Skip to comments.Norman Rockwell: The Original King of the Photoshop
Posted on 10/29/2009 1:34:25 PM PDT by Daffynition
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“If all Rockwell did was paint exactly what was on a photo then it wouldn’t be ART.”
I don’t agree. Granted, it would be a lower form of art to exactly reproduce nature. Also, if it was done for the purposes of journalism, then it wouldn’t be art at all. Of course, the line between journalism is sometimes fine. I’ve heard “The Gulag Archipeligo” refered to as a work of journalism, whereas I think it is a grand work of literature.
The thing is, it’s almost impossible to recreate nature exactly as it is. Even bad artists can’t help putting themselves in the picture, so to speak. Your introduction of intent is important, and I think almost conclusive. Except I would have to add that sometimes people produce high art by accident.
There’s some hilarious stuff.
Robert Crumb specially used to ride around town photographing such visual clutter to make his urban landscapes more accurate.
I guess the author has never heard of an artist’s model.
Profoundly few artists paint completely from their mind’s eye.
There’s also Frazetta. He’s definitely NOT for kids, though :-P
My definition of art is that it is uniquely identified to the artist. This works in music as well as the graphic arts. When you see a Rockwell, you know its a Rockwell; same works for Miles Davis. Originality is what we celebrate. There have been millions upon millions of paintings painted, but how is it we all recognize the greatness of just a few artists? Being an artist is defining yourself as unique and identifiable. Its just that simple. It usually takes an artist a lifetime to achieve this. Ofen it is not recognized in their lifetimes. But if it meets the time test standard, you usually can be sure it is great.
The America you want to live in is a complete fantasy. And would you like to elaborate on this ‘Civil War’ that you so hastily glorify?
Frazetta works from the mind’s eye. He just “figures out” things like a rabbit in motion.
He’s still alive
Boris Vallejo on the other hand airbrushed photos.
I saw a cool documentary about Frazetta. I think he’s in PA somewhere. Cool guy.
“Originality is what we celebrate.”
Since the Romantic Age yes, I’d agree. But that was not always the case. Originality/creativity was part of the equation but there were also considerations of expertise/virtuosity (the artist’s skill), subjective value (whether the spectator got pleasure from the work), form/style (how well the work conforms to rules of composition), and imitation (how well the work reproduces natural beauty; not necessarily in an exact sense).
I submit that without originality, a work can still be art, so long as it satisfies other qualities. It may not be as high an achievment as it otherwise might have been, but it’s still art.
Yeah, I don’t really dig 40s style babes, but Vargas is cool. I found out about him when I got Candy-O by the Cars back in the day.
You ever seen Fritz the Cat? Great depiction of the 60s. Much different than the idealized leftist version.
What is art? Happy, thoughtless is no more art than grim, thoughtless. But the deeper you dig the darker it gets.
“but how is it we all recognize the greatness of just a few artists?”
Sometimes it’s a matter of accident, sometimes of periodically alternating tastes. But you dealing here with the very heights of high art. For every one DaVinci, Michelangelo, Caravaggio, or Turner, there are thousands of lesser masters whose talent others would kill to possess. And for every one of those masters, there are thousands of hacks no one will remember after a generation, but who were still artists.
We can get bogged down constantly focusing on the Great Names. It’s one of the reasons Rockwell has been ignored by art snobs in the past 60 or whatever years. He’s nice and all, but is he a Rembrandt? Well, no, but do you have to be a Rembrandt to be a quality artist? No.