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July 4, 2009
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what the hell is lowbrow?

Journal Entry: Sat Jul 4, 2009, 11:59 PM
Am I lowbrow because I sculpt fantasy?... what is lowbrow?.. do I want to be in that swamp ? Is it cool cause its looking eh.. uncool.  With cheeky theives  and snobs owning the playing feild.  Maybe I chose the wrong medium cause clay is work and hell I can vector trace real good!.. you wanna buy a print for 2k?

I can already hear an answer something to the tune of be whatever you want or  labels we dont need no stinkin labels!

Buuuut my teeth hurt from the lazy Mark Ryden hybrid , bigeye,saccharine, nubile goth, throw in a random skull,antlers or tentacle... hash that seems to mean insta fame right now. Is that all thats expected of me?

Since I already make ball jointed dolls  and figures of nudee fairy tale females I guess Im already there  and its only a small thing to push that much more,but the dying of the light screams nooooo! My stuborness wants to go the other direction.

I happen to be a doll sculptor nothing to take too seriously, nothing so deep there and my eternal love is for  nudes, fantasy, surrealism and dark art always have been and will be here when the territory is  trampled and unfresh and fad whores flit off to new ground. Ill be here mulching and tilling under hopeing something will grow in the depleated soil.

  Im feeling aprehension for the clique Im about to join this year cant you tell? Will it be ok?




  • Mood: Gloomy
  • Listening to: Yours truely Johnny Dollar
  • Reading: fahrinheit 451
  • Playing: folklore
  • Eating: chile
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:iconcatharirune:
catharirune Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2010
I know this comment is very late in the game, whoops, but I had to say something.
If "lowbrow" art means art that is realistic, beautiful, and an actual representation of "reality" than sign me up. I'm sick of walking into art galleries or even seeing it in the media that some "artist" (I use that term loosely) has come along, painted a canvas white, and sold it for millions.
A perfect example is the modern "art" gallery at my local art museum. I had to ask if the red vinyl pad running the length of the floor was art or part of the floor. The lady rolled her eyes at me and walked away without answering. No, seriously! Can I step on it or not!!
Your art is amazing! Never mind the labels. I'm happy to see art such as yours that I don't have to interpret to understand.
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Im glad you did cause I got a laugh out of the red vynal story!:D
Good point!
I was really intimidated by the trendiness, what this clique meant and if Id need to squeeze into a small box to apply. But Im not so worried about that any more. I put my work in the gallery and one of my peices sold.
Reply
:iconcatharirune:
catharirune Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2010
Congrats! That is amazing!

I really do enjoy seeing new pieces from you. You are extremely talented.
Reply
:iconfantasio:
fantasio Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
i agree with DavidmD,
i would only question it, if its for a long term "gallery investor" that plans to make you"famous" -to the secondary galleries...
but if its just for a show or some sort off- just try it, and see if ppl are ok;-)

cheers,
fant
Reply
:icondavidmacdowell:
davidmacdowell Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Dont worry about anything=Your work is fab and the "lowbrow" gallerys/peeps will embrace you and you can always branch out away from them, theres alot of deep pocket collectors that will love your stuff in the pop surrealism community and I think its great to get the work in as many sub-genre art factions as possible. Youre doing great!!
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Well I like the sound of deep pockets. :angels sing:
Thanks man. I apreciate your input. I wont sweat it no moe!
Reply
:iconmadinina-ruff:
Madinina-ruff Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2009   Traditional Artist
:O_o:
Reply
:iconmadinina-ruff:
Madinina-ruff Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2009   Traditional Artist
Sorry the emote was meant to be with the rest of my message
Reply
:iconeirewolfcreations:
EirewolfCreations Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2009
Huh... I never would have thought of your work in the lowbrow (AKA "pop surrealism") genre. Have many people said so? More than just one or two folks who are looking for labels to slap onto things? 'Cuz I think your work is in a class all by itself, and defies neat categorization.

Last year I had a piece (Candy is Dandy) in a "lowbrow" show put on by a friend. I didn't really feel that it totally fit the genre, but lowbrow can be a pretty widely cast net. So, my advice would be to exploit the label when it's convenient (for a show, for example), but otherwise cast off all labels and just keep doin' your thing.

I'm curious about this "clique you're about to join this year." What's that about, if you don't mind me asking?

In any case, I can tell you -- It will be okay, as long as you stay true to yourself and don't take labels too seriously. ;-)
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
No not more than two..but the gallerys showing interest are classified that way.Catagorization has been tricky I feel on the borders, not enough this or that.
I wouldnt have pegged you as popsurreal though theres the vivid colors and theres a bit of cartoon quality. cartoons are popular culture.:shrug:

"The clique"Im having my first group show. Sheri DeBow hooked me up. The gallery touts newbrow,steampunk,lowbrow ,popsurreal,urban art. Though Ive hoped somehow I could be surrealist or visionary I have doubts about the fit. The label itself isnt important but, the buyers that would be interested in what you do able to find you is.
Reply
:iconeirewolfcreations:
EirewolfCreations Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2009
Is that the Eclectix gallery? I have my eye on their "Warm & Fuzzy" show; thinking about maybe making and submitting something for it.

I do think that "surrealist" is a good fit for a lot of your work. I'm looking at the list of artists over at the beinArt Surreal Art Collective, and there seems to be a LOT of overlap of artists that also bill themselves as lowbrow (or let others bill them that way).
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Yup. Id like to submit for a couple of the shows..sad I missed the "gurlz" event. warm and fuzzy dragon snails?! :D

I think I must be "fantastic" ,but the surrealists and visionary are cooler perhaps.
Reply
:iconeirewolfcreations:
EirewolfCreations Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2009
Haha, perhaps not a Dragon Snail! =D If the Muse gives me something Warm and Fuzzy and Fabulous, then I will try it. If not, I'm not gonna force it.

You are absolutely "fantastic!" :aww: And I think you're very cool in your own right.
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Ideas pop into my mind thinking about it. But I can never tell what will show up. of course I think of warm ,fuzzy and viscious! Like piranna kitties. From what Ive heard Eclectix is flexible.

I found a neat site with "magic realism" as a movement. That looks interesting.
[link]
:D
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:iconeirewolfcreations:
EirewolfCreations Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2009
I recognize some of those artists! I love Kinuko Y. Craft; I think I first saw her work on some book covers for Patricia McKillip. I didn't know that style was its own movement. :-) It looks like there is some overlap here also with some of the artists on the beinArt site.
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah Kinoko is dreamy good:) I think the first I saw her work was in a poster.
Yup alot of overlap. I dont guess anyone realy knows where there work goes!
Reply
:iconmadinina-ruff:
Madinina-ruff Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009   Traditional Artist
Hi there, this is what I got about the Lowbrow art movement, pretty complete I think :)
[link])
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:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks. Im understanding it , though I still think its a dumb name for an art movement.
Reply
:iconmadinina-ruff:
Madinina-ruff Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2009   Traditional Artist
I didnt know the name of that movement before you mentioned it an I checked it up to see. It is indeed an ugly name.. I would have thought that your work would be classified more like surrealist ("strong" surrealism instead of popular surrealism) too.. :nod:
but then what's the difference between the lowbrow and the popsurreal movement?
Reply
:iconlarkin-art:
larkin-art Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
it's funny...anything remotely surreal/fantasy/visionary seems to get crammed into this category lately (last decade or so). I get lumped there myself sometimes. not sure if it means anything. If it'll get me into Juxtapoz/Roq La Rue then I'll play the game.
But I'm NOT painting big eyed goth kids.
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Well hell if Im lumped in with you Ill consider myself lucky. Like maybe the cool kids picked me for their team. I wouldnt mind finding myself in juxt or high sucrose. My figures are either classical nude painting influenced or are sort of starved ,scarified alienish nudes. I cant do cute,I dont do sex or glamour well, I dont have wild visions that iclude cuts of meat and cupcakes. Not that I dont love that!haha Im not sure what Im realy about so, it feels funny when someone else sticks a name tag on you.

I actauly like alot of the bigeyed goth sickly/cute stuff ,but its too close a bedfellow with art dolls and Id realy prefer to be considered a sculptor. I want my work to look undoll like and the first show I get is called "All dolled up" This makes all the ornery tendancies in me rear up!
Reply
:iconlarkin-art:
larkin-art Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I agree...the kitschy stuff can be fun and I like a good bit of it, but it isn't what i try to do. And it isn't what you do either. I think "lowbrow" is actually a compliment in general, It suggests skill (as opposed to "highbrow", where the focus on craft is less important than the intellectual gymnastics required to explain it) if not directly then by contrast.
I tend to think of what you do in terms of small sculpture (with staggering measures of detail) rather than dolls, but i can identify with the connection- And congrats on the show.:excited:
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
No Im headed a differnt direction too.

Sometimes its so hard to percive yourself clearly. I often dont know if Ive acheived a goal till someone validates it verbaly. Then I say aha thats what I was trying for! Otherwize I might keep grinding metal on that one aspect. So , I do try to listen to feedback and crit to gauge where I am. I appreciate the help in figureing out if this label applied to me.

I thought craftmanship was important to all forms of art! Imagine baking a cake and callin yourself a chef ,but you are above use of recipes or flour or eggs! Everyonce in a while youll find some fool will eat it ,but its still not cake and most people will spit the shit out.
Thanks :)
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:iconlarkin-art:
larkin-art Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
good cake analogy- and for lots of art that does not display the use of practice, time or care many people do spit it out. Sure, it's art. I suppose anything can be to someone...but is it good art?
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:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Nostalgia or sentament sometimes endears even a techicaly bad peice of art. I think the word art is meaningess since it encomapasses all.
I should delete this journal.. I sound pompous. I guess Ive lost alot of faith and feel disgusted with everything.
Reply
:iconlarkin-art:
larkin-art Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
right...sometimes our empathy can trump our sense of taste and that's not necessarily a bad thing. But i think it was Dali who once observed (and i could be wrong about that) that well crafted art can be profound in its meaning even in the most mundane subject whereas poorly made art does not. I think it's just a question of practice and study even at its core, there are artists at lots of levels of skill and conceptual development and we're working at improving.

I don't think you sound pompous. you've worked hard to be able to do what you do.

And faith is overrated, good healthy doubt pushes us forward a lot quicker.
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Well I feel naive art is good for what it is ( folk art and prim for instance)but the higher level you get as an artist the harder it is to look at it and appreciate simple art. You get kind of jaded.
Not everyone should try for fancy high art. If simple makes you happy then you are blessed.

I think its pompous to blanket label popsurreal gothloli as trendwhoring. I was irritated by certain posers. I stuck with my style even when I was the bastard at a family reunion and my stuff sold low..it annoys me now to see certain dollmakers drop their strawberry short cakes and start making dark stuff.
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(1 Reply)
:icondragonladyhere:
DragonLadyhere Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009
I'm not seeing any 'lowbrow' here.

What the heck are you doing listening to anyone like that anyway? 'Fad whores' are everywhere in any medium. Do what you love. Period. I think it's one thing to question yourself, but it's a whole other thing to listen to someone else's tirade. So. . . you know, STOP IT.

Peace Always,
the DragonLady
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
I wasnt peeved or insulted more just confused if it applied to me as an art style and why. cause Ive always emulated the old art,masters and antique stuff and that is highbrow if anything is.

I am gonna do what I love cause its my only home.. which is why I said Id be mulching the depleated soil. But it is disapointing none the less and I have to nurse my enthusiasm for my craft back to health.
Will work on keeping my chin up out of the dirt.
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:icondragonladyhere:
DragonLadyhere Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2009
Well nurse it good and pick your chin up, because your enthusiam for art should never take a hit based on a few errant words. I love the old masters too---it IS highbrow indeed and it's a higher path. I've seen your art evolve too---that's a higher path too.

Peace Always,
the DragonLady
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
No not based on that alone. Im hit by many arrows, Im overburdened by tiny things, too much has made me stumble is all.

- I found ,as you will find this newborn babe an infant herculese! Strong enough at birth to strangle those two serpents doubt and pride:)

Yes I want a high art for myself. Something to elevate,something deep ,true and of timeless lasting beauty. Thats what I see that the masters acheived and modern masters too.
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:icondragonladyhere:
DragonLadyhere Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2009
Everybody's 'soul attic' gets a little dusty now and then. Time to go in and clean out all those stumbling blocks and spent arrows.

I have to do it all the time or I'll usually end up flat on my face!

Peace,
the DragonLady
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:iconohmelody:
ohmelody Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
i dont really see lowbrow as a style, but saw it much for what ~carvenaked said about it. ive heard the term used a lot in the gallery scene in LA, and in and around the art community as a whole. if anything, id take it as a compliment :) your work is beautiful and always gives me a good breath of inspiration !
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thanks. Since there seems to be super talented people lumped in there. I guess I will except it.
happy to inspire!:D
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:iconkmyechan:
KmyeChan Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:D Lately, being lowbrow is downright fashionable really. The term was meant to be pejorative at first, but it's evolving into an art movement of its own kind, which is pretty awesome. More and more galleries around the world are exhibiting so-called lowbrow artists and less and less critics are using the term in a pejorative way, if at all... well, because it's getting obvious that we're artists too, ahah.
Lowbrow artists will rule the world someday, mark my words! :boogie:
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Yeah I know its popular but, that has its own risks which is one reason why I am aprehensive about being a part of it. Im new to showing and Im sure very naive. There are more lowbrow art buyers and more lowbrow artist thats for sure!
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:iconkmyechan:
KmyeChan Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Everything has its risks... and everything comes with a downside. Starting to show your work in galleries comes with the bad part of being labelled, put in a box or bottle or whatever... But as long as you stay true to yourself and don't let yourself be corrupted by "what is popular" and "what people expect/want to see", you'll be fine. ;)
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:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Your right of course! When I first started being a dollmaker I only saw the magic,but all this ugly stuff built up and now I dont have the joy anymore.

I fear the lowbrow artscene will be that way too so, Im scared to go there. I think maybe Id rather just make my things alone and not be in any clique or in any box.

Thank you Kyme
Reply
:iconfairytasia:
fairytasia Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Whoever said this to you needs to channel their obvious jealousy into something more appropriate! You are a multi-talented artist (by this I mean you can turn your hand to many different media) and definitely NOT one I would ever call "lowbrow"! Ridiculous!

When people ask me what I do for a living I tell them I'm a sculptor/artist (because that is what I am!). However, some of my "friends" who don't understand my work (and never will!) like to tell people "Oh, she makes faeries" as they giggle inanely to themselves. It drives me INSANE lol! It's happened many a time at social gatherings and before I can even open my MOUTH to answer someone when they ask ME what I do some bright spark has "answered" on my behalf! :frustrated: Yet at the same time, whenever I am in a magazine etc these same "friends" are the very first to say "Oh! She's my FRIEND, she's sooooooo talented" yadda yadda. What is THAT all about??

What I am trying to say is, when people just don't "get" what we are about they come out with some utterly ridiculous comments.

*big hugs*
Clare
x
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:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Your missunderstand. Its not meant derogatory, it is but, well its complex!
I tell people Im a sculptor thats all the info they usualy require, which I am fine with.
I cringe when my husband calls me a doll maker befor eI get a chance to state things! I can just see people make a mental checkmark.."ah she knits panties for vynal baby dolls".
I dont think mundanes realy know how to talk to an artist or for an artist. we are like a completly diffenrt species. They are intruiged by our novel qualities,but frighten easily and also blunder thinking they know what where about when they dont. Only another artist really knows!
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:iconfairytasia:
fairytasia Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Okidoki! I'll have to look it up fully hehe. It certainly "sounds" a rather derogatory term doesn't it?
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:iconbright-circle:
Bright-Circle Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
Oh dear. I understood the words and first layer of meaning, but miss the context/deeper meaning/place where this comes from. But, hugs and support to you anyway! And, no matter where you are in context of others and their views and style of art, what's important is doing what you love.

Trite but true.
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:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you of the support.
Reply
:iconpondie:
pondie Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
stay true to what you want to do. im lowbrow, but theres more people to like. and remember that art critics are usually people who cant produce art, and highbrow is 'appreciated' by black-turtleneck-wearing, refined-coffee-drinking morons who go with whatever the critics say is cool.

so stay lowbrow
Reply
:iconmyrorostudio:
myrorostudio Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2009
A fad whore as you so excellently put it, is not a creative person, they're just doing it for the quick buck and eventually what they make will dry up cos what they have to say does not come from within but from a logical place in their mind. An artist can never please everyone, which is exactly what they want to do and it eventually bites them in the behind! I found your vector tracing comment funny, cos I'm sure you recently heard the hype about a digital artist who got caught cheating...
Don't stress your work is beautiful and I know that you will forever make interesting and thought provoking pieces, so don't stress!
Ro
x
Reply
:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
yeah I was talking about batchix journal post. Sad. That was making me wonder why I even work so hard,but your right that stuff is short lived.

:)
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:iconspanglerart:
Spanglerart Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Chalk it up to jealousy.
Reply
:iconsraffa:
SRaffa Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2009  Professional General Artist
Ill take elves over wallstreet anyday of the week. :hug:
Calling Claude Monet an "impressionist" was meant to be an insult, but the term stuck because it fit the ideals of the artist and his followers. Here's from Wikipedia:
In an article in the February 2006 issue of his magazine Juxtapoz, Robert Williams took credit for originating the term "lowbrow art." He stated that in 1979 Gilbert Shelton of the publisher Rip-Off Press decided to produce a book featuring Willams' paintings. Williams said he decided to give the book the self-deprecating title, "The Lowbrow Art of Robt. Williams,"[6] since no authorized art institution would recognize his type of art. "Lowbrow" was thus used by Williams in opposition to "highbrow." He said the name then stuck, even though he feels it is inappropriate. Williams refers to the movement as "cartoon-tainted abstract surrealism."
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:iconsleetwealth:
Sleetwealth Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2009  Professional Traditional Artist
Aha I should have know Robert Williams did it! Cartoon tainted surrealism sounds about right.
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:iconjezviking:
jezviking Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2009
I dunno mate, all I know is your work is bloody awesome.
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