Friday, June 23, 2006

Responses to Polly on Seechuen.com re: Picasso

While sorting out my posts I realise there was an old post that was drafted back on the 23rd of June 2006 but never see the light of day. I don't have time to sort these notes out - in any case that debate then with Polly was a looooong time ago - though I'm still going to publish this on here just because... well, that was a lot of energy expended in defending Picasso and I didn't want that going to waste!

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Re: 惜別曙光Posted 46 minutes ago by Snowdrops • @wwwReply
Hi Polly, sorry I just have to respond when you mentioned Picasso, because he is really one of my most admired painters and his paintings are really worth the multi-million pricetags. It's not difficult to "understand" his paintings at all - in fact, he's the most accessible of the Cubist painters. For example, please have a look at the world-famous "Guernica" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guernica_(painting)), and tell me if you don't "understand" why is it so great. The effectiveness of his images of war is such that, when Colin Powell made his announcement of the U.S. decision to go to war in Iraq at the lobby of the UN headquarters, a large tapestry reproduction of Guernica in the lobby was purposefully covered up because the U.S. doesn't want such the troubling reminders of the horrors of war being shown on camera right behind where Colin Powell was. The actual Guernica is located at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid in Spain, together with a lot of other Picasso paintings, and you can see how his ideas developed - the emphasis on clean penetrating forms rather than so much ornate details is a huge breakthrough in how we define "good art". This is most apparent in his series of the Las Meninas paintings, the complete series of which you can see in the Picasso Museum in Barcelona (http://www.museupicasso.bcn.es/eng/collection/cont_collec.htm#p13). Las Meninas itself is a world-famous Old Spanish Masterpiece by Velazquez (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Meninas), with all the details and "photo-quality" finishes that you'd expect from the old masters. Picasso reinterpreted this painting with about thirty or forty paintings of his own, at each stage simplifying or highlighting certain elements in this "drama-rich" picture and trying out different colour forms so that your attention might be shifted from the central princess figure to the dwarf beside her or to the nuns in the background. The expression on the princess's face also undergone different interpretations, so that at some of his paintings she no longer came across as this smug spoilt-brat waiting to be dressed in the original picture, to a little girl too constrained by traditions and all the fuss made about her. Picasso's talent could also be seen very clearly in his sculptures, most notably the cow's head using a bicycle cross-bar as the horns. Seeing the immense possibilities in metaphorical functions in everyday forms is what Picasso's art is about in my humble opinion. You have to remember also that actually, when Picasso first started off, he's already an accomplished painter in the old school style (he could already paint like an old master when he was in his teens - you can see this in his much earlier works), so this accusation by 克勞倫斯.巴榮 that Picasso "是一些毫無技術基礎卻又自抬身價的騙徒" could not be more false. See for yourself at the above link to Picasso's work from the Picasso Museum.I'm actually not too surprised though that a guy who wrote 「華爾街日報」would write such shit about Picasso though, because most of the finance guys I've met are complete philistines. I remember taking undergrad classes from a finance lecturer who, although was nice (albeit very boring) in every other way, says in class that paintings as investments "have no intrinsic value", only what fools are prepared to pay for them. I can still remember how furious when I heard that - my fists actually clenched and I have to stop myself from shouting at him that "That's only what a philistine would say!". Of course I'm not expecting that you would be persuaded by what I wrote above if you are simply not touched by Picasso's art (I would however hope that you have seen the real thing in Spain before making such a presumption - I have seen the real Las Meninas series in Barcelona and the huge Guernica painting in Madrid and their power is not something you can dismiss easily when you come face to face with them in person). Sometimes not everybody gets a particular type of art, and that's just the way things are because we're different people. Like I am completely fanatically in love with Wong Kar Wai's 2046 (have seen this in the cinema three times and not being bored for even 1 minute). But I understand not everyone would see what I see in the movie. I would however ask you to NOT insult the artists, as well as my intelligence and my sensitivity, by calling them imposters and calling us fools. Trackback URL : http://www.seechuen.com/blog/bblog/trackback.php/360/38206/
Re: 惜別曙光Posted 40 minutes ago by Snowdrops • @wwwReply
Amendments made to one of the paragraphs above:"I'm actually not too surprised though that a guy who wrote 「華爾街日報」would write such rubbish about Picasso, because most of the finance guys I've met are complete philistines. I remember taking undergrad classes from a finance lecturer who, although was nice (albeit very boring) in every other way, said in class one time that paintings as investments "have no intrinsic value", only what fools are prepared to pay for them in an over-hyped market. I can still remember how absolutely furious I was when I heard that - I actually clenched my fists and had to stop myself from shouting at him, "That's only what a philistine would say!"."Trackback URL : http://www.seechuen.com/blog/bblog/trackback.php/360/38208/
Re: 惜別曙光Posted 29 minutes ago by Snowdrops • @wwwReply
Oh, and another thing, one of the key reasons why Picasso turned away from old masters' style to explore simple forms and primary colours was because of his stated wish "to draw like a child". So his Cubist painters are actually meant to be a rejection of all that was thought to be pretensious and "high-art" - precisely the same kind of rejection that you're arguing for. It's just unfortunate that people's minds have been so clouded by preconceived hype that they can't see the paintings for what they actually are. You don't need to "think" to understand Picasso's work, you feel it. Trackback URL : http://www.seechuen.com/blog/bblog/trackback.php/360/38211/
Re: 惜別曙光Posted 27 minutes ago by Snowdrops • @wwwReply
Arrgh, I meant "his Cubist paintings" not "his Cubist painters"!! See Chuen, is there any way you can have a preview and edit function for your comments?Trackback URL : http://www.seechuen.com/blog/bblog/trackback.php/360/38212/


Re: 惜別曙光Posted 5 hours ago by 寶莉 • • • Reply
謝謝, Snowdrops 給我留了這一長串的留言, 打字一定很辛苦了, 就是為了避免辛苦, 我通常都希望自己的留言能一句起兩句止, 就完美了, 所以Snowdrops , 你給我打了這麼多字, 真的讓我受寵若驚! 再謝!!***********我覺得我必需再一次的承認我是一個油畫的門外漢, 我對畢卡索的畫, 只是單純的從觀感出發, 從誠實的自我出發。若了解、明白, 必需是事前做很多很多的資料搜集, 從畫的源為始, 至下筆、 著墨、構圖、佈局...等等等的技術細節為終, 然後我告訴你, 我了解、我明白"Guernica"畫中對戰爭的種種描述了, 然後我只好坦白的承認, 我的明白、了解是不誠實的, 我只是被解釋明白、了解而已, 本質上, 我已然一無所知, 如同我的起始。觀畫, 其實是一個很個人的感受, 有些人看了"Guernica"會下淚, 有些人看了會心有戚戚然, 亦有些人看的一頭冒水汗滴滴, 如我, 但我是在公然侮辱畢大師嗎? 不, 我只是想做個誠實的人吧了!!!************但你說到畢老的油畫如此的價值連城, 足見其地位超卓, 這又讓我想起了太多的商業考量來, 一些商業投資的炒作, 如今已讓買賣油畫成了一門非常專業的商業活動了, 對不起, 我俗不可耐的毛細胞又在蠢蠢欲動了, 對不起!!!**********p.s. "是一些毫無技術基礎卻又自抬身價的騙徒", 這一句引言的確有貶意, 我為我的疏忽致歉, 希望不會像森美、小儀那樣被罰就好了!! ^^"" (噢!)Trackback URL : http://www.seechuen.com/blog/bblog/trackback.php/360/38360/
Re: 惜別曙光Posted 2 hours ago by 寶莉 • • • Reply
嗯~ 吃飽飽! 無聊, 又跑回來插兩句, 思仔同學仔莫怪莫怪喎! 嘻!***********難得心頭好, 一幅畫當然是可以"worth" multimillions 的, 若我能力許可的話, 買間PCCW 返來比個仔當玩具玩下都得, 更何況藝術是無價的, 我深信。講起藝術, 有回我在灣仔藝術中心看了個裝置藝術展, 其中一個展品是申請了兩條電話線, 擺了兩個電話, 寫了兩個電話號碼, 然後題為「溝通」, 哇, 真係勁爆的藝術呀!!!! 仲要係兩個普通的辦公室白色電話呀!!!! 貼題都不得了呀!!!! 但係我真係唔明, 這是那一門子的藝術??? 就咁show 兩0舊0野出來, 就話是藝術, 唔好呃鬼咁話:「生活就是藝術」呀!!! 咁, 我一0舊肥0野咁目訓係個場度, 都可以題為「孤眠」囉~~還有一回, 在牛柵的某活動中, 有個人著到成棵樹咁走來走去, 仲不停咁同人講他的這個裝置藝術就是「如何在石屎森林中綠化環境」喎~ 唉! 大哥呀! 我真係大鄉里囉!!! 還以為他在扮美軍在打遊擊戰添!!! 失禮死人囉~~ ^^""" (噢..噢...噢!!!)Trackback URL : http://www.seechuen.com/blog/bblog/trackback.php/360/38397/
Re: 惜別曙光Posted 2 hours ago by 寶莉 • • • Reply
有時我真的攪不懂甚麼是爐火純青??甚麼是班門弄斧?? 也難怪小丑朋友的詰問的, 我撫心, 確然捉到了心虛。Trackback URL : http://www.seechuen.com/blog/bblog/trackback.php/360/38401/
Re: 惜別曙光Posted a few seconds ago by Snowdrops • @wwwReply
(Sincere apologies in advance to See Chuen for engaging in this debate in your blog space...)Polly said "謝謝, Snowdrops 給我留了這一長串的留言, 打字一定很辛苦了, 就是為了避免辛苦, 我通常都希望自己的留言能一句起兩句止, 就完美了, 所以Snowdrops , 你給我打了這麼多字, 真的讓我受寵若驚! 再謝!!"Thanks Polly for your rather long-winded condescension. Just because English takes up more space and more words by the sheer nature of its sentence structures doesn't mean that I had to work really hard to type up a "1000 word" post. Your post above would have contained as much equivalent words if not more in English... I admire your stated attempt to "希望自己的留言能一句起兩句止, 就完美了"... but I have to say I didn't realise that was your wish actually, judging by all the quotes and citations you have written before on this blog... I thought you were asking for some intelligent debate... I guess I guessed wrong...Also, I went to the trouble of including the website links in my discussion of Picasso's art only because of how you have slagged off the other poster above for not bothering to post you the link to Susan Sontag's work but "lazily" asked you to Google it instead. "喂, 小丑呀, 好人做到底好冇呀! 直呈link 個 website 0黎啦, 咪要人自己search 咁衰啦~~"Now I realise that 做好人冇好"Po" as you would just be condescending either way... "我覺得我必需再一次的承認我是一個油畫的門外漢, 我對畢卡索的畫, 只是單純的從觀感出發, 從誠實的自我出發。若了解、明白, 必需是事前做很多很多的資料搜集, 從畫的源為始, 至下筆、 著墨、構圖、佈局...等等等的技術細節為終, 然後我告訴你, 我了解、我明白"Guernica"畫中對戰爭的種種描述了, 然後我只好坦白的承認, 我的明白、了解是不誠實的, 我只是被解釋明白、了解而已, 本質上, 我已然一無所知, 如同我的起始。觀畫, 其實是一個很個人的感受, 有些人看了"Guernica"會下淚, 有些人看了會心有戚戚然, 亦有些人看的一頭冒水汗滴滴, 如我, 但我是在公然侮辱畢大師嗎? 不, 我只是想做個誠實的人吧了!!!"Erm, you have totally misrepresented what I said in order to assert your "honesty" - or more accurately, you've appropriated my arguments and tried to argue that they were your assertions instead. If you care to read my "1000-word" post that you think I've so painstakingly constructed, perhaps you would notice that I said the following:"Of course I'm not expecting that you would be persuaded by what I wrote above if you are simply not touched by Picasso's art ...Sometimes not everybody gets a particular type of art, and that's just the way things are because we're different people. Like I am completely fanatically in love with Wong Kar Wai's 2046 (have seen this in the cinema three times and not being bored for even 1 minute). But I understand not everyone would see what I see in the movie...""You don't need to "think" to understand Picasso's work, you feel it."Somehow you won't acknowledge the fact that I have made the precise point you've just translated into Chinese: "觀畫, 其實是一個很個人的感受, 有些人看了"Guernica"會下淚, 有些人看了會心有戚戚然, 亦有些人看的一頭冒水汗滴滴, 如我". Why did you put words in my mouth? At no point did I suggested that you're being "dishonest" in saying that you don't like Picasso, because, as I said, we're all different people and have different tastes in art. However, again, what I would ask you to do, is to drop your condescension and "NOT insult the artists, as well as my intelligence and my sensitivity, by calling them imposters and calling us fools". And please accept that you have indeed "公然侮辱畢大師" by citing that guy who wrote Picasso is one of those "一些毫無技術基礎卻又自抬身價的騙徒"... If you are indeed 只是想做個誠實的人吧了, then please realise how patently false and insulting this statement - calling Picasso a 毫無技術基礎 person is like calling Beethoven a fraud. You might not appreciate Beethoven but please don't insult him by saying he has no talent. That's not too much to ask, is it?"但你說到畢老的油畫如此的價值連城, 足見其地位超卓, 這又讓我想起了太多的商業考量來, 一些商業投資的炒作, 如今已讓買賣油畫成了一門非常專業的商業活動了, 對不起, 我俗不可耐的毛細胞又在蠢蠢欲動了, 對不起!!!"Of course the arts these days have been completely commercialised - but that is NOT the same as saying that Art "has no intrinsic value" - which was the claim that I was objecting to in my rather "honest" (to use your phrase) and perhaps naive way. "藝術是無價的, 我深信。" That was actually the point I was making... "p.s. "是一些毫無技術基礎卻又自抬身價的騙徒", 這一句引言的確有貶意, 我為我的疏忽致歉, 希望不會像森美、小儀那樣被罰就好了!! ^^"" (噢!)"Oh, so you can read my blog and see that I totally disagree with Sammy/Siu Yee.. too bad I am not as extremist as you tried to make me out to be... and too bad you didn't notice at no point I compared your original comments to their dissembling...When I was writing my original post I thought I was engaging in a sincere and hopefully open-minded, albeit earnestly-argued debate, but my simple request to ask for an insult-free discussion just resulted in more condescension... I guess that's my naviete then and I should learn better than to respond next time I happen to disagree with what you say... p.s. Sometimes I really wish I can type Chinese so that there is no room for any (deliberate) misunderstanding... Trackback URL : http://www.seechuen.com/blog/bblog/trackback.php/360/38420/

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