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Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

Acquired Taste Is More Refined

I've heard a lot of barking around here about Modern Art in particular abstract art, that if it has to be explained to be appreciated it's not valid.. Many times I just let it roll off saying to myself these people don't want to learn, that Abstract Art like music and stinky cheese, fine cigars and Bourbon are all acquired tastes and that these acquired tastes are more refined than the common white bread ...

from Wiki
An acquired taste often refers to an appreciation for a food or beverage that is unlikely to be enjoyed by a person who has not had substantial exposure to it, usually because of some unfamiliar aspect of the food or beverage, including a strong or strange odor , or appearance. Acquired taste may also refer to aesthetic tastes, such as taste in music or other forms of art.
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Mary Bedy

7 Months Ago

I never understood the fuss and fury over abstract art, Robert. It can be appreciated for its beauty alone without needing an explanation. The colors, the shapes, the forms, the composition, are just as valid in an abstract work as they are in a representational work.

When I was a teenager, I really didn't like any abstract art, but now that I understand the history a bit, there are tons of abstract images I would hang on my wall. I love the color field painters, for example, even though a lot of people say "my dog could paint that" when they look at the art....

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

I work both representational and abstract and I would say it's harder to do a mature abstract work without being cliche than it is to paint a good landscape.

 

Mick Donnelly

7 Months Ago

Generally I abhor explanation, I'm not really looking to be told or instructed by visual art, I look at diagrams or read instructions for that. I want I see art that bring something other than the narrative or symbolism that inspired or caused its creation. Being initiated into some arcane symbolic idiom may hold eclectic appeal for those of an esoteric bent and I see no problem with artists exploiting that but they need to keep a certain distance from it, if they're successfully to exploit their talents in a way that appeals to my taste.

 

Mary Bedy

7 Months Ago

@ RJ - I think you're right. When I was painting, I could paint a really nice still life or interesting interior, or a portrait (wasn't into landscape painting) but the few abstracts I attempted were kind of, well, thrown out years ago ;-).

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

exploiting arcane symbolism? Mick your words are a force field to protect your ideas or lack of " getting it"

 

John Crothers

7 Months Ago

How good can something be if you have to acquire a taste for it?

I never had to acquire a taste for steak or lobster or sweet tea! It was good the very first time I tried it.

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

So John you would not venture into the world of stinky cheese or durian because it doesn't appeal to you" at first"?

 

John Crothers

7 Months Ago

No Robert. I may try something new...once. But if it didn't appeal to me I wouldn't try it again. That makes no sense to me.

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

If I want to "Acquire" or learn something, explore, it makes total sense to me.. Sweet tea, steak and lobster can be enjoyed by children before most anything

 

John Crothers

7 Months Ago

Do you think you could acquire a taste for rotting road kill?

 

Mick Donnelly

7 Months Ago

I don't expect to get it about 80% of the time, it doesn't bother me, it shouldn't bother anyone who is confident in their own agenda. That's not to say you should go around Blythely dismissing stuff you don't understand but if you have difficulty in admitting to yourself that your comprehension has limitations then you're never successfully expand it or exploit it.

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

thats not a refined delicacy now is it John? , thats a very loose association ...

 

Alfred Ng

7 Months Ago

When I was a child, I was taught to do Chinese calligraphy with brush and ink. There are much similarly with the brush strokes in Chinese ink painting/ calligraphy and abstract painting. Later when I study abstract painting in art college it was an easy transition.

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

Mick, I find exploiting to be cynical ...

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

exactly Alfred, it's all there like a good swordsmen

 

Mary Bedy

7 Months Ago

I "acquired" a taste for raw oysters after gingerly downing one the first Christmas Eve I spent with my in-laws. The fact that I actually forced myself to eat more than one at the next Christmas Eve lead to a greater appreciation of raw oysters in general, and now I love them.

I would not hang a Pollock drip painting in my home (not my style), but I've learned to appreciate his role in art history and do kind of like some of his work now. I used to hate it.

 

Chuck De La Rosa

7 Months Ago

Excellent thoughts Robert. Although I still don't like stinky cheese or any cigars.

One of my favorite musical artists is Tangerine Dream. I liken much of their (well, really Edgar Froese's) music to abstract painting. Not everyone "gets" it. But those of us that do probably appreciate it far more than we do more obvious art.

I was once told that to ask what the best whiskey is, well, it's a silly question. The answer is easy. It's the one you enjoy the most.

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

Mary , I found with Pollock you really need to stand before the real thing and absorb it to get it...prints don't cut it...

 

Mary Bedy

7 Months Ago

That's probably very true, RJ. I've seen artwork in person that is spectacular but doesn't translate to print very well. I like "learning" to like art I didn't appreciate previously, because it feels good to expand what you are comfortable with and appreciate.

 

Chuck De La Rosa

7 Months Ago

Robert I think that's true of many works of art. I didn't really care for Monet until I saw his work in an art museum.

 

John Crothers

7 Months Ago

"thats not a refined delicacy now is it John? , thats a very loose association ..."

There are a lot of foods in the world that are considered a delicacy Robert that have to be an acquired taste. Ever watch "bizarre Foods"? There are fish dishes that are buried in the earth for a month or two before being consumed. Cheese with maggots in it. I am sure I could list many dishes some call a delicacy that you would think is stretching it.

But if someone doesn't "get" you calling stinky cheese a delicacy why can't the same be said about you and the rotting fish dish?

Again, it all comes down to perception. You perceive stinky cheese as a delicacy that you need to acquire a taste for. I guess the same could be said for modern art. To some it is an acquired taste to "get" it. To others it is just rotting fish buried in the ground.

 

John Crothers

7 Months Ago

Surströmming (pronounced [sʉ̌ːʂtrœmːɪŋ], Swedish "soured (Baltic sea) herring" is fermented Baltic herring and is a staple of traditional northern Swedish cuisine. The Baltic herring, known as strömming in Swedish, is smaller than the Atlantic herring, found in the North Sea, and traditionally the definition of strömming (Baltic herring) is herring fished in the brackish waters of the Baltic north of the Kalmar Strait[1] The herring used for surströmming are caught just prior to spawning. The fermentation starts from a lactic acid enzyme in the spine of the fish, and so the fermentation is by autolysis; together with bacteria, pungent smelling acids are formed in the fish such as propionic acid, butyric acid and acetic acid. Hydrogen sulphide is also produced.

The salt raises the osmotic pressure of the brine above the zone where bacteria responsible for rotting (decomposition of proteins) can thrive and prevents decomposition of fish proteins into oligopeptides and amino acids. Instead the osmotic conditions enable Haloanaerobium bacteria to prosper and decompose the fish glycogen into organic acids, making it sour (acidic). Fermented fish is an old staple in European cuisines; for example the ancient Greeks and Romans made a famous sauce from fermented fish called garum[2] and Worcestershire Sauce also has a fermented fish ingredient.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surstr%C3%B6mming

 

Chuck De La Rosa

7 Months Ago

John, you do realize what even "good smelling" cheese is, right?

 

Mick Donnelly

7 Months Ago

Robert, I really (I mean, really really) can't grasp how anyone can equate the successful exploiting of an opportunity or resource as cynical, especially an artist, someone who should excel at exploiting their talents, materials, medium to their desired ends, I suppose that's where my comprehension finishes.

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

Yes John there are probably limits in certain cultures foods that would not appeal to me, BUT, I have been many places and tried many exotic food, from rotten beef, shrimp, Cobra blood, durian, snails, baby birds swallowed whole, raw meat, ... .I grew up in old world families, there was no pickiness allowed, no one catering to a bland diet, you had to try everything more than once because they knew you would learn to love it... I find it hard to believe that grown men never acquired the taste for stinky cheese...come on try it, wash it down with a heavy red and some stale crusty bread, have a GOOD cigar... you'll love it

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Kim Bemis

7 Months Ago

I very much appreciate abstract art. But I also appreciate the irony of an incident that occurred several years ago at the Canadian National Art Museum. The museum purchased an American's art, which consisted of three large canvases painted in slightly different shades of red. On display for many years, the canvases were in need of retouching. One night, one of the maintenance persons repainted the canvases with a can of red paint. You can only imagine the controversy that ensued, not so much over the man using a can of paint to "repair" the canvases, but rather over the meaning of spending millions on "plain" red canvases. And a little bit over the question of what is a Canadian museum doing spending that much on an American artist instead of supporting Canadians.

 

Kim Bemis

7 Months Ago

I very much appreciate abstract art. But I also appreciate the irony of an incident that occurred several years ago at the Canadian National Art Museum. The museum purchased an American's art, which consisted of three large canvases painted in slightly different shades of red. On display for many years, the canvases were in need of retouching. One night, one of the maintenance persons repainted the canvases with a can of red paint. You can only imagine the controversy that ensued, not so much over the man using a can of paint to "repair" the canvases, but rather over the meaning of spending millions on "plain" red canvases. And a little bit over the question of what is a Canadian museum doing spending that much on an American artist instead of supporting Canadians. Gotta love it!

 

Delete Delete

7 Months Ago

That may be so Philip, but then I am not arguing what is art and what is not art. (go back to my steak analogy that you agreed with).

I applaud him for working outside the box and not limiting himself to the confines of the opinions (rules) of others.

That said, not matter how much I might immerse myself and take time to experience his work, it will not lead to an acquired taste or liking of it.

I simply do not like it. (but that does not mean it is not art)

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

Kim, is it in the National Museums mission statement to promote Canadian artists, I tend to doubt it.../ There are color field painters I make fun of and some I admire.. It does seem unfair but the art World has never been about being fair ..

 

P S

P S

7 Months Ago

Tiny,

You asked this :

"What proven facts are there in art?"


Eggleston asked this question and answered it through his photographs and his choice of subjects at a time when black and white photography was the only accepted standard of art in photography. More than 40 years later, his work is still as powerful as then in asking and answering that question, through art.

Here's an Eggleston quote:

"I am afraid that there are more people than I can imagine who can go no further than appreciating a picture that is a rectangle with an object in the middle of it, which they can identify. They don't care what is around the object as long as nothing interferes with the object itself, right in the centre. Even after the lessons of Winogrand and Friedlander, they don't get it. They respect their work because they are told by respectable institutions that they are important artists, but what they really want to see is a picture with a figure or an object in the middle of it. They want something obvious. The blindness is apparent when someone lets slip the word 'snapshot'. Ignorance can always be covered by 'snapshot'. The word has never had any meaning. I am at war with the obvious."

http://www.egglestontrust.com/df_afterword.html

Liking or not liking has little to do with it, it's about knowing the artist ( any artist ) and the artist's historical or philosophical and cultural context, and how through that one begins to see the work differently and might even find a common viewpoint in it. And then, a picture of a lightbulb on a ceiling isn't just a picture of a lightbulb on a ceiling anymore when seen in the broader context of the artist's work.

 

Mick Donnelly

7 Months Ago

Kim I do recall an incident with the repair of Who's afraid of red... (the full title escapes me for the moment) I can't remember the exact details, for example I'm not sure if the canvas was damaged but the repair bill topped something like £250,000. After the painting was returned it was subject to microscopic analysis when a rumour surfaced that the restorers used a paint roller, which was confirmed when polyester fibres were discovered in the paint film. After that the repair was to subject to a threat of legal proceedings, I'm not sure what happened after that.

 

P S

P S

7 Months Ago

"simply put, imho, to acquire a taste for something, means overcoming negativity about it, then finding out more about it, thereby acquiring a taste for it through intelligent experience of it - or not acquiring a taste for it...art or otherwise....by choice based on personal taste......... "

---

Vivian, yes, I also think it means to stop wanting to get something from it in return. To not only look at art as a mirror to see and confirm ourselves in but to also see it as a window to something else, something we haven't seen or considered before. When there's a willingness to do that, then the finding more about it etc comes naturally and almost intuitively.

 

Vivian ANDERSON

7 Months Ago

Yes, Philip, I live my life in Art , full of wonder, finding more through gaining knowledge outside my comfort zone/preferences....and doing so always leads me to broader views of Art itself......an open mind is essential, and a taste for and willingness to observe.....and thus to grow.........and then, only then, to ascribe or deny a preference............the world is wonderful for me.......endless discovery and then refinement of my tastes.........all very positive.

Hope you're feeling better soon, RJ........I'm battling too, have blurred vision, it's so disconcerting,uncomfortable.....!

 

Roger Swezey

7 Months Ago

Tiny,

You just wrote..."That said, not matter how much I might immerse myself and take time to experience his work, it will not lead to an acquired taste or liking of it."

As I see it, one must have to want to, or at least be opened to the possibities of acquiring a positive taste for whatever one might find oneself immersed in...It ain't gonna come like a bolt of lightening .

 

Roger Swezey

7 Months Ago

The one word that I'm having trouble with in this thread is:..."REFINED"

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

Well Roger there is a reason for that. ... Bait

 

Xoanxo Cespon

7 Months Ago


"More refined", is not only a judgement but also a comparative term (and therefore a relative one)...in either words...An Opinions Feast!!!


 

Xoanxo Cespon

7 Months Ago


My abstract works are not intended to be a representation of anything that they are not. We perceive them as unique visual experiences and as such their content becomes as individual as ones own experience of life!

To me, each piece in its real existence (essence) contains the absolute but their meaning or interpretation is often, if not always, relative and subjective.

Just like "Life" in my explanation above could be considered (in its metaphorical sense) the absolute and the individual experience of it as the relative.

 
 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

good article Chaline, I'm only halfway through it at this point

 

Melissa Bittinger

7 Months Ago

.....I'll have to catch the article later....after I finish my latest romance novel......;o)

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

I loved Pride and Prejudice but that may have been an acquired taste..first I had to read it

 

Melissa Bittinger

7 Months Ago

lol! @ Robert

On a more serious note about literature....sometimes ( not ALL the time) reading is simply for non - intellectual pleasure. I don't always want to "think" about something when I read, I'm usually doing it to "go away" to another place away from reality. A little yin....a little yang....

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

You mean to veg? I never suffered from that affliction, my mind always seems to be hungry..it actually can get stressful

 

Melissa Bittinger

7 Months Ago

Everybody is different, I have more stress when I'm not able to "escape" and let my mind be still. I need everything to go "Ssshhh" for a bit. Okay, I'm part way through that article, so far it seems both sides of this original debate are being given equal time and consideration and that there is truth to be found on both sides of the coin....so to speak. However, I haven't finished the article yet, so I reserve the right to change my opinion at that point if necessary :o)

 

Mary Bedy

7 Months Ago

Interesting article, Chaline. I cut it out and threw it in a word file so I can finish it later.

RJ - I used to be like you - always looking for the intellectual stimulation, but after 33 years of managing an office and proofreading and editing technical material in three languages, my brain is tired. I'm with Melissa - I need the occasional murder mystery just to unplug from all the learning. Call it age. Call it fatigue in general.

I still do read a lot of art related material, books on geology and linguistics, but I do that a lot less frequently these days. Maybe when I retire.....

 

Marlene Burns

7 Months Ago

I read for the opposite reasons, Melissa....to be mindful...'course I'm not a fiction lover...philosophy is my choice.
I have 3 books I dig into nightly for thoughts to ponder.
When I do need to 'get away', it's Stephen King because of his character development..keeps me from being lonely in my alone time. I just set aside the scary stuff and enjoy how he gets inside each character's psyche.... I really wish he'd write faster!!

 

P S

P S

7 Months Ago

The first thing I do when I open a book is to smell it, sometimes even just or only to smell it. You can't do that with something like an iPad.


"A truly good book teaches me better than to read it. I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint. What I began by reading, I must finish by acting."

- Henry David Thoreau

 

P S

P S

7 Months Ago

One of my favorite more recent Stephen King books is Duma Key ( which I actually listened to as an audiobook ) in which art and the creative process plays a central role.

 

Mary Bedy

7 Months Ago

Philip - I don't own an electronic reader for that very reason. The smell of the ink and the feel of the dust jacket - the cover illustration and the look of the binding.

Sorry, RJ - a bit off topic.

There comes a point in learning, where you are just plain tired and suffering from overload. As much as I love art history and learning new things, I've had to step out for a while.

 

Robert James Hacunda

7 Months Ago

My real life all to often reminds me of a King novel. For enjoyment I like to read out loud in character

 

Kevin Callahan

7 Months Ago

I'm going to check out of this bourgeois motel, push myself from the dinner table and say, "No more Jell-o for me, mom!" — from Peggy Sue Got Married

 

This discussion is closed.