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Old 04-20-2011, 06:28 PM   #11
Virgil Elliott Virgil Elliott is offline
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What greater challenge could any artist face than to try to depict a personality on canvas or panel, to create the illusion of a specific living person at his or her best, with that person's distinguishing personality traits and characteristic bearing coming through as if it were the real person right there? That is what a good portrait does. And it must be compelling as well, in order to stand as a great work of art.

When done well, its value as a work of art cannot be denied. When done poorly, well, that's another matter, but the objective is to do it well. The idea that one must argue to validate a given work as legitimate art only comes into play when the work itself is not compelling on its own terms upon direct viewing. When the work speaks Quality eloquently enough, verbal arguments are irrelevant. It's up to the artist to silence the critics by the quality of what we do, so to call into question the credibility of anyone who might try to minimize it or marginalize it.

I think it's best not to waste time arguing such points with people who are too ignorant to understand, anyway. The world is full of them. We either win them over by painting compelling works of art that breach their preconceived notions and register positively on their quality receptors, or we recognize that their prejudices are too strong against what we do, and therefore their opinions are not worth being concerned over. College art appreciation classes are most often where these prejudices are introduced into the minds of impressionable young students, and in many cases these indoctrinations blind them to Quality forever, where art is concerned. That is a travesty, to be sure, but let's not waste too much energy worrying about it. We have paintings to paint.

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Old 01-13-2012, 12:31 PM   #12
Michael Fournier Michael Fournier is offline
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Well this is a great discussion but and as I often do I will play devils advocate here and say. No Portraiture itself, is not a Art form or a movement in art. But a portrait can be art. For me portraiture is not a art form but a subject matter. Just as a landscape or still life is not a art form or style but simply the subject depicted. Picasso considered these portraits http://www.miracerros.com/artwork/g_picasso_0.htm
Are they no less valid a portrait as a more realistic representation of the subject? Most commissioned portrait Art falls in the realist realm as that is what the person commissioning the painting wanted. But at some point most good portraits differ in some way from what a photograph can capture. It is that quality that draws you into a painted portrait I have never heard anyone say that photo gives me the creeps it's eyes seem to follow me around the room yet I have heard that about painted portraits often. I have see a few truly great photographers that have been able to capture personality on film but not many it is very hard as photographs can only capture a moment in time and light but the artist eye and hand and the medium not only captures the subject but also the personality of the artist himself. It is Not what you paint but How you paint. So I have to say No portraiture is not a art form but I also say nether is landscape painting or still life painting. But all of them can be art. I paint one way no matter what I am painting I do not change myself so my art does not change based on my subject It is still distinctly mine. THAT is what makes art any style or subject art. It captures as much the personality of the artist as it does the subject.
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