CAUSE for Concern

Discussion in 'Whatever' started by gatiio, Sep 6, 2021.

  1. gatiio

    gatiio Side Dealer

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    CAUSE for Concern
    Saw this in hyperalergic the other day and assumed it was posted here. Couldn’t find it, so I’m starting the convo.

    This relates to our hobby in that that many continue to foam at the mouth when told that this designer toy crap is not good art. It’s art, it’s just bad art.

    Hyperalergic KASW review
    (Quick read)

    I agree with all of these points. Would also add the LV off-white crowd making it even worse for the service a museum has to give a community vs the inflation they actually create for these works.

    Of specific importance is the free pass artists like kaws have been given through our own reporting outlets in the industry, which has then created a fabricated sense of contemporary introspection or avant-garde. Don’t confuse this with the type of work our regional suck lords do, this is much more insidious than a maker aping a brand or theme to make their version of that work.

    Think about how much museums putting up kaws shows fall more along the lines of those event spaces where you just take IG selfies in many installations vs the contemporary galleries at the Art Institute. If the work you’re looking at is thought of from the lens of how well it brings crowds through the door, it is not good artwork. The erasure of these distinctions is the same one that causes someone to dismiss arguments around what is good or bad artwork for ‘taste’.

    We all collect for our own tastes and the people we collect from might have good taste in making work. However, the ad nauseam releases of spongebob/astronoboy/Disney toys with dissected parts or it’s clones do nothing to move the medium forward. Even worse is the perceived notion that craft equals art and it can, but in these cases it doesn’t (I’m being simplistic, but the general sense remains)

    Thoughts? Would love to hear about y’all’s relationship to your collecting, the people making the things you collect, and how they impact your everyday life outside of making us jelly of your shelves.
     
  2. gatchabert

    gatchabert Prototype

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    That's a lot to think about. It's made my head go back and revisit Baudrillard.
    The only reason I would buy KAWS is for nostalgia (this was covered in a sentence in the article). I was around when KAWS was tagging. There was a poster at the bus stop and all I could remember was me wanting to smash the glass and take the defaced poster. I didn't and the next day, it was gone. My favorites back then we're Twist and Reminisce but there was no way I could have taken home something of theirs since it was all on walls. I digress.
     
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  3. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    Thanks for posting this here, @gatiio. It is an excellent write up, and - as much as it frustrates me personally to reflect on this sort of thing - is actually a great conversation to have. And not because it is just dismissive of the work/artist either, which so many people who might disagree with you would instantly throw out as criticism. No, it is an argument for analysing the context, depth, and value of work. It is precisely when you can do those things that this analysis steps above the level of subjectivity, "I like this, you like that." Pulling both those quotes from Stein and Bourdain are perfect summations of what this discussion is about. But, to summarise what I think you are saying, and what is the general takeaway from the article, what we should really be asking ourselves is, not whether Kaws has/had merit or not, but how is our culture of art (as a global civilization, not trying to bring regiocentric analysis into it) being perpetuated in 2021, and what roles and responsibility do <we> all play as artists [I am not one], consumers, teachers, and institutions of art? Should museums [and here I mean the art that is in the exhibitions, not the structures] really just be backdrops for IG snapshots? Does all of this just exist only to be mass consumed, without any secondary thought to anyone other than, 'ART'? Do the masses or number of times an image is reproduced constitute a definition of art? Does an artist, their inspiration, methods, skills, etc., even matter? I mean, I might have mine own opinions on these things, but I am not suggesting they are answers. But certainly there has been a vicious capitalistic cycle (ouroboros is the perfect metaphor) that is directly complicit in the marketing of art (pop, street, contemporary, and classic) to generic-fied unrecognisable and empty symbols. Anyway, it's a great debate, and becoming more and more relevant as art - especially that which proposes to be so anti-institution in its founding and message(s) - becomes ever more commoditised and a benchmark for the affluent and validation-desirers to measure themselves up against and seek to outreach each other on a ladder built of Cipriani spaghetti. And that's not even getting started on the roles of auction houses and private galleries.

    This is all generally speaking, of course. As for your question about our own little world of toy collecting, and personal tastes with respect to artists in the toy medium, I can only say that for myself it is aligned with the way I approach art in general. That is, I appreciate what I appreciate, and not what others (or some hype-spreading websites, social media, etc.) tell me I should like. And not because I am trying to be some type of constantly contrite hipster who has to be counter-counter-culture or whatever to seem edgy and independent. My view is just collect what gives you an emotional reaction, never mind all of the rest. And, as with art, I hold vast amount of respect and appreciation for other artists, who might not be the ones I collect. I can acknowledge and see the talent in work, even when it might not speak to me on a personal level. And then, yes, there is also the other category which [IMO] is vapid, and lacking of any real contribution or substance. Which, like any hollow statement, deserves to be called out for the shell it is. And we're all free to disagree on where what falls into what. Sometimes there will be valuable conversations to had on comparing and contrasting people's opinions; sometimes minds can be swayed, and sometimes people's tastes will change and mature, too. And other times you are left with bland, forgettable things which we've wasted too much breath and time on just considering.

    And, because I know Andy loves my long posts, TL;DR____ sale value =/= artistic value
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
  4. Anti Social Andy

    Anti Social Andy Die-Cast

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    I tried but I'm not clever enough to understand it.

    To me KAWS is to art what IKEA is to furniture . . . all but with an Eames pricetag.
     
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  5. hellopike

    hellopike S7 Royalty

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    These are my vague, rambling, unorganized thoughts. I tend to agree with the author of the article. I don’t find KAWS particularly engaging, shocking or thought provoking. Maybe 25 years ago he had a “message” but he traded that in for a payday long ago. His stuff is boring to me, and lacking effort to my eyes. Street art, lowbrow art, outsider art has all been commoditized these days, along with music, fashion, and any other “art” that was once considered “counter culture” you can think of. I’m reminded of the early 1990s rock scene, and being a teenager and hearing that “such and such” a band sold out… they made a video for mtv, or their song was in a commercial for a product, or they were playing on tv and lip syncing and those were all *bad* things. You sold out. Now, it’s a good thing.

    Make that money as fast as you can for as long as you can. Integrity be damned!

    And yeah this current climate of the scene is entirely too congratulatory- it’s all flame emojis and prayer hands. And that’s not good either. Too much of that and you get the Star Wars prequels. George Lucas was so full of himself and surrounded by yes men that those terrible movies were made; with all the cgi, wooden acting, and baffling amount of senate politics for a space western movie. But no one would tell George “no. Stop. This isn’t good.”


    To be sure there are outliers making art there always are. But we’re talking the masses. Museum gallery shows, not the hole in the wall coffee shop.

    I also think it’s a phase, that’ll be a footnote in the art history books when enough time has passed. Eventually a generation born into the cycle will break itself free. I don’t know how or when, or what will set it off.

    I’m also reminded of this classic Calvin and Hobbes strip:
    [​IMG]

    And Mr Watterson was an artist I believe, in the truest sense of the word.

    /opinion
     
  6. The Moog

    The Moog Die-Cast

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    I can say that in 2009 the 'Banksy versus Bristol Museum' exhibition of works I saw in my home town was in a different league to that lazy shite. Far more varied, funny and thought provoking. But then, Banksy doesn't make toys.

    I agree with plenty in that article, but I became properly aware of Kaws long after his toys were fetching ridiculous prices. To me he's always been a boring artist. Much like Ron English quickly became boring too.
     
  7. Fig Belly

    Fig Belly Comment King

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    love this thread. Gatchabert, What happened to Reminisce? derailing a bit here.
     
  8. Waterbear

    Waterbear Line of Credit

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    It is always an interesting conversation to have. Is a Simpsons reference on a museum wall fine art? Was a Campbell's Soup can fine art in 1962? I don't fucking know.

    In the current state of the world many galleries and museums are on the verge of shutting down for good. Others have already closed their doors. So I can understand putting on ANY show that will get people to line up and buy tickets/donate money/purchase art in person. The pandemic has helped lots of online artists sell more work but the exact opposite is true for brick and mortar locations. If a "museum" or "gallery" needs to put on pop cultural rip-off shows to keep the bill collectors away then so be it.

    Likewise if an indie original toy artist I admire has to resort to popping a star wars head on a he-man body to put food on the table during a global pandemic so be it. I won't buy it but I won't fault them for doing it either. To say times are tough is a ridiculous understatement right now.
     
  9. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    While I agree with a lot of your post @Waterbear, I don't think we can pass this sort of thing off as pandemic-resultant, nor do I give these museums a pass for this sort of thing for trying to support themselves (and let's not kid ourselves either, this is the Brooklyn museum we are talking about). There are a ton - let's just say for the sake of hyperbole, countless - who would be honoured with a solo show like this or the type of attention a lot of these artists get (you have only to look at this thread author, for one). And I would argue you could probably throw a stick in most major places (only because artists tend to congregate there out of financial necessity) and hit a more talented artist that most of the ones who get bandied about the most. And so, while I completely feel the loss of, and am sad for, small town museums, independents, and struggling art collectives in this era, I don't at all think the blame is for lack of content or talented artists. The real problem is the attention paid to the shit. And people need to see it to be a 'part of what everyone is talking about.' And that draws up more attention. Which creates more shit. And creates more demand of people for said shit. And so on we go. The fact that the curator specifically mentioned KAWS follower number on Instagram in the introduction to the exhibit is so very telling. And hell yeah, a lot of that is because I am a grumpy old man, and I think 90% of social media use is utterly ridiculous, and am well and truly not 'with it.' And I am not at all bitter by not getting it. But that also doesn't necessarily mean I am wrong.

    @Anti Social Andy C'mon, at least Ikea has some redeeming value as serving a functional purpose. Would be difficult to say the same of the opposite...
     
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  10. Mr Fox

    Mr Fox Toy Prince

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    I'm going to throw Made You Look (currently on Netflix) into this mix because no matter how you skin this vinyl chicken, there is an element of art-world snobbery surrounding the article, implied, acknowledged or otherwise.

    If you are yet to watch the above, to me one of the interesting elements is context of a piece of art and the relevance and accolades critics pile upon it. Remove the fancy gallery, remove the overtly elitist praise and what are you left with?

    The age old adage, used to caution people who buy 'art' but are concerned about retained value is: 'buy what you like.' If you do that, then at least you'll still have something you get some pleasure from, even if it has lost all the original purchase price.

    Regarding vinyl, and as a relative new-comer, what is apparent is there are 'artists' who take themselves far too seriously in the scene and seem to crave the sycophantic droolings of the social media masses. The juxtaposition to this are the people who do it because they love it and create because they have to, not because it makes them more and more money, with a super size portion of ego massage on the side. These are the people I gravitate toward because most of the time their art is more honest, unique and retains a charm missing from the aforementioned people.

    This honesty comes across in what they produce and that, in itself, is appealing. I could care not if it ends up in a gallery because the only place I value seeing it is in my own space.
     
  11. hellopike

    hellopike S7 Royalty

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    Seriously. IKEA gave the world the detolf!
     
  12. Anti Social Andy

    Anti Social Andy Die-Cast

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    . . . and dirty meatballs!
     
  13. bryce_r

    bryce_r Die-Cast

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    Over analyzing and conversations are fun. But our hearts only beat a certain amount of time and then they stop. If you are having fun who cares what you buy or collect. That being said...Kaws may be boring to some but he's figured out a way to sell a bunch of his stuff and I give credit to him. Is it art? That's subjective but I appreciate people who have full time jobs and who make toys or have several outlets for other sources of income. Because for every kaws, there is a KillerJ, Chronic and a myriad of others who are here for a few years...and disappear.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2021
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  14. gatchabert

    gatchabert Prototype

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    @Fig Belly
    Ruby Neri does a lot of sculptures. I don't really know how she went from the horses to the sculptures because those were pre-internet days and instead of social media as a way of following someone, you were just socializing. I was on a different school when they were going around tagging. If I had known, I probably would have transferred, not because they were taggers but because I liked what they were painting. There was a time when I took the bus to take BART to go to Oakland for school and would pass by the Public Library. Whole construction was going on, Twist had painted about 8 - 10 pieces on the temporary wooden sheltered sidewalk, and above on the opposite end was a horse by Reminisce. It was the best bus ride I had. If I had transferred schools, I'd be a totally different person and my art would have gone a different way. I can't say it is something I regret because it's something I just didn't know about. Anyway, I am off topic (as always). Ruby Neri, aka Reminisce, is still doing art. It's nothing like her horses so if that's what you're expecting when you look her up, you will be absolutely surprised.
     
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  15. ultrakaiju

    ultrakaiju Die-Cast Staff Member

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    That is the best place to be. :thumbsup:

    @Mr Fox Interesting take, that was not the way I interpreted the article but I can see how you could get that read from it. My impression was less the author was saying that, 'this is not proper art, and does not belong on display.' but more along the lines of, 'this might have started out innocently, but was never much of anything and now is complete emptiness combined with captalist marketing. Museums should not be the place for/supporting this.' But of course with you 100% on general elitism which also tends to pervade much of the art community. Rather though, I think this is just a new version of it, hiding behind a colourful LCD facade, and not a rebuke of it (sadly). Kaws to me is less Banksy and more Kinkade (with even less talent). I think we discussed some art docs on the documentary thread here, but there are some excellent ones I'd recommend again, including The Art of the Steal, Herb and Dorothy, The Price of Everything, and Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski for starters.
     
  16. Philpenn

    Philpenn Toy Prince

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    I'll buy all the KAWS cats no longer want. No flipper prices though, since it's all shit.
     
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  17. Anti Social Andy

    Anti Social Andy Die-Cast

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    That was a great show! So cool of the Bristol Museum to let him run riot.
     
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  18. The Moog

    The Moog Die-Cast

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    Yeah mate, he messed that place up good and it was pretty spectacular. It exceeded my expectations quite a bit.
     
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  19. ---NT---

    ---NT--- Prototype

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    I've had a lot of thoughts while reading through this, and have probably forgotten most of them. As one of the few people around here who openly admits my fondness for KAWS, I feel like I should respond. I won't be able to do so in an organized manner, so I'll just start listing thoughts.

    1 - My personal opinion is that there are two KAWS - the artist and the toy-maker.
    2 - Most of KAWS' work sucks. But that doesn't make me like the stuff I DO like any less. Many bands put out no more than 2 good records - do their shit albums mean their good albums aren't actually good?
    3 - Is something with a good "message" or "meaning", but that's boring to look at, better art than something with no meaning that's a pleasure to look at? Personally, art must be enjoyable to look at, at a bare minimum.
    4 - Criticizing street art for a lack of meaning is dumb. Some street art/graffiti has a message, but mostly it's about aesthetics.
    5 - "Meaning" often appears to be tacked-on after the fact in order to sell art. It's all bullshit.
    6 - KAWS was popular LONG before IG.
    7 - KAWS runs an (annual?) fund raiser for Brooklyn Museum. The museum giving a retrospective to an artist who has probably raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for them seems logical.
    8 - Criticizing KAWS is low-hanging fruit. It's either bullshit, or ignorance, to say that he goes uncriticized - most of what I read about KAWS is highly critical.
    9 - For points 6, 7, and 8 the author comes across as just another art elitist talking about something they aren't quite qualified to talk about. Snobby McSnobberson's local museum gave a show to an artist he doesn't like...boohoo, pouty-face.
    10 - IMO, KAWS successful paintings are just about color and form. I see Josef Albers and Al Held (two artists I also admire) as being similar. Do their works contain meaning? I don't see it, I just like looking at their paintings. Has KAWS advanced what they did? No, but see 3, 4, and 5.
    11 - Okay, I do also like his original set of Kimpsons paintings because I'm a HUGE Simpsons fan - those are just fun and not about anything.
    12 - Okay, I also like his early advertisement paintings. KAWS sucked wtih a spray can - the only legit street art medium at the time. He was able to make a name for himself in street art while using brushes in a studio - to do that in NYC is no small thing. (Here I'm not including the likes of Basquiat, Rammelzee, etc as street art - that was another era, and another type of art altogether.)
    13 - Is KAWS a great artist? No. But he's certainly made a career out of it, and a lot of people like his work. Since the inception of modern art the art world has been filled with artists of dubious worth/talent. Schucksters like this Vartanian guy have been making a living off assigning meaning or importance to things without meaning or importance, and selling them to rich folk who don't know better.
    14 - Most of the art I like is colorful abstraction. That's probably why meaning in art isn't important to me. Interestingly, I would say that Banksy is a better artist than KAWS - and that's entirely because of the message in his works. But there's no "replay value" in Banksy - once you've seen the image and taken in the message (doesn't take long!) there's really nothing keeping your (or at least my) eyes on the work. Visually, Banksy is just a pun. But, with KAWS' better paintings I can get lost in the colors and shapes - far more visually appealing, and tons of "replay value" that just isn't there with other, more meaningful works.
     
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  20. 3wing

    3wing Addicted

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    I’d like to think of KAWS as an innovator in western Pop Deconstructivism. It WAS innovative but, I see it now as kind of an easy pass to mail in a sanitary relative of “street art” being made
    Specifically for a certain scene. The wavy arms, Mickey gloves, Simpson’s Pantones and so on… that scene still has quite a bit of buying power. Shit… you’re almost assured to sell units if you slap some Jordan’s and a spray paint cap on a toy.

    the failure of Galleries lands on galleries. The fine art institution has been bilking artists for 30-50% and what ever purpose galleries had has been overshadowed by Social Media and E-commerce.
    Cons have become more viable spaces for conversation and meeting artists.
    but, all these institutions make bets on artists not fully understanding our equity.
     
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  21. nico000

    nico000 Toy Prince

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    I find this thread both fascinating and confusing.

    Anyway, this will stop me from trying to participate. I'll try to stick to @gatiio inquiry
    I am also feeling curious about that. In particular, in light of the article, what we all think about our collections and what the people here making toys call themselves. Are we art art enthusiasts and collectors? Are you guys artists? Or are we something else? Object collectors, toys collectors and toy designer I don't know. What is the difference between a toy designer and an artist? The intention behind it? What the 'artist' says about it? To whom it is intended for? The materials used?
    I call my collection a toy or monster collection (my friends call them monsters and I adopted that name). Last toys I bought were 3 TMNT Ultimate from Super7. It says on the box those are not toys but 'adult collectibles'. I wonder if it is supposed to be a joke, or to help adults like myself justify buying them. My preference would be to write all over the box how cool those toys are instead of calling them collectibles not toys.

    Looking at one of my shelf as I am writing this, I have a Kaws companion, above it a Hot Toys Iron Man then a bunch of Headlocks cramped together then some Kumon and MVH chibis and on top of the shelf sit a couple of one offs mash ups from Paul Kaiju. I don't know the names of the designers at Hot Toys, just love their Iron Man figures. Same for the TMNT. On the other hand I have quite some info on all of the people who designed my kaiju collection. I like that about Kaiju. I like how small the world is, I like that I know the designers and the craftsman ship related to the all operation. But then I am likely to spend as much money for a kaiju as for a Kaws or Hot Toys figure and I display them together. (fact, Hot Toys and Kaws typically cost more money, but I only get one of those a year).

    I also cannot for the life of me tell the difference between the excitement and sense of awe I had visiting the figure museum in Seoul and earlier this year the Yoshito Nara exhibition at LACMA. Yet Nara is one of my favorite contemporary artist and the figures designers are well ... designers. I don't remember if they were named at the exhibition.

    I am very curious about the remake and redone question too. As we all know, there was a time when only mastery of a technique applied on well defined subject matter was considered art. Everything deviating from the technique or the subject matter was nothing at all. It is relatively new to complain about tired techniques or tired subject matter. And while I do feel that there is a difference between one more Spongebob versus one more skull drawing or Jesus on the cross, I wish not to simply dismiss Spongebob. I mean... Spongedude seems to have entered our psyche pretty hard for it being depicted in a painting worth hundreds of thousands of $ or a figure selling out instantly (at Unbox). I am also wondering how many Godzillas everyone who complained about tired design and tired subject matter have (I am proud to have managed to limit myself to 3 in over 10 years of collecting, but wouldn't dare judging someone who only collect figures from the big lizard). How is one more acceptable than the other?

    Not saying anyone is right or wrong to think what they think. I am trying to show what I am interested in regarding this topic. It's more interesting to me to wonder what does Mickey or Spongebob mean to people for them to run after them or making more figures of them than dismissing them as capitalism gone rotten. Of course, in some circle. there is some 'status' value something displaying a Kaws in one's living room or wearing that pair of Nike. But that doesn't tell why... How come everyone, around the world, is fascinated for that dead Mickey companion dude and allow Kaws to makes millions with it. I think it is way more interesting to wonder about that than calling him 'forgettable'. The Spongebob/Milkboy release is another example of something that worked really well. I think it's hideous but/and can get the appeal. In my eyes, there is a world of difference between Kaws Companion or that bear Spongebob and someone with no eyes painting a rainbow vomit on a sad piece of plastic poorly inspired by NNN and MVH.

    I don't know what to say about the final part of the question... I am collecting stuffs since I am a boy, toys have been part of it since a little over 10 years now. I guess it's part of my 'identity'. People know me as the dude who has crazy monsters on his shelves and crazier art in his books. I lived in a place with none of that for a few years and something was itching so I went back to it. I know that itch goes when I am far away from cities. I stop caring... Not stop caring about the creations (art, toys, whatever) but stop caring about accumulating them in my own space.
     
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  22. The Moog

    The Moog Die-Cast

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    Interesting discussion. I call Kaws boring nowadays, but it wasn't always so. I've watched the evolution of his toys from the sidelines, his companion figures were good, I never really understood why they fetched such high prices on the secondary market, but at least they were original. Same for the Kaws x Pushead figure, I even wanted one of those at one point. Then I remember the toys where he'd take somebody else's character and meld it with his companion, like the Stormtrooper, which were fine but not really that original. Nowadays, he's literally slapping X's on other people's characters and calling it a Kaws toy. Fucking boring! - much like Ron English and his 'Grin' toys. Is this the fate of most 'commercial' artists? Find out what sells the best for a fan base of collectors and then doggedly stick to that formula from then on?
     
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  23. hellscrape

    hellscrape Comment King

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    Art Vs. Toys: A Personal Opinion
    I'm a toy collector, and a comics collector. I don't consider myself an art collector.
    An interesting aside: the CIA helped fund and disseminate modern art across the world to fight the communist and socialist art movements critiquing capitalism and wage slavery. I wonder if today's "art" is simply a continuation of "beauty without substance" goal of the capitalist forces at work. We consume, we don't seek meaning. Just as capitalism subverts any true counter-cultural movement to nullify its impact, today we fill up our homes with colorful, meaningless stuff. But seeing as how I don't really ascribe to the notion that life has any value or meaning outside of what we choose to assign to it, perhaps it is enough that we find some small measure of happiness with what we have.

    ...that being said, Kaws and Ron English are still utter garbage, lowest common denominator art. Just because it's popular, doesn't mean it's good.
     
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  24. gatiio

    gatiio Side Dealer

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    gatiio
    CAUSE for Concern
    I really appreciate the diverging points of view here, maybe I can share a bit more of from my own profesh environment to make the discourse even more levelled to a conversation that does focus on the damage a show like KASW's does to all of us. Beyond its intersection with our toy collecting, this type of work has been much more detrimental to what the Arts are supposed to do right now.

    HERES A WALL OF TEXT SO

    TL;DR
    -The museum is the responsible for provenance that then the public uses to gauge value of art things.
    -KAWS is just another show to sell tickets, but what is really being pawned here?
    -Shows like KASW only propagate a backwards view of what art can be by relating it directly to capital values
    -This fuels views of art that, among other things, land in a plurality of crap that doesnt engage the public more than a smile and a nod but doesnt challenge anything for anyone involved.


    Wall of text -
    It must be highlighted that fine art is the most elitist and sketchy environment you can find yourself in. Either to launder money, pay off debts, or just rig the system, blue chip spaces (over a mil per sale) tend to make their own inflated estimates that then result in more collectors buying whatever is being inflated. These collectors depend on galleries and gallerists to appraise and valuate what they collect. There is no escaping it and the adage goes that you much rather be inside the plenarium complaining about it, than outside of it screaming at its covers.

    Traditionally, it has been the museums responsibility to sort of give a stamp of a approval to art that one would say has impacted society and the aesthetics with purpose and for the greater good., This is beyond things just being popular or well designed (hence why you dont see detolfs in art museums, but you may see them in design museums shows about the evolution of the curiosity cabinet for example).
    So what we have here is a system where the museum tells us what is objective good art and everything else that isnt (I'm talking in traditional terms, spare me the curatorial turn speech for now). The museum serves as the authority with no horse in the race that can validate things. KAWS getting a show is just a cash grab from an environment that has no business making a cash grab. This is a major art institution, not a toy museum, or a design museum, nope. This is the top of what art is considered art for spaces that think about art. So maybe this couldve been a pointed look at what makes something like KASW work do what it does and how.

    This has always been fine and good, but along comes the elitism and academic rigour that some of us here complain about and in turn, cliques of art enthusiasts begin making their own rules. So far, nothing in this is new or revolutionary. What is different is that all those new tribes of appraisal have fragmented so much, that it is difficult to bring cohesiveness to valuate and distinguish between your blanksys from your Ron Englishs. This is the real issue with this soulless crap.

    In our case, we let jordan-wearing edgelords decide what is and what isnt worth all the Nags in such a way that these collectors, turned 'curators' began demanding their Supreme slaps get a show, just becuase theyve spent so much money and nothing else on it. Same as traditional art. This happened in n no other terms than these spaces creating their own markets and accessibility. T
    he main issue is that there isnt space for this derivative stuff in contemporary art museums the way it is being showcased. It can be there, it just needs to have the rigour that any other art practice is given when presented in these spaces. The issue is a lack of context about the artist, his chosen medium, lineage, or list of resources and moves that get young nobody KASw into UNIQLO sold out merchandise KASW. This is necessary in a museum so it does its job and us plebes can begin understanding the network of the everyday that has made things like the forgettable art of KAWS into a household item. There isnt a real tracking during the show so a young freshmeat walks through and they walk out thinking "im customizing a pair of A1s" instead of "wow, the whole culture im living it is just a fringe environment that somehow ended up being the mainstream"

    This is important and whoever is the curator or collectors, is not considering this when purchasing a KAWS so they are let off the hook. You can have your zombie formalist things, your rehashed abstraction from the 60s to just about last week. that's all good and dandy, have at it! what you cant do is take the places that belong to the public and present an artist's work without even trying to do the work the museum needs to do; contextualize and give guidance to it. Instead, the museums responsibility is co-opted to its audience, the fans that go and take selfies and this is considered a measure for the worth of the work: the amount of tickets sold, insta followers or simpsons references made.

    What is maddening is that they have the resources, the people, everything to do this and a kaws show or any other mediocre designer toy artist show couldve been a keen, direct approach to help everyone understand a bit better how this happens, to democratize the academia behind the arts just for a second so the jordan-wearing edgelord in me would know for once how is it that these things can happen, why and through which channels. Instead we are forced to bring in that context ourselves and when we demand why this is so blandly done, we get reprimanded by an environment that has given zero damns about doing their job.
     
  25. nico000

    nico000 Toy Prince

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    CAUSE for Concern
    @gatiio
    Trying to rephrase to make sure I understand: what you are infuriated by isn't how bad Kaws stuffs are, nor that he is given space in museum all around the world but how poorly designed (curated?) the exhibitions are. That Kaws exhibitions are looking more like a soulless gallery selling hype instead of doing their work contextualizing his work and give a chance for people to think it.

    Am I following?

    What is for you the relationship between that and our relationship to toys and collecting?
     
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