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Jul 17 2013

AAAAAAIIEE! Philistines!

A number of valuable paintings were stolen from a Rotterdam museum by a ring of Romanian criminals.

The stolen works have an estimated value of tens of millions of dollars if they were sold at auction. Thieves took Pablo Picasso’s 1971 "Harlequin Head"; Claude Monet’s 1901 "Waterloo Bridge, London" and "Charing Cross Bridge, London"; Henri Matisse’s 1919 "Reading Girl in White and Yellow"; Paul Gauguin’s 1898 "Girl in Front of Open Window"; Meyer de Haan’s "Self-Portrait" of around 1890; and Lucian Freud’s 2002 work "Woman with Eyes Closed."

They’ve been found.

A Romanian museum official said Wednesday that ash from the oven of a woman whose son is charged with stealing seven multimillion-dollar paintings — including a Matisse, a Picasso and a Monet — contains paint, canvas and nails.

Ernest Oberlander-Tarnoveanu, director of Romania’s National History Museum, told the Associated Press that museum forensic specialists had found “small fragments of painting primer, the remains of canvas, the remains of paint” and copper and steel nails, some of which pre-dated the 20th century.

“We discovered a series of substances which are specific to paintings and pictures,” he said, including lead, zinc and azurite.

You are permitted to cry a little bit.

253 comments

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  1. 1
    rq

    *cries a little bit*

  2. 2
    irisvanderpluym

    *ragesobs*

  3. 3
    Glen Davidson

    Were you there?

    Why should I accept your worldview where “evidence” matters, anyway?

    Glen Davidson

  4. 4
    Inaji

    A Romanian museum official said Wednesday that ash from the oven of a woman whose son is charged with stealing seven multimillion-dollar paintings — including a Matisse, a Picasso and a Monet — contains paint, canvas and nails.

    Oh no. No, no, no. :recovers from shock: I hope they are not letting the investigation rest there. It’s quite possible to forge old paintings, including fooling people on the age of the pigments, canvas, and so on. It might be a very slim possibility, but the actual paintings may not have been destroyed. That said, most idiots who steal art usually end up destroying it. It’s not like you can put it up on Ebay or something.

  5. 5
    blf

    That’s odd. The article in The Grauniad, Stolen Picasso ‘burned in stove’ in Romania, says its not clear if the ashes are those of the missing paintings or not (my emboldening):

    A Romanian museum is analysing ashes found in a stove to see if they are the remains of seven paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Monet and others that were stolen last year from the Netherlands, an official has said.

    The prosecutor’s spokeswoman, Gabriela Chiru, told Associated Press that Romania’s National History Museum was examining the ashes found in the stove of Olga Dogaru. She is the mother of Radu Dogaru, one of three Romanian suspects charged with stealing the paintings from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal gallery in a daytime heist.

    It was the biggest art theft in more than a decade in the Netherlands. The stolen works have an estimated value of tens of millions of dollars if they were sold at auction.

    Dogaru told investigators she was scared for her son after he was arrested in January and buried the art in an abandoned house and then in a cemetery in the village of Caracliu. She said she later dug them up and burned them in February after police began searching the village for the stolen works.

    Chiru indicated that authorities did not necessarily believe Dogaru’s account. She said it could take months for the results of the tests to be known.

  6. 6
    Kevin, Youhao Huo Mao

    Why the hell would you destroy art?! Even crappy art has some intrinsic value associated with it.

  7. 7
    Ophelia Benson

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa – noooooooooooooooo.

    That makes me feel much more like screaming than crying.

    I hope blf is right.

    I wish the news media would shut up forever with the “worth xxx million” shit. They’re worth nothing, but they’re irreplaceable. Focus, people.

  8. 8
    PZ Myers

    It was presumably destroyed by the thief’s mother, who may have thought destroying the evidence was a way to protect her son.

  9. 9
    Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought

    Why the hell would you destroy art?!

    To destroy the evidence, I would expect.

  10. 10
    Inaji

    KevinKat:

    Why the hell would you destroy art?!

    Because, even though it is worth much money, it’s damn near impossible to get rid of – you can’t fence it, only a small percentage of people would be willing to pay for any one piece and keep it in a private collection, and most thieves don’t have those kind of connections. Art is also bulky, noticeable and has specific storage requirements. Basically, it turns into a massive white elephant as soon as you steal it.

  11. 11
    k_machine

    Yeah, hot tip for all you master criminals out there: there is no black market for famous works of art. A buyer could never ever show it to anyone, and a painting you can’t display is worth nothing. Anyone can drop a dime to get a reward for the stolen art. I guess the movies give people the opposite idea.

  12. 12
    René

    The paintings can be seen here. (Also, I vaguely recall these barbarians overlooked a Van Gogh while they were at it.)

  13. 13
    René

    Also, the preview is completely screwed up when one properly marks up a linky.

  14. 14
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Holy shit. The remains could be from some other paintings, right? Not the irreplaceable paintings stolen?

    Right?

    *screams*

  15. 15
    Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Were you there?

    PZ said it.

    I believe it.

    That settles it.

  16. 16
    blf

    [I]t’s damn near impossible to get rid of — you can’t fence it, only a small percentage of people would be willing to pay for any one piece and keep it in a private collection, and most thieves don’t have those kind of connections.

    Ransom. Security against saleable goods (e.g., drugs, …) from another gang.

    From The French Art Heist: Who Would Steal Unsaleable Picassos? (discussing a different huge theft):

    [T]hose explanations probably involve organized crime and insurance company extortion scams or black market arms deals, according to Noah Charney, art history professor at the American University of Rome and founder of ARCA, the Association for Research into Crimes against Art, Rome-based non-profit think tank. “The theft has all the markings of organized crime which, since the 1960s, has been responsible for most art crime worldwide,” he says. “There is no market for such works, and they are most likely to either be ransomed, or to be used for trade or collateral on a closed black market, traded for other illicit goods such as drugs or arms between criminal groups.” This, says Charney, is the “very serious and sinister side” of the thousands of art crimes reported annually worldwide. “Because of the involvement of organized crime groups, art theft fuels other crime types, from the drug and arms trades to terrorism.”

  17. 17
    dgel

    Godverdomme…. Well that’s one of the more depressing pieces of news today

  18. 18
    Holms

    Nothing of real value was lost. I only wish the Mona Lisa shared the same fate!

  19. 19
    Jadehawk

    this sort of shit makes the art historian in me shrivel up in pain.

  20. 20
    timberwoof

    My recommendation: a long prison sentence in an empty cell with a TV that shows nothing but TVLand and Restaurant Nightmares 24/7 and nothing to eat but Tater Tots and Twinkies.

    Ohhh, I can be cruel.

  21. 21
    Sili

    So it goes.

    Poo-tee-weet.

  22. 22
    Pilum

    This is a crime against humanity, plain and simple.

  23. 23
    LykeX

    @Holms
    They’re irreplaceable historical artifacts. Now, they’re gone, forever. No one will ever see them again. Nothing, short of a time machine or a miracle, can replace them.

    What if the Rosetta stone had been destroyed? Or alternatively, what if the Library of Alexandria had been preserved? Do you seriously not understand the importance of preserving as much of the past as we reasonably can?

    What purpose is served by the loss of these paintings? What has been gained? Serious question; name one tangible benefit.

  24. 24
    pacal

    If it turns out the mother did in fact destroy the paintings to “protect” her son then I expect she will be charged with arson and willful destruction of property.l

  25. 25
    A Hermit

    Related cry-worthy news…http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/story/2013/07/17/ns-colville-remembered.html

    Canadians and art lovers are mourning the death of a great painter in Alex Colville, but his children are feeling the loss of a wonderful father.

    Colville, who gained recognition with his hyper-realistic paintings that often depicted the dark side of everyday life in Canada, died peacefully at his Wolfville, N.S., home on Tuesday. He was 92.

    gallery here: http://alexcolville.ca/gallery/

    The painting “Horse and Train” was used as the cover for Bruce Cockburn’s “Night Train” album; in my NSHO one of the best original folk/rock recordings of all time…

  26. 26
    blf

    The Grauniad has updated its article, Dutch art heist paintings may have been burned by suspect’s mother, and it’s not looking good (my emboldening, mostly for the benefit of commentator Holms):

    Forensic specialists find traces of paint and canvas in ashes from oven belonging to Romanian woman

    Ash from an oven owned by a woman whose son is charged with stealing seven multimillion-pound paintings … contained paint, canvas and nails, a Romanian museum official said on Wednesday.

    The discovery could be evidence that Olga Dogaru was telling the truth when she claimed to have burned the paintings, which were taken from Rotterdam’s Kunsthal gallery last year in a daylight heist.

    Ernest Oberlander-Tarnoveanu, director of Romania’s National History Museum, told the Associated Press that museum forensic specialists had found small fragments of painting primer, the remains of canvas and paint, and copper and steel nails, some of which pre-dated the 20th century.

    “We discovered a series of substances which are specific to paintings and pictures,” he said, including lead, zinc and azurite.

    He refused to say definitively that the ashes were from the stolen paintings. He said justice officials would make that decision.

    He did venture, however, that if the remains were those of the paintings, it was “a crime against humanity to destroy universal art“.

    Oberlander-Tarnoveanu said forensic specialists at the museum had been analysing ashes from the stove since March, and would hand their results to prosecutors next week.

    The museum staff found exactly what forensic experts said they were seeking — materials such as canvas, wood, staples, and paints that indicate the remains of artworks.

    The next step would be to compare these to what was known about the missing paintings, which given their quality and status would be well-documented in photographs and condition reports.

    “If one finds general similarities between the stolen works and the burned [remains], then one could test the elemental, and possibly chemical, composition of the burned works to determine if they could be consistent with the stolen works,” said James Martin, of Orion Analytical, who has taught forensic paint analysis at the FBI Academy counter-terrorism and forensic science research unit.

    Mariette Maaskant, spokeswoman for Rotterdam’s Kunsthal, said Dogaru’s allegation “underscores the pointlessness of the theft”.

    She added: “If this terrible news is true, the last trace of hope that the art works would return is definitively gone. It would be a loss that touches every art lover.

  27. 27
    jonjermey

    Why not simply re-create them? There must be plenty of good photos, and any number of skilled artists who could re-create works that are visually indistinguishable from the originals. If a painting is functionally equivalent to a Picasso, then it’s a Picasso, surely.

  28. 28
    unclefrogy

    the images still exist and can be reproduced in many forms it is a pity that the originals are now lost.
    copies or reproductions are not the same, art will go one anyway
    uncle frogy

  29. 29
    Great American Satan

    jonjer- One, you’d be shocked how little photographic information is available for the average museum painting, and even when there’s thousands of photos, how much information is lost in the translation. Two, any original artifact is going to be more useful to future scholars than a reproduction. Silly example: If you wanted to clone one of Sargent’s pet cats, you could find a fur fiber from one of them in an original painting.

    Holms is a useless fuckfaced troll, but this sort of thing can raise an existentialist feeling in a guy, with a similar end to what he said. The big buddhas the Taliban nuked were a much more significant loss to humanity than these paintings, but it’s the same crime. Humans have conflicting drives for self-interest and nurturing. Our nurturing impulse is, I think, the main drive behind our attempts to preserve the precious things of the past. But self-interest is a swarm of locusts that won’t go extinct until we do (probably at its hands), and it devours everything we try to preserve. Which can make a guy feel like, “Why bother?” Everything is eventually nothing.

  30. 30
    LykeX

    If a painting is functionally equivalent to a Picasso, then it’s a Picasso, surely.

    Yes, I’m sure you can tell brush stroke technique, chemical composition of the paint, what was at the bacl of the canvas and any possible future target of analysis from a photo.

    Don’t forget that people a century from now might think to look for things that we haven’t noticed yet.
    And now, they never get to.

  31. 31
    Muz

    Guh?! Monets, Matisse Gauguins, burned in a stove?! What?!
    How could you even do that?

    If it was his mum, did they look and find she had terrible cataracts or Kinkade’s all around the walls or something?

  32. 32
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    They should both be sentenced to spending the rest of their lives trying to paint an identical recreation. From memory.

  33. 33
    Glen Davidson

    Why not simply re-create them? There must be plenty of good photos, and any number of skilled artists who could re-create works that are visually indistinguishable from the originals. If a painting is functionally equivalent to a Picasso, then it’s a Picasso, surely.

    Have you seen a real painting? The difference in effect between a photo and a painting can be enormous, especially for Impressionism.

    Now there would be something to be said for having skilled artists try to come up with acceptable copies from the originals before they are possibly destroyed. That might preserve most of what was valued in the painting (although what’s underneath might be considered important as well), but you don’t just recreate a painting from photos.

    Glen Davidson

  34. 34
    chigau (違う)

    Glen Davidson
    It will be better.
    Like this.

  35. 35
    Glen Davidson

    A little touch-up never hurt anything.

    Did it?

    Glen Davidson

  36. 36
    microraptor

    My recommendation: a long prison sentence in an empty cell with a TV that shows nothing but TVLand and Restaurant Nightmares 24/7 and nothing to eat but Tater Tots and Twinkies.

    Ohhh, I can be cruel.

    And the cell walls are covered with Thomas Kinkade paints.

    I’d also recommend playing Kenny G over the loudspeakers, but that might be going too far.

  37. 37
    Al Dente

    I’d also recommend playing Kenny G over the loudspeakers

    You are a sadist!

  38. 38
    John Morales

    Not being an art lover, this is a big meh for me.

  39. 39
    Rutee Katreya

    …But… they were in a museum… :(

  40. 40
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Me, responding to John Morales in the Lounge about the lack of scientific knowledge in 18-24 year olds in OZ:

    “The problem seems to be that they don’t want to know and couldn’t care less.

    “I dunno… Whatever… Unnhh…”

    Gosh John, sounds like you at #38…

  41. 41
    cicely

    *shocked speechless*
    -
    And John—what gobi said @40.
    -

  42. 42
    John Morales

    [meta]

    gobi’s, I suppose if you imagine art appreciation is akin to scientific literacy, it may seem so.

  43. 43
    John Morales

    [meta]

    cicely, I seem to have aroused you from your claimed shocked speechlessness, no? :)

  44. 44
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @ John Morales #42

    If you think this is just about “art appreciation”, please re-read my comment at #40.

  45. 45
    cicely

    John, how do you feel about the cave art at Lascaux? As a non-art lover?
    -

  46. 46
    cicely

    Lascaux cave art.
     
    Just because.
    -

  47. 47
    chigau (違う)

    oh, snap

  48. 48
    John Morales

    cicely, the cave art at Lascaux is informative about humanity’s past — and as a non-art lover, it’s the information it provides that matters to me.

  49. 49
    Anri

    gobi’s, I suppose if you imagine art appreciation is akin to scientific literacy, it may seem so.

    It has been pointed out by wiser people than myself that one of the differences between art and science is that however brilliant a given scientist may have been, we almost certainly eventually would have figured out whatever they figured out. Not so for art. Only a given artist can create that artist’s work.

    The beauty and power of a scientific discovery has essentially nothing to do with the actual medium of the discovery. With art, the medium is the message – reproductions are only echoes.

  50. 50
    consciousness razor

    Fuck off, John.

  51. 51
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @John Morales #48

    Please re-read my comment at #44.

    You are getting warmer but not quite there yet…

  52. 52
    John Morales

    Anri, it has been pointed out by myself that I would far, far rather live without art than without science*.

    (I have much use for utility, little-to-none for ornament)

    * and its fruit: technology.

  53. 53
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Don’t blame the Philistines. Iconoclasts, Nazis, Taliban, those are the types that destroy art. Philistines? They just got bad (biblical) press.

  54. 54
    chigau (違う)

    Stop digging, John Morales.
    Let’s go play kick-the-barfy.

    oh look txpiper is there

  55. 55
    cicely

    John, what about the information of the future’s past, to be provided to the people who will be living in that future? Yes, it seems as if there’s plenty of today’s art—good, not-so-good, whatever—for any future’s needs…but I can’t help wondering if the scholars of antiquity, casually referencing literature that they took for granted was well known, probably assuming that it would remain well known, would have conceived of the dearth of material that survived to reach now?
    -

  56. 56
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    John just fails to understand that art is more than ornament and that the physical objects of art history are more than just the images or themes they depict.

    I am guessing it is an education thing…

    Try re-reading my comment at #44 again.

  57. 57
    DLC

    It would not be too difficult to fake such destruction. There’s little way to tell how new or old the painting destroyed was. There are legends of private collectors who hold several currently-missing old masterworks in private hidden vaults, but I can’t speak to how real that might be.

  58. 58
    John Morales

    [meta]

    gobi’s, you amuse me with your entreaties no less than with your conceit that I have misunderstood you because I lack the education to grok your self-perceived erudition.

    Are you aware of the concept of evanescent art? You ever heard of Sand Mandalas?

    (You don’t understand that my commenting is my art, do you?)

  59. 59
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @DLC

    I dont know what could actually survive the oven, but there are many tests that can be run on pigments and trace elements as well as metallurgy results for nails, staples, etc. It becomes a lot harder though when paintings are more recent. You need a lot more of that there sciencey stuff that John Morales keeps banging on about…

  60. 60
    John Morales

    DLC @57, heh, that was one of the things that first sprung to mind.

    (A properly villainous plot, that would be!)

  61. 61
    dontpanic

    Hmmm. I was a bit “meh” about some of those stolen paintings, as paintings. Not really what I’d want on my wall if they weren’t acknowledged to be the works of a “name”. If I came across the Matisse, for instance, at a garage sale I wouldn’t look twice. Perhaps there’s something in the technique or otherwise that doesn’t come through on the computer screen. But still kind of “hulk smash” about their loss for other reasons — other people appreciate them and I have empathy for their loss.

    I clicked on cicely‘s Lascaux cave art link though … and WOW! I’d seen some discussions and a few smallish random pictures. But wow. Sorry, but I’m sad about the loss of those Rotterdam paintings, but I sure would prefer a reproduction of any of Lascaux painting on my wall over any of those that got burnt. I think some of it is just better art. YMMV

  62. 62
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @John Morales #58

    So, John, as a master of your art at commenting I ask you: Do you write your comments yourself? Or do you do a rough sketch and let the apprentices finish it for you – with a possible final touch by the master to make it legitimate?

    I only ask because I respect your art…

    Are you aware of the concept of evanescent art?

    Ummm… are they a rock band from Little Rock?

  63. 63
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    It has been pointed out by wiser people than myself that one of the differences between art and science is that however brilliant a given scientist may have been, we almost certainly eventually would have figured out whatever they figured out. Not so for art. Only a given artist can create that artist’s work.

    Someone less charitable might suspect that’s the basic reason *cough* certain people are so quick to dismiss it – an inferiority complex over their own creative sterility.

  64. 64
    Glen Davidson

    cicely, the cave art at Lascaux is informative about humanity’s past — and as a non-art lover, it’s the information it provides that matters to me.

    How much of that knowledge could someone who doesn’t appreciate art actually extract? The art on the cave walls is not pixels, or bits of data, it’s a contextual whole, sometimes making use of the 3-D structure of the rock to produce its effects. To get much of the information, you have to appreciate the art.

    I’m not overly concerned about anyone not caring a great deal about art. If it’s not your thing, well, there you are. But it’s no good supposing that you’re going to get the information conveyed by the art without valuing the art as at least an aesthetic whole. That said, there’s a whole lot that we don’t know about cave art in any case, we being so remote from their societies, yet we’d know even less without the aesthetic aspect being appreciated today.

    Glen Davidson

  65. 65
    Great American Satan

    Morales- I actually like looking back at old paintings and seeing the flaws in them, or things that undercut the notion of the Perfect Genius of Yore handing down their Immortal Gifts. The paintings lost weren’t the A list either, it’s true. But there’s a far cry from that to petty iconoclastic trolling. You’re the kind of asshole who’d come into a thread about people feeling sad for Ian Curtis to complain that “he couldn’t sing” or was “overrated.” Your opinion in this thread is as appreciated as art is by you. So why give it, aside from the compulsion to be a shit in someone else’s cut?

  66. 66
    John Morales

    [meta + final]

    gobi’s, your respect is meet, but this thread is about the probable destruction of some old canvasses held to have been valuable, and I judge I’ve made my opinion on that sufficiently clear.

    (I’ll happily engage you on Thunderdome, if you feel so inclined)

  67. 67
    cicely

    Sorry, but I’m sad about the loss of those Rotterdam paintings, but I sure would prefer a reproduction of any of Lascaux painting on my wall over any of those that got burnt. I think some of it is just better art. YMMV

    Truth to tell, dontpanic, I agree with you. The stolen paintings don’t speak to me. And *looking around carefully to make sure rq isn’t looking*, while I would be among the last people in the world to go praising portraits of Horses *gesture of aversion*, the Lascaux work is stunning. It does speak to me, and I would have it on my walls in a heartbeat. I can’t fathom wanting to deny that sort of communication to others, just because it doesn’t speak my language.
     
    (At least they don’t seem to have included any portraits of peas.)
    -

  68. 68
    Ing

    Oh is JM doing the “emotions are for little people” game again? That’s always so much fun. My favorite part is how he makes sure we all know how much he doesn’t have the emotional flaws like us little people do. Everyone observe and feel bad that you lack his deficiencies!

  69. 69
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Anri, it has been pointed out by myself that I would far, far rather live without art than without science*.

    GLORY be! You have the option of living with or without both despite your perceived dislike or ignorance of one.

  70. 70
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Oh is JM doing the “emotions are for little people” game again? That’s always so much fun. My favorite part is how he makes sure we all know how much he doesn’t have the emotional flaws like us little people do. Everyone observe and feel bad that you lack his deficiencies!

    I’ll take my emotional flaws over Vulcan emptiness any day.

  71. 71
    Ing

    Anri, it has been pointed out by myself that I would far, far rather live without art than without science*.

    “Thank you for bringing this up in this discussion” said no one ever

  72. 72
    Ing

    @Rev

    Hey, don’t be mean.

    Vulcans are shown to have a strong value of the arts and culture.

  73. 73
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Oooops. My Vulcan ignorance shines through.

  74. 74
    Ing

    One would also be wise to point out that Vulcans are a produuct of pop art, so the embracing of their values by philistines is ironic

  75. 75
    Ing

    @Rev

    Spock plays the Vulcan lyre after all :-p

    And I’m not the best Trekie but iirc the only things we see making a Vulcan cry are the destruction of their entire planet and family…and a very good music rehearsal

  76. 76
    chigau (違う)

    Every time.

  77. 77
    Ing

    @Chigau

    …we say goodbye
    I die a little ?

  78. 78
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Ing:

    And I’m not the best Trekie but iirc the only things we see making a Vulcan cry are the destruction of their entire planet and family…and a very good music rehearsal

    And when infected with some kind of tidally-produced toxin. Never forget Psi 2000!

  79. 79
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @John Morales

    I’ll happily engage you on Thunderdome, if you feel so inclined

    Nothing to engage John – I really am not all that interested in your personal value system for the world…

    @dontpanic

    It was explained to me once that Art galleries are not so much an endorsement of the worlds best art, but a timeline of the most significant art. Social movements, new techniques, new technologies, etc. If you discard the wankery of the “art world”, galleries and museums have a lot in common.

    You don’t have to like an artwork to appreciate its place in history or its importance as a cultural object. I agree with you – I would much rather look at the Lascaux cave paintings than a Matisse, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of a Matisse. We are still learning things from old art works – when destroyed they are irreplaceable and that knowledge is lost forever.

  80. 80
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Art and technology are the same. They ask of science, “What do we do with you?”

  81. 81
    AJ Milne

    See, this is just what I get for getting out of bed.

    Going back now.

  82. 82
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    @77

    hahahahahaha

    whew

    hahaha

  83. 83
    Inaji

    John:

    cicely, the cave art at Lascaux is informative about humanity’s past

    So are other works of art. You may not think they are informative about humanity, but they are, and there is much they can tell us.

  84. 84
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    does not compute

  85. 85
    latsot

    Waterloo Bridge, London is one of my favourite paintings. Although I can see ridiculously high-res images of it whenever I want, the world is a poorer place if the original is indeed gone. Strange to feel grief for the loss of an object = especially an object that isn’t or wasn’t mine and which I have never even seen – but here we are.

  86. 86
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    ACK! ……..I can’t even think about how to swear for this.

    Art, invention, truly classic literature: these are gifts from humans to humanity. This is an obscenity on a scale that is unthinkable.

  87. 87
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Ow. Reading that genuinely elicited an internal “pang”. Who steals art just to burn it? I haz a sad :(

  88. 88
    Muz

    There’s quite a few suggesting that a photograph of these paintings is the same or sufficient as a replica. I don’t know if it’s been stated clearly enough but there’s no form of commercial photography or printing that can match the tonal range or resolution of a painting. Not even close. So you’re not going to get an accurate recreation from a photograph. About the best you could hope for is some sort of scanning process using astronomical level remote sensing equipment, which I doubt has been done (and then how do you turn it into an object or image? We’re still stuck with our weak monitors and printers for the time being)
    Monet was also fond of touches of iridescent paints in his later works. So it’s even less likely any photograph could instruct on how to repaint one from scratch.

  89. 89
    Anri

    John:

    Anri, it has been pointed out by myself that I would far, far rather live without art than without science*.

    (I have much use for utility, little-to-none for ornament)

    * and its fruit: technology.

    First of all, you’re spending a fair bit of time and effort on making sure we all know you don’t have a strong opinion in this matter. Pardon me for finding this suspect.

    Secondly, you’re not being offered a choice between art and science. Civilized peoples produce both.

    Thirdly, I would far, far rather live without my legs than without my kidneys. That doesn’t mean I’m stupid enough to not value my legs.

    Lastly, if you believe art is ‘ornament’, then you don’t have the first inkling of what art is, or what it does, and having a conversation with you about it is utterly pointless.

  90. 90
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @ Muz #88

    It’s even more complicated than that: oil and acrylic painting is 3d – the brush strokes and thickness of the paint can add to the effect. Also, paint can be glazed in transparent colours to give a “depth” you won’t see in photographs. Glazing alizarin crimson and prussian blue gives a beautiful, ‘deep’ substitute for black. This is why galleries take so much care with lighting.

  91. 91
    LykeX

    Speaking of depth, I remember a painting I once saw, which at first glance looked like a completely white canvas, until you noticed that the entire image was encoded in the brushstrokes; lines in the otherwise uniform white paint.

    Another thing comes to mind: While I don’t know about these specific painters, it’s not unheard of for painters in general to change their minds and redo part of the painting, hiding things under a new level of paint.
    Such changes would not be detectable from a photograph, no matter how high resolution. It would only be possible to discover from the original.

  92. 92
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Holms #18

    Oh, fuck you.

  93. 93
    Ing

    For Monet, those of scientific interest might find it interesting that some believe Monet could see some ultraviolet light due to lens surgery he had done. So recreation would be hampered by most literally not beingable to see the original as they did.

  94. 94
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @NigelTheBold #80

    Art and technology are the same. They ask of science, “What do we do with you?”

    *Mind = Blown*

  95. 95
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Saviour on a cycle! They’re only bloody pictures. Nobody died.
    Anyway, the way most galleries operate nowadays, the stolen pics were probably copies anyway.

  96. 96
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    You can fuck off an’ all.

  97. 97
    LykeX

    They’re only bloody pictures. Nobody died.

    Way to utterly miss the point. Did you bother reading the discussion that has taken up pretty much the entire thread so far?

  98. 98
    SQB

    If I may quote the Dutch poet Lucebert, “Alles van waarde is weerloos”. (All things of value are defenceless).

  99. 99
    Emilie

    Saviour on a cycle! They’re only bloody pictures. Nobody died.

    Loud and clear, good buddy. From now on, every time I feel depressed, disgusted or sad about anything (be it the loss of irreplaceable art, the destruction of an ecosystem, or any other issue that did not directly lead in someone dying), I’ll ask myself: “Did someone die?” If not, then I can just stop caring about it!

    Thank you, O wise one. You sure saved me a lot of worry.

  100. 100
    Holms

    @22 Pilum

    This is a crime against humanity, plain and simple.

    One of the more overwrought comments I have laid eyes on lately. Also, I disagree with it, as no humans were harmed.

    @23 LykeX

    What if the Rosetta stone had been destroyed? Or alternatively, what if the Library of Alexandria had been preserved? Do you seriously not understand the importance of preserving as much of the past as we reasonably can?
    What purpose is served by the loss of these paintings? What has been gained? Serious question; name one tangible benefit.

    Not a valid comparison. Those other items are truly one of a kind, and provide / would have provided tremendous anthropological insight into the ancient civilisations. These paintings? Simply a Big Name painter making a living.
    I don’t claim that this destruction is beneficial, only that the wailing and gnashing of teeth is tremendously overdone.

    @26 blf
    Neither not sure what you were going for there. You simply repeat the ‘crime against humanity’ silliness, and throw in a comment that demonstrates the complete absence of tangible harm, except the wailings of those that venerate objects whose sole purpose is to be venerated.

    @29 great1american1satan

    Holms is a useless fuckfaced troll…

    Of course! This is evident from the fact that I don’t share your concern in this matter – clear evidence of uselessness, fuckfacedness and also trollery! Sarcasm aside, it seems GIFT is alive and well.

    Fuck off, John.

    And thriving!

    @34 chigau
    Hah! I think the funniest thing about that ‘restored’ painting is that, if that had been the work of say… Picasso, it would not only pass without negative comment (except from people dismissed as philistines), but would probably be hung in a prestigious gallery somewhere and garner sycophantic praise.

    @49 Anri

    It has been pointed out by wiser people than myself that one of the differences between art and science is that however brilliant a given scientist may have been, we almost certainly eventually would have figured out whatever they figured out. Not so for art. Only a given artist can create that artist’s work.

    Uniqueness raised above all other considerations as the ultimate virtue? What utter waffle.

    @56 gobi

    John just fails to understand that art is more than ornament and that the physical objects of art history are more than just the images or themes they depict.

    I am guessing it is an education thing…

    ^ In which failure to share the same appreciation of paintings is assumed to be a product of poor education.

    @68 Ing

    Oh is JM doing the “emotions are for little people” game again? That’s always so much fun. My favorite part is how he makes sure we all know how much he doesn’t have the emotional flaws like us little people do. Everyone observe and feel bad that you lack his deficiencies!

    Yes, we should all aspire to only dismiss people based on ‘philistinery’.

    @86 mouthyb

    This is an obscenity on a scale that is unthinkable.

    Same as the ‘crime against humanity’ line, I would argue that any ordinary mugging is a worse crime with more harm done.

  101. 101
    Thorne

    Ing, if he could see wavelengths of light that most people cannot see, how would having the original help? Most people would STILL not be able to see it as he did.

    I have to admit that I have little to no appreciation for art. Some pictures I like, some I don’t. If I DO like a picture, it matters little to me whether I see a photograph or the original, so the loss of the original doesn’t disturb me as much as some here. Yes, those who did this should be held accountable, punished to the full extent of the law. But other than those who profess to be art “professionals” I don’t see how the loss of these paintings will be so harmful to the average person. One person’s ‘priceless’ is another person’s ‘worthless’.

    However, someone up above made the comment that many of the works of art in museums are poorly documented, with few photographs of them. Perhaps this should be changed, and there should be more photos done of these kinds of works. With modern digital equipment they should be able to capture much of the 3D texture of the paintings, and by using different methods they should even be able to see beneath the layers of paints to see what’s underneath, though again, I can’t imagine why this would be of any interest to the general public. After all, if the artist didn’t think it was worth preserving, why should we worry about it?

  102. 102
    pHred

    You have to see Monet’s paintings in person. Photographs of them often don’t look like much but in person they are transcendent. Also – for those of you blind as a bat like I am – view the paintings both with and without your glasses. I can’t really describe it well, but paintings from his later years become almost three dimensional floating worlds when you take your glasses off. There is absolutely no way of recreating that from a photo. You are seeing the world through another person’s eyes.

    Also – Da Vinci’s work has to be seen in person as well. I have not been to Paris, but I have see other works and again – he was able to achieve a luminescent effect with his faces that is incredible to behold.

    So what the hell kind of response is this “well I don’t like that art so it is okay to burn it” ??

  103. 103
    David Marjanović

    *headdesk*

    I wish the news media would shut up forever with the “worth xxx million” shit. They’re worth nothing, but they’re irreplaceable. Focus, people.

    Seconded!

    The big buddhas the Taliban nuked

    …Is “nuke” the new “blow up”?

    cicely, the cave art at Lascaux is informative about humanity’s past — and as a non-art lover, it’s the information it provides that matters to me.

    But that’s it. There was such information in the burnt paintings.

    It would not be too difficult to fake such destruction. There’s little way to tell how new or old the painting destroyed was.

    Excuse me? How do you get lead, zinc and azurite into ash if not by burning pigments from that period? How many people today even know anything about the composition of those paints?

    Have you failed to read the 2nd quote in the OP? Here, let me repeat the important part: “Ernest Oberlander-Tarnoveanu, director of Romania’s National History Museum, told the Associated Press that museum forensic specialists had found ‘small fragments of painting primer, the remains of canvas, the remains of paint’ and copper and steel nails, some of which pre-dated the 20th century.”

    (You don’t understand that my commenting is my art, do you?)

    I have a headache now. I should grow proper eyestalks so I can roll my eyes harder.

    How much of that knowledge could someone who doesn’t appreciate art actually extract?

    Uh, what do you mean by “appreciate”? You definitely don’t need to find it beautiful to extract knowledge from them.

    Beauty, let alone public display, clearly wasn’t the purpose of cave paintings either.

    Oh is JM doing the “emotions are for little people” game again?

    I don’t think he’s ever done that. Don’t jump to conclusions.

    Vulcans are shown to have a strong value of the arts and culture.

    To be fair, they’re inconsistent in general. They’re supposed to be all rational and logical – and yet they have the most and the silliest rituals in at least the entire quadrant.

    Monet was also fond of touches of iridescent paints in his later works.

    :-o Wow.

    First of all, you’re spending a fair bit of time and effort on making sure we all know you don’t have a strong opinion in this matter. Pardon me for finding this suspect.

    He’s in a way asking why anybody else has a different opinion from his.

    Secondly, you’re not being offered a choice between art and science. Civilized peoples produce both.

    Define “civilized” without being circular.

    For Monet, those of scientific interest might find it interesting that some believe Monet could see some ultraviolet light due to lens surgery he had done.

    …That makes sense. The lens isn’t transparent to UV, but the retina is sensitive to the part with the longest wavelengths, so people who’ve had their lenses removed see that part of UV.

  104. 104
    Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive]

    Ing, if he could see wavelengths of light that most people cannot see, how would having the original help? Most people would STILL not be able to see it as he did.

    No, you wouldn’t be able to see them conventionally, but a scanner that could pick up those wavelengths could pick them up.

    FWIW, Monet’s art is relevant for medical history – it is an excellent chart of the progression of his cataracts, and of the degree of his recovery after he had them operated on. This is actually relevant for understanding 19th-century cataract surgery and its outcomes.

  105. 105
    David Marjanović

    Anyway, the way most galleries operate nowadays, the stolen pics were probably copies anyway.

    You, too, have evidently failed to read the 2nd quote in the OP.

    Ing, if he could see wavelengths of light that most people cannot see, how would having the original help? Most people would STILL not be able to see it as he did.

    It would be interesting, though, if he chose any paints for the UV components of their colors.

    After all, if the artist didn’t think it was worth preserving, why should we worry about it?

    “Worry”?

    I’m curious.

    Also – for those of you blind as a bat like I am – view the paintings both with and without your glasses. I can’t really describe it well, but paintings from his later years become almost three dimensional floating worlds when you take your glasses off. There is absolutely no way of recreating that from a photo. You are seeing the world through another person’s eyes.

    …That’s very interesting… but… statistically, it’s highly unlikely that I have glasses for the exact same reason you do. You haven’t even told us if you’re near- or far-sighted!

  106. 106
    pHred

    @105 – True – Sorry. Monet is generally assumed to have been myopic and I was just assuming that was known as well as the cataract thing. I am very nearsighted, so what is described is something that people with blurry distance vision typically see. Monet apparently tried glasses once and said something like “I’m seeing like Bouguereau” (an artist the Impressionists ridiculed) and didn’t use them until after he had cataract surgery. The cataracts also blurred his vision but the research I have read suggest that while cataract surgery significantly altered his perception of color (including the UV thing) his “blurred” style was consistent over time, strongly suggesting myopia, though this is apparently heatedly debated, especially since there is this meme that Impressionism only existed because of a group of myopic painters (Degas was myopic, Mary Cassatt also had severe cataracts, Cézanne, Pissarro, Matisse and Rodin also are reported to have been myopic.

    Ugh – I have to get back to work. Hope that clear up my scattered comment

  107. 107
    pHred

    Now completely abandoning grammar and spelling. Sorry – it over 90 degrees here, humid as an armpit and I can’t think straight, nor apparently type. Apologies.

  108. 108
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Holms #100

    Not a valid comparison. Those other items are truly one of a kind, and provide / would have provided tremendous anthropological insight into the ancient civilisations.

    Is it your contention that these pieces were not one of a kind? Are you also under the impression that they can provide no historical or anthropological insight into the period in which they were painted?

  109. 109
    LykeX

    @Holms

    Those other items are truly one of a kind, and provide / would have provided tremendous anthropological insight into the ancient civilisations.

    Sure they are, NOW. Back then, the rosetta stone was simply a rock with law decrees inscribed. It was actually recycled as building material. It’s pure luck that it survived at all.

    You know why? Because the people back then thought it had no value and didn’t need to be preserved.

  110. 110
    consciousness razor

    He’s in a way asking why anybody else has a different opinion from his.

    What a weird interpretation. With few exceptions (which are beside the point), his incoherent bullshit wasn’t in the form of a question.

  111. 111
    cicely

    How many people today even know anything about the composition of those paints?

    David, speaking as a member of what is essentially a group of Mad History Groupies, you might be surprised!
    :)
    -

  112. 112
    David Marjanović

    Monet is generally assumed to have been myopic and I was just assuming that was known as well as the cataract thing.

    :-) I didn’t know about the cataract either! But thanks.

    What a weird interpretation.

    I am weird. I share his initial reaction to things like the average Picasso painting, including the one that was stolen and burnt: it’s all ugly and boring, it doesn’t make sense that people care so much, it looks like mere conforming to peer pressure in order to appear… what was the word used in comment 89… “civilized”.

    The difference appears to be that he doesn’t think farther than that. So I try to explain it to him from a point of view somewhere on the autism spectrum.

  113. 113
    David Marjanović

    Much of society in general, in fact, looks like nothing but peer pressure to me; and John has often made noises in the same direction.

  114. 114
    Acolyte of Sagan
    95.
    Acolyte of Sagan
    18 July 2013 at 9:06 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Saviour on a cycle! They’re only bloody pictures. Nobody died.
    Anyway, the way most galleries operate nowadays, the stolen pics were probably copies anyway.

    96.
    Thumper; Atheist mate
    18 July 2013 at 9:08 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    You can fuck off an’ all.
    Amazing what passes for civil, rational discourse nowadays. Is this really the way to respond to an alternative viewpoint?

    99.
    Emilie
    18 July 2013 at 9:33 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    <blockquote<Saviour on a cycle! They’re only bloody pictures. Nobody died.

    Loud and clear, good buddy. From now on, every time I feel depressed, disgusted or sad about anything (be it the loss of irreplaceable art, the destruction of an ecosystem, or any other issue that did not directly lead in someone dying), I’ll ask myself: “Did someone die?” If not, then I can just stop caring about it! and

    David Marjanović
    18 July 2013 at 10:08 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Anyway, the way most galleries operate nowadays, the stolen pics were probably copies anyway.

    You, too, have evidently failed to read the 2nd quote in the OP

    It’s OK to feel sad, but is the hyperbole over a painting really neccessary? And besides, most artists painted more tan one rendition of their works, so there’s still the copies of Waterloo Bridge in Ontario and St. Peterburg, and doubtless all the other ‘irreplaceable’ works will have copies sequestered away in galleries somewhere in the world.

    But really, can’t one have a different opinion without being told to ‘fuck off’?

  115. 115
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Wow, screwed up the blockquoting there! Only the following lines were mine own, as responses to the rest of my terribly formatted mess:

    Amazing what passes for civil, rational discourse nowadays. Is this really the way to respond to an alternative viewpoint?

    It’s OK to feel sad, but is the hyperbole over a painting really neccessary? And besides, most artists painted more tan one rendition of their works, so there’s still the copies of Waterloo Bridge in Ontario and St. Peterburg, and doubtless all the other ‘irreplaceable’ works will have copies sequestered away in galleries somewhere in the world.

    But really, can’t one have a different opinion without being told to ‘fuck off’?

  116. 116
    Inaji

    David M:

    Excuse me? How do you get lead, zinc and azurite into ash if not by burning pigments from that period? How many people today even know anything about the composition of those paints?

    Oh for…David, scores of people are highly knowledgeable on that score. Restoring old art works is a profession, you know. So is forging – that knowledge is crucial, and it’s not difficult to create the same types of pigment that old masters used. Many artists have that knowledge – I have some myself, although it’s not complete, as I don’t do much in oils and such. However, I often make my own pigments and I make my own gouache. None of that information is some sort of guarded secret.

  117. 117
    Glen Davidson

    Sure they are, NOW. Back then, the rosetta stone was simply a rock with law decrees inscribed. It was actually recycled as building material. It’s pure luck that it survived at all.

    You know why? Because the people back then thought it had no value and didn’t need to be preserved.

    It didn’t, really. It’s not the only such trilingual that’s ever been found. In fact, the text is so short that people had doubts about whether Champollion had really figured it out (hard to rigorously check his interpretation against the little script that he interpreted), and what settled it was another trilingual, as I recall, that translated nicely by his solution.

    But, without the Rosetta Stone it couldn’t have happened so quickly. Of course, if Egyptian Christians hadn’t preserved Coptic as a sacred language, it would have been much more trouble than it was, too.

    Glen Davidson

  118. 118
    whakkamol

    Shit. Burning priceless (as in cultural value) paintings to cover up some amateur heist is mind-numbingly stupid. I really hope those stolen paintings weren’t in that stove but the news isn’t optimistic.

    Anyway, for those who say a printed reproduction would do, it won’t. You really need to see the canvas in person. A stonkingly big one like an old Rubens or a JMW Turner work needs to be viewed up close to see the paint textures, brush strokes and little details, and also in entirety.

  119. 119
    Glen Davidson

    It’s OK to feel sad, but is the hyperbole over a painting really neccessary?

    There is still some of that sense that art becomes the religion of the secular. It’s not like in the past (as it seems from what I’ve read, anyhow), but to some degree, yes.

    I mean, a whole lot of paintings and other art have disappeared. Vermeers are among the most expensive because he didn’t paint all that many works, but then most of them disappeared. We get by. I’m not denying the loss, and that if, highly contrary to the odds, we found another ten Vermeers, that it would be wonderful. Still, it’s not that huge a deal to me, the past eats the present.

    The Library at Alexandria is one of those things that seems to bring unreasonable wishes that it would have survived or some such thing. No, the various times of destruction were terrible, yet almost inevitable. It just happens, the damned stuff was flammable, valuable, and people had all sorts of reasons to destroy and/or loot it, so there wasn’t much doubt that it was going away. The fact is that we certainly have more today because of the scholarship and copying done there (Athenaeus seems to have worked off of the catalog there, and he preserved a lot of data in doing it), and that is great, while the losses to time and barbarism–happen.

    Glen Davidson

  120. 120
    Inaji

    Acolyte of Sagan:

    And besides, most artists painted more tan one rendition of their works

    They did? You sure about that? Golly, you better alert the presses, that will seriously relieve the competition between museums in regard to getting certain pieces of art work.

    Here’s a thought: those of you who simply don’t give a shit about art should perhaps stop talking as if you know something about it.

  121. 121
    pHred

    @103 David Marjanović

    How many people today even know anything about the composition of those paints?

    Man – I really am braindead today to have missed this one! Lots of people! ME for instance. Good dog this is one of the things that I do as a geochemist. I work with art conservationists (some of the most ruthlessly scientific people you would ever care to meet) to identify materials even so far as working out general geosourcing (where the minerals/rocks/materials came from).

    One of the last projects I worked on was chemical analysis (XRF, XRD, Raman microscopy) of lapis lazuli samples from around the world to help work out a library for provenance of ultramarine pigments. Hell we are even hoping to work out some details of the Silk Road with this.

    A whole chapter in my book is devoted to this topic. Even if you don’t “like” the artwork – the materials themselves tell an amazing history story about the development of synthetic pigments and therefore chemistry, as well as trade or the travels of an artist.

    For an easy introduction to the topic the book Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay is a lovely read. For more meat the book series Pigment Compendium Set: Pigment Compendium: A Dictionary of Historical Pigments gets you started.

  122. 122
    Inaji

    Glen:

    There is still some of that sense that art becomes the religion of the secular.

    Or, it could just be that some people value it and appreciate it much more than you do. All of you arguing that it really doesn’t matter, it’s no big deal, sound like insufferable asses. Okay, I get it, you don’t much care, it’s a shrug, eh, it doesn’t matter in the larger scheme of things. Enough. How about you all stop being asses long enough to figure out that it does matter a lot to some of us?

    I will say, reading this thread is pretty nasty, being as I’m an artist. That’s my profession, it’s my passion. Nothing like people making me feel like I couldn’t possibly be more of a parasite and an utter waste of time. Thanks so much.

  123. 123
    Great American Satan

    Holms-

    You just pulled a classic troll move. Someone expresses a heartfelt sentiment about a subject and you did a driveby statement that “your feelings are wrong; I hate the things you like.” And when you get called a troll FOR UNEQUIVOCALLY TROLLING, you think I’m being a fuckwad for calling it out?

    I just gave you what you wanted: trollchow. Don’t act like you didn’t enjoy it, troll.

  124. 124
    pHred

    @120 Caine, Fleur du mal

    Agreed!

    It’s like that stupid congressman waving a cell phone around telling everyone that we don’t need satellites anymore now that we have these [cell phone] so lets go ahead an cut NASAs budget. ARGH!

  125. 125
    pHred

    @120 Caine, Fleur du mal

    Well – I appreciate artists (my mother is one) and you :)

  126. 126
    pHred

    oops that was actually at your 122 comment – still hot and stupid here.

  127. 127
    Glen Davidson
    How much of that knowledge could someone who doesn’t appreciate art actually extract?

    Uh, what do you mean by “appreciate”?

    Certainly not “find beautiful” as you egregiously misinterpret it. There’s a whole range of cognitive and aesthetic reactions covered by the term I used, and really, I don’t have to define terms normally used in these contexts. Understanding clearly wasn’t your goal.

    You definitely don’t need to find it beautiful to extract knowledge from them.

    I didn’t say otherwise, did I? That would be stupid, and you’re attacking your own stupid strawman. Much of the most important knowledge, however, requires an appreciation of the whole, an aesthetic experience. Oh hey, I did mention the “aesthetic whole,” you ripped a bit out of context and spun your own mindless tripe.

    Beauty, let alone public display, clearly wasn’t the purpose of cave paintings either.

    Gee, was there anything in what I wrote that suggested that it was?

    No.

    Glen Davidson

  128. 128
    Great American Satan

    As for dudes gettin’ sad that they made people mad… People were gathering to express sorrow about something that mattered to them, and you felt the need to come in and say “I don’t like it.” It’s like going to a funeral and saying “He wasn’t all that great. Don’t see what the big deal is.” If that’s true, then why didn’t you walk on by? I imagine the thought process is:

    I have a penis. Those people haven’t seen it yet. They probably don’t want to, but still…

    I could argue this topic, but like Caine, I’d be bringing more emotional investment to the table than y’all, so I would actually have feelings to get hurt about it. It would cost me more than it would cost you. I’m not gonna spend my effort anymore.

  129. 129
    Glen Davidson

    Or, it could just be that some people value it and appreciate it much more than you do.

    Oh really? What the fuck does that have to do with what I actually wrote?

    All of you arguing that it really doesn’t matter, it’s no big deal, sound like insufferable asses.

    OK, liar, where did I write anything like that?

    You just make up whatever you want and attack it.

    Okay, I get it, you don’t much care, it’s a shrug, eh, it doesn’t matter in the larger scheme of things.

    Bullshit, dishonest moron, I just recognize that things are destroyed. I do mind when art is lost, I do mind when fossils are lost, I do mind when letters, folk art, clothing, and tools are lost. I’m just not stupidly fixated on the loss of a single category like you are, narrow bigot.

    Enough. How about you all stop being asses long enough to figure out that it does matter a lot to some of us?

    I suppose the courses in western art that I took don’t count. No, they do, I simply don’t have to accept your unreasonable fixation on “Great Art” as if it were all that counted.

    I will say, reading this thread is pretty nasty, being as I’m an artist. That’s my profession, it’s my passion. Nothing like people making me feel like I couldn’t possibly be more of a parasite and an utter waste of time. Thanks so much.

    Only because you’re a stupid liar. I just said that things get destroyed, and we get by. So fucking what? That means I don’t care about the loss? Shut up and learn how to read properly, stupid fool.

    Glen Davidson

  130. 130
    Rey Fox

    Amazing what passes for civil, rational discourse nowadays. Is this really the way to respond to an alternative viewpoint?

    Do you jerkoffs all read off a script?

    Here’s a little tip for the clueless: When you happen upon a thread full of people lamenting the loss of some priceless artifacts, or heck, lamenting the loss of anything, don’t saunter in and declare their emotional response to be invalid and that whatever was lost was no big deal. It’s just rude, ya know? And it pretty much always betrays a fundamental ignorance about what’s being discussed.

    But really, can’t one have a different opinion without being told to ‘fuck off’?

    Jiminy criminy dude, they’re just words. Nobody hit you or nothin’. You’re getting all emotional and un-rational, better calm down.

  131. 131
    Inaji

    great1american1satan:

    I could argue this topic, but like Caine, I’d be bringing more emotional investment to the table than y’all, so I would actually have feelings to get hurt about it. It would cost me more than it would cost you. I’m not gonna spend my effort anymore.

    Yeah, I’m out too. Actually, I have paintings to work on! Time to get more tea and get my pigments ground and mixed.

  132. 132
    Inaji

    pHred:

    Well – I appreciate artists (my mother is one) and you :)

    Thanks. :) I appreciate the work you do, too. The history and inventiveness of various ingredients used to create art throughout the ages is absolutely fascinating, and it’s a special feeling when you take the time to create your own paints. Fascinatin’ stuff.

  133. 133
    Tethys

    This is tragic news. When greed and ignorance combine to destroy some of the more sublime human creations, the whole world loses something that is irreplacable.

    I have been fortunate enough to see some of these artists works in person, and to have some fine art training. I have seen hundreds of photographs and reproductions of art, but nothing even begins to approach the impact of the orginal painting!

    The Renoir series from Montmartre especially has an illuminated from within quality that no reproduction can convey. The first time I came face to face with this I literally gasped out loud with shock at how magical it was. My brain went completely “WOW man, Faaaaar out!”. It remains one of my favorite memories nearly thirty years later. Imma gonna go cry a bit now for this tragedy and all the Holm’ses of the world.

  134. 134
    Acolyte of Sagan

    130.
    Rey Fox
    18 July 2013 at 1:04 pm (UTC -5)

    Do you jerkoffs all read off a script?

    Here’s a little tip for the clueless: When you happen upon a thread full of people lamenting the loss of some priceless artifacts, or heck, lamenting the loss of anything, don’t saunter in and declare their emotional response to be invalid and that whatever was lost was no big deal. It’s just rude, ya know? And it pretty much always betrays a fundamental ignorance about what’s being discussed.

    But really, can’t one have a different opinion without being told to ‘fuck off’?

    Jiminy criminy dude, they’re just words. Nobody hit you or nothin’. You’re getting all emotional and un-rational, better calm down.

    Rey Fox, the word is ‘irrational’, ‘non-rational’ if you must, but never ‘un-rational’. They might be ‘just words’, dude, but you could at least get ‘em right otherwise they’re ‘non-words’.
    See, you’re not the only one that can do sarcasm. But seriously, ‘just words’ or not, do you really think ‘fuck off’ to be an acceptable form of discourse? If so, I feel really sorry for the people you interact with in real life. I can see it now; “Hey buddy, aren’t my new pants just swell?” “Well, they’re nice, but I wouldn’t have them myself.” “Go fuck yourself, buddy!”
    Sweet.
    Ans as for your “Here’s a little tip for the clueless: When you happen upon a thread full of people lamenting the loss of some priceless artifacts, or heck, lamenting the loss of anything, don’t saunter in and declare their emotional response to be invalid and that whatever was lost was no big deal. “, well, they were only words, buddy; you can’t have it both ways.

  135. 135
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Caine, Fleur du mal, we all care about different things to varying degrees, but my not understanding all the fuss over a few paintings has no bearing on my appreciation of an artist. Yes, it’s bad, but I really cannot see the tragedy over losing a picture unless it’s special to oneself; maybe painted by, or owned by oneself, or specifically painted for one, for example. As it happens, I do admire anybody with the talent to produce great art*, even if I don’t particularly like the art itself.
    Just to redress the balance a little, had this story been about Darwin’s original manuscript for On the species, or even my own treasured 1st editions of Sagan’s Cosmos and Comet, or my Bronowski’s Ascent of Man (1st ((eng.)) ed. again), then I’d be the one giving the rollicking to philistines such as I. I guess it has a lot with art being emotive, and therefore subjective and personal; nobody’s opinion is the ‘right’ one.
    I apologise if what I said upset you; that was not my intention.

    *And by that, I don’t mean people who buy a urinal from a DIY store, sign it, and call it art; nor do I consider a mock-up of a dirty bedroom to be art, because if it is then my teenage years, as were every teenager’s, were spent in an art installation; and if I want to see a dead fish or cow I’ll pop along to the fishmonger or butcher. But genuinely creative people I do admire.

  136. 136
    Tethys

    Yes, it’s bad, but I really cannot see the tragedy over losing a picture unless it’s special to oneself; maybe painted by, or owned by oneself, or specifically painted for one, for example.

    So by your narcissist method of rationalizing, if someone burned down everything in your entire town except your house, that wouldn’t be a tragedy.

    Ass.

  137. 137
    Ing

    Here’s a thought: those of you who simply don’t give a shit about art should perhaps stop talking as if you know something about it.

    This.

    It’s like there’s a competition to prove that skeptics are emotionally numb assholes

  138. 138
    Rey Fox

    Apparently sarcasm is beyond the ken of these Skeptical Ubermenschen as well.

  139. 139
    Rey Fox

    But seriously, ‘just words’ or not, do you really think ‘fuck off’ to be an acceptable form of discourse? If so, I feel really sorry for the people you interact with in real life. I can see it now; “Hey buddy, aren’t my new pants just swell?” “Well, they’re nice, but I wouldn’t have them myself.” “Go fuck yourself, buddy!”

    It’s weird that you should lack understanding of art since you seem to have such a rich fantasy life. It’s even weirder that you seem to think you deserve “civil discourse” after your rude and dismissive (and ignorant) initial comment.

  140. 140
    LykeX

    well, they were only words, buddy; you can’t have it both ways.

    Neither can you mister/ma’am “nobody died”.

  141. 141
    vaiyt

    @135:
    “Of course, if something of importance was lost – and by of importance I mean of importance to me – then maybe I could give a shit. Since it doesn’t, I can’t see why anyone else should care. What do you mean the world does not revolve around my navel?”

  142. 142
    Chris Clarke

    John Morales:

    (You don’t understand that my commenting is my art, do you?)

    My six-year-old could do a better job.

  143. 143
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    You really need to see the canvas in person. A stonkingly big one like an old Rubens or a JMW Turner work needs to be viewed up close to see the paint textures, brush strokes and little details, and also in entirety.

    Word. I’ll never forget taking a right out of the entrance of MoMA and running into Monet. 8 feet high and 50 feet wide. Shockingly awesome!

    And interestingly, on the same visit, Dali. Teeny tiny, but same thing.. :-)

  144. 144
    Acolyte of Sagan

    136.
    Tethys
    18 July 2013 at 3:17 pm (UTC -5)

    Yes, it’s bad, but I really cannot see the tragedy over losing a picture unless it’s special to oneself; maybe painted by, or owned by oneself, or specifically painted for one, for example.

    So by your narcissist method of rationalizing, if someone burned down everything in your entire town except your house, that wouldn’t be a tragedy.

    That’s some false equivalency right there. I’m talking about some paint on a canvas, not homes and businesses. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    140.
    LykeX
    18 July 2013 at 4:30 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    well, they were only words, buddy; you can’t have it both ways.

    Neither can you mister/ma’am “nobody died”.

    I don’t want it both ways, I was merely telling somebody else that they can’t say that I shouldn’t be offended by words, not when they’ve just berated me for writing words they found offensive.

    141.
    vaiyt
    18 July 2013 at 5:02 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    @135:
    “Of course, if something of importance was lost – and by of importance I mean of importance to me – then maybe I could give a shit. Since it doesn’t, I can’t see why anyone else should care. What do you mean the world does not revolve around my navel?”

    I didn’t say that no-one else should care, simply that I didn’t share the sense of loss. But then, if you read through the rest of the post that you are remarking on, you will realise that, on further consideration, and by imagining the loss to be about something I do care about, that I did understand the feelings of those who care about this kind of art, and apologised to the one person – Caine, Fleur de mal, personally offended by my earlier post (as opposed to those just looking for the chance to get a dig in.

  145. 145
    LykeX

    Since apparently my reference wasn’t clear:

    I don’t want it both ways…

    Yes, you do. You’re the one who complained about the lack of “civil, rational discourse” despite the fact that “nobody died”.

    on further consideration, and by imagining the loss to be about something I do care about, that I did understand the feelings of those who care about this kind of art

    Then I’m sure you can also see why your first comment:

    Saviour on a cycle! They’re only bloody pictures. Nobody died.

    Received such poor reviews. You might want to consider that the rough response was not entirely undeserved.

    and apologised to the one person – Caine, Fleur de mal, personally offended by my earlier post (as opposed to those just looking for the chance to get a dig in.

    And way to go, passing judgment on the legitimacy of other people’s feelings and responses.

    Again.

  146. 146
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    not homes and businesses

    In a different context, I thought this was rather beautiful (and a welcome addition to my commute).

    It’s been painted over, now.

  147. 147
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @ PHred

    Wow! Thanks for the pigment info and comments about medical conditions of artists appearing in their work. Another fascinating aspect is synesthesia manifesting itself in the use of colour. There was a theory a while back that Van Gogh had it. David Hockney had it but I am unsure if it affected his art though…

    @Caine

    I will say, reading this thread is pretty nasty, being as I’m an artist. That’s my profession, it’s my passion. Nothing like people making me feel like I couldn’t possibly be more of a parasite and an utter waste of time. Thanks so much.

    100% with you. I had it all the way through my school years and all they way through college. At least in college there was support from fellow students – the belittling attacks came from the other disciplines, mostly the engineering students.

    Seriously, y’all can fuck off to grey walls for all I care.

    Mixing pigments is hard core! Stay safe – I am reminded of the studies back in art college about acute and chronic toxicology of pigments. Even just working with chalk pastels is nasty because of the dust.

    Would love to see your work! :)

  148. 148
    gravityisjustatheory

    To all the people saying “nobody died/got hurt” / “it’s not a crime against humanity because no humans were harmed”, etc:

    I once saw an interview with an old Bosnian man lamenting the destruction of the old Mostar Bridge (Stari Most).

    I can’t remember his exact words, but the essence was: “Everyone dies eventually. In a hundred years, none of us will be here. But things like the bridge, that lasted for generations, were what linked us together as a people and culture”.

    And that is why the destruction of art and artefacts is a tragedy, and why it does harm “humanity” (because the total culture of humanity is depleted). (And, unfortunately, is exactly the reason why some people destroy art – including the Stari Most and the Bamiyan Buddhas).

    (Also, to follow from what What a Maroon said, not only have the Philistines been given an unfair press, but so have the Vandals).

  149. 149
    Chris Clarke

    Acolyte of Sagan (who apparently hasn’t read anything Sagan ever wrote on art):

    apologised to the one person – Caine, Fleur de mal, personally offended by my earlier post (as opposed to those just looking for the chance to get a dig in.

    Someone obviously assumes s/he’s a fucking telepath.

    Seriously. the level of anti-intellectualism being displayed in this thread by Acolyte, Morales and others is pretty fucking galling. That they’re engaging in their aggressive defense of their own apathetic ignorance with no apparent* ironic intent makes it all the worse.

    *I say apparent because I have no magic insight into how they actually feel, and all I have to go by is their words. See how that works, Acolyte?

  150. 150
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Apparently the value to humanity should be trumped by the personal value systems of some of the commenters here.

  151. 151
    Acolyte of Sagan

    LykeX
    18 July 2013 at 6:20 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Since apparently my reference wasn’t clear:

    I don’t want it both ways…

    Yes, you do. You’re the one who complained about the lack of “civil, rational discourse” despite the fact that “nobody died”.
    Well, if you define ‘nobody died’ as either irrational or uncivil then we must use completely different dictionaries. I may have been succinct, maybe even at the terse end of succinct, but certainly not irrational or uncivil.

    And way to go, passing judgment on the legitimacy of other people’s feelings and responses.

    Because Caine was the only one to actually bother to explain why I offended her, with the rest just pitching in to ‘how dare you, this is art’ type arguments without bothering to say why that should matter, it was Caine who received my apology.
    This is how it went:
    This is art.
    So what?
    It’s irreplaceable.
    So what?
    It’s Monet.
    So what?
    I’m an artist, I care about art, I appreciate the difficulty behind creating art, it is my profession and hearing it insulted insults me personally.
    You’re right. I apologise.

    146.
    cm’s changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming); now that I do like.

  152. 152
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    A personal disclosure: I have had my work defaced and destroyed in the past so I am not without emotional baggage on this topic. My work had no cultural or historical importance, but I still learnt a bit about the mindsets of those who could do such a thing and the power of others as enablers.

  153. 153
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Chris, of course I’ve read Sagan’s views on art. Just because I admire the man doesn’t mean I have to agree with every single thing he ever said.

    Someone obviously assumes s/he’s a fucking telepath.

    Did you figure that out telepathically. This could be a circular argument if ever there was one.

    Ok, on top of my apology to Caine, I’m sorry that I don’t share your sense of loss. Having thought about it I can kind of understand it, but I don’t share it on this occasion.

  154. 154
    Tethys

    That’s some false equivalency right there. I’m talking about some paint on a canvas, not homes and businesses. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    It’s hyperbole applied to your statement that only your personal art/ possessions have importance.

    Why are you bothered by it? Its not like anyone died.

  155. 155
    ChasCPeterson

    Nothing lasts.
    Art is impermanent if not ephemeral.
    Enjoy it while you can.

  156. 156
    Chris Clarke

    Did you figure that out telepathically.

    I pretty much went by your claim that you knew who was really upset. If you want to rules-lawyer your way out of it instead of admitting you don’t actually know who’s upset about this, be my guest.

  157. 157
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    with the rest just pitching in to ‘how dare you, this is art’ type arguments without bothering to say why that should matter

    Bullshit. You either have not read all the comments, or not understood the comments. Or you are a liar.

    Commenters up-thread have explained at length why art can be important beyond if you just ‘like it or not’… Or ‘how dare you, this is art’.

    Or are you just defining importance for everyone as just what’s important to you? Because that seems to be the thrust of most of the ‘I don’t care about art’ comments here.

    Yeah, we get it: you don’t fucking care. So please explain why we should give a fuck about your opinions here.

  158. 158
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Here’s the thing about art (also inventions that change the way we live, a truly elegant proof, people that run back into a burning building, etc) for me: humanity has done nothing in my 35 years to endear itself to me. I’ve had a shitty life, starting well before I could have had any input, and continuing in ways that defy statistical distribution. I just finished a sexual harassment case in which the college I work for managed to get their own evidence dismissed and convinced a bunch of laypersons that because everyone is over 18, it doesn’t matter what a professor does to a student.

    Artworks, inventions, proofs, the willingness of people to endanger themselves to save others, etc–without these things, there wouldn’t be much about humanity I could feel good about. So when some asshole gropes me, I get treated like an idiot, someone random goes off on me about some idiosyncratic behavior I don’t know about and can’t help, my paperwork gets lost, something breaks that I can’t afford to fix and/or I look at my accomplishments so far and want something more, I have something beautiful to remind me of loveliness and to make me cautiously hopeful that we won’t shit ourselves to death on this planet, as a species.

    And you know, I don’t care if some guy who has no attachment to art doesn’t think it matters if someone destroys one of the few things people produce that gives something back to everyone else. Your aesthetic judgement does not diminish the grief of knowing that something has been lost for those of us that do appreciate pretty things.

  159. 159
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @mouthyb
    Oh! I am so saddened to hear about your case. That’s awful.

    I can’t draw when I am depressed but the works of others can help drag me out of the black hole. A world full of beautiful things and the love of my wife keep me going.

  160. 160
    Inaji

    gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet:

    Mixing pigments is hard core! Stay safe – I am reminded of the studies back in art college about acute and chronic toxicology of pigments. Even just working with chalk pastels is nasty because of the dust.

    Oh, a whole bunch of artists mix their own! It’s a better option than paying 17 plus dollars for an 8 ml tube of paint. It’s also very satisfying. I am seriously careful, and I always wear safety gear.

    Would love to see your work! :)

    I have my ‘gonna take me fucking forever to do this’ piece here (a venture into textiles) and I’m trying to figure out exactly what I’m going to do with a gorgeous stainless steel weave Mister brought home for me the other day. I think I know, but I’m not sure. That’s here.

  161. 161
    Inaji

    Chris:

    Seriously. the level of anti-intellectualism being displayed in this thread by Acolyte, Morales and others is pretty fucking galling. That they’re engaging in their aggressive defense of their own apathetic ignorance with no apparent* ironic intent makes it all the worse.

    Yes. The ignorance on display is profound. I seriously wish those who are completely clueless about art would do the best thing they could possibly do, which would be to shut the fuck up.

  162. 162
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @Caine

    Ooh! I like!

    The bold red and black reminds me of Motomichi Nakamura – he can be fun and disturbing.

    I was hopeless at textiles lol

  163. 163
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Acolyte of Sagan

    146.
    cm’s changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming); now that I do like.

    It’s a London thing I have going on, howculture is destroyed.

    The work was Whiteread’s most ambitious exploration to date of the utterly familiar, yet almost entirely overlooked. And within the apparently blank concrete surface were exposed the affecting remnants of lives lived. Whiteread found herself being thanked by two former residents of the demolished terrace for “making their memories real”.

    “People still talk to me a lot about House,” she says today. “It still seems to be incredibly evocative and people can bring it up in their mind’s eye. That’s obviously very pleasing, but I also know that part of it is undoubtedly to do with the way it was destroyed.”

    For all the praise House attracted, it was also a lightning conductor for varying degrees of opportunistic political and artistic objection. Unofficial laureate of east London Iain Sinclair captured well the “freakish alliance of extremes” that eventually coalesced in opposition: “Come in the K Foundation, Brian Sewell, Stewart Home, Councillor Eric Flounders. Come in Class War, the BNP, and the M11 protest lobby.” On the very day of the Turner prize announcement, a sub-committee of the local authority made the decision that the lease should not be renewed, and so in January 1994, less than four months after its completion, House was demolished.

  164. 164
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    gobi: The case ended, finally, last year. Unfortunately, I’m still dealing with the fallout (misanthropy, depression, sense of hopelessness, ennui, etc.) I hear it’s made me even more surly than usual, and I’m known for my smoldering (constant) rage.

    The point about art being a gift humans give humanity stands: it’s a way people feel better about themselves and the species.

    And thank you.

  165. 165
    LykeX

    @Acolyte of Sagan

    Well, if you define ‘nobody died’ as either irrational or uncivil then we must use completely different dictionaries. I may have been succinct, maybe even at the terse end of succinct, but certainly not irrational or uncivil.

    Jesus Fucking Christ, are you clueless. I’m referring to the fact that lack of “civil, rational discourse” doesn’t kill anyone. If they’re “only words”, then you don’t get to complain about uncivil discourse.

    If words are important, as your reference to civil discourse indicates, then your original dismissal of other people’s concerns is a valid target for ire. Telling you to “fuck off”, on account of your words, is perfectly reasonable. If words aren’t important (because “nobody died”, get it?) then your complaints about uncivil discourse are irrelevant.

    You got upset over how people spoke to you, but for some reason, you don’t seem to think people are entitled to be upset over how you spoke. That’s what I’m referring to.

    Because Caine was the only one to actually bother to explain why I offended her, with the rest just pitching in to ‘how dare you, this is art’ type arguments without bothering to say why that should matter, it was Caine who received my apology.

    That’s not what you said. You implied that people weren’t genuinely offended, but only pretended to be. You didn’t address particular arguments made; you addressed intent.
    If you didn’t mean to do so, fine, but since I’m not a mind-reader, I could only go by what you actually said and what you said was that only one person, Caine, was personally offended.

    Also, other arguments have been made. Apparently, you haven’t bothered to read them. Personally, I’ve argued about the information and future research opportunities that have been lost, as well as the general historical value of the objects, comparing them to other such artifacts.

    You can agree or disagree with my arguments; you can argue against them, if you wish, but don’t fucking pretend they don’t exist.

    Ok, on top of my apology to Caine, I’m sorry that I don’t share your sense of loss

    Don’t be. Be sorry that you felt the need to come in this thread and talk about it. There are plenty of things that I don’t care about. I just don’t feel the need to tell the people who do care.

    @Chas

    Nothing lasts.
    Art is impermanent if not ephemeral.
    Enjoy it while you can.

    All the more reason to preserve it as best we can. Art will be lost no matter what we do. There’s no reason for us to actively destroy it.

  166. 166
    Inaji

    Gobi:

    Ooh! I like!

    The bold red and black reminds me of Motomichi Nakamura – he can be fun and disturbing.

    Wow, that’s quite the compliment, thank you!

    I was hopeless at textiles lol

    I’m good with them, but holy rats, time consuming doesn’t even begin to cover it.

  167. 167
    cm's changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming)

    Nothing lasts.
    Art is impermanent if not ephemeral.
    Enjoy it while you can.

    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    Now, that’s art that’s harder to destroy …

  168. 168
    cicely

    Nothing lasts.
    Art is impermanent if not ephemeral.
    Enjoy it while you can.

    And if some asswipe destroys it…nobody can, ever again.
    -
    mouthyb: I’m sorry. *non-intrusive gesture of support*
    -

  169. 169
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    He’s in a way asking why anybody else has a different opinion from his.

    I guess, but instead of doing it in a way that gets everyone mad at him and yelling, why not just direct a comment to one of the people whose perspectives he doesn’t understand and ask them to explain why they feel…

    ….oh, right.

  170. 170
    chigau (違う)

    “My six-year-old could do a better job.”
    heh heh heh heh
    snap

  171. 171
    Rey Fox

    who apparently hasn’t read anything Sagan ever wrote on art

    I’ve found that a good rule of thumb is that anyone with any form of “skeptic” or “reason” or the name of any luminary in that field in their handle is almost always an insufferable wanker with a bad case of Dunning-Kruger. Or in other words, the annoying straw atheist that we all have to hear about from all our non-atheist friends.

  172. 172
    Anri

    Holms:

    Uniqueness raised above all other considerations as the ultimate virtue? What utter waffle.

    It wasn’t.

    But that’s ok, we can’t all be good at understanding. You’ve got talents of some sort, I feel certain.

  173. 173
    Rutee Katreya

    I’ve found that a good rule of thumb is that anyone with any form of “skeptic” or “reason” or the name of any luminary in that field in their handle is almost always an insufferable wanker with a bad case of Dunning-Kruger. Or in other words, the annoying straw atheist that we all have to hear about from all our non-atheist friends.

    Don’t underestimate the ability of the religious to create those ‘straw-atheists’ in their minds… then again you probably don’t.

    Can you Vulcan Wannabes not have your contests near the rest of us? Maybe make a forum for the purpose of out-vulcanning each other? It’d certainly have less of that emotional nonsense!

  174. 174
    Rutee Katreya

    Just… ugh… it was.. in a museum. Supposed to be stored away for posterity. S’not like the musem was using it to bully folks or distort history… just… on display. Gao.

  175. 175
    vaiyt

    Acolyte of Sagan:

    I didn’t say that no-one else should care, simply that I didn’t share the sense of loss.

    You weren’t talking just about yourself, bucko – you said you couldn’t understand why anyone else cared. You further added the qualifier that it didn’t make sense (for anyone) to care unless the art in question was personally relevant to oneself.

    That, of course, after your opening post where you dismissed everyone’s concerns with a sweeping “nobody died!”. No shit, asshole. Talk about hyperbole and drama, when you start with such an overblown analogy.

  176. 176
    vaiyt

    Who’s the god of broken HTML, anyway? I know Tpyos and Borkquote (or Quorkbote), have we settled on a name for that one?

  177. 177
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @Caine

    “Wow, that’s quite the compliment, thank you!”

    Compliment intended! I *love* Motomichi’s works – here is a video he did for The Knife (warning! electronic music ahead :-) ). The context for the song and video is apparently about the social issues of welfare in Sweden…
    …or not. lol

  178. 178
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Video might not be work safe…

  179. 179
    rq

    1) Thanks to all the art-appreciators/creators on this thread. I’m not much of an artist myself, but I think what helps (esp. in this case) is a course in art history I had in high school (yeah, that long ago!), with a rather large unit on the Impressionists. Just learning about their movement, how it started, the point of it adds value to their paintings. They were quite subversive for their time, going against conventional schools of art and all that… That’s pretty valuable – a point in time: see, this is where things changed. This is where someone decided we need to see differently.

    2) gravityisjustatheory @148 – thanks for that quote, it pretty much sums up all of my feelings for this kind of art and the cave paintings at Lascaux (which, cicely, have some of the Nicest Horses on Display in History EVER).

    3) pHred – apparently, you do some awesome and amazing and interesting work with some incredible scientists. You say you have a book? (And thanks for the suggestions already out there.)

    4) Caine – Love your work. Just love it.

  180. 180
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @ rq

    Art history can get pretty dry at times. If you want to learn about early 20th century art a good way is to start with the artists themselves. A lot of them were pretty mixed up dilettantes with interesting and sometimes tragic lives.

    A fun book I recently read was about the history of absinthe and its influence on artists, writers and poets. A really good introduction to the society where the art was created! ( mostly Paris in this case).

    It was called ‘Hideous Absinthe: A history of the devil in a bottle’

  181. 181
    rq

    gobi
    Oh I know it can get pretty dry, which is why I liked my high school class, because it did exactly what you recommend – start with the artists, short bios (tragedies and all), etc., and included the usual memorization of title-artist-year-theme stuff that still lets me recognize certain (of the more obvious) artists. Some of the time, at least. What had an impact on my worldview, though, was discovering that a lot of famous artists were actually very highly and classically trained. Growing up, I’d been under the impression that to be an artist, a person would shun art school and be rejected by society and be mostly self-taught (looking back, I’m not sure how I got that idea…), and so I was shocked (shocked!), on doing a bio of Velasquez (he paints nice horses, among other things), that he was formally trained, highly regarded, and all that other stuff I had rejected for ‘real artists’. I know it’s an odd sort of turning point, but it was. [/pointless anecdote]
    And I will put that book on my list, because it certainly sounds very intriguing! Absinthe, hmmm?

  182. 182
    Acolyte of Sagan

    154.
    Tethys
    18 July 2013 at 7:03 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    That’s some false equivalency right there. I’m talking about some paint on a canvas, not homes and businesses. It’s all a matter of perspective.

    It’s hyperbole applied to your statement that only your personal art/ possessions have importance

    Oh for fuck sake, that is NOT what I said and you know it. What I said – for the hard of understanding among you – is that I did not see immediately why people were so upset until I applied the story to something that does matter to me. I didn’t say that only the things I care about have importance, just that thinking about what’s important to me helped me understand the emotions of those who hold other things in importance. So stop being dishonest.

    161.
    Caine, Fleur du mal
    18 July 2013 at 7:46 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Yes. The ignorance on display is profound. I seriously wish those who are completely clueless about art would do the best thing they could possibly do, which would be to shut the fuck up.

    An apology not enough for you, Caine? Well here’s another; I’m sorry that I was raised in poverty and missed the opportunity to go to university to study the minutae of art; I’m sorry that not sharing either your own pivilege or your own interests makes me an ignorant philistine; and I’m sorry that once I had lifted myself above poverty I wasted whatever resources I had on raising a family rather than studying art.
    And I’m so fucking sorry for having a contrary opinion of paint on canvas; I’m so fucking sorry for not realising that ‘freethought’ actually meant being free to think as long as I’m thinking the same as the rest of you; I’m so fucking sorry that so many of you like to twist words just for the sake of an argument; and I’m ever so fucking sorry that none of you high-brow intellectuals recognise an apology when you see one.

  183. 183
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Acolyte of Sagan

    Amazing what passes for civil, rational discourse nowadays. Is this really the way to respond to an alternative viewpoint?

    To a valid alternative viewpoint? No, probably not. To someone strolling into a conversation and essentially declaring “I don’t care about this, so none of you should either”? I think “Fuck off” is a perfectly rational response. Probably not civil, but I’m not sure “They’re only bloody pictures[;] Nobody died” deserves a civil response.

  184. 184
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    “and I’m ever so fucking sorry that none of you high-brow intellectuals recognise an apology when you see one.”

    High-brow? The wife and I are watching Hudson Hawke right now… Again.

  185. 185
    rq

    gobi
    [anecdote] The first time Husband saw that movie, it was on a Soviet TV with the wrong colour balance, so for a long time, he was convinced that spaghetti sauce was blue. [/anecdote]

  186. 186
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @ rq

    Please keep with the anecdotes!

  187. 187
    LykeX

    First, what do you mean “none of you”? You very explicitly only apologized to Caine. You went out of your way to point out that the apology didn’t cover anyone else.

    Second, I’ve never studied art, either. You know what I did do? Visit the library, for free. Concerning museums YMMV, but in my area there are several museums, both art and history, that have free admittance, at least on some days.

    Granted, free time might also be a problem if you’re poor, but pretending like this is a distinction between the poor and the wealthy university snobs is just plain disingenuous. My grandmother worked as a cleaning lady since she was a teenager, yet she still found time to instill an appreciation of the arts to her children, which was then passed on to me. Being rich or highly educated is not a precondition for appreciating art.

    I’m sorry that once I had lifted myself above poverty I wasted whatever resources I had on raising a family rather than studying art.

    No need to be sorry. That’s a perfectly legitimate choice of priorities. There are plenty of things that I don’t spend my time on. Nobody has time for everything.
    What you should feel sorry about is your need to express your opinion on a subject you admittedly know nothing about. That’s the part that has people getting annoyed with you.

    Third, I’m sorry for not realizing that “freethought” actually meant not being allowed to disagree with anyone or criticizing them for what they actually say. See, you’re allowed to disagree with us, but the flipside of that is that we’re allowed to disagree with you, too.

  188. 188
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Caine #160

    Wow Caine, that’s pretty good! I like the work you’ve done for the metal weave, and the textile dragon looks like it’s coming along nicely :) I’ve never tried embroidery, it must be very time consuming?

    I had a quick glance through some other posts; I particularly like the tree displayed under the post “Time to Paint” (the tree, skull and wings look embroidered?). I like the piece entitled “Stress” too. I like the way you’ve drawn the skull, it looks like it’s melting under the strain of it all.

  189. 189
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Gobi’s #177

    Ye Gods, that was creepy :) I like it!

  190. 190
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    @ Acolyte of Sagan

    “And I’m so fucking sorry for having a contrary opinion of paint on canvas”

    …and you do it again!

    …and please do not presume that everyone other than you is a privileged, high brow intellectual.

  191. 191
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    We are waaay past the point where this should have been taken to thunderdome…

  192. 192
    PZ Myers

    I never studied art, either. You don’t need to — walk into a museum.

    I still remember being a bit oblivious and just walking into the National Portrait Gallery, and wandering off in a random direction, turning a corner, and there was this big canvas of two smiling Spanish women leaning out of a window, and just being blown away. It was color and texture and detail, and the realization that with just a few strokes the artist had captured joy. I probably spent an hour just staring at it. And then I moved on and there was another completely different painting, and another and another.

    My whole afternoon was shot. I probably got about fifty feet in. We’re visual animals with complex brains –we have the capacity to drink up beauty with our eyes, no special instruction required.

  193. 193
    carlie

    Art history can get pretty dry at times. If you want to learn about early 20th century art a good way is to start with the artists themselves.

    We were fortunate to have a fantastic art teacher in my children’s elementary school, and that’s exactly what she did. They’d learn about who an artist was, and why they painted the way they did, and then try to do a replica of the artist’s style. They’d come home with these stories and I’d have to backtrack and google to figure out who they were learning about. “There’s this woman and she got into an accident when she was little and she painted her dreams and they had lots of colors!” …..um….. Frieda Kahlo!

  194. 194
    rq

    carlie
    That’s awesome! :D
    (Sounds like my art class, but I had it in high school. So I guess that means it’s never too early or too late to have one’s curiosity and interest awakened.)

  195. 195
    Acolyte of Sagan

    192.
    PZ Myers
    19 July 2013 at 6:34 am (UTC -5) Link to this comment
    I never studied art, either. You don’t need to — walk into a museum.

    I walked into a public library instead – a real library of the kind we had in the olden days when the world was in black and white (and please, please don’t anybody even think about mis-interpreting that) rather than the over-lit, computer-filled, noisy places that pass for libraries nowadays – and fell in love with books to the extent that I now have a personal collection of over 2000 of them. I simply don’t get the same feelings about paintings that I do about books despite visiting many art galleries and poring over my own books on art and art history in an attempt to understand the subject, so that’s obviously a blind-spot of mine. The thing is, I can appreciate the work that goes into painting a great picture even if I don’t always appreciate the pictures themselves; I can admire the skills of those that can paint, I just can’t get emotionally involved with it, but that’s probably because art is so subjective – I can appreciate a good picture, but to me personally it is just a picture.
    I think it’s more than possible to appreciate the work that goes into making something without actually liking the thing itself; an example being the 18thC. Bible I own. I can appreciate the skill that went into making the wonderfully tooled leather cover, the still-bright gilding and bindings that are as strong and secure as they were 250-odd years ago; I marvel at the incredible illuminated lettering within the book and the hand-tinted copper-plate illustrations; I don’t appreciate what the book itself is saying but I would be upset to see it go up in flames because I appreciate the work that make it an object of beauty in my eyes, and I didn’t understand the reaction I got until I made the comparison.

    I could go on for ever making comparisons like the above; I could go into detail about my studio pottery collection, or discuss at length why Royal Worcester porcelain leaves me cold despite an appreciation of the talents of those who made it, or why I value the pictures my grandsons draw for me more than I do the works of the masters, but I won’t.

    In short, I apologise for any upset I’ve caused.

  196. 196
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Acolyte

    I think you get why you upset people, so thanks.

  197. 197
    Inaji

    rq, thanks! About Lascaux, the horses – oh yes. When we watched a documentary on Lascaux, I couldn’t get enough of those horses and was annoying the hell out of Mister by not shutting up about them, or the artist that did them. There was incredible talent there, it shone from the rock.

    Thumper:

    I’ve never tried embroidery, it must be very time consuming?

    Depends on what you’re doing. Some stuff goes very quickly, other stuff, not so much. A dense, 30″ x 40″ piece does not go quickly, to say the least. :)

    I particularly like the tree displayed under the post “Time to Paint” (the tree, skull and wings look embroidered?).

    Thanks. The tree, skull and feathers are embroidered, yes. The background is being done in acrylics.

  198. 198
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Well, if you define ‘nobody died’ as either irrational or uncivil then we must use completely different dictionaries. I may have been succinct, maybe even at the terse end of succinct, but certainly not irrational or uncivil.

    Contemptuous and unprovoked dismissal of the sincere feelings of others is a HELL of a lot less civil than a thus-provoked usage of “fuck.” What the FUCK is wrong with you that you don’t see that?

  199. 199
    Inaji

    Acolyte of Sagan:

    I could go on for ever making comparisons like the above;

    And therein lies the problem, not just with you, but with Holms, John Morales, Glen Davidson and others. All of you operated from the “it’s all about meeee!” platform – it was about what you like or dislike, about what moved you or didn’t move you, about what gave you a raging brainer or killed the possibility of a raging brainer.

    What none of you got in the first place, and should have, is that This. Thread. Was. Not. About. You. Each one of you waltzed into a thread where it was obvious people were affected and grieving and made it all about you. The arrogant, dismissive, fetid shit you all poured forth was in service of your own egos and had no place in this thread. Once again, if you don’t give a shit about something, why bother to say as much in a room full of grief stricken people?

    Granted, at least the others had the grace to shut the fuck up and leave the thread, with the exception of you, who seemed to feel it necessary to continue shitting all over the place. I realize you want a pat on the head and a cookie for your ‘apology’, but you won’t get either from me. With every post, you continued to dismiss others, while insisting on thrusting your particular viewpoint into the spotlight. You’ve just done it again. It’s all about you, ennit? Personally, I don’t give a shit about you do or don’t find beautiful or touching. It’s galling that you even bother to detail so much of it, given your behaviour towards people in this thread, attempting to express their feelings of connection and loss.

  200. 200
    Chris Clarke

    Acolyte of Sagan:

    I’m sorry that I was raised in poverty and missed the opportunity to go to university to study the minutae of art;

    I ate out of dumpsters in my teens. I spent my (late) twenties working minimum wage jobs. It’s fine to not be interested in art, but your charge that anyone who is is privileged… well, it just means you’ve never talked to any actual artists.

  201. 201
    Chris Clarke

    I’m ever so fucking sorry that none of you high-brow intellectuals recognise an apology when you see one.

    That is so getting bronzed and displayed on the Douchebag Trophy Wall.

  202. 202
    Inaji

    Chris:

    well, it just means you’ve never talked to any actual artists.

    Yeah. I don’t have a swimming pool of money over here.

  203. 203
    Chris Clarke

    Caine:

    Yeah. I don’t have a swimming pool of money over here.

    Wait, I’m confused. What do you dive into Scrooge-McDuck-style, then?

  204. 204
    cicely

    Rats.
     
    She dives into a rat-pile.
    :D
    -

  205. 205
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Acolyte of Sagan:

    And I was homeless in my teens, my twenties and once in my thirties. I’ve never made more than $26k in my life, I’ve been a single parent on and off since I was 18 and I’m in debt up to my eyeballs, coincidentally the thing I can use to appreciate pretty things. The internet connection helps, as does the public library. You don’t want to look at art, okay, but appreciating art is something people do all the damn time without piles of money or art school.

    I’ll concede the intellectual (thank you). I’ll even sort-of concede high brow, my taste in movies and books aside–gilt by association. But you don’t need lots of money for that.

  206. 206
    Inaji

    Chris:

    Wait, I’m confused. What do you dive into Scrooge-McDuck-style, then?

    Paint, of course.
     
    And rats.

  207. 207
    cicely

    And paint-covered rats?
    -

  208. 208
    Glen Davidson

    And therein lies the problem, not just with you, but with Holms, John Morales, Glen Davidson and others. All of you operated from the “it’s all about meeee!” platform – it was about what you like or dislike, about what moved you or didn’t move you, about what gave you a raging brainer or killed the possibility of a raging brainer.

    Lying again, dumbfuck. As typical, no quotes, no evidence, since you lack any evidence for your bald-faced lies and rank stupidity. Let’s see, I wrote:

    I’m not denying the loss, and that if, highly contrary to the odds, we found another ten Vermeers, that it would be wonderful. Still, it’s not that huge a deal to me, the past eats the present.

    The Library at Alexandria is one of those things that seems to bring unreasonable wishes that it would have survived or some such thing. No, the various times of destruction were terrible, yet almost inevitable. It just happens, the damned stuff was flammable, valuable, and people had all sorts of reasons to destroy and/or loot it, so there wasn’t much doubt that it was going away. The fact is that we certainly have more today because of the scholarship and copying done there (Athenaeus seems to have worked off of the catalog there, and he preserved a lot of data in doing it), and that is great, while the losses to time and barbarism–happen.

    I had written this:

    Have you seen a real painting? The difference in effect between a photo and a painting can be enormous, especially for Impressionism.

    Now there would be something to be said for having skilled artists try to come up with acceptable copies from the originals before they are possibly destroyed. That might preserve most of what was valued in the painting (although what’s underneath might be considered important as well), but you don’t just recreate a painting from photos.

    And this:

    How much of that knowledge could someone who doesn’t appreciate art actually extract? The art on the cave walls is not pixels, or bits of data, it’s a contextual whole, sometimes making use of the 3-D structure of the rock to produce its effects. To get much of the information, you have to appreciate the art.

    I’m not overly concerned about anyone not caring a great deal about art. If it’s not your thing, well, there you are. But it’s no good supposing that you’re going to get the information conveyed by the art without valuing the art as at least an aesthetic whole. That said, there’s a whole lot that we don’t know about cave art in any case, we being so remote from their societies, yet we’d know even less without the aesthetic aspect being appreciated today.

    and then argued with David M., who just made up a bunch of shit that he ascribed to me in order to shoot it down, pointing out that, no, I didn’t say you can’t get information from paintings without art appreciation (the misrepresentation was as pointless as it was contrary to what I’d written), and added:

    Much of the most important knowledge, however, requires an appreciation of the whole, an aesthetic experience.

    So clearly you not only lied without any compunction, you lied highly contrary to what I’d written. All you do now is lie some more, pervert.

    That it’s all about you, without any regard for truth, is evident.

    You’re loathsome.

    Glen Davidson

  209. 209
    Glen Davidson

    By the way, I know that a lot of Caine’s perversely dishonest attack has to do with what Acolyte had written previous to anything I’d noticed from AoS, and I’d have been reluctant to respond as I did had I known that such a “philistine” attitude toward art had been displayed.

    That’s as it is, however, it isn’t always apparent that there is something else going on, and it justifies the extremely dishonest and false attack of Caine not in the least. The liar equates what I wrote, which was far more nuanced and informative than any of her vapid shit she writes, with the stupid anti-intellectualism of Morales, with whom I disagreed. Neither learning nor even thinking to become slightly decent, she just piles on more of her extreme dishonesty.

    Glen Davidson

  210. 210
    Inaji

    Cicely:

    And paint-covered rats?

    If they have any say in it, yes. Rats love paint.

  211. 211
    Chris Clarke

    Glen Davidson, you made some excellent points earlier in the thread, and for what it’s worth I wholly agree that your statements were diametrically opposed to those by Morales, Holms and AoS, and it distresses me to see you escalate this wildly into vitriol. Especially vitriol along the lines of “pervert,” which carries considerable splash damage.

    Can we back this up and try for a more amicable resolution, agreement to disagree, or something along those lines? You and Caine both made important points that don’t seem to me to conflict except where it got personal.

  212. 212
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Can we back this up and try for a more amicable resolution, agreement to disagree, or something along those lines?

    Well, when I realised I was being an insensitive arse I tried to do just that here

    Just to redress the balance a little, had this story been about Darwin’s original manuscript for On the species, or even my own treasured 1st editions of Sagan’s Cosmos and Comet, or my Bronowski’s Ascent of Man (1st ((eng.)) ed. again), then I’d be the one giving the rollicking to philistines such as I. I guess it has a lot with art being emotive, and therefore subjective and personal; nobody’s opinion is the ‘right’ one.
    I apologise if what I said upset you; that was not my intention.

    but still got hammered, so tried again here

    Because Caine was the only one to actually bother to explain why I offended her, with the rest just pitching in to ‘how dare you, this is art’ type arguments without bothering to say why that should matter, it was Caine who received my apology.
    This is how it went:
    This is art.
    So what?
    It’s irreplaceable.
    So what?
    It’s Monet.
    So what?
    I’m an artist, I care about art, I appreciate the difficulty behind creating art, it is my profession and hearing it insulted insults me personally.
    You’re right. I apologise.

    and here

    Ok, on top of my apology to Caine, I’m sorry that I don’t share your sense of loss. Having thought about it I can kind of understand it, but I don’t share it on this occasion.

    and guess what, still hammered, so I left the longer post @195 to try to explain in better detail that, by seeing things from a different perspective I understood why I’d upset people; these were all sincere apologies but, Thumper; Atheist mate aside (thank you, by the way) the shit-flinging continued. Is it any wonder I lapsed back into sarcasm?
    So just what does one have to do to actually get an apology accepted around here? I’m not after a biscuit or a pat on the back or a belly-rub, I’m just trying to say ‘sorry’.

    However, one who doesn’t get an apology is

    171.
    Rey Fox
    18 July 2013 at 9:57 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment
    I’ve found that a good rule of thumb is that anyone with any form of “skeptic” or “reason” or the name of any luminary in that field in their handle is almost always an insufferable wanker with a bad case of Dunning-Kruger.

    Ahh, Dunning-Kruger, the go-to insult for those with Sweet Fanny Adams else in the arsenal (though to use Dunning-Kruger to describe one who openly admits to a lack of knowledge is a beautiful own-goal; almost beyond ironic). Still,on the bright side, when I was at school we called it ‘know-it-all-know-nothing’, so it’s nice to see todays generation of smart children have made it more of a sound-bite and less of a mouthful.
    Rey, stay away from the personal stuff; you’re just not good at it.

    Finally, on a note more in keeping with art than argument;
    cm’s changeable moniker (quaint, if not charming), sorry, I missed your response to me at #163. Your Holocaust memorial is something I would really love to see in the flesh, as it were. I don’t always understand the symbolisms used in art (you don’t say!) but I have to say the use of the books title-inwards speaks for itself. Thank you.

  213. 213
    Chris Clarke

    Acolyte, that would all have been very helpful if I had been talking to you.

  214. 214
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Someone once asked the Australian illustrator Shaun Tan; “When did you start drawing?”.
    His reply was; “When did you stop?”.

    People don’t go to art school to learn art appreciation (though you can find it that way) – they go to art school to find out why, or just find out more.

    You don’t even need to to be able to appreciate the aesthetic side of art to study the history of art. Society and culture has already decided what is “significant” – you just find out why. You don’t need to appreciate the Mona Lisa to study its provenance.

    A lot of the hot air here came from some not understanding (or appearing to not understand) that the value of “significant art” is not just whether someone thinks it is pretty or not. Others conflated it by continually dismissing those arguments and bringing it back to an issue of personal taste.

    Some of those arguments of personal taste veered dangerously into universal absolutes of worth – “if it is not valuable to me, it is not valuable at all”.

    I can’t speak for Caine, but when you do that to an artist you are shitting on their worth as a human being.
    That is a pretty big put-down – probably the biggest, so don’t be surprised that saying ‘sorry’ doesn’t have an immediate soothing effect.

  215. 215
    Acolyte of Sagan

    213.
    Chris Clarke
    19 July 2013 at 6:08 pm (UTC -5) Link to this comment

    Acolyte, that would all have been very helpful if I had been talking to you.

    I know you weren’t talking to me, Chris, I was merely trying to grasp a leaf of the olive branch you were holding out to Glen Davidson.

    214.
    gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet
    19 July 2013 at 6:49 pm (UTC -5)
    [.........] “if it is not valuable to me, it is not valuable at all”.[...]

    Once again, that is exactly what I didn’t say, it’s what others (deliberately?) mis-interpreted me as saying. Or am I really the only person in the world who can come to empathise with others on their loss of something that I don’t understand by putting myself in their shoes and imagining the loss to be something that does matter a lot to me? In this case, admittedly I initially didn’t understand what all the fuss was about, but by thinking ‘OK, how would I feel if, instead of painted artworks – which I can appreciate as objects but have never really had an emotional or professional involvement with (even when I was involved in the antiques trade), it had been something that I do appreciate. That’s all I was trying to get across; not that if it isn’t important to me then it isn’t important.

  216. 216
    Thorne

    Caine, Fleur du mal @ #199 said:

    if you don’t give a shit about something, why bother to say as much in a room full of grief stricken people?

    Kinda like saying that if you don’t agree with the OP then you shouldn’t comment, isn’t it? But isn’t that what the comment section is for? So that we can disagree?

    Each one of you waltzed into a thread where it was obvious people were affected and grieving

    I can’t speak for others, but when I commented on this topic it’s because I cannot understand why people are “grieving”. Upset? Sure. Angry? Maybe. Grieving? WTF? It’s like a bunch of grown people breaking down in anguish over the death of a goldfish.

    Sure, the loss of these paintings is disturbing. Just knowing that there are people who would do such things is disturbing. What’s just as disturbing, to me at least, is that there are people who would pay hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars to own just ONE of these paintings, and the large majority of those people would know even less about them than I do. What’s even more disturbing is that those same people will begrudge having a single penny of their tax dollars being spent to feed and clothe and educate a homeless child. Grieve about THAT!

    There have been claims that this is a tremendous loss to the world. Bullshit. Sure, it’s a tremendous loss to the ART world. Just thinking of all those poor, tormented art students who won’t be able to study the brush strokes and techniques of these masters. It’s horrifying! Of course, knowing HOW they did it isn’t going to make any of them better artists.

    Let’s face it. The vast majority of people in the world would never have had the opportunity, or the desire, to view these paintings. Hell, most of them would be unlikely to see even reproductions or photos of them. And most of them won’t care that they’ve lost their chance. Worse, most of those who do take the time to go to these art museums have little to know understanding of what they’re seeing. They just want to brag to their neighbors that they saw these great works of art when they went to Europe on vacation. None of them would even know if they were looking at originals or reproductions.

    So spare me your anguish and grief. After all, it’s far more important to the rest of the world that Kim Kardashian named her baby North than that some obscure paintings have been destroyed.

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  217. 217
    Thorne

    Should have proofread. There were supposed to be sarcasm tags in the Kim Kardashian sentence.

  218. 218
    chigau (違う)

    Dear Muslima…

  219. 219
    consciousness razor

    Kinda like saying that if you don’t agree with the OP then you shouldn’t comment, isn’t it? But isn’t that what the comment section is for? So that we can disagree?

    They could try to say something with a little substance. We could leave aside some of the most ignorant trollish nonsense, but when the rest boils down to “I don’t really give a fuck,” that’s still the fucking definition of being unreasonable. So who the fuck is supposed to care?

  220. 220
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Well, with my usual blend of tongue-in-cheek silliness and sarcasm cast aside for a moment, who’dathunk art could be just as devisive and polarising as religion? Not I, for one.

    Anyhow, putting all that to one side, I would like to give a little hope regarding the fate of the paintings, at least until forensics are in and definitive, that is.
    It is perfectly possible to go to second-hand markets, car-boot sales, house-clearance sales (U.S. estate sales), provincial auction houses, antique fairs, etc. etc. and buy art contemporary with the stolen pictures for almost nothing. Fair enough, they’ll be amateur works with little artistic merit; run-of-the-mill unidentified landscapes; family portraiture by jobbing artists, and so on; the sort of pictures bought literally as ‘space-fillers’ or, as the song had it, because ‘it hides a messy stain that’s lying there’; but that matters not, as long as the paints, pigments, canvas or board, and fixings are period.
    Burning these old-but-unimportant pictures and letting the authorities find the remnants sounds to me to be an ideal way to give the impression (no pun intended) that the stolen pictures no longer exist, thereby curtailing the investigation, and making the movement of the pictures much less risky. Plus, of course, if they do find their way to an unscrupulous collector, s/he can display them to their hearts content, knowing that everybody will assume them to be good-quality copies; well, they must be since the whole world knows that the originals were destroyed in a fire.
    Hopefully, the criminals had a little sense and followed a plan similar to this, because if the paintings still do exost there’s always a chance of getting them back.
    If the criminals involved actually burned the originals rather than trying a simple plan like that, then they are not just criminals, but criminally stupid to boot.
    And something else I’ve just thought of; even if the forensics show that the ashes weren’t from the originals, they might pretend that they were, allowing the art-world to think thaey no longer exist in the hope of said unscrupulous collector bringing them out of hiding.

  221. 221
    Acolyte of Sagan

    ‘exost’?

  222. 222
    Rey Fox

    So spare me your anguish and grief.

    Why? Who are you and who forced you to read this blog post?

    Good god, did this page get linked to by freelanceassholes.com?

  223. 223
    Tethys
    [.........] “if it is not valuable to me, it is not valuable at all”.[...] paraphrase by gobi

    Once again, that is exactly what I didn’t say, it’s what others (deliberately?) mis-interpreted me as saying. Acolyte of Satan

    Acolyte # 135

    Yes, it’s bad, but I really cannot see the tragedy over losing a picture unless it’s special to oneself; maybe painted by, or owned by oneself, or specifically painted for one,

    Nobody is misintrepreting you, deliberately or unintentionally. You came in and told everyone that it wasn’t really much of a loss because blah, blah, blah there are copies, blah blah, nobody died, blah blah, why is everyone mad, blah, elitists!!.

    Own it, or stfu.

  224. 224
    mouthyb, Vagina McTits

    Thorne: And people who are horrified that these paintings got burned do not also mourn the seeming inability of many societies to properly support the poor? We can multitask, you know. I’m going to guess a fairly large number of us contribute to various causes (I certainly do.) Hell, a large number of us are the poor.

    While I am not a professional artist, I should be familiar enough with the territory to remark that it’s true, not every person who is an artist is a great master. This does not stop them from creating art that people find comforting, attractive, useful, fascinating, etc–there’s no need to sneer at art students (which seems to be popular among a certain kind of nerd) for not producing something that you personally don’t find attractive.

    Since I’m not sure you know the difference, I’ll contrast the universal statement and the personal one.

    Personal: I’ve never understood why people were so attached to these paintings. I’m not very attached to this sort of thing.

    Universal: There’s no point in being upset about this. People should care about my $PET_CAUSE. Art doesn’t really matter and art students make worthless things.

    Since there’s something of an ongoing trend in atheist/science-y circles to sneer a bit at the arts, you are highly likely to get a negative response to the universal (and probably a little to the personal–when someone talks about being personally devastated by something, it’s generally considered impolite to come exclaim how useless you find the thing they’re mourning.) The universal statement, however, asserts that no one should care. The personal is merely that you do not care. The universal is false, no matter how true the personal statement can be.

  225. 225
    LykeX

    @Acolyte of Sagan

    I actually think that your apology at #195 was a big step in the right direction. However, when you follow it up by first complaining about how people are being so mean and then completely ignoring several points of your own poor behavior in this thread, it ends up ringing a little hollow.

    E.g. this:

    Because Caine was the only one to actually bother to explain why I offended her, with the rest just pitching in to ‘how dare you, this is art’ type arguments without bothering to say why that should matter, it was Caine who received my apology.
    This is how it went:
    This is art.
    So what?
    It’s irreplaceable.
    So what?
    It’s Monet.
    So what?
    I’m an artist, I care about art, I appreciate the difficulty behind creating art, it is my profession and hearing it insulted insults me personally.
    You’re right. I apologise.

    You cite this as an example of you being reasonable. You do so despite the fact that I’ve cited is as an example of you being an asshole, in this very thread. You maintain that this it you being reasonable despite opposition and without addressing that opposition.
    You completely ignored the arguments being made; you pretended they didn’t exist. Now you’re pretending that the post where I pointed out that fact doesn’t exist.

    Another example is your bullshit about class. This has been responded to by several people, but you haven’t (correct me if I’ve missed it) acknowledged the responses or given any kind of counter to them.

    Don’t pretend that the rough reception you’ve gotten is due to anything other than your own behavior. I suggest that maybe a time out would be helpful. You sound rather defensive and I find that distance in time helps a lot with that.

  226. 226
    Acolyte of Sagan

    You sound rather defensive and I find that distance in time helps a lot with that.

    First off, would you rather I was defensive or aggressive? Defensive is the usual poition to take when one is under attack, despite the fact you lot seem to think it’s a sign of being wrong. But thank you for the politest version of ‘fuck off’ I’ve ever seen.
    But anyway, fine. I tried to be reasonable, tried to apologise, but all you seem to want to do is dig back to the comments made when I was being insensitive and ignore the later stuff.
    That stuff about class? That was the reversion to sarcasm I mentioned in my response to Chris after being told too many times that I was stupid for not understanding art. Was I wrong to bring class into it? In all probability, yes I was (not that any of it was false, that was my upbringing), but to be fair I didn’t expect the elitist ‘you don’t understand art like we understand art, so your opinion is not wanted here’ attitude.
    Tethys, you do understand that when one refers to ‘one’, one is not referring to oneself, don’t you?

    And I notice that none of you have picked up on my idea about destroying ‘lesser’ artworks to throw the police off the scent. Does this mean that art is only worth saving when it’s ‘great’ art by a known artist? That Great Uncle Bernards oil on canvas of the view from his garden – a view that no longer exists thanks to 150 years of urban development – is OK as a sacrificial lamb as long as Monet’s myopic masterpieces escape unscathed. Because that’s not art-lovers, that’s art snobs. And don’t say you didn’t read that bit when you’ve obviously pored over my posts to find more ammo, it just didn’t enter your heads, did it?

    Oh, and to any of you who’ve told me that I’m wrong to suggest that somebody else’s interests aren’t important (which I didn’t, by the way, just that it wasn’t important to me, but let us not let facts get in the way of a good old fashioned ‘horde roasting)’; if you’ve ever told a Christian that their belief is stupid or wrong; or sneered at a football supporter for liking football – you’re a hypocrite.
    These will be my last words on this thread, so snipe away.

  227. 227
    consciousness razor

    Was I wrong to bring class into it? In all probability, yes I was (not that any of it was false, that was my upbringing), but to be fair I didn’t expect the elitist ‘you don’t understand art like we understand art, so your opinion is not wanted here’ attitude.

    It’s probably not about classism, but it’s fair to say it is about elitist classism (and that you didn’t expect it).

    *facepalm*

    And don’t say you didn’t read that bit when you’ve obviously pored over my posts to find more ammo, it just didn’t enter your heads, did it?

    I figured you just wanted to dream up some other reason why you shouldn’t care. Your assumption, that it would somehow be better if some less famous works were destroyed,* is your assumption and you’ve got nothing but projection to give it to us.

    *However, they would only have needed to leave behind indistinguishable materials, not remains of artworks. Of course, this isn’t what you dreamt up, but we may as well count that possibility too if we’re going to engage in wishful thinking.

  228. 228
    LykeX

    Defensive is the usual poition to take when one is under attack

    Not exactly. “Being defensive” usually means focusing more on defending yourself than actually engaging with what’s being said. It’s a common reaction to receiving critique. In such cases, it’s counter-productive, because it makes it all about personality and not about behavior.

    But thank you for the politest version of ‘fuck off’ I’ve ever seen.

    That wasn’t a “fuck off”. If I give you a “fuck off”, you’ll know. I do polite or I do fuck off. I rarely do them at the same time.

    I tried to be reasonable, tried to apologise, but all you seem to want to do is dig back to the comments made when I was being insensitive and ignore the later stuff.

    You’re not listening to me. You’re not responding to what I’m saying. Part of my complaint was that your comments were detracting from your apology.
    Specifically: One of the points that you cited in favor of your apology was one of the very problems I was criticizing in the first place. Do you not see why this makes your apology less effective?

    Was I wrong to bring class into it? In all probability, yes I was, but…

    Rule of thumb; the moment you put a “but” in there, it’s no longer an apology.
    Look, you screwed up; it happens. We’ve all done it at one point or another. Most of us will probably do it again at some point.

    The problem here comes from the fact that you seem more focused on determining the minimum amount of apology you can get away with. You didn’t even acknowledge the existence of some critiques before you were forced to. That’s a bit of a problem for me. It makes me doubt your sincerity and that can’t help but reflect on your apology.

    I don’t expect you to go through every single post and quote them word for word and say “I apologize for this” or anything like that. However, when I’ve specifically mentioned a point of disagreement and it’s conspicuously absent from the apology, or even mentioned as a positive in the apology, that’s a problem.

    And I notice that none of you have picked up on my idea about destroying ‘lesser’ artworks to throw the police off the scent.

    I suppose it’s possible, but I consider it quite unlikely. It would mean that the thieves planned on stealing the art, burning the decoys, getting caught, serving the time and then selling the real artwork to a buyer when they get out ( or have an accomplice do it for them and hold the money). Might be a nice movie script, but I don’t think it’s particularly realistic.

    And don’t say you didn’t read that bit when you’ve obviously pored over my posts to find more ammo, it just didn’t enter your heads, did it?

    I didn’t respond to it because it was irrelevant to the immediate point. I honestly think this jab is a bit childish. It stinks of a “gotcha!” Again, this doesn’t work in favor of your apology.

    I’m really not trying to snipe at you. I’m trying to explain why I feel very not impressed with your conduct. I’m trying to point to things you might want to change in the future.
    Believe it or not, I’m actually trying to be helpful.

    I strongly suggest you take a break and come back in a week to read this thread over again. Another exercise I find helpful is to type out a really vicious post and then not post it. It helps get some of the emotion burned off and leave you more cool, to compose the real post.

    So, there. I’m happy to let it rest with that.

  229. 229
    Chris Clarke

    Acolyte:

    I know you weren’t talking to me, Chris, I was merely trying to grasp a leaf of the olive branch you were holding out to Glen Davidson.

    Fair enough.

  230. 230
    vaiyt

    Oh, great. Now, apparently I can’t care about art because that’s for ivory-tower intellectuals and there are other things which are more important.

    Thorne, I’ll say this only once: don’t you have better stuff to do than comment in this thread? Go change the fucking world and leave us to our frivolous, useless art.

  231. 231
    Tethys

    In all probability, yes I was (not that any of it was false, that was my upbringing), but to be fair I didn’t expect the elitist ‘you don’t understand art like we understand art, so your opinion is not wanted here’ attitude.

    We are angry elitists and its fine for AOS to ignore all the substance of the ire directed their way because we are elitist.

    Tethys, you do understand that when one refers to ‘one’, one is not referring to oneself, don’t you?

    Oh I see now, it was the royal form of one. I guess I am doing this elitist thing wrong.

  232. 232
    cicely

    Dear Muslima…

    …what about The Men?
    -

  233. 233
    What a Maroon, oblivious

    Tethys, you do understand that when one refers to ‘one’, one is not referring to oneself, don’t you?

    One’s mind boggles at the irony.

  234. 234
    Thorne

    mouthyb, Vagina McTits @ #124:

    And people who are horrified that these paintings got burned do not also mourn the seeming inability of many societies to properly support the poor?

    Not what I meant. Those who can afford to buy these paintings, at hundreds of thousands per, basically the 1%, will scream bloody murder when they have to pay taxes which are then used to help the poor.

    there’s no need to sneer at art students

    Again, not my intent. I was sneering at those who were bemoaning the fact that art students & aficionados won’t, for example, be able to see if someone’s cat left hairs on the painting, as someone up above commented.

    Personal: I’ve never understood why people were so attached to these paintings. I’m not very attached to this sort of thing.

    Guilty. And this applies to a lot of things. And on the flip side, I don’t understand why others aren’t interested in the things that interest me. It works both ways. Difference is, I don’t moan and wail about such things.

    Universal: There’s no point in being upset about this. People should care about my $PET_CAUSE. Art doesn’t really matter and art students make worthless things.

    This is NOT what I was saying. Yes, art doesn’t really matter to ME. That doesn’t mean that I don’t realize that it does matter to others. Especially those who are artists, or who want to be. And let’s face it. There are art students who make worthless art. My brother is one of them. He loves it, but can’t sell it. Pretty much the definition of worthless. And all the studying of old paintings won’t help him there.

    I think, though, that my attitude about these kinds of things has to do with my feelings about hero worship. Picasso’s paintings are valuable. Why? Because they were made by Picasso! The fact that they’re ugly and childish, IMO, is trumped by the fact that they were made by Picasso! The baseball that Hank Aaron hit to break Ruth’s record is worth $X, because someone is silly enough to pay that much for it. Not because of any intrinsic value, but because of someone’s skewed values. It’s no different than any other baseball, really. Sure, it might have some sentimental value to Aaron, but should average people be devastated if it were lost or stolen? I don’t think so.

    So yeah, I can understand people being upset by the loss of these paintings. I can understand people being angry about it. It’s the over-the-top grieving that confuses me. Grief? Over some canvas and paint? Sorry, I just can’t go there.

  235. 235
    Thorne

    vaiyt said:

    Thorne, I’ll say this only once: don’t you have better stuff to do than comment in this thread? Go change the fucking world and leave us to our frivolous, useless art.

    Actually, no, I don’t have anything better to do! What could be better than to piss off frivolous art lovers?

    And thank you so much for only saying it once. Twice would just be boring.

  236. 236
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Actually, no, I don’t have anything better to do! What could be better than to piss off frivolous art lovers?

    Ummm… calling you out as an ignorant troll?

    I think, though, that my attitude about these kinds of things has to do with my feelings about hero worship. Picasso’s paintings are valuable. Why? Because they were made by Picasso! The fact that they’re ugly and childish, IMO, is trumped by the fact that they were made by Picasso!

    Ignorant and pathetic…

    FFS, take your little rant to Thunderdome…

  237. 237
    ChasCPeterson

    One’s mind boggles at the irony.

    one has to agree.

  238. 238
    ChasCPeterson

    to use Dunning-Kruger to describe one who openly admits to a lack of knowledge is a beautiful own-goal; almost beyond ironic

    hee
    one has to agree…

  239. 239
    vaiyt

    Not because of any intrinsic value,

    Questions:
    1. What has intrinsic value?
    2. Who died and made you the arbiter of what’s valuable?

    Piss off, troll.

  240. 240
    Thorne

    @ gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet #236:

    Ummm… calling you out as an ignorant troll?

    Which explains your reason for being here. Sadly, I don’t get much pleasure from calling myself an ignorant troll.

    Ignorant and pathetic…

    Ooh, that’s so informative! But maybe, just maybe, it would be better if you told me just why you think my opinion is ignorant and pathetic. Is there some definitive, objective measure which tells us that Picasso’s paintings are valuable? Did he use solid gold frames? Platinum flecks in his paints? Did he hide silver coins in his canvases? Or could it possibly be that his paintings are valuable more for who made them than for what they are made of?

    Let’s face it. Art, like music, like almost anything, is subjective. You either like a painting or not. You either like a piece of music or not. How any one person views them has little bearing on how anyone else views them. What’s priceless to you may be worthless to me.

    Does the loss of these paintings darken the world? Hardly! There are countless other artists out there, some of whose paintings will one day be as revered as these, once the artists are dead. And there are photographs and copies of these paintings for others to see. The loss, other than the financial loss to the museum/owners, is to those who perceive some value in having something actually touched by the artist. It’s not a world-shattering event.

  241. 241
    Thorne

    @ vaiyt #239:

    1. What has intrinsic value?

    I’m probably using the wrong term, but for purposes of this discussion I mean the actual cost of materials plus labor costs (time spent painting the picture, carving the statue, manufacturing the baseball, etc.) as opposed to perceived value, the price someone may be willing to pay. Everything has some intrinsic value, even if that value is close to zero.

    2. Who died and made you the arbiter of what’s valuable?

    When did I ever claim to be the arbiter? All I claim is that sometimes one person’s treasure is another person’s junk.

  242. 242
    David Marjanović

    Oh for…David, scores of people are highly knowledgeable on that score. Restoring old art works is a profession, you know. So is forging – that knowledge is crucial, and it’s not difficult to create the same types of pigment that old masters used. Many artists have that knowledge – I have some myself, although it’s not complete, as I don’t do much in oils and such. However, I often make my own pigments and I make my own gouache. None of that information is some sort of guarded secret.

    But there aren’t that many artists out there, let alone restaurators or geochemists. Burnt in a stove in a village in Romania seriously doesn’t scream “access to specialized education” to me. It screams “particularly bad postcommunist poverty”.

    (I don’t know why Romania and Bulgaria managed to get into the EU so relatively quickly.)

    Certainly not “find beautiful” as you egregiously misinterpret it. There’s a whole range of cognitive and aesthetic reactions covered by the term I used, and really, I don’t have to define terms normally used in these contexts. Understanding clearly wasn’t your goal.

    WTF. If understanding weren’t my goal, I wouldn’t have asked. Not every question is rhetorical!

    Would you please not interpret entire novels into what I write? It’s not the Bible Code.

    “Appreciate” means things that can overlap but sometimes contradict. Only you can tell me which one(s) you actually had in mind. That’s – why – I – asked!

    I went on to say what should have been said if you had had the meaning in mind that I think is the most common one. You called that a strawman, so that can’t be it. What is it?

    Only because you’re a stupid liar. I just said that things get destroyed, and we get by. So fucking what? That means I don’t care about the loss? Shut up and learn how to read properly, stupid fool.

    dafuq

    You’re misunderstood, and you immediately insist that you’re not misunderstood but the other person is lying instead? And then, four sentences later, you say she’s not lying but instead too stupid to read?

    That’s not just not right, it’s not even wrong.

    the destruction of the old Mostar Bridge

    *headdesk*

    *rageflail*

    The story goes that when it was finished, the architect was to receive praise from the sultan, but he was gone. He was found digging his own grave, certain that this extraordinarily difficult bridge would immediately collapse (and he’d be punished for it, and guess what punishment means). But the bridge held, and held, and held, and then in 1995 people blew it up. *rageflail* It took several explosions, BTW. The bridge held really well. Argh.

    At least it’s been rebuilt.

    The first time Husband saw that movie, it was on a Soviet TV with the wrong colour balance, so for a long time, he was convinced that spaghetti sauce was blue.

    X-)

    Someone once asked the Australian illustrator Shaun Tan; “When did you start drawing?”.
    His reply was; “When did you stop?”.

    Win.

  243. 243
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    The troll: “What could be better than to piss of frivolous art lovers”

    Me: “Ummm… calling you out as an ignorant troll?”

    The troll: “Which explains your reason for being here. I don’t get much pleasure from calling myself… etc”

    Sorry… Forgot it was all about you.

    Calling you ignorant and pathetic was not meant to be informative, it was meant to be descriptive. This thread has had enough informative comments to explain the positions of those here. Try reading it.

    The troll: “I think, though, that my attitude about these kinds of things has to do with my feelings about hero worship…”

    It’s like the trolls are following a script… After taking the time to explain to everyone that they don’t give a fuck about anyone else’s reasons, positions or attitudes, they then take the time to inform us of theirs.
    Would you like to explain why we should give a fuck about you?

    Pathetic…

  244. 244
    Thorne

    Would you like to explain why we should give a fuck about you?

    Would you like to explain why we should give a fuck about you?

    LOL! I don’t care whether you give a fuck about me! But obviously you care enough to keep sniping at me.

    After taking the time to explain to everyone that they don’t give a fuck about anyone else’s reasons, positions or attitudes,

    But I never said that. In fact, I asked someone to give me a reason why those paintings are so valuable, other than the fact that they were made by specific artists who’s works are automatically considered valuable. It’s true that I said that I don’t understand some people’s reasons or reactions, but that isn’t the same as not caring. But in hindsight I have to say that I do care less about WHAT their reactions are and more about WHY they have those reactions.

    So, I’ll ask again. Can anyone explain just what makes those paintings, or any paintings for that matter, so valuable? Aside from the fact that they were made by someone perceived to be a great artist? Is there something about those paintings that would make them just as valuable if they were painted by Jane Doe? Or are they valuable only because the artists who painted them have been declared to be great artists?

  245. 245
    consciousness razor

    Is there something about those paintings that would make them just as valuable if they were painted by Jane Doe?

    What’s the implication here? If someone stole Jane Doe’s paintings then destroyed them, that wouldn’t be good. I wouldn’t be happy to hear about it or pretend there’s some kind of neutral, disinterested position I could have about it. And I wouldn’t start preaching to everyone about subjectivity or classism or whatever-the-fuck. It’s as if some of the people here believe Marxist criticism and the like just isn’t a thing in the art/music/literature worlds — no, to care about art you’ve got to be a fucking snob who’s never given a second thought to any of that. It’s pure fucking ignorance.

  246. 246
    consciousness razor

    Also: gold, silver and platinum don’t have “intrinsic value.” Maybe I just don’t get what that’s about. But it would be pretty funny if our resident trolls/naive social critics are taking monetary value as the standard. Way to stand up against “the Man.”

  247. 247
    Tethys

    I appreciate it when the trolls give themselves helpful identifying nyms like thorne. Better an open troll than someone who keeps claiming they are being misinterpreted.

    there are photographs and copies of these paintings for others to see.

    No photograph or copy can come close to replicating the original work. That is the fecking point! Your eyes see light and color in ways that even the most advanced camera cannot capture. An original painting is a singularity. It would not be the same even if another copy was painted by the original artist.

    Can anyone explain just what makes those paintings, or any paintings for that matter, so valuable?

    See above. They are called masterpieces for good reason.

    Aside from the fact that they were made by someone perceived to be a great artist?

    You are confusing cause and effect. The perception is a result of the art they created.

    Stop pretending that esthetics and art aren’t important and go look at some in person. Educate yourself.

  248. 248
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Hey troll:

    What could be better than to piss of frivolous art lovers?

    I think, though, that my attitude about these kinds of things has to do with my feelings about hero worship.

    My brother is one of them. He loves it, but can’t sell it. Pretty much the definition of worthless.

    I don’t care whether you give a fuck about me! But obviously you care enough to keep sniping at me.

    But I do care about you! It is clear you have some serious issues that need to be resolved and I would hope that you get the best professional care to do so.

    Why can’t the trolls take the hint and just go to Thunderdome – we were having such a nice discussion about art here…

  249. 249
    Thorne

    @ consciousness razor:

    What’s the implication here?

    The implication is that, if one (or more)of Jane Doe’s paintings were destroyed, it wouldn’t be a newsworthy event, nor would it cause anyone (with the possible exception of Jane Doe) any grief.
    I have stated that I am saddened by the destruction of these paintings, though I think I’m more saddened by the fact that there are idiots out there who could do such a thing. I just don’t understand the over-the-top reactions of some of the commenters above.

    It’s pure fucking ignorance.

    Perhaps it is. I readily admit that I have little appreciation for any kind of art, other than that I know what I like.

    Also: gold, silver and platinum don’t have “intrinsic value.”

    I believe they do. Aside from the monetary value, which is as artificially inflated as the value of artworks, these metals, and many others, are very useful in industry. Their chemical, tensile and electrical properties are intrinsic.

    @ Tethys:

    No photograph or copy can come close to replicating the original work.That is the fecking point! Your eyes see light and color in ways that even the most advanced camera cannot capture. An original painting is a singularity. It would not be the same even if another copy was painted by the original artist.

    I’ll have to take your word on that. As a duly registered Philistine I haven’t the talent to see such things. I’ve seen real paintings and sculptures (though probably not by these ‘masters’) and I’ve seen photographs of them. To my eye there is little difference between them.

    They are called masterpieces for good reason.

    Yes, because they were painted by ‘masters’! Exactly my point. Their value comes more from who painted them than from the actual paintings themselves.

    You are confusing cause and effect. The perception is a result of the art they created.

    Within the close confines of the art community, perhaps. From an outsiders view, though, it seems that the rest of the world values them more for the artists’ names than anything else.

    Stop pretending that esthetics and art aren’t important and go look at some in person. Educate yourself.

    I’m not claiming that they aren’t important, just that they aren’t equally important to all people. I have seen original art, at museums, by well known artists. Maybe not as ‘revered’ as Picasso, Monet and Matisse, but well known. Other than the actual sizes of some of the works, I wasn’t impressed. I’m just as happy seeing digital scans on the web. I’ve also listened to music at concerts, and plays, and opera, and even ballet. And I’ve learned that, for myself, I’m much happier listening to (or viewing) such things at home. The education is there. The appreciation is lacking.

    @ gobi’s sockpuppet’s meatpuppet:

    It is clear you have some serious issues that need to be resolved and I would hope that you get the best professional care to do so.

    I have a standing appointment with the best hooker in town. She generally manages to take care of my most serious issues.

    And with that, I think I’ve said enough on this topic. It’s obvious that I can’t really understand your viewpoints, any more than you can understand mine. I do hope, though, that the supply of cerulean blue pigments never runs short, as I doubt the art world could ever recover from the resulting depression.

  250. 250
    consciousness razor

    The implication is that, if one (or more)of Jane Doe’s paintings were destroyed, it wouldn’t be a newsworthy event, nor would it cause anyone (with the possible exception of Jane Doe) any grief.

    Did we write the news? Are you going to criticize us for what caused us to hear about the works in question? It’s like I was punched in the face, then you come along to tell me how I shouldn’t have gotten in the way of someone’s fucking fist.

    Perhaps it is. I readily admit that I have little appreciation for any kind of art, other than that I know what I like.

    I wasn’t referring your appreciation of art. You don’t even know what the culture is like among artists, what kinds of things the scholarship is about, what kinds of criticisms and analysis people bring to it, the approaches and methods people use in creating it and evaluating it….

    You just assume that’s all on the level of your ignorant fucking opinion. It’s like you can’t even get your head out of that space for one second. Or out of your ass, to be specific.

    I believe they do.

    Who the fuck cares? What the fuck does the gold standard have to do with … well… anything approaching reality, economically, artistically or otherwise?

    Aside from the monetary value, which is as artificially inflated as the value of artworks, these metals, and many others, are very useful in industry. Their chemical, tensile and electrical properties are intrinsic.

    Hence, why we should paint with them. You must be awfully confused about why you brought it up.

  251. 251
    David Marjanović

    Can anyone explain just what makes those paintings, or any paintings for that matter, so valuable?

    How about the fact that so many people like them so much?

  252. 252
    Raging Bee

    I would be neither surprised nor upset if a handful of people in the stolen-art business got together and cut the throat of the idiot who destroyed those pantings.

  253. 253
    Raging Bee

    A petty, pointless, destructive act, supported and justified by petty, pointless trolls, who probably envy this moron’s ability to destroy something. How fitting.

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