Art Collection in Plain Language Part 2

Artistic Modes of Flight

Artistic Modes of Flight

Okay, a number of hectic dealings over the past several months have inspired me to make at least one more post in this series. Knowledge is power and you collectors, especially the beginners, need power. So, I’m going to give you all some definitions to help you get started off on the right foot. Here we go.

2D Art or two-dimensional visual art is art that is largely produced in a flattened medium (e.g. drawings, paintings, photography).

I am a 2D visual artist. I paint, I draw and I print the fine art photographs that I prepare. Despite its nomenclature, 3D or three-dimensional digital illustration and graphics, which I do a little of, are associated with 2D art when produced, typically through printing, in flattened physical medium.

3D Art or three-dimensional visual art is art that is rendered with three-dimensional physical structure (e.g. pottery, sculpture, models, machines, toys, woodwork, etc).

Applied Art is visual art that includes industrial design, graphic design, fashion design, interior design and decorative art.

I also do some graphics.

If you like to collect one or more architectural renderings, car concept artwork or schematics, or you want to hire an artist to produce any of these, then you are a collector of applied art.

Art Collector or simply a collector is any person or faction who buys art for aesthetic appreciation and/or investment reasons; regardless of actual or perceived social or economic stature. This could be you.

Commercial Art is art forms that are not necessarily visual but are developed primarily for utility (see Fine Art).

Contemporary Art is art produced at this present point in time—specifically, since World War II.

I am a contemporary artist because my 2D visual art is contemporary.

Fine Art is art forms that are not necessarily visual but are developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application (see Commercial Art). Yes, there is a fine line between commercial art and fine art because fine art can indeed be sold commercially, even if it was originally made with little or no utility in mind.

In September 1804, Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned the fine artist to the French aristocracy Jacques-Louis David to paint “Le Sacre de Napoléon (The Coronation of Napoleon)”. The piece was strictly for Napoleon’s vanity and posterity. Napoleon actually wasn’t crowned until Sunday December 2, 1804; that’s how sure the bugger was of himself becoming Emperor of France. The timing was; nevertheless appropriate as it gave J.L. David, with permission, the opportunity to watch the actual ceremony so that he could make the historic art piece with considerable accuracy. The enormous painting wasn’t completed until 1807.

David is said to have been paid 24,000 Francs. Historians say that for aaaaaaaaaaaaall of J.L. David’s time spent on it and putting up with Napoleon’s what’s-it-what’s-it ideas for making the piece just right, the commissioning wasn’t a very commercial undertaking for the artist. J.L. David’s scarcely concealed opinion of Napoleon is well known to this day in any case. There is a surviving sketch for the actual painting that depicts Napoleon poised to crown himself after snatching it from the Pope’s hands. The painting remains better known for its historical significance than what it was originally financially worth (which is okay in my book). Today, it’s priceless. As I said, it’s a fine line.

Modern Art sounds like it means the same thing as contemporary art but it is actually artwork produced between the 1860s and 1970s. If it’s not produced in that time period and is not exemplary of the philosophies of artistry in that era, then it’s not modern art. What modern art is, is not cheap. If you are not wealthy, that stuff can run you up!

Performance Art is art forms that create works which rely most heavily on some manner of kinetic involvement in their production, and are produced for an audience. Music, drama and dance are the performance arts.

Visual Art are art forms that create works which are primarily visual in nature, such as ceramics, drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, design, crafts, and often modern visual arts (photography, video, and filmmaking) and architecture (anyone collecting architecture as art, is also involved in real estate to some extent).

There are many more terms to reference but if you’re new to collecting art beyond going to Wal-Mart and picking up a framed photo of the Eiffel Tower, Marilyn Monroe or a sailboat you’ll never get anywhere close to that’s sailing on wide open and glittering waters, then these explanations are enough for now.

Yes, there will be a Part 3. In Part 3, I’m going to give tips on how to get your money’s worth in art.


16 thoughts on “Art Collection in Plain Language Part 2

  1. You have some very clear definitions here, thanks for posting. 🙂 I am not much of an artist but I love to take pictures and have a BA in Art History. You’re right – knowledge is power.

    • I hope it helps those who need it because this year I’ve certainly encountered some people who need it. They were all very interested in buying art and going to galleries and such but were gripped by a profund fear of looking like they didn’t know how to go about it, including ensuring that they were getting their money’s worth. They weren’t financially rich people but they definitely had a passion for viewing art, and buying a few things for themselves.

      They’re afraid of scenarios like seeing a painting somwhere that looks affordable but the price isn’t listed in plain sight so they have to ask for the cost. When they do they’re treated like ignoramuses because it soon becomes evident that they cannot afford the piece. People are afraid to open their mouths.

      It’s the art world in general. There is definitely a snobbery about it. We do it to ourselves. Those who want that elitism to exist brashly call it “sob appeal”. Those who don’t want it call it a colossal hindrance to the effort of making art available to and enjoyable by the masses, and it is.

  2. there is a lot of generosity in this want us to have a good definition of the kinds of art in existence..i really went through all the definition of art is is like God, it’s impossible to know what it is…

  3. Thank you for the class. I feel powerful. Love that you even include a piece of history there. The image is quite intriguing. You really are IT. The epitome of an art blogger.

  4. Excellent information about art, concepts and terms. What about post-modern art, how would you describe that (which of course is very difficult since there isn’t a clear idea about what it really is)? The picture which accompanying this post, is beautiful and has some wonderful light.

    • Excellent point, I hadn’t even considered it. I should try to come up with something for the future. I’m probably only going to be able to cite examples of celebrated artwork and architecture. Definitely something to ponder.

      The image above has so far strictly been a self-promotion piece as was my only intent with it.

      To make the paper planes, I repetitiously wrote the words “Idea”, “Insight”, “Creativity”, “Originality”, “Ingenuity”, “Inventiveness”, “Resourcefulness”, “Vision”, “Imagination”, “Mind’s Eye”, “Innovation”, “Inspiration”, “Motivation”, “Stimulation” (these are our modes of flight; I probably could have added “Risk”) in black. I printed the text onto letter sized white paper, and folded the planes. I used thread to suspend them all at the same time from the ceiling.

      I shot the planes in darkness with the flash approximately 5ft away and high to the left. I think I strobed at 1/4 power so that the planes whould be bright and contrasty. The rest was post-prod.

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