Greg Mason Burns

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Beauty and Evolution: is Beauty a Defense Mechanism?

Beauty and Evolution I can´t argue against this. Denis Dutton has a pretty convincing argument one way or another, but how true is it? His theory suggests that what we perceive as beauty is as evolved as our bodies are. He argues that the shape of a diamond is eerily similar to that of a pre-historic stone spearhead. Furthermore, these stones weren´t just made to kill animals but to show off abilities for the purpose of mating. Think about it, a man makes a stone not to kill, but to show that he´s capable of creating such a stone, and

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Telling the Truth in Art

Telling the Truth in Art Nothing irks me more in art than criticism that uses modern fashion as a justification for it’s existence. In fact, if a piece of art is being criticized because the piece fails to follow modern fashionable conventions then the piece is very likely by definition “art”. I don’t say this meaning that art must or even should break conventions (I don’t believe that at all). But art that conforms to prevailing fashions intentionally is missing something, and that missing piece is truth.   Truth is nothing new in art, but what the truth is, unfortunately,

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A Critique of the Definition of Documentary Art

Documentary Art: a Definition The first thing that comes to mind when we think of a documentary is usually a film. Beyond that, we typically think of writers and photographers, especially those of the journalistic type. But that’s not all. Painters were definitely the documentary artists before photography was invented. Painters such as Raffaele Carelli and Johann Moritz Rugendas documented the landscapes they visited. In fact, the Hudson School was probably the dominant American documentary arts style of the 1800s. They influenced the mass migration westward in the US as much as anyone did.    Documentary Art relies on a

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How to Look at Art in Four Steps (when you don’t know what you’re looking at)

Have you ever wondered how something can be called “art” when it apparently looks like something you could have created using the leftover paint from painting your garage? Well, in this great video by University of Pittsburgh Professor Terry Smith, at the Andy Warhol Museum, he explains how to look at art using four steps:   What: Look at the art and ask: “What am I looking at?” Share these thoughts with other people. Try to describe it and keep an open mind. Describe the materials and think about how they may be linked to each other. How: How was

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Choose Your Palette Based on What You Want to Paint

Choosing your palette is not as difficult as you may think. Let me give you an example. I’m also a rock climber. Some climbers take all of the gear they think they may need during a climb while others only take the gear they anticipate that they’ll need. I had one climbing friend ask another partner one day, “So what gear do you take with you?” The second answered, “It depends on the climb.” And so it is with your palette. Choose your palette, don’t let it choose you. Look, I get it, some people like the palette they work

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The Future of Selling Art: Why This Is a Good Thing

Yeah, I know, there are thousands of artists peddling their works on eBay, but how many of them auction in the hundred’s of thousands of dollars? If they’re coming straight from the artist then the answer is none, but why can’t there be high-priced auctions over the Internet like there are in famous auction houses? Well, eBay and Phillips are teaming up to do just that, and that’s great news for everyone. Why? Because this is the future of art. Think for a moment where artists sell. Mostly it’s to collectors via brick and mortar galleries, websites, at fairs, or

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