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Why do people hate art? Answered

My "How to Make Art" Instructable has 4 negative ratings thus far (in less than a week). This makes me angry. It's not that terrible of an instructable. In fact, I think it's one of my better ones. I am lead to believe that one of the following is probably true: 1) People don't like seeing drawings of nude men on their homepage. 2) There are some boring self-righteous artists types visiting Instructables who clearly know nothing about great art. In fact, I bet they spend all of their time, at home -- alone -- telling their seven cats how Georgia O'Keefe was the greatest American artist. So, if you don't hate art, please give my instructable a good rating. If you do hate art, why are you clicking on it to begin with? There are plenty of other lesser Instructable for you to denigrate.


. I don't think it's so much that ppl hate art as they dislike those that think everyone who does not "understand" their art is uncouth. ;)
. And let's face it, Art is in the eye of the beholder. Ie, I don't care what you call it, if I don't like it, it ain't Art. heehee
. Still no excuse to bash the efforts of others - if I don't like it, I don't have to look.

The same people that gave negatives would probably also avoid minimalism, abstractism (is that a word?) or surrealism.

Many years ago I visited the Liverpool Tate's first exhibition, which happened to be minimalism. I spent ages in what was quite a small set of pieces, and absolutely loved it. The exhibits were childishly easy to reproduce (such as a stack of 64 bricks called "Sixty-four bricks") - what was brilliant was the thought behind the work, the effort that had gone into rendering complex ideas in the most simple, detail-less ways whilst retaining the essential essence of the creative urge.

That sounds awfully pretentious, and I rarely speak like that out loud, but what it means is that a pile of bricks was actually the artist exploring ways of creating as much as possible within strict self-imposed rules (he(?) set himself the task of creating different patterns with bricks, but they had to be square, and they had to consist of exactly 16 bricks, so the "pile" was really two layers of bricks, each layer made of two squares, and all four squares had different patterns in them).

If you just walk through a minimalist gallery, you won't get it.

If you stop and read the information that goes with each, you should get it.

(Even so, I do often walk away from a piece of Art and think... he got paid for that?)

I'm proud to be on the "They Like It" list. I laughed out loud, and I forwarded your Instructable to someone because I knew they would love it. I would have marked this one up even if I didn't know you personally. On balance, there are 12 people that like it. I think all the great boundary-pushing Instructables get their strong detractors and have lots of "-" ratings. I've always felt that it's better to have people hating your work than just ignoring it. On a longer discussion, and only as an side not to derail this thread, I'm not sure negative ratings benefit the site, and we're considering going to a "+" or "flag for some concrete reason" model.

That would be better. Unless, instead, you keep "-" ratings and create a special feature section for "least popular" Instructables... that might balance things out... in the force.

I love the unpopulars! Although, since the new system, they are just 'used-to-be' ibles... not quite as good...

I have a brother who is impossibly thick LOL

Wait... why not show who is posting negative comments? I think if people dislike something enough that they click the "-" button, everyone should know who they are.

I think you meant, why not show who is giving negative ratings. I felt that showing who was rating something down didn't build community.

Art is drugs


10 years ago

Because it's so hard to tell the difference between a piece that the artist sunk his soul into, trying to bring us a greater truth and enlightenment, and the piece they did to impress someone so they could get laid. Or paid. I dunno if your instructable was helpful in that regard :-) And of course there's the apparent unfairness - that the people recognized as good artists (by means of their success, I guess) don't necessarily seem to be the ones we like. Schisms within the art community don't help ("Commercial art isn't art." "Photography isn't art." "Comics aren't art." ...)

Because it's so hard to tell the difference between a piece that the artist sunk his soul into,trying to bring us a greater truth and enlightenment, and the piece they did to impress someone so they could get laid. Or paid.

Yea, sometimes I think that when I walk into a gallery and see a canvase that is just painted solid yellow, and the artist is asking $200,000 for it.

I am pretty much open to all forms of art, but that kind of thing pushes it a little too far.

But they may have sunk their sole into it. They may have carefully painted it for 300 hours with a soft bristle toothbrush. Who is to say they didn't? It all becomes quite complicated once free-market capitalism is involved.

So, the "result" doesn't matter, it is the method? If one paints a canvas yellow with a tooth brush and another with a "roller" and they look identical, then can the one be called art, over and above the other ? It may be of worth to the painter, but to the one viewing it, nothing has been communicated, which is what art is all about, another way to communicate. If nothing is communicated, is it art ? Something to mull over.

I mean, once you start talking of a canvas painted yellow, you are getting into the territory of abstract expressionism and people tend to look back on such things and say, "but that was a canvas painted yellow" or "that's just paint splattered on a canvas", but really, most of those works were not the end product, but the actual act of production. The artists were trying to make something that could never be reproduced (or so they thought) because the act of painting the thing was as important as the painting's lack of figure and ground. I mean, Jackson Pollock's technique was called action painting and he was vehemently opposed to being photographed while creating. To Pollock, art was the moment of inspiration, the moment of dripping the paint onto the canvas, not the dried canvas hanging on the wall. Now, you can say that this is a selfish form of art if only the artist can truly appreciate it, but I really don't think so. Whether or not you like abstract expressionism (I don't particularly), the artists were clearly onto something. And this notion of the process being more important than the end result was picked up by Allan Kaprow who then slightly turned the world upside down with his Happenings. For an hour, an afternoon, an entire day, a group of people would converge upon a space and become part of a work of art which upon its creation, would cease to exist. The line between both creator and consumer and also art and life quickly became blurred and confused. And so on, and so on, and so on... art has increasingly become an integrated part of day to day life, so much so, that its hard to even distinguish what is and what is not art.

I think what I'm getting at is that you can no longer simplify the matter to say that art is some static form, hanging on wall, intended to convey information. Besides, even if it were, the transmission of information is lost over time because traditionally, the end product of artistic production has been inert. It's dead. And it's not surprising that the word museum gets its root from the word moseleum. The museum is where you keep the dead things to commemorate them and try to keep their memory alive (or in this case, the initial meaning). But the museums fail, because, as time passes memory fades or warps. Walking through a museum is no different than walking through a Civil War cemetery. You know the gravestones are of great importance, but you have no real connection to them or the layers of information being conveyed by them. Or in other words, if art's primary function is to communicate information, then maybe it should be abandoned in favor of something else. A lot of classical art only conveys to contemporary viewers its own inherent value as art. And when you view art in this manner, painting a canvas yellow is conveying a great deal about the nature of art (especially at the time when such paintings were common). It may even be fair to say that abstract expressionism was genius in a way; there was a lively process to produce a dead work of art that only ultimately conveyed its own value as a work of art. It both threw into doubt the notion that a finished work of art was supposed to communicate timeless information and also brought to the forefront the importance of artistic intention and the process of creation. At the very least, it helped render such meditations as "is it art?" pointless.

I think what I'm getting at is that you can no longer simplify the matter to say that art is some static form, hanging on wall, intended to convey information.

The best forms of communication are not static at all. If it conveys nothing, what is it's purpose? If there is no communication, why show it to anyone ? The very act of showing is a means to communicate.

I'm not sure if you are even responding to what that quote it saying.... but... Everything communicates on some level, but what a painting communicates never changes or adapts in order to be able to continually explain its initial message. The only thing that adapts is people's perception or opinion of it. It is because of this that art is a bad means of communicating information over an extended period of time. A painting hanging on a wall from 500 years ago (or even 50 years ago) says "I am art" and usually little more unless you have a strong historical basis on which to interpret it, which most people who go to art museums (the place where art goes to rot), do not. Since most people will never receive the initial or intended message the primary purpose of art can not be to communicate.

The only thing that adapts is people's perception or opinion of it.

Exactly. People respond to the painting itself, not to the unseen effort that was put into it.

Since most people will never receive the initial or intended message the primary purpose of art can not be to communicate.

It indeed communicates, some pictures invoke pleasure, some distress, or another emotional response; that is still communication. :-)

For instance, most of my pyrographs have been "natural" or aimed at portraying life or parts of life in some form or another.....still, some other has been nearly caricature-like and others, more cartoon-like. Each is meant to invoke a response in individuals. I can predict "most people's" responses to each piece, but not the individual. Each individual will see something slightly different. Now, they may be said of say, a large red dot on yellow canvas. Different people have different reactions. It is art? Each determines that in their own mind pretty much. BTW: I had no opinion of the art work you opened with. Because of the description of it, I did not open it when I first commented; mostly because I was at work at the time, and there could be repercussions. I haven't had time to go look yet. But I will eventually get there. I assure you, I was not making comment on or about any particular piece, but rather giving a rather broad generalization.
I hope I did not offend, with my opinion.

I understand what you are saying.

The artists were trying to make something that could never be reproduced

Still I don't think this is the the product of art, but that art can be something that can not be reproduced, do you see what I mean ?

The thing i hate the most about "Photography isn't art" is how many subsections there are. Photography is just pushing a button on a box Only black and white photography is art Nothing taken with a point and shoot can be considered art Photoshop is cheating etc

Would you consider a blurry snapshot of a drunken party taken with a disposable camera to be art? I suppose you could make arguments either way, I just have trouble lumping it in with the likes of Ansel Adams (my hero!).

depends... what does the blurry snapshot look like? and can you tell me its art with a straight face and get away with it? and randofo, i liked the instructable.

Maybe because they aren't good at making it themselves?

No worries Randy.... For some people, the only culture they have is growing in the back of their refrigerator ;) Not everyone can get "it" - if they did, it very well may ruin it for the rest of us.

I think Jtobako hit the nail on the head. The are two types of people here. Well, three if you count the K'nex gun crowd. OK, four. Uh, five, oh never mind that. I enjoyed the humor of it and given that a lot of people never try to make or do anything because it won't be a factory exact whatever it is they'd do if they got over their fear of not growing up to be a CNC milling machine and just did it, I think the humor part is important. My big art epiphany was in a blacksmithing class where the instructor pointed to the portion of the bar that hadn't been worked and, ergo, was still perfectly square and smooth and said, "That's what you call the run of the mill. Back in the day they'd start with a 5/8 bar and draw it down to 1/2 to get rid of that."

I love art! Some people would rather see hamsters in costume, though... wait.... that's art too, isn't it?!


10 years ago

They're just jealous of your $80K student debt.

.....and the will-do-anything-to-be-with-him fans...


10 years ago

I loved it as well. Very tongue-in-cheek, but there's more than just a grain of truth to it as well. At least, it seems to have given a few people the confidence to think "hey, I do art as well'.

Remember - you can't please everyone. I think you're hitting your target audience, so who cares what the rest thinks?

Illegitimi non carborundum...

thanks. ...and it turns out that Latin is good for something.

Some people are Very Serious about Art, others are looking for step-by-step instruction sheets. Both would consider themselves to have good reason to dis your instructable. Any time you stand up and give an opinion you can expect someone to disagree with you : )

I gave it a + Your pic is quite good, but um, perhaps a female's bum would be more appealing?