DelGaudio Sez

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Joe Mckay
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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Joe Mckay » November 4th, 2014, 3:12 pm

Most paintings are crap and most people are bored by looking at them.

Or they are pretentious snobs.

More people spend longer reading the description that accompanies the painting than they do looking at the painting.

The only painting I ever liked is the one of the dogs playing pool.

Image

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Bill Mullins » November 4th, 2014, 3:23 pm

Brad J -- Apparently you don't agree with Brad H's definitions of art. Which is fine.

But if the word "art" is to be useful in a discussion, it has to have some meaning. What is art, to you?

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Bill Mullins » November 4th, 2014, 3:25 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:The only painting I ever liked is the one of the dogs playing pool.


You've said that magic isn't art, because it doesn't reach the artistic standards of painting. If this is what you were referring to, I now realize you've been been trolling us for a whole thread.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Joe Mckay » November 4th, 2014, 3:35 pm

I never troll on the internet. Trolling is boring and a waste of time. Except when Damian does it on the magic cafe.

I shouldn't have included painting in my original list. But I felt I could since I wanted to reflect the fact that all of the public would consider painting an art - and very few would consider magic an art.

And for words to have meaning - I think we should respect the way they are used by most people. And there is no doubt that the majority of people would not consider magic an art.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 4th, 2014, 3:49 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:Which leads to the real issue: intention.
...the intention of the artist and the audience are critical to the condition of art.


Note to artists ...

Please take a few moments to write on the back of the canvas, what your intentions were when doing this particular painting.

i.e. "I was attempting to appeal to, and connect with, human emotion." or, "I was trying to make enough money to buy a Martha Stewart food processor."

This will greatly facilitate future generations in their efforts to determine whether or not, what you have created is art.


Note to those who have not studied art in the last century - there was a time when folks were writing plans and such for works.

Borges' story about the guy who (re)wrote the Quixote bears upon this - as does the true life tale of a Warhol print made outside his factory, years later, using the same screens and the art world discussion about whether or not such a print is an authentic Warhol. Easyreading folks might enjoy Lem's book Imaginary Magnitude.

I doubt the Green Eggs and Ham therefore I might be

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Q. Kumber » November 4th, 2014, 5:03 pm

My subjective definition of "art" is when (through creative expression - music, painting, performing etc) I feel the soul of the creator has touched my soul.

The exact same thing can be experienced by two different people in diametrically opposite ways.

For example, in my early twenties, I was in Dublin city centre and a pitchman named Henry was demonstrating and selling bird warblers on the street. He was superb and his dem conjured up a farmyard and bird sanctuary of invisible creatures. I've never seen it done better and it was - to me - truly wonderful. I looked up and saw one of my old school teachers, also watching. Our eyes met and I was just about to comment on Henry when he said, "Isn't it pathetic to see someone reduced to working like this."

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby cardmaster » November 4th, 2014, 6:18 pm

I knew Henry. He could pitch magic too although he was not a magician. He must be dead now. He was never healthy and had a hole in the heart condition. It is true that he was superb with the bird warbler and I only knew one man who could match him with it. His name might surprise you. It was Paul Clive the author of the classic book on self working card tricks, "Card Tricks Without Skill" Oddly enough Paul wasn't much good at card tricks but was superb with the Bird Warbler.

As for the subject under discussion magic is most certainly an art but alas only a tiny few are artists. I was once challenged to say why I thought it was an art and I couldn't think of an answer. I just KNEW it was! Alas there were and are so few artists in magic that I still find it difficult to articulate why it is an ART form just as valid as music, sculpture and painting. All I can say is that I know it when I see it. Alas I wish I could see it less rarely.

Oddly enough Mark Raffles once explained to me why Magic was an art. I can't remember 100% what he said but I vaguely remember it had something do with how vast it was. For example books have been written about one sleight alone. And all the myriad books on theory and showmanship add up to make it art. There are so many skills that are needed to be a good magician from drama (which is an art in itself), to scripting, to technical ability, to audience management to psychology to knowledge of people. It HAS to be an art! It just HAS to be! I still can't articulate properly with a logical answer as to why it is an art. I just KNOW it is!

Magic IS an art. It is not the fault of magic that there are so few artists. It is the fault of the so called "magicians". If you think of it as an art and practice it as an art then an art it will surely be.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Brad Henderson » November 4th, 2014, 8:12 pm

joe, your lack of context is showing. The Duchamp fountain was an ingenious condemnation of exactly the pretentiousness which offends you.

In the early 20th century most art shows were curated affairs - some pieces deemed worthy, others discarded. inclusion or exclusion was a badge of honor or disgrace depending on one's take on the art world and the status quo.

A group of NY artist were putting together a show and didn't want to be small minded and provincial like the mainstream art community. THEY were innovators. THEY were avant guarde. THEY were open. So open they pledge no art was too 'out there' for inclusion.

So Duchamp, the chess master, sent in a urinal. Check mate.

To refuse it was to reneg on one's claims of being on the cutting edge. To accept it was - well, to accept a urinal.

The man you condemn provided the greatest argument for your point.

Context can be fun.

NOW as to the notion of ready Mades and the transformation of a shovel into art by virtue of being called so ---- it's a deep issue that deals with perception and intent.

is it art? if not, why not? if so, why so?

For a stupid joke It kind of upended the world of art and is still informing lay people's perceptions of art, even if they never knew of Duchamp himself or had seen a single piece.

If anything Duchamp would likely agree with you.

unless he wouldn't.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 4th, 2014, 10:29 pm

GlennWest wrote:Art doesn't require an audience.

Magic does.

If magic doesn't fool, then it isn't magic.

No audience, no one to fool.

Unless, like some here, you are fooling yourself.

1) most artists inspect their work rather than execute designs/plans and let the work out without even seeing the thing.

2) Magic hardly fools - it sometimes temporarily deceives and within some limits at that.

3) Taking the "no way to verify all the way to ultimate knowledge" position does not require self deception. Some folks so seem to enjoy avoiding their homework.

Again, R. Mutt's Fountain is not the Pierian Springs

The performing and technical arts advance as they can and where they can. It seems our variety art is still disgraced. Perhaps by its sullen defense of secrets in the open market and leaving out critical information in products sold which proffer secrets. Perhaps it's the wannabe wizards who can't make sure that their performing character knows that the audience knows that they aren't really a wizard. Perhaps its the confusing of imaginary characters for story telling by performance with real life artisans whose work requires great access to information and technology. The man behind the curtain is not the man in front of the audience. One is the author of the other. One plays the part while the other makes sure the parts are in place on time.

Rhetoric is the means to observe what is persuasive. Magic may be the means to observe what is effective.
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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby John Carney » November 4th, 2014, 10:50 pm

Well said, Derek.

It makes me want to puke when some people talk about "our art".

Just participating in a community, buying books, props, and secrets means nothing. You have to earn that title, and even then, it varies from person to person, and project to project. The only criteria to me, is how much thought and work went into it. No shortcuts. No posturing or cheap theatrics.

I always say, Beware of the artist with a beret.

I don't ask, "is it an art?" … I only ask, what did that person do with those primary colors, those notes on a scale, those dance steps, or methods in magic?

I go case by case … "is that person an artist?" … Did they do the work?
Does it show?

If you are doing the work, putting in the thought … the critics can go jump in the lake. You are doing it for yourself first.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Joe Mckay » November 5th, 2014, 3:16 am

Hey Brad,

Thanks for the info about Duchamp. I never knew there was more to it than simply trying to pass off a urinal as art.

Cheers!

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Bill Duncan » November 5th, 2014, 3:19 am

Because being fooled is the most fundamental part of magic.

Clay is the most fundamental part of pottery, but it’s not what decides if the pottery is art, or craft.

There’s a popular conception that that “art” equals “beauty” and that “moving” means “to make one weep.” I disagree. Art is an act communication, just as entertainment is. Art is harder. You can entertain someone by farting at the wrong moment. Art is farting as just the right moment.

Art Appreciation Homework:
Watch The Three Stooges doing slapstick. That’s entertainment.
Watch Chaplin in City LIghts. That’s art.

The only thing that separates magic from other fields is the ability to fool people.

Why do we need or want to separate magic from other fields? The trend in artistic endevors would seem to be to combine forms to create richer experiences. You'd be hard put to find a singer who just sits on stage with a microphone.
And not to put too fine a point on it, but painting fools people. Most people think a painting is “realistic” if it’s representational, forgetting that if something shows only one view of a thing it hides more than it reveals. Sculpture provides depth, but lacks color. Music fools people all the time.

Poets obfuscate truth in order to “move” people indirectly.

What makes magic different is the popular misconception that people should care about the secrets. Only a small percentage of the public can draw a simple three dimensional picture of a box, but people don’t hate paintings because they show perspective correctly. And yet people are made to feel like being fooled by a magic trick somehow lessens them.

Fix that, and you have art.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 5th, 2014, 7:52 am

Joe Mckay wrote:Thanks for the info about Duchamp. I never knew there was more to it than simply trying to pass off a urinal as art.


Okay you're getting closer to the fountain.

Starting to wonder if Pierian Springs is a brand of water sold in supermarkets.
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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby cardmaster » November 5th, 2014, 8:43 am

Maybe we should just call it a performing art and leave it at that.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 5th, 2014, 9:31 am

cardmaster wrote:Maybe we should just call it a performing art and leave it at that.


Performing arts - variety arts - that brings us back a century or so. For some who need to write about "art" that might be progress.
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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Matthew Field » November 5th, 2014, 9:44 am

It's not progress at all, Jonathan.

The problem is not the label. It's the low level crap that is the norm in magic performance in 2014. Go back and read what Derek DelGaudio is saying in my original post.

Look at what Criss Angel did originally in the basement of the WWF in his first, low-budget show. That was art. Look at the crap he's doing now. That is embarrassing.

Look at what people like Max Maven, Tom Stone, Rob Zabrecky, Eugene Burger, Peter Samelson and John Carney are doing (to name just a handful). If you can't see what sets them apart from the usual crap we are handed, then I can't help you.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 5th, 2014, 10:07 am

Matt, folks

Folks who care to offer mysteries and delight to audiences have done so throughout recorded history - as shown by that ancient report on the cups and balls trick. In our larger economy there's advantage to having non-provocative mediocre product. The job is to entertain rather than inspire.

There's room for improvement in how the magic market offers product to its customers.
As a moral question: is taking money from a baby by selling unhealthy candy meretricious behavior? Not sure what needs to be added to the advice in Robert-Houdin's book about prop-shop-conjurors and wannabe-jugglers who attempt to confuse magic with carpentry or with demonstrations of skill.

It's encouraging that in our dialogs online we accept and encourage folks who don't recall Shakespeare's Bottom, Pope's Essay on Criticism... material built from older mythology and eternal human truths.

Reactions to the second industrial revolution in the arts and philosophy were interesting. Uncertainty met Moral Relativism with a mighty gush of verbose reaction formation. Do we really need to rehash how we went from validation (feels good so in must be right) to verification (we looked so it must be true) to measures of certainty ( confidence within stated limits) ?

Affected is not artistic. OCD is not required.
Our audiences don't have ADHD they have other things to think about.

What story would you like your audience to tell after the show? How well does what you're doing today accomplish your goals?
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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Bill Mullins » November 5th, 2014, 12:33 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote: Uncertainty met Moral Relativism with a mighty gush of verbose reaction formation.


Jonathan Townsend met the Genii Forum with . . .

Oh, this is too easy.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 5th, 2014, 1:12 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
Jonathan Townsend wrote: Uncertainty met Moral Relativism with a mighty gush of verbose reaction formation.


Jonathan Townsend met the Genii Forum with . . .

Oh, this is too easy.


Got any tricks which demonstrate that sense of clever?
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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Q. Kumber » December 1st, 2014, 11:30 am

As far as art in theatre goes - I mean a live theatrical performance - I can only think of one show that I have seen that fits unequivocally into that category and that is Max Maven's one man show.

He performed it three years ago at the London Magic Festival. The crafting of the show, the scripting and the performance made for a wonderful piece of theatre that was far more than a regular magic show - Thinking In Person: An Evening of Knowing and Not Knowing.

I can appreciate it's not everyone's cup of tea and for the first ten minutes of the show I was concerned that it might be somewhat meandering and verbose but then it took off and I experienced one of the most engrossing, enchanting and elevating pieces of theatre that ranks up there with the very best shows I've seen.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby prodigy » December 1st, 2014, 10:45 pm

For those who attended the workshop, how was it?

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Jeff Eline » December 3rd, 2014, 10:09 am

prodigy wrote:For those who attended the workshop, how was it?


Artful.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Bill Mullins » November 23rd, 2015, 11:07 am

Image

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby performer » November 23rd, 2015, 11:16 am

It is very easy you know. Magic IS an art. Obviously an art. The trouble is that 90 percent of "magicians" are not artists. I don't really think they are magicians either hence the inverted commas.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby observer » November 23rd, 2015, 11:32 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Image



The Beverly Hillbillies, Season 6 Episode 25:

(Jethro wants to learn to play the fiddle, so the Clampetts hire Sebastian Stromboli, the world's greatest concert violinist. But first of course an interview to see if he's qualified.)

Hans Conreid (as Stromboli): I'll have you know, sir, that I am an artist!

Jed: Oh, I'd like to see your paintings some time.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby MagicbyAlfred » November 23rd, 2015, 12:08 pm

I think that, even in the unlikely event we could all completely agree on one particular definition of "art," there would still be widespread disagreement over whether magic is an art, or whether a particular performance of magic constitutes art. Unlike fact, opinion, even when loudly proclaimed, can never be proven. Like beauty, art is in the eye of the beholder.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby billmccloskey » November 23rd, 2015, 1:45 pm

For me, the question of "what is art" comes down to "intention". Art has no intention. The performing arts entire raison d'être is intention: the intention to entertain, the intention to mystify, the intention of making us think or feel certain emotions. In the performing arts, which magic certain is a subset, we purposefully construct something that leads to a particular end. we create "3 acts", we crowdsource and do out of town tryouts in order to confirm that our "entertainment" conforms to its intended intention: i.e. did it make us laugh, did it make us cry, did we communicate what we hoped to communicate. It is all about purposeful intention designed to elicit specific responses in the viewer.

But art, like painting, drawing, sculpture, have no "intention". The effect (at least when it achieves real art status) is totally dependant on the viewer and the viewer's response to the work of art. If I look at a black canvas by Rothko, I might feel the blackness in his soul when he painted that knowing that he committed suicide soon after painting it, or I might get caught up with the shades of blackness in the pigment, or I might get caught up with the way the black canvas sets off a particular room, or the way the black canvas looks at particular times of day under particular light. Or it might be something completely personal to me that no one else will understand. There is no intention on the part of the artist for us to feel anything specific, or anything at all. The art is created by bypassing the logical "this then that" of intention, and reaches us on an unconscious level, projecting something real that the artist him/herself might not even have realized at the time of creation.

Art then is the unconscious speaking directly to us, while magic and other performing arts, is the intentional conscious speaking directly to us. that is how I see the difference at any rate.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Brad Henderson » November 23rd, 2015, 2:07 pm

art having no intention may be the wrongest thing I have ever read about art - including this statement using the non word wrongest.

most aesthetic theories would posit that intention is the primary requisite for art to be art.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 23rd, 2015, 2:27 pm

the word as it applies to a work - lower case a art relates to the produce of an artisan - and for modern usage may as well equate to craft and workmanship.

Capitalized a art... that's also got components of effectiveness and novelty as recognized in the community. It helps to have full use of available art/craft/technique when attempting to create something that could turn out to be Art.
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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby billmccloskey » November 23rd, 2015, 2:30 pm

"art having no intention may be the wrongest thing I have ever read about art "

ha.

I know the intention of Penn & Teller. What was the intention of Mona Lisa?

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Brad Henderson » November 23rd, 2015, 3:15 pm

ah - you are confusing intention for 'message' or 'subject'.

the intention is to willfully manipulate symbolic structures (color, sound, light) to convey a feelingful response.

Without that intention you have only 'stuff'.

Now, as marcel duchamp showed us, one can transform 'stuff' into ART - BUT that requires INTENTION!

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 23rd, 2015, 3:27 pm

billmccloskey wrote:...
I know the intention of Penn & Teller. What was the intention of Mona Lisa?


IIRC it was a commissioned portrait. Aside from a demonstration of Leonardo's ability to create a sense of detail on a small canvas it included a technical trick to superimpose a smile on a passive face when in peripheral vision.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... ewers.html

Compose and comprise in action ;)
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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby billmccloskey » November 23rd, 2015, 3:51 pm

"the intention is to willfully manipulate symbolic structures (color, sound, light) to convey a feelingful response.
"

"IIRC it was a commissioned portrait. Aside from a demonstration of Leonardo's ability to create a sense of detail on a small canvas it included a technical trick to superimpose a smile on a passive face when in peripheral vision. "

Well, there we have two intentions. In fact, each intention is based on what the individual brings to it: which is sort of my point. If you go to a Penn and Teller show, and you ask people what the intention was, you will a few different responses that are all about the same: mystification, entertainment, etc.

With the mona lisa, we have two different intentions, and if we had 3 or 7 or 100 different people, we would hear 3 or 7 or 100 different intentions. Which is my point.

the intention of the Mona Lisa is whatever the subjective viewer brings to the experience. Not so in the performing arts.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Bob Farmer » November 23rd, 2015, 4:00 pm

I recall a quote from a university course in contemporary American literature. I think it was something like this and I think it might have been from Philip Roth: "What if entertainment is the meaning of life?"

It may have been in the same essay Roth wrote on hard it was to be a novelist in the time of Richard Nixon. His point: as a character, Nixon was too unbelievable for fiction. There may be several candidates running for office today where the same thing could be said.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 23rd, 2015, 4:06 pm

I think it's pretty clear what Picasso's intention was. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby billmccloskey » November 23rd, 2015, 4:17 pm

Love to hear it Richard. I'm willing to bet that everyone reading it will have different mileage. What was John Cage's intention behind the 2 hour piano piece I sat through that was based on star charts or Thereou drawings? No idea. But it was incredibly meaningful for me none the less, even though 90% of the audience had left and clearly did not find the intention I found.

Art lives firmly behind the right side of the brain. The performing arts, behind the left side. One taps directly into the unconscious, one manipulates conscious experience to maximum benefit.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Jonathan Townsend » November 23rd, 2015, 4:24 pm

billmccloskey wrote:For me, the question of "what is art" comes down to "intention"...



Whose intentions? Yours? The ones you are not yet conscious of? Someone else's intentions? How can you know?
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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby billmccloskey » November 23rd, 2015, 4:37 pm

Jonathan, my point is that when we talk about art, the viewer is as much a part of the experience as the creator. for the performing arts, less so. When I see someone sawing a woman in half, all things being equal, I'm going to have the same experience of the illusion as anyone else. The experience is independant on the audience viewing it and the experience is intentional in it's fabrication.

With art, my experience is going to be completely different than your experience. My experience viewing a Picasso is going to be vastly different than Richards, or yours or anyone else's on the planet. the experience of the work of art is dependant on my personal experience that I bring to it. to me that is one of the main differentiators between art and entertainment.

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Brad Jeffers » November 23rd, 2015, 5:18 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:I think it's pretty clear what Picasso's intention was.


“In art intentions are not sufficient and, as we say in Spanish, love must be proved by deeds and not by reasons. What one does is what counts and not what one had the intention of doing.”
- Pablo Picasso

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Re: DelGaudio Sez

Postby Richard Kaufman » November 23rd, 2015, 7:16 pm

That quote does not say that Picasso had no intention when he painted.
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