Are certain countries more artistic than others?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Senor Hound, May 22, 2008.

  1. Senor Hound

    Senor Hound TPF Noob!

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    First off, I want to say that I don't want my comments to be taken the wrong way. It seems like when Americans talk badly of America we get scolded. I'm merely stating things I've found to be true.

    I love art. My grandmother was a classical singer, so I well educated in music. I find visual art intriguing (duh, I'm on a photography forum), and even other forms of art like dance are flat-out cool to me.

    That being said, it seems like most of the people I meet don't care about art, or even worse, HATE IT! How can you hate something that can provoke such beautiful emotions? I didn't think much of it, but then someone said something to me about how I "should live in Europe, cause they're all artsy over there," (this person had never been to Europe, this was more of a stereotype). I dismissed it, but it did make me wonder if certain parts of the world are more appreciative of the fine arts than other places.

    So if you think this is so (in your opinion, cause that's all any of us have), where would you think a person like me who loves all forms of art would really be surrounded by others with the same passion? Is the United States just as artistic as the rest of the world? If so, maybe its where I live (Arkansas... its a farmer/cowboy state). All I know is that I'm going INSANE trying to find people with similar interests, and I'm coming up empty-handed. And I don't know if the arts are something that is just vacant here, or if its my generation EVERYWHERE that has this apathy towards the fine arts.
     
  2. Roger

    Roger TPF Noob!

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    hmmm I've never been to Arkansas but I suspect it might be where you live, there are plenty of artists in the US....get up to NYC sometime.
     
  3. Michaelaw

    Michaelaw TPF Noob!

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    This thread reminded me of working on a railroad gang in my youth. I bought a Ricoh slr on my days off to shoot on the gang after work hours. Well the rest of the guys laughed their asses off at me..."What are you gonna shoot....Trees, hills. birds?" Needless to say, the boys just didn't get it, it was a very lonely hobby.
     
  4. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    perhaps I understand too well where this question is comming from but .....


    Truth is the answer to your of "Are certain countries more artistic than others" question is no. What decides what one would consider artistic at the level you are implying is the consencus of the masses. The consencus of the masses is defined by morals, and education. These two things are what define how art is recognized by the community as a whole.

    So your question should be Are certain countries more able to recognize artistic merit than others? This answer is yes.

    To answer your second question "Is the United States just as artistic as the rest of the world", Yes. the US is equally cabable of producing compitent art at the "Fine arts" level.

    To answer what I think you wanted to know, Is the United States just as able to recognize artistic merit as the rest of the world, I feel the US government is actually one of the more competent nations in this reguard. However the masses are not. Lets take into account some of the laws that have come up reasently pertaining to the photographing of an underage female in the nude or semi nude. The "Vanity Fair Incodent" Legal in all fifty states. The model is fifteen years of age, in the majority of states Age of concent is eighteen however there are some as low as fourteen and sixteen. Law requires that imagery of that nature can not be contractually signed into by an individual who is underage, However parental consent comes into play, law recognises the parents as having advanced reasoning skills and decitionmaking ability. In the case of the Vanity Fair imagery both parents signed the contract and where present during the shoot. Now...the subject was a mature female who posed semi nude infront of a camera because she felt is was alright and her parents felt is was acceptable and allowed it.

    So how did this become an "incodent", Uneducated people who do not know the whole story and/or the laws governing it blew it out of proportion. Had the US govenment not had the ability to recognize and education of artistic merit and freedoms, the photographer, all the assistants, and both of the models parents would be sitting is a jail cell right now.

    On the reverse aspect there are still countries in the world where women are hidden almost in their entirety where a simple drawing of a womans face, much less a breast or pubic regon is a scarelige.

    It all boils down to morals, and education of the people.
     
  5. tim.bennett

    tim.bennett TPF Noob!

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    This is an interesting topic. I'm now 24 yo and Live in Dublin Ireland. I was born and raised in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Ireland is famous for being traditionally artistic country, which besides a few decent galleries and some great artists in it's history, is completely lost on me. In the Netherlands it is quite different. People are more in touch with their artistic side.
    But as Dublin is a hugely international city due to the tax benefits of setting up european hq's here. I have come to get to know several french, spanish and Italian people. Which makes you realise how much more appreciative they are of art.
    So to answer your question yes some countries I would say are more artistic. That is one of the reasons I am considering moving to Paris in about a years time. As for the States NY seems artistic enough.

    I, like you love art and enjoy apreciating other peoples art as attempting to create my own. But here specially being fairly young it's not something i can usually share with my local peers. (as the dutch say an exception proves the rule)
     
  6. John St James

    John St James TPF Noob!

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    I know a handful of people from all over the world and what I can say is that I think people have an equal ability to be artistic but the culture and the society that surround them play a huge role in whether or not they nurture that ability. There are types of social atmospheres that consider art as a mere pastime instead of a potential career or even a basic human need.
     
  7. Forkie

    Forkie Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    In a lot of European countries, in particular, Italy, France, Spain, Greece the education is still very classical. Learning Latin and Ancient Greek is par-for-the-course for school children and along with that of course, comes knowledge and an appreciation for ancient texts and the history of art and artists.

    My ex-GF, who was Italian often expressed her disdain that here in the UK, Latin was not part of the curriculum and whereas I have a layman's knowledge of the history of art, knowing about the most famous artists and writers, hers was practically encyclopaedic.

    I think an appreciation of art comes with exposure to it. Growing up somewhere where it is not nurtured, or actively encouraged, or if local and government funding for artistic endeavours is low, then that exposure will be hard to come by.

    Here in London for example, there is enormous funding for the arts (although it is being cut each year, unfortunately) and performances, installations and other projects, happily, are rife. There is always something to see wherever your are in the city, 365 days a year.
     
  8. sm4him

    sm4him TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    I don't think any one country is more "artistic" than any other.

    However, I DO think that some countries, and some areas within a country, are certainly more SUPPORTIVE of the arts. There is more of an art "culture" in some areas than others.
    As someone mentioned, go to NYC--you'll find an entire different "mindset" there about the arts than you are finding where you live.
    Where I live, our city has a fairly good, and growing, positive culture regarding the arts. We have some big music festivals here, LOTS of special art event (we have an ongoing "First Friday" event that attracts people downtown on the first Friday of every month and art is the central focus of that), the Dogwood Arts Festival and on and on. It's a great place for artists, and it's getting better.

    But--go out just a few miles from the city, and you'll find nothing but rural areas--farmers, hunters, and just plain old country rednecks. Tell THEM you're an artist--or show them your pretty pictures, and they will look at you like you're something the cat dragged in.

    Arkansas does have an arts council, in Little Rock. I'd contact them, see if they can put you in contact with some local people or groups that can encourage you in your artistic endeavors.

    On the whole, I do think that European countries *tend* to be more supportive of the arts in general. But even there, I think you'll find it's the cities that embrace art--the rural areas, not so much.
     
  9. JoeW

    JoeW No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    First, it's not so much "countries" as cultures. Some cultures show a strong appreciate for particular types of art. I have a hard time saying it's true across the board for any specific culture. That's b/c a country that supports their ancient musical instruments and honors those who play them and continue the traditional music may not do much with painting or they may cast scorn on electronic music. So let's not just group all of the "arts" together in to one big category b/c you're including performing arts (dance and music and theatre) with visual arts (ceramics, photography, sculpture, painting, terraforming and landscaping, buildings) and then design of items/products (chairs, houses, cars) which are both visual and functional. Heck, what about culinary art? So to be fair we have to distinguish between types of art. To give you an example, the Japanese have always cultivated and supported a range of design arts (from food to living space to gardens). They've even made drinking tea a piece of performance art, a form of theatre if you will. OTOH, I think we can come up with a lot of art forms that the Japanese aren't as strong at. And their emphasis at tradition in some art forms limits their ability to create or innovate in those same forms. You can identify areas that are noted for sponsoring great fictional writing--but that doesn't mean they're painting or music hubs.

    Second, specific cities or regions can undertake initiatives to be particularly supportive of the arts. So for a period of time, that city or region is known as an artistic one. Asheville NC is a great example. Shepherdstown WV is another. You get summer stock theatre projects in a lot of areas (like Glimmerglass in Cooperstown NY) that runs during the summer. Some University towns have reps for being very artistic (a combination of the University presence with the programs that go with it, a lot of grads who stick around and produce art after they graduate). But these programs or initiatives are often specific to a city and can change over time (20 years from now, will it still be going?).

    Third, culture is often an arbiter of what a people consider to be artistic or not. Sculptures of nudes that were acceptable in ancient Greece might get declared inappropriate in many parts of the US. There is some beautiful sculpture in many parts of the moslem world but try depicting visual likenesses of the prophet into a painting and see the reaction you get.

    Fourth, many people don't get particular types of art b/c they don't understand it. The more we understand about the dynamics behind a specific type of art form, the more we are capable of appreciating it and evaluating it. And I don't have a problem with someone hating some art--if they can explain in detail (and accurately and objectively) why they hate it. I like art that provokes passion--and if it's hate, then that's a passionate response. But there's a difference between someone saying they hate modern art b/c "my third grader could do that." Or...hating Jackson Pollock's work b/c they feel that art that continues to evolve after the artist's last touch to it isn't really created by the artist, because detaching line from color may be unique (at the time) but diminishes the visual experience, and technique does matter otherwise we can celebrate accidents as art.

    Last of all, part of the advantage of this modern age is that with the internet and a range of other social media, it's now much more possible to find people of similar interests. They may not be in Arkansas. But before, if you were American and an artist, you had to go to NYC. That's no longer true. There are vibrant art scenes around the US that aren't anywhere close to NYC.
     

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