Shop Mobile More Submit  Join Login


Submitted on
August 26, 2009
Image Size
15.9 KB


48 (who?)
Conceptual Art by lycanthropeful Conceptual Art by lycanthropeful
I'm sure this will get some flames or disagreements, but that's fine with me. Conceptual art is something that has consistently bothered me, even more so now that I learned all about its variations during the art classes I had to take during my freshman year.

No, I do not think that art is merely something created by someone who is able to draw realistically. Art is so much more than that. It's just when you get these crackpot "artists" who can't find any other way to express an idea than to tie a dog to a wall is when the limitations of human creativity start to worry me.

By the nature of conceptual art's name itself, it is meant to do exactly that: showcase a concept. It's just appalling to me how some of these "artists" can make millions of dollars by hanging a blank canvas in a gallery. Does that person hanging a blank canvas on a wall make the idea any different than if someone else did? What does it prove or mean? Should we even care?

Art and how it should be made or what it is has no definition. Philosophers for centuries have debated this. There are lots of important things to be learned, ideology-wise, from conceptual art, but it is my personal opinion that it requires far less talent and aptitude than the fine arts do and should be in a category all its own. I frown strongly upon most conceptual displays for their inanity and sometimes invasive methods which usually bring to light ideas at the cost of tradition and artisanship. That sounds close-minded as hell, and traditional art is not the only way to "unlock" new ideas, but for me, the insanity of most conceptual pieces completely overshadows the lessons the viewer is supposed to learn.

Free speech is a glorious thing which I hold dear. I wish to not silence these conceptual artists... just to be able to voice my opinion, as well, and say that most of their work is complete and utter bullcrap. :laughing:

Many of the examples in this stamp are conceptual pieces I learned about in my classes. They are intriguing, but simply not my thing. In order:

:bulletblue: Chris Ofili's controversial painting, "The Holy Virgin Mary"
:bulletblue: Guillermo Vargas's exhibition, Eres Lo Que Lee (You Are What You Read)
:bulletblue: John Cage's musical score 4'33"
:bulletblue: Vito Acconci's performance, Seedbed

Keep discussions civil, if you will! Thank you! :)
Shiny Stamp Template by ~Cenakuu
Add a Comment:
DarkDijinArtie89 Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2013  Student General Artist
Really, this is something I actually have to disagree with, given the fact that both music and art are incredibly subjective subjects.

What isn't to say that shitty ass work I put up in my gallery is as some trolls like to say, "Fap Crap" or "Furfag Fetish Shit"? Even if I do have artistic talent of any kind (Which I don't, I just do the dumbass thing of actually working hard to improve myself and letting people criticize me in all the ways they can). Likewise, what isn't to say there is some artistic merit behind those pieces that you mentioned, especially when the average person out there is so stupid and narrow that they need a cinder block to hit them so they can see the bigger picture.

As a music composer type, I had learn about all the various methods of creating music, and yes, we talked about John Cage. The thing is though, without Cage and some of his contemporaries being around, we'd probably never get out of the asinine complexity that is serialism, have video game and electronic music, and of course, my personal favorite, minimalism. We needed the extremists like Cage so people like John Adams, Brain Eno, and Phillip Glass could come out with their still "crazy" although mundane ideas... Because during the time when minimalism first came to rise, many academies did not like the idea of making music less complicated or not using as many motives and features... So those crazies have a point in some way or another.

Likewise, the reason why art "sucks" these days is because most people really get zilch in the understanding of what it means to actually make an art piece of any kind. Likewise, we have had our views on beauty so streamlined into a cliche that we can't honestly see anything else as being able to be as great as to whatever "sells". Does anybody actually try to capture the spectacle of the desert or prairie? No, we are taught that only the forest is beautiful and everything is a wasteland... Did you do a portrait of a fat woman? That's gross! Only skinny white models are pretty! So many boundaries get set up by symbols and stereotypes that it's not even funny... But what happens when you get somebody putting a urinal up on the wall and calling art? An extreme; therefore, if I were to go up to that gallery and put up a landscape painting of the Oklahoma Prairie or a well-down portrait of the fat black woman, people will freak out less about it because I'm clearly not crazy at what I do...

The extremists are the ones who essentially help the people who want to break the rules in some areas have their chance to do so. That's why I support this crazy modern art stuff; it actually gives me the chance to break some rules and stereotypes in order to create my own artwork, even if my artwork still manages to be lame and boring or formula-based in some way...

Heck, just think about what it was like when Jazz music first came about to the general public, or Rock n' Roll... Or how about the first motion pictures and first movies? A lot of people freaked about it, but because of those "extremists" of their time, we wound up with a lot of others getting involved and creating things that mixed in the old and new...
LaurenIpsum Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2013  Student General Artist
"Process over project? Not for this artist."

This asseveration resumes my view on conceptual art. I know it started as something against "art for art's sake", but ironically they fell in the same category. In my opinion, art is more powerful when it speaks by itself, without being too literal. The thing I hate about conceptual art is its lack of actual process, and most of those artists are living in a bubble. So much bullshit to talk and they actually don't get really involved in it... That's what bugs me, it's almost impossible for me to believe their "speech".

So, in conceptual art, the difference between actual thought about artistic process and an overload of "nonsense that sounds deep" is evident.

I don't know if my point is well explained.
lycanthropeful Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Even having finished my degree and understanding that much of the best exploration and play that finalizes a great work is process, to me, it's still just that. Exploration and play. A lot of these "conceptual pieces" should be considered something aside from a finished work to me, unless we judge art based solely on if its message is received (regardless of in which form this message comes). Thanks for the insightful comment!
Just-Jenni Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I agree a WHOLE lot with this...although there is still some conceptual art I do really like and understand, like Yoko Ono's 'Wish Tree' and Damien Hirsts 'For the Love Of God' the modern art examples you posted are what I agree to be a load of absolute CRAP.

It just really bugs me, because the art course I'm doing at the moment really favors this conceptual shit over ALL artistic skill...Just the other day I designed a print for the 'Fashion week' we were doing and the tutor said 'well...I'm impressed by your perfectionist attitude and the slick clean print you've created...but it lacked any depth or concept..'
It REALLY irked me because I just thought...yeah I like the ideas of some concepts but not EVERYTHING NEEDS A FRIKKIN' CONCEPT. It was a design, and a design is what is usually commercial not conceptually artistic or 'deep'

I'm happy the course I'm doing is only a year...I think I'm gonna do an illustration course after for 3 years which looks a lot better than the kind of crap I'm being taught now :|
lycanthropeful Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Now that I've obtained my BFA in graphic design, I CAN see how important concept really is. In a lot of cases, it's SO important that if you overlook, your design is gonna look like hell and not communicate effectively. Yet as a fine artist as well, I can't separate the craft and the talent portion of the process of creation. I just can't, and when I see conceptual art performances/demonstrations, etc. part of me wants to just shake the person making and ask them if they can actually draw, design, paint, or anything else.

Talent, reproduction, and skill are not the only factors in art. I just somehow wish conceptual art was its own separate body of work, and not mixed in with "traditional" art. To each their own - I'm not fighting to "outlaw" or "get rid of" conceptual art, but I sure don't like the way that it's slowly seeping into curricula everywhere, threatening to overtake the importance of craft and skill. I come from a very print-heavy design program, where the emphasis of concept is definitely THERE, but it comes before the rigorous CREATION process in the overall cycle of making a design from start to finish. You can't have a good end result without a great concept, yet it's my opinion that your end result should be a bit more corporeal, I guess. You should have something to show for. A concept without a "vehicle" or "art to carry its idea," to me, is just a concept, not art.

/soapbox. I very much appreciate your thought-provoking comment. :)
Just-Jenni Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
AH the word I meant to say really was that the tutor said the idea was too 'literal' like the design was too obvious to understand...:XD: not 'conceptual' in a way to make you think about it for a long you DO need an idea and some kind of message but it doesn't have to be all intensely and deeply thought provoking is more what I meant :o
Just-Jenni Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
true true, although I think I put across my point of 'concept' more extreme than intended :XD: afterall you do need to at least carry out some sort of idea :)
DI-FL Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011  Professional General Artist
Conceptual artists make me want to become one so I can insult my contemporaries.
lycanthropeful Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Haha, NICE! :highfive:
appledust Featured By Owner May 11, 2011  Student General Artist
thanks for this. art school made me really hate conceptual art, whereas i could tolerate it to an extent before. i just hate how much they favour it over everything else and how you cant say shit about it, whereas you can rag on about the classical masters or -god forbid- people with ARTISTIC SKILL as much as youd like. +fav for sure
Add a Comment: