Bryn Oh and I had a chat which was so interesting that I got the idea to publish. I asked Bryn for permission and she agreed. So I edited bit typos, gossips ;) and here it is:
Quan Lavender: I know Claudia’s opinion and I have the same from Harter (Fall). He is also a hard worker and builder. I think they mix something. Building is craftsmanship, not art. It is the content what makes art to art. So for me some artists in SL are not artists, but interior designers. Often their works are just nice decoration because of the lack of message. If they build or use prefabs is irrelevant. But - Claudia says too that it takes a lot time to create, time that prefab buyers do not spend.
Bryn Oh: Oh right. Yes well look at my blog and you will see a cat skeleton I made. It is done in zbrush same as what Claudia uses. That skull takes many hours to make. Then I make the jawbone, lumbar vertebrae, cautal vertebrae etc for days and it is just a tiny part of the build. So it is rewarding when people can see the amount of work done, all the texturing and so on. Virginia alone for example has taken me three months so far where a prefab build takes perhaps a day or two. I have nothing against people using pre made things it is more I dislike when they let people believe they made them.
|Creation of Virtual Art by Bryn Oh|
Quan Lavender: I think Rowan Derryth gave the smartest definition of art I ever heard. She said there is only one definition of art possible, art is what the artist declares as such. For me as German it has a huge meaning. Art is ‘Kunst’ in German, and ‘Kunst’ is related to ‘können’, which means ‘be capable’. So Germans always ask "Is that art?" and mean "Has the artist done a good job?" And Claudia and Harter are born German too. You see? Language has a huge influence on the way of thinking.
Bryn Oh: Yes the final question as to whether it worked or not. I agree but I think I put more emphasis on technique as being equal.
Quan Lavender: Nothing wrong with it. The other extreme are to me some action orientated artists. All is so chaotic, so Kindergarten that I ask myself often where the art is. It just hurts my eyes.
Bryn Oh: Yes. For me I need to have control over what I create fully in order to bring out the needed emotional response etc and I cant imagine using other pre made things to do this as they wont be exactly what I need in colour or form. Same way I could not allow another to paint a painting for me of something close to my heart because it could not possibly bring out my feelings.
Quan Lavender: That is a good and important point. Mastership in technique helps to define the expression. But what is with Duchamp or Beuys? I am not their biggest fan, but they have been very influential artists. It is about the meaning.
Bryn Oh: They are working more on concept though. For example the "fountain" questions whether we can look at a public urinal and see the beauty in its form despite it use. But many would argue that Duchamp was the death of technique in art.
Quan Lavender: And I agree. Before that technique was the rule. But art is under evolution.
Bryn Oh: But does the evolution require old methods to die?
Quan Lavender: Some years ago I was with my children in Paris and we visited the Centre Pompidou. All important painters of the last century has been in the collection. My children complained all the time and said standing in front of Picasso, Kandinsky, Matisse, etc that they easily can do that too.
Bryn Oh: :) Yes, a common statement!
Quan Lavender: My learning that day was that the idea of making something new and different is art itself.
Bryn Oh: I agree but then there is also the need to understand what cubism was etc. The idea that we are looking at an object from all sides at once adds to the appreciation.
|Traditional Chinese Art|
Bryn Oh: And that is the problem with all technique - there must be a balance. Let me send you something to look at. I will explain its meaning first. It is the relationship between my father and myself growing up. It is to convey the deep anger I had inside towards him. Let me know if you can feel this emotion from my technique. Unfortunately I am not so good with technique but hope it comes through.
Second Life has given you this object: name=Father
|'Father' by Bryn Oh|
Quan Lavender: Hahaha, great! That is as good as Beuys’ Fat Corner!
Bryn Oh: Lol. But you see what I mean? if there is not the understanding of methods to convey emotion or if there is not skill? So I feel there must be a balance of both technique and the undefined other that makes art because one or the other alone doesn’t work.
Quan Lavender: Yes, the technique is the medium to transport the message. Imagine I expose your work in a gallery. Hey, it is a real Bryn Oh! And so few prims ;) The problem is that the message is transported by your action of sending. How to present it to others?
Bryn Oh: Lol, hopefully it won’t be considered my best work. That would be depressing!
Quan Lavender: If someone says, I won't tell you.
Bryn Oh: :) It is an interesting discussion though and I think there really are no rules.
Quan Lavender: No, and that makes us so helpless. We all feel that art without mastership is crap. So the line between great artist and idiot is thin.
Bryn Oh: True! I have a theory about art in Canada recently. Might be universal not sure, but what I find is that the government has long reduced funding for art in schools. They have gym teachers teaching art now or math teachers etc. And i have found that as people get older they know less and less about art because of this. How to recognize techniques used or if something is good art ? So they are at a loss when someone says "do you like this?" or "is this good artwork?" and what I tend to see now is that photorealism is liked more and more because people are able to look at a painting of a flower and say yes! That looks exactly like a flower so it is good. Something abstract is hard to judge, but if the dimensions are clear for a hand on a body then yes it was well done because the hand looks real. That is an easy way for people to have an opinion now because they don't know how to look deeper.
Quan Lavender: The trend is more or less worldwide. I think we had a short high time of art with the high average prosperity of middle class beginning in the 19. century and now we go back to the times where artists are poor or have to rely on a few rich. Here is my blog post on the different kinds of art: http://quanlavender.blogspot.de/2012/04/huge-nothing.html
Bryn Oh: Ah yes, good post and glad you were honest. That is how I feel about technique: The ability to compose a work beyond the concept.
Quan Lavender: I am the last who likes to de-motivate but in that case some open words had to be spoken.
Bryn Oh: It is usually quite thankless to do so as usually it just angers the artist. But it is important and takes courage. I feel the art community is getting weaker and weaker as people leave. From three years ago the quality of artists here was much higher. Some of the ones people talk about now are mere shadows of the ones from before.
Quan Lavender: Virtual art needs more public attention in RL.
Bryn Oh: Yes and I feel the art community has to support each other to create an atmosphere of positive energy and get people excited to create. But to me the problem is that the community is weak and rather than support the weak until it is strong some attack it and make it even weaker. I don’t mean to wax poetic about the past but at one point there were constant shows in SL and each was stronger and stronger than the last and each artist was pushed to compete on a high level. Let the community become strong again then give the artists a kick at that time, but don't attack a struggling art community now when it is weak or we just end up getting weaker and weaker.
Quan Lavender: But that is only natural. The best works expose a lot of the own person, the emotions. It is very hard when someone else judges it.
|Scene from Anna's Many Murders|
Quan Lavender: Sadly many forget this today. That is our media culture. The people need nowadays stronger pictures to feel. It is proved by science long ago. I refuse to see movies with so much blood. It is a lack of fantasy.
Bryn Oh: Yes, or half naked singers in all things. Ok I better get back to work. So much to do! Virginia Alone it should be ready by next week hopefully...
So far the talk with Bryn.
When I asked Claudia for the permission to mention her name here, she said something remarkable. She compared an artist hiding the creators of the prefabs with a conductor hiding the orchestra.
As always, comments are highly welcome!