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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Not Art : Art

Not Art...




Anonymous ben ng said...

all I can do is quote Pasternak- "beauty is the joy of possessing form".
So there. Art? Sometimes it depends on how high you price it.
regards-Ben, at

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Igor I. said...

Well, since both pieces are exposed to the public, then, according to MJ they may be both considered art.
Seriously, I find the whole art-not art controversy silly. It is simply a matter of producing a definition of "art" and then testing whether something satisfies it or not. The difinition of course must allow a relatively easy and unambiguous verification. Whether your definition of art is acceptable to others is a different matter; it is clear that never everyone will agree on a single common definition.

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for that post, Mike! It made my day...

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goes to show you...

Beauty is in the behind of the beholder!

5:52 PM  
Blogger Uwe Steinmueller said...

What if we call both pieces just "photos".

In the whole discussion of being an artist or not I just go back and say that I am a photographer. If people like the photographs that is fine.


6:02 PM  
Blogger Matthew Robertson said...

"Art is art. Everything else is everything else."
- Ad Reinhardt

Now I'll move on before I comment about photographers doing glue...

6:29 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

I like the way the glue stick represents solitude in a chaotic, uncertain world.

Nice one, Mike.

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The person(s) who created that glue stick package must have thought of it as art, the logo is most certainly art.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"The person(s) who created that glue stick package must have thought of it as art, the logo is most certainly art."

That's way too radical a view for me.


10:23 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

Aesthetically, I prefer the top picture. But the bottom one made me laugh more.

12:50 AM  
Anonymous Will Furniss said...

The more you appreciate the less you need.

8:37 AM  
Blogger dbldomer7375 said...

You understand that this is a dangerous thread. This fall, all the New York galleries will have photographs that include glue sticks. There will be glue stick sculptures, glue stick paintings and I don't even want to think about performance art with glue sticks.

See what you have done?

10:21 AM  
Blogger NESOHU said...

MJ, you really took steve's comment seriously huh?

5:43 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

"MJ, you really took steve's comment seriously huh?"

Jes' havin' fun.


5:46 PM  
Blogger Dave New said...

Actually, I find the composition rather striking. The almost monochromatic background clutter, with the strong color constrasts and clean lines of the glue stick packaging. The only distracting element is the strong saturated red of the Ace (screwdriver?) item in the upper left corner.

And yes, I do believe that the folks that worked on the glue pen label and case design in all seriousness called their drawings "artwork", and meant it. This was something meant to be seen by literally millions, and needed to be appealing. Do you think that it would have been as successful if it was in a container that looked like dirt, and felt like a porcupine?

Just because it's functional or serves some other purpose doesn't mean it isn't art.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Andy Christopher said...

Neither of these is 'art' by any meaningful definition of the word. They're photographs of objects that lack any kind of uplifting or inspirational message. They are 'matter of fact' and nothing else. They are not 'art' not because of the subject matter but because the photographer had little feeling or empathy for his/her subject and hence could do little to raise it beyond the level of the ordinary through lighting, texure, composition and other techniques.

The glue stick is a red herring. Objects in themselves do not make 'art': it's the individual who experiences a heightened reality and manages to recognize it while, through hard won technique, conveys that transcendence in the final image.

On the other hand, if your definition of 'art' includes pictures with glue sticks, you have no argument from me. I will, however, pray for the veil to be lifted from your inner eye.

Andy Christopher

9:33 PM  
Blogger Mike Johnston said...

I'm crushed.


11:03 PM  

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