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Thread: Art: Quality vs. Content

  1. #1
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Art: Quality vs. Content

    This is an issue I've been mulling over for a while, but it seems like the art world has developed a bad habit of evaluating art based on content and not quality. It's a bad way to go about it because whether or not you like the content of a piece of art is impossible for the artist to decide. That is entirely on you as the viewer, and relies heavily on self-projection. So a piece of art that is extremely well drawn could still be getting mixed reviews just because people might or might not like what it's "of". Art criticisms should primarily be aimed at the artist and how he handled the subject, not what the subject IS. The only way to satisfy a person critiquing on content rather than quality is to draw what they want exactly how they want it, and that is a totally unreasonable demand for a critic to make.

    For example: I hate abstract art. But if I were to give a professional critique on pieces done by masters of the movement, I would still give them reasonable ratings. This doesn't mean I like the subject, it simply means I appreciate how it was handled: the technique and skill involved. Of course, there will be exceptions, like blank canvasses or solid colored squares and other crap like that. But I can still look at it objectively, if nothing else.


    I think this has a lot to do with why manga isn't respected as an art form: too many people criticizing it for its content, and not its quality. Opinions?

  2. #2
    Super Senior Member Celestial-Fox's Avatar
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    I received failing marks in International Baccalaureate Visual Arts because I emphasized quality over content. I don't regret my decisions in the slightest.

  3. #3
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    what is quality?

  4. #4
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    technique, accuracy (in context), composition. Of course, the gamut of objectively evaluable factors is significantly smaller for abstract pieces.

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    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    (Dunno why I'm posting in here. I love myself. I had a great childhood and I believe being pretty sane... but for some reason I'm posting in here)

    But the content can be evaluated through quality too. The difference is that you are making a distinction between quality of the technique to make art, and the methodology, theory and proposal in art. And each one of those can be evaluated through quality.

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    One Thousand Member indescribable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CypressDahlia View Post
    I think this has a lot to do with why manga isn't respected as an art form: too many people criticizing it for its content, and not its quality.
    Respected as an art form by whom, exactly?

  7. #7
    Super Senior Member CypressDahlia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClockHand View Post
    And each one of those can be evaluated through quality.
    Not really. What that really boils down to is whether or not the viewer agrees with the artist. Many times we aren't even completely aware of what the artist's intent is. How can we (fairly) evaluate something that we don't know?

    And by a lot of high art buffs, Taylour.

  8. #8
    Ruler of the Seventh Empire GunZet's Avatar
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    Whenever someone asks me what something is, I just stand there and go "No idea" and let them start blabbing off their ideas about what it could be, quite interesting what they come up with, I don't mind as long as people appreciate it.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Hamachi's Avatar
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    It always seemed to me that the manga genre has a much wider spectrum of artists as opposed to, say, the more anatomically realistic US comics, and to a lesser extent, the European artists. There seems to be a large difference in quality in the sense that realism isn't valued so much in Asian cultures. If it's truly a matter of preference, it could arguably also be a content difference as well.

    I strongly dislike some mangas because their artists just blatantly disregard anatomical accuracy, and the result isn't flattering. But I also like some mangas a lot due to their content preference - stillness, graceful lines, and elegance of form. You get very little of that in most Western comics, which always strive for accuracy and impact. So there's naturally a cultural barrier between East and West. It certainly doesn't help when a lot of people see bad manga attempts at caricature, because then the common thought is "Oh, this doesn't look like so-and-so at all. Manga sucks."

    My art prof did point out to me once that the European masters and Eastern masters (by "masters" I'm guessing he's talking renaissance-age or sometime close) held very different values. If we assume current artists have to some degree inherited that cultural influence, then it's easier for Western artists to measure success by a single realist scale. When it comes to caricature though, people predictably have differing opinions between what's extremely distasteful, what's acceptable, and what's attractive.

  10. #10
    Sir-Mass-a-Lot Sylux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GunZet View Post
    Whenever someone asks me what something is, I just stand there and go "No idea" and let them start blabbing off their ideas about what it could be, quite interesting what they come up with, I don't mind as long as people appreciate it.
    Pretty good attitude, I'd say

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