporary art can be intimidating. But if you take genuine curiosity into a gallery, it can be incredibly rewarding. Note: Questions printed on cards handed to visitors at the Baltic Centre, Gateshead Source: The Observer Book of Art
All the great answers I read here, thank you for your advice, guys :) Just would like to add few tips as well: Download "smule"Sing! application and enjoy singing your favourite songs, great fun! Don't worry if you don't have a perfect voice, it makes your voice very beautiful! And of course, my other advice would be art-related, as art is the best mood-booster and inspiration for me. Call up your friends and visit a good art museum together!
Realism (mostly in the very beginning of the style, middle of 19th cent) in the arts is the attempt to represent subject matter truthfully, without artificiality and avoiding artistic conventions, implausible, exotic and supernatural elements. Social Realism is state endorse art style in the second half of 20th cent (both Russia and China). Idealised-cartoonish realistic image of Stalin surrounded by adoring him children is a good example of propaganda image of Social Realism. From one hand it's is an image of one of the greatest mass-murderer of the 20th century. From another, was he admired? Definitely he was! At the time of his life, wining fascism and as a great leader of newly formed Soviet Union with communism ideals. Realism as an art as a style, yes! Whether if the image is real, idealised or manipulated, that's is the judgment of time. And as we all know, propaganda is always the manipulation of reality... Your good philosophic question can't be answered yes or no.
For a start, one should have desire to understand art, inner motivation to take some time and effort, look and try to see... Seven questions to ask yourself when looking at art : 1 Does the artwork tell a story? 2 Are there any issues in the work? 3 what kind of images, objects, materials or symbols are there? 4 Does it have a title? 5 Is colour important? 6 Does the work interact with the space it is in? 7 How was the work made? Paul Merrick, a contem porary artist and Smart Arts course teacher, suggests keeping an open mind: "It's not necessary to have an art degree to enjoy contemporary art, just curiosity. We're all inquisitive, so it's important to simply go in and ask yourself, your friends, even members of staff questions about the art galleries are much more open places now, so the crew members tend to be knowledgeable, friendly and willing to talk. If you hate a piece, ask yourself why you hate it rather than just dismissing it. The key thing to remember is that there's no single way to interpret a work just allow yourself to think about it. " Today's media tends to bombard people with quick, easy answers, so the idea of really having to spend time looking at and thinking about something as unusual as contemporary art can be intimidating. But if you take genuine curiosity into a gallery, it can be incredibly rewarding.
Let's think about it in 3 steps... The first step is to TRAIN YOUR EYES: Visit lots of museums where you can see the best quality art works and see them as example of 'good art'; LEARN ABOUT ART: Read art books, visit art courses, see art auctions. Try to understand the philosophy behind artists' messages; And lastly, FORM YOUR OPINION: About art that you like and connect with the most, form your taste in art.
WHEN PEOPLE TALK about "Modern Art', they usually think of a type of art which has completely broken with the traditions of the past and tries to do things no artist would have dreamed of before. Some like the idea of progress and believe that art, too, must keep in step with the times. Others prefer the slogan of the good old days and think that modern art is all wrong (from Gombrich's art history book). But we have seen that the situation is really more complex, and that modern art no less than old art came into existence in response to certain definite problems. I will tell you a story from the TV show I saw yesterday (if you tell me the name of this show, I will give you free ticket to our next art lecture). So, the President of the USA came into her (movie, not reality) office and saw that secretary has a new painting on his wall. 'If you wanted to buy some art, you should have told me, I would provide you a good budget. Why did you buy this cheap crap?' A moment after she looks again and streams with admiration: 'That's Sezanne, isn't it? $120 million Sezanne!' The moral of the story, if you see 'not very impressive/not attractive/ not pleasing art work', you might think it's nonsense, doesn't worth your attention, but if you know the story behind this art work, it's the value in art history (Cezanne was the most influential artist of the new modern era of art, he inspired the generations of the artists to revolutionise art and create new art styles), you suddenly look differently! Another point, contemporary art business is very mad these days, price tags are beyond logic and art value is something not necessarily related to the quality of the art work. Most of it is 'mystery' hidden in PR,marketing and influential figures of the art market. I always believe that art history books not earlier then 100 year from now will only publish 21st century art that would have been worthy our attention now. Time always reveals 'cons'.
It depends on the budget, but may I suggest the most cost effective option - known Masterpieces by old masters high quality reproductions. Looking at an artistic masterpiece such as a Constable, Botticelli or Turner can give you the same pleasure as being in love, research has found. The same part of the brain that is excited when you fall for someone romantically is stimulated when you stare at great works of beauty, researchers have discovered. Viewing art triggers a surge of the feel-good chemical, dopamine, into the orbito-frontal cortex of the brain, resulting in feelings of intense pleasure. Dopamine and the orbito-frontal cortex are both known to be involved in desire and affection and in invoking pleasurable feelings in the brain. It is a powerful affect often associated with romantic love and illicit drug taking. In a series of pioneering brain-mapping experiments, Professor Semir Zeki, a neurobiologist at the University College London, scanned the brains of volunteers as they looked at 28 pictures. They included The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, Bathing at La Grenouillere by Claude Monet and Constable's Salisbury Cathedral. Prof Zeki found that blood flow increased in areas of the brain usually associated with romantic love. "There have been very significant new advances in our understanding of what happens in our brains when we look at works of art," he said. "We have recently found that when we look at things we consider to be beautiful, there is increased activity in the pleasure reward centres of the brain. "There is a great deal of dopamine in this area, also known as the ‘feel-good’ transmitter. "Essentially, the feel-good centres are stimulated, similar to the states of love and desire." "The reaction was immediate." The study is currently being peer reviewed and will be published later this year. The research suggests that art could be used to increase the welfare and mental health of the general public and should be protected from budget cutbacks. Previous research has shown that art can reduce suffering in hospital and lead to speedier recoveries from ill health. Source: Telegraph UK