• Please use real names.

    Greetings to all who have registered to OPF and those guests taking a look around. Please use real names. Registrations with fictitious names will not be processed. REAL NAMES ONLY will be processed

    Firstname Lastname

    Register

    We are a courteous and supportive community. No need to hide behind an alia. If you have a genuine need for privacy/secrecy then let me know!
  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

On art

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
It is reported by a credible-seeming site that, in 1923, Pablo Picasso, in an interview with American critic Marius de Zayas, said (as later translated into English):

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies. If he only shows in his work that he has searched, and re-searched, for the way to put over lies, he would never accomplish anything.​

This is often "quoted" as:

"Art is a lie that tells the truth."​

which, while apparently not an accurate quotation, still seems to well synopsize Picasso's outlook (which is not at all simplistic).

Either way, I kind of like it.

I am reminded of discussions of the literary genre memoir. We are reminded that, in this genre, the author is not obligated to repeat verbatim the various happenings of life, as in the comptes rendus of a legislative session. Rather, as in fact the name of the genre suggests, the author recites his (now) memory of things, striving by so doing to "paint", with a few strokes, a larger picture of the reality of life.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Well Doug,



"Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least
the truth that is given us to understand."​




In the context of monumental works as Guernica, it's entirely accurate. Otherwise, I am not sure that that is much more than an amusing quip! For the rest of art, the statement is an incomplete insight by Picasso. Still this great man, as much as anyone, has earned his right to able to uniquely reflect on the nature of art.


I have to begin at basic concepts. So as a start I would say that:

Art is a physical form that can attract the attention of the imagination. When it works on another person, at its best, it can evoke a sequence of emotional responses including imagining other matters. These can range from trivial musing and self-entertainment. This sets in motion an unending open set of branched dependencies of ideation and consequence. We all experience the art differently. That is counterintuitive if we expect art to be about "communication". But all of our reactions to art are individual. They are all dependant on and limited by our experience, personality, attitudes, intelligence, creativity and openness. When we show a car, the understanding is unequivocal, "this is my car", but when we show a picture of a car the set of meanings can take off, cascading in so many more diverse directions.

There is, however, no a priori requirement for the consideration of lies, which includes the necessary component of deceit!

Asher
 
Last edited:

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Asher,

There is, however, no a priori requirement for the consideration of lies, which includes the necessary component of deceit!
In the dictionary definition of lie, deceit is not (typically) part of the definition. Perhaps a lie is only "an intentionally false statement". "Deceit" is, I'm afraid, a more nuanced concept.

Best regards,

Doug
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi, Asher,



In the dictionary definition of lie, deceit is not (typically) part of the definition. Perhaps a lie is only "an intentionally false statement". "Deceit" is, I'm afraid, a more nuanced concept.


Doug,

The great British Wordsmith, Winston Spencer Churchill, retorted following such an attempt at linguistic correction, "We speak English as it is spoke!"

In the same light, you understand perfectly well that "deceit", behaving with the outwood appearance of being "helpful" when the intent is the opposite, carries the sense of intent to spread as some truth a matter that is the contrary to the victim's interest.

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Asher,

In the same light, you understand perfectly well that "deceit", behaving with the outwood appearance of being "helpful" when the intent is the opposite, carries the sense of intent to spread as some truth a matter that is the contrary to the victim's interest.
Of course. But I was not speaking of "deceit".

Someone may say, "Will you be home all day? I want to drop off that tool I borrowed."

I may say, "Yes, of course". But in reality, I an just about to leave for a short errand (I would certainly be back before the fellow could get here, from a nearby town.). So to say that I will be home "all day" is a lie - an intentional untruth.

But I say it to convey most readily to the other fellow the important reality of the situation. Is that "deceitful"?

Best regards,

Doug
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Art can consist of what is created in our brain and then put into physical form or existing forms repurposed with, or without physical modification, to have a modified identity, now connected with its new status as "art".

What, "Art", we conjure up in the brain is theoretical until exported and made into a physical form. When that happens, "It is what it is" and cannot be, per se, a lie. When we repurpose a discarded crashed VW Beetle as "Art" and call it "Hitler's baby", we are not lying. That is its new name.

Asher
 
By 1923 Pablo Picasso was incomparably famous and a multi-millionaire. He was also a joker who amused himself by taunting fans, acolytes, and critics with shocking, contradictory, and enigmatic statements on virtually anything. He knew at least some of them would take him (very) seriously.
Opinions are cheap, mine some of the cheapest, but on the subject of art I'd say Asher is more coherent than Pablo.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
And what would Marcel Duchamp have to say?
Duchamp essentialyl found pieces of "driftwood", so to speak, and called it "art". Only, he leveraged industrial production and chose handsome urinals to sign, instead of a sun-bleached sea-worn tree trunk. That way, one can have an "edition" of say 10-12 of them.

To the extent that society gets hoodwinked by the process of repurposing and jump on an enthusiastic bandwagon of support, Duchamp suceeded. The actual value of the urinal as art authored by Duchamp, is not really for any inherent worth of the China urinals as works of art. Rather he helped to break down the existing barriers and rules of believability as to what might be worthwhile.

During this process, pictorial paintings of the late 19th century which should be valued, today, in the ranks of the masters, have struggled to remain valuable enough to even be collected. They are too realistic and sentimental and so out of fashion!

To me, art should have within it skilled craft too. Ideas alone are ten a penny.

So when I see a broken 2ft square concrete paving stone overlapping a whole one at the Venice Biennale, (as the art to represent the entire USA), I cringe.

A far better teacher than Duchamp would be Magritte as he not only has new ideas but a slap worked with impressive craft and skill.

Asher
 
Last edited:
"Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least
the truth that is given us to understand."

I'm persuaded that politics involves more art than science and consider the conjunction 'political science' somewhat oxymoronic. If politics is an art, can we substitute 'politics' for 'art' in the statement attributed to Picasso? If so, does it follow from the revised statement that Donald Trump is a leading performance artist of his time? If so, what is the truth his lies make us realize?
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
"Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least
the truth that is given us to understand."

I'm persuaded that politics involves more art than science and consider the conjunction 'political science' somewhat oxymoronic. If politics is an art, can we substitute 'politics' for 'art' in the statement attributed to Picasso? If so, does it follow from the revised statement that Donald Trump is a leading performance artist of his time? If so, what is the truth his lies make us realize?
I like the term, "politi-chien" as it conjures up, "polite dog". Truth doesn't come into this. Whatever building block for their persuasive argument is needed, be it true or false, it will be used.

It elevates chicanery, self-interest and exploitation to something almost respectable when we imagine there is like a rotten fruit some perfectly good seeds at its center.

I am so disappointed with Hilary, Obama and Trump and it's sad that the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders! However, the fellow was so much a socialist that he almost spoke a foreign tongue. Still, at least he is an honest man.

Asher
 
I like the term, "politi-chien" as it conjures up, "polite dog". Truth doesn't come into this. Whatever building block for their persuasive argument is needed, be it true or false, it will be used.

It elevates chicanery, self-interest and exploitation to something almost respectable when we imagine there is like a rotten fruit some perfectly good seeds at its center.

I am so disappointed with Hilary, Obama and Trump and it's sad that the DNC cheated Bernie Sanders! However, the fellow was so much a socialist that he almost spoke a foreign tongue. Still, at least he is an honest man.

Asher
You didn't address my questions, Asher, but that's ok. But given strong reactions to Trump's election, I'll comment briefly on the thread's theme in that context. The main points are that Donald Trump does claim to be an artist and considers hyperbole a useful rhetorical technique. Here's how he begins his 1987 bestseller The Art of the Deal:

"I don't do it for the money. I've got enough, much more than I'll ever need. I do it to do it. Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write beautiful poetry. i like making deals, preferably big deals. That's how I get my kicks."

So there you have it. A hostile takeover of USA Incorporated was his equivalent to having the best photoshoot ever. That's his answer to 'why' he wanted to be President.

If you want to know the 'hows' of his technique, read the second chapter of that book. His account of deal-making is straightforward and lucid. Note that 'hyperbole' gets frequent mention. Of course, some folk get upset by hyperbole because they take exaggeration seriously even though it's not meant to be taken literally. It's similar to the anger unleashed by Jonathan Swift's satire in centuries gone by.

Given that an estimated 60% of Americans get their political information from social media, it's unsurprising that information now gets conveyed in bite-sized pieces. Us older folk, with a bit of effort, surely should be able to differentiate the rhetorical wheat from chaff.

Cheers, Mike.
 
Last edited:

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
It is reported by a credible-seeming site that, in 1923, Pablo Picasso, in an interview with American critic Marius de Zayas, said (as later translated into English):

We all know that Art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth, at least the truth that is given us to understand. The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies. If he only shows in his work that he has searched, and re-searched, for the way to put over lies, he would never accomplish anything.​

This is often "quoted" as:

"Art is a lie that tells the truth."​

which, while apparently not an accurate quotation, still seems to well synopsize Picasso's outlook (which is not at all simplistic).

Either way, I kind of like it.

I am reminded of discussions of the literary genre memoir. We are reminded that, in this genre, the author is not obligated to repeat verbatim the various happenings of life, as in the comptes rendus of a legislative session. Rather, as in fact the name of the genre suggests, the author recites his (now) memory of things, striving by so doing to "paint", with a few strokes, a larger picture of the reality of life.

Best regards,

Doug

Let me refresh your minds with the above vintage quote of Picasso!

I found a piece of driftwood and had the hotel staff cut it so it would fit in my case to get it back from Mexico. Once cut, one piece was alive and the other lifeless.

It wasn’t discovered in the X-ray scanner ......and as it had no insects left, to TBOMK, I was able to declare at US Customs, that I was NOT importing insects back to the USA!

I have photographed my new art piece. I will be making it a basis for a new sculpture.

But for now he is the photography as a down payment in my Photography as Art and my “lies to tell the truth”!


1053


Asher Kelman: “Art of the Lie”

I declare this is my Art! But I took it from the beach! Have I indeed created art by appropriating it for myself and copying it’s form with a mere press of the shutter release?

Asher
 
Top