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Re: mediocrity passed off as quality

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  • phio23@hotmail.com
    ... out to ... if ... Lucessi or a ... i am willing to call it poorly acomplished, but so long as the intent was genuine, it is art. i ve got no problem with
    Message 1 of 28 , Jun 1, 2001
      > I don't disagree here. But what do you call it when someone sets
      out to
      > sculpt a realistic figure but gets the proportion wrong? I mean,
      if
      > someone is setting out to sculpt in the style of a Rodin, or a
      Lucessi or a
      > Matisse, fine. But if someone is making a gaming piece that is not


      i am willing to call it poorly acomplished, but so long as the intent
      was genuine, it is art. i've got no problem with people evaluating
      their impressions of a piece and making qualitative judgements of
      their opinion of the work, i do it every time i shop for toy
      soldiers, but to defame the effort as not being genuine, or not being
      art, that bothers me...

      but i also think that there is a division in this business between
      functional sculpting and artistic sculpting. i know there are
      sculptors who do not consider themselves artists, but rather more
      akin to illustrators or craftsmen.... toy soldiers, depending upon
      the collector you are asking, are either functional tools or artistic
      statuary, and the people who sculpt them tend to share that split as
      well.... of course, being on the art side of the debate, i even see
      the utilitarian efforts as being artistic despite themselves, but
      such is the nature of perpsective...
    • b_arthur_simp_jr@hotmail.com
      Aw man! I was away from the computer for a couple of days and I missed all of the gun play! I have worked professionally as an artist for 18 years. I am
      Message 2 of 28 , Jun 1, 2001
        Aw man! I was away from the computer for a couple of days and I
        missed all of the gun play!

        I have worked professionally as an artist for 18 years. I am
        "classically" trained, but most of what I do would be considered
        commercial art. Over that span there have been times when I
        have felt like I have sold out because I have had to go where the
        money is.

        I have made a very good living at knowing who the customer is.
        Whether you draw, paint, sculpt, write, or speak, knowing the
        customer is paramount.

        If I were inclined to collect a Dark Elf army I would probably reach
        for Fitzpatrick's work. Bobby's, Sandy's, or even Copplestone's
        work would probably look goofy in that setting. I love their figs
        and they all have their place.

        I would like to point out that as the list of talented sculpters floats
        throughout this elist, not one is praised for their ability to copy
        another's style. Each one has developed a style of their own.

        Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this wonderful forum.
        I look forward to reading it each morning.

        Jim

        --- In 1listSculpting@y..., Bri'n Cog'n <tuff_git@y...> wrote:
        > --- john Winter <winterwonderland@f...> wrote:
        > > I will endeavor to
        > > > improve, and look forward to the day when my stuff
        > > can
        > > > stand next to Bobby's, Bob's, and Sandy's (not to
        > > > mention Chris Fitzpatrick's) without looking like
        > > rank
        > > > amateur stuff.
        > > >
        > > > Please more feedback!
        > > >
        > > > =====
        > > > Bri'n Cog'n
        > > > -advocate of weak generals
        > > >
        > > What you are about to read is more of an open letter
        > > to everyone rather than
        > > a personal reply.
        > > You can be a fan of whomever you want. I can see why
        > > someone would want to
        > > be compared to Bobby, Bob, and Sandy. But, in my
        > > opinion,. fans of
        > > Fitzpatrick can't distinguish style from substance
        > > and a smooth finish from
        > > a quality miniature.
        >
        > this may be an open letter, but that last part is a
        > direct insult. I have studied classical sculpture, and
        > spent more hours than I care to count in figure
        > drawing studios and clay modeling studios. I have
        > worked from live models, and had my work face the
        > harshest criticism I can imagine. I have opinions.
        > they are different opinions than yours. I do not
        > openly insult the sculptors you enjoy, much less your
        > taste or competence as a lover of art. In the future
        > you may be better served to keep a reign on your
        > pompous, egotistical ranting.
        >
        > I ask you, what is better, The Mona Lisa, or Guernica?
        >
        > there is no answer to that question because it is all
        > opinion.
        >
        >
        >
        > > I'm not your mom, I'm not here to coddle you. If
        > > you are an amature and
        > > intend to stay that way, fine, but if you want to
        > > play in the majors you
        > > need to know what you are doing. I'm tired of all
        > > of the Fakes.
        >
        >
        > Nice.. you're a class act Winter.
        >
        > =====
        > ------------------------------------------------------------
        > ___
        > \ /_ _\ / Bri'n Cog'n
        > |\(.|.)/| -Advocate of weak generals
        > \( /l\ )/ -Mushroom crazed loonie
        > \\_//
        > \_/
        >
        >
        __________________________________________________
        > Do You Yahoo!?
        > Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35
        > a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
      • winterwonderland@fuse.net
        ... Nothin to see here folks. Show s over...move along...move along...
        Message 3 of 28 , Jun 1, 2001
          --- In 1listSculpting@y..., b_arthur_simp_jr@h... wrote:
          > Aw man! I was away from the computer for a couple of days and I
          > missed all of the gun play!


          Nothin' to see here folks. Show's over...move along...move along...
        • Bob Lippman
          ... Well, those were not my words. I think it was a poor choice of words on the writer s part. What I think was being discussed was quality , a term which
          Message 4 of 28 , Jun 1, 2001
            At 12:56 PM 6/1/01 +0000, you wrote:
            > > I don't disagree here. But what do you call it when someone sets
            >out to
            > > sculpt a realistic figure but gets the proportion wrong? I mean,
            >if
            > > someone is setting out to sculpt in the style of a Rodin, or a
            >Lucessi or a
            > > Matisse, fine. But if someone is making a gaming piece that is not
            >
            >
            >i am willing to call it poorly acomplished, but so long as the intent
            >was genuine, it is art. i've got no problem with people evaluating
            >their impressions of a piece and making qualitative judgements of
            >their opinion of the work, i do it every time i shop for toy
            >soldiers, but to defame the effort as not being genuine, or not being
            >art, that bothers me...

            Well, those were not my words. I think it was a poor choice of words on
            the writer's part. What I think was being discussed was "quality", a term
            which transcends the purely subjective. I agree that no mortal should
            consider himself so high falootin as to dismiss someone's artistic attempts
            as not being "art". Heck, the finger paintings that I made in kindergarten
            are art for crying out loud.

            BTW, Dominc, you probably won't find the word "falootin" in your
            German/English dictonary...


            >but i also think that there is a division in this business between
            >functional sculpting and artistic sculpting. i know there are
            >sculptors who do not consider themselves artists, but rather more
            >akin to illustrators or craftsmen.... toy soldiers, depending upon
            >the collector you are asking, are either functional tools or artistic
            >statuary, and the people who sculpt them tend to share that split as
            >well.... of course, being on the art side of the debate, i even see
            >the utilitarian efforts as being artistic despite themselves, but
            >such is the nature of perpsective...

            To the extent that utilitarianism and emotion are successfully combined, I
            am most impressed.
            --
            Bob Lippman <ALTBOB@...>
            Saratoga Springs, New York

            Come see what's new at Strategic HQ!

            http://www.miniaturesbattles.com

            ( ) _ - _ ( )
            ~~ ~~
            ( 0 0 )
            -----------ooO----( )----Ooo------------
            ''' ( ) '''
            ( )
            \ /
            ~~O~~
          • Stuart Kenny
            I m just curious. I m sure everyone agrees that some figs are purchased because they are beautify figs, others because of their role / stats in a game, others
            Message 5 of 28 , Jun 1, 2001
              I'm just curious.

              I'm sure everyone agrees that some figs are purchased because they are
              beautify figs, others because of their role / stats in a game, others are a
              combination of the two.

              What percentage of fig sales do you all think are made because of the
              appearance of the fig?


              Personally:
              - I've gotten into games because I loved the figs.
              - I've refused to by figs because they were ugly / stupid looking, even
              though they have left vulnerable holes in an army.
              - But I've still bought plenty of figs that I've been unimpressed with,
              just because I needed an XXX in my YYY army.


              Stuart
            • Bri'n Cog'n
              well, I will not shell out for figs that I don t like. This stuff is expensive enough already without me buying something I don t like and consequently will
              Message 6 of 28 , Jun 1, 2001
                well, I will not shell out for figs that I don't like.
                This stuff is expensive enough already without me
                buying something I don't like and consequently will
                never paint.

                If I felt that x unit was essential for me to have a
                workable army, and I hate the figs fo x unit, then it
                will be conversion time, proxy time or I simply won't
                collect the army.

                I am trying to think of a time when I have bought a
                figure that i simply didn't like at all...

                nope I can't remember a time.


                --- Stuart Kenny <skenny@...> wrote:
                >
                > I'm just curious.
                >
                > I'm sure everyone agrees that some figs are
                > purchased because they are
                > beautify figs, others because of their role / stats
                > in a game, others are a
                > combination of the two.
                >
                > What percentage of fig sales do you all think are
                > made because of the
                > appearance of the fig?
                >
                >
                > Personally:
                > - I've gotten into games because I loved the figs.
                > - I've refused to by figs because they were ugly /
                > stupid looking, even
                > though they have left vulnerable holes in an army.
                > - But I've still bought plenty of figs that I've
                > been unimpressed with,
                > just because I needed an XXX in my YYY army.
                >
                >
                > Stuart
                >
                >


                =====
                ------------------------------------------------------------
                ___
                \ /_ _\ / Bri'n Cog'n
                |\(.|.)/| -Advocate of weak generals
                \( /l\ )/ -Mushroom crazed loonie
                \\_//
                \_/

                __________________________________________________
                Do You Yahoo!?
                Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only $35
                a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/
              • charles.mcgregor
                ... From: To: Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 1:56 PM Subject: [1listSculpting] Re: mediocrity passed off as
                Message 7 of 28 , Jun 1, 2001
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: <phio23@...>
                  To: <1listSculpting@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 1:56 PM
                  Subject: [1listSculpting] Re: mediocrity passed off as quality


                  > > I don't disagree here. But what do you call it when someone sets
                  > out to
                  > > sculpt a realistic figure but gets the proportion wrong? I mean,
                  > if
                  > > someone is setting out to sculpt in the style of a Rodin, or a
                  > Lucessi or a
                  > > Matisse, fine. But if someone is making a gaming piece that is not
                  >
                  >
                  > i am willing to call it poorly acomplished, but so long as the intent
                  > was genuine, it is art. i've got no problem with people evaluating
                  > their impressions of a piece and making qualitative judgements of
                  > their opinion of the work, i do it every time i shop for toy
                  > soldiers, but to defame the effort as not being genuine, or not being
                  > art, that bothers me...
                  >
                  > but i also think that there is a division in this business between
                  > functional sculpting and artistic sculpting. i know there are
                  > sculptors who do not consider themselves artists, but rather more
                  > akin to illustrators or craftsmen.... toy soldiers, depending upon
                  > the collector you are asking, are either functional tools or artistic
                  > statuary, and the people who sculpt them tend to share that split as
                  > well.... of course, being on the art side of the debate, i even see
                  > the utilitarian efforts as being artistic despite themselves, but
                  > such is the nature of perpsective...
                  >


                  I'm sure, in keeping with many on the list, I've given a fair ammount of
                  thought to this in the past. So here is my 2p on 'Art'.

                  The mechanism of creating an art object, is at base, fairly simple.

                  It requires that some sentient being physically brings into being an object
                  which would not otherwise exist, and the construction of which has
                  entailed some selection process resulting in an object which has
                  meaning of some kind to it's creator.

                  To clarify by examples.
                  Collecting egg-shells, nice bits of driftwood, butterflies etc is not art.
                  There may well be a selection process, and the selector may do so
                  on the basis of meaning to him/herself, but he/she did not cause the
                  existence of the object.

                  If we borrow from another metaphor. If a billion billion etc. monkeys
                  were given paint brushes and canvass, eventually one would produce
                  an exact molecule for molecule copy of the Mona Lisa. But it would
                  not be art since it held no meaning for it's creator.

                  The timings of the process are irrelevant.

                  e.g. someone may have a clear and immutable picture of what
                  they want before beginning to construct it and will then select the
                  lines curves and forms he/she needs to achieve it. Others may
                  modify what they want on a continual feedback basis, yet others
                  may vaguely generate objects in an almost random fashion and only
                  recognise the response they are after when they see it, rejecting the rest.

                  These all involve selection processes.

                  The lifetime of the object is also irrelevant in terms of whether it is an
                  art
                  object.

                  So far things have been fairly clear, but now it gets a wee bit muddier.

                  What of replication? If it were possible to create atomically identical
                  copies, are they all art objects? Sure they would not exist if it were
                  not for the artist, but then he may not even have physically made them
                  himself .

                  Certainly in the world of art valuation, if an object turns out to be a
                  fake,
                  or copy, then it becomes worth very much less.

                  Now let's consider the billions of monkeys scenario, where the
                  whole thing has been set up by an artist. He scrutinizes all the outputs,
                  rejecting them until one day, YES! that's it he declares as he grabs
                  the Mon Lisa and declares it to be art. Is it? It fits the defined
                  criteria,
                  creation, selection, meaning, so it must be.

                  So a while later, another monkey produces another exact copy.
                  Can the artist still shout Eureka again? No!, I hear you cry the intended
                  meaning has already been physically manifested, before.

                  This raises the question of originality. Is it a necessary for an art
                  object
                  to be original?

                  But hold on.
                  If the two Mona Lisas are atomically identical, then there is no way to
                  tell them apart, no art expert could.
                  Furthermore, there is no way of knowing for sure whether the first one
                  produced was truly original. In fact we know in the contrived example
                  that Leonardo did one previously. Indeed if we can put ourselves in
                  the position of art critics unaware of da Vinci's prior existance, we
                  might conclude that the first one produced by the monkey set up was
                  original andtherefore the true art object and the second was an exact
                  copy, and therefore merely a replica.

                  Extrapolating further, for all we know, some other artist somehwere
                  else in the Universe may have produced an exact Mona Lisa prior to
                  LdV.

                  It therefore follows that originality is not a logically sustainable
                  concept.
                  It can never be claimed with 100% certainty.

                  It follows that no-one, not even a top art expert, can look at an object
                  and declare 'That is(or isn't) art!'.

                  All that matters is that the object created by the artist has initiated a
                  response in her/himself which they consider worthy enough to declare
                  the object finished.

                  The artist may well hope that a similar response is engendered in
                  others, bringing in the concept of communication, or he might not
                  care a toss.
                  Even if no-one else ever sees it, if it were created in the manner
                  described it would still be art.

                  Whether and how much an artist sees a need to communicate
                  is not of itself a defining factor for art. An artist is simply he/she who
                  has created a work of art as defined previously.
                  It is largely tied up with the entirely separate question, of
                  what the artist thinks art is for.

                  While there are very few (perhaps none, but then we would never
                  know) artists who truly create works just for themselves, there is
                  a tendency for elitism at the so called 'high' end of art, where the
                  works are created for a relatively small 'club'. at the other
                  end, we have those artists who want as many people as possible
                  to see and appreciate their work. This is just down to personalities,
                  ego etc.
                  The irony is that while the word culture is much bandied about
                  at the 'High' end, it is the artists 'in tune' with the mass of the people
                  who have by far the greater influence on real culture, which by
                  definition is the shared values of popular consensus. Thus it has ever
                  been.

                  I've wittered on too long.

                  Basically, all one can do is say what you would have done.
                  and how the piece differs from your own expectation and what
                  emotional response it engenders.

                  regards
                  chic
                • Fergueson Fourmile
                  To Stuart from Otto. Tough question! Depends on the buyer and depends on the figure. I know that s something like saying It s either raining or its not but
                  Message 8 of 28 , Jun 1, 2001
                    To Stuart from Otto.

                    Tough question! Depends on the buyer and depends on the figure. I know
                    that's something like saying "It's either raining or its not" but it really
                    is. If the buyer is into FRP or Historical it doesn't matter. If you want
                    (for historicals) say 3rd Century B.C. Neosenephrin Catatonics, and only one
                    maker has them, well, you're sort of stuck. On the other hand in FRP you
                    might have more choice. As to quantifying it, it's anyone's guess. I know a
                    lot of guys won't buy figures they think aren't handsome but I know a lot of
                    other guys who will buy anything so long as its part of a "killer army"
                    according to the rule set. As for FRP I guess it's much the same. I think
                    that FRP gamers give their figures more hard use than miniature historical
                    gamers, and therefore may not be too particular about the looks, but again
                    that may just be my own experience. For my own part I liked the Ral Partha
                    Elves (the old style) because they looked like Late 15th century Burgundians
                    and could be used in that role. The figures just looked good. I also liked
                    the Ral Partha Landsknechts (bout about a $1,000 worth of them too over the
                    years) but hat the Old Glory Landsknechts even though they are probably
                    better executed (but again just too dam big and fat for my taste.

                    As I said, some people like Jazz, some people hate it.


                    ----- Original Message -----
                    From: Stuart Kenny <skenny@...>
                    To: <1listSculpting@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 12:07 PM
                    Subject: [1listSculpting] Re: mediocrity passed off as quality


                    >
                    > I'm just curious.
                    >
                    > I'm sure everyone agrees that some figs are purchased because they are
                    > beautify figs, others because of their role / stats in a game, others are
                    a
                    > combination of the two.
                    >
                    > What percentage of fig sales do you all think are made because of the
                    > appearance of the fig?
                    >
                    >
                    > Personally:
                    > - I've gotten into games because I loved the figs.
                    > - I've refused to by figs because they were ugly / stupid looking, even
                    > though they have left vulnerable holes in an army.
                    > - But I've still bought plenty of figs that I've been unimpressed with,
                    > just because I needed an XXX in my YYY army.
                    >
                    >
                    > Stuart
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    >
                    >
                    >
                  • Fergueson Fourmile
                    To all from Otto. I tend to agree with Phio, and that was my point in my original post. It was not any artist s work that I was criticizing per se, but the
                    Message 9 of 28 , Jun 1, 2001
                      To all from Otto.

                      I tend to agree with Phio, and that was my point in my original post. It was
                      not any artist's work that I was criticizing per se, but the style of
                      figures as required by Warhammer. I must also conclude that this WAS a
                      definately planned style as all of them seem executed in that manner, and
                      there are no deviations from it, and further other manufacturers have
                      changed their style to conform to it. I agree with Phio, further that
                      absolute proportions are in no sense essential to the quality of "art."
                      After all, we have only to consider the "Mannerist" school of painting (and
                      I cite here the work commonly called "The Madonna of the Long Neck" though
                      that is not its real title, and Agnolo Bronzino's "Venus, Cupid and Folly"
                      in an earlier period and Ingres' "Odalisque" in the 19th century as examples
                      of art which is clearly in the classical period but in which there are
                      figures which are clearly skewed in some sense of human proportion. On the
                      other hand one can cite the Impressionists as artists who worked within the
                      proportions yet created forms that are disliked by many, I for one. I still
                      think they are art.

                      Yet the problem with figures is that we are NOT dealing with art for
                      art's sake! That is, making art merely for the thing in itself. Here the
                      tastes of the patron enters into it. In figures, the Patron is first the
                      manufacturer who solicits the work, but also the customer who purchases
                      copies of it. Thus the artist is working towards a commission for the one
                      and eventually the other, this puts a whole new complexion on it. The artist
                      is executing the tastes (in some sense) of the patron. But here again we
                      must remember that the figures are not "objects" of themselves, that is
                      taken as expressions of art, but rather functional tokens of some abstract
                      concept defined by the game rules and the constellation of values within the
                      endeavor.

                      Perhaps the best example of this are the two executions of "The Battle
                      of Eylau" one a classic rendition of hussars in a hell-bent-for-leather
                      charge, and an other a surrealistic impression of blobs and streaks of white
                      paint on white which nevertheless reproducest he action and motion of the
                      classical picture. Now I doubt seriously if a manufacturer wanted you to
                      make a Hussar charging and you gave him a generally bulbous blob of putty
                      (in white) with a few spines and spires sticking out of it you would get
                      your money! The point is, and this is especially true in historical minis,
                      the figures are supposed to LOOK like real life. In FRP, though we are
                      dealing with many monsters and humanoid types, generally though they have to
                      LOOK like what we expect.... what we expect... think about that... what we
                      expect, and by this I mean who is expecting and what they are.

                      And here again we come down to the individual patron and the eventual
                      buyer.
                    • samwreck@hotmail.com
                      I tend to buy where the game leads me, I would buy a lot more miniatures ( Reaper s mouslings f rinstance, I love em but only have a few) if I had the
                      Message 10 of 28 , Jun 6, 2001
                        I tend to buy where the game leads me, I would buy a lot more
                        miniatures ( Reaper's mouslings f'rinstance, I love 'em but only have
                        a few) if I had the money.....ah, money. But OTOH, I wouldn't get
                        into a game if the miniatures weren't generally good. Having said
                        that, Ive given up a very popular game and the figs because of the
                        constant "updating" of rules that made old figures redundant or
                        forced me to spend about $200 at a time to stay competitive with new
                        stuff, and because the rules sucked so damn hard I "couldn't take no
                        more".
                        Please note, if you're a fan of the game, have fun. It just didn't
                        suit me........ or my budget. My miniatures collection would by now
                        need to be literally worth more than my car, and I need that to get
                        to work :)

                        -Sam



                        > Personally:
                        > - I've gotten into games because I loved the figs.
                        > - I've refused to by figs because they were ugly / stupid looking,
                        even
                        > though they have left vulnerable holes in an army.
                        > - But I've still bought plenty of figs that I've been unimpressed
                        with,
                        > just because I needed an XXX in my YYY army.
                        >
                        >
                        > Stuart
                      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.