Fortean Art

minordrag

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#1
OK, gang:

There's a lively and fascinating discussion (splodgey painting...) about art, and Intaglio suggested a thread on Fortean art.

What would define Fortean art? What examples are there of it--perhaps the Neolithic/16th century paintings of what could be UFOs?

My breath is bated. And a little garlicky.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#2
If Fortean Science consists of the damned data which defy the
"Laws of Nature" then I suppose Fortean Art could be taken to
mean works which defy the Art Historical explanations.

The Journals of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes are a happy
hunting-ground for arcane symbolism and the occult in art through
the ages. Their "Iconological" approach to symbols tends to cut
across History and has led scholars to speculate about the existence
of Mystery Schools of arcane and secret knowledge.

In our own times, it might be used to describe Outsider Art of
many kinds.

Maybe we should just take it to mean the offbeat and the curious.

:confused:
 
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Anonymous

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#3
Richard Dadd, Fairy Feller's Master Stroke (I think). Artist, patricide and nutter.
 
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Anonymous

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#4
Richard Dadd definiately, even his 'straight' stuff is slightly spooky (too smooth, too perfect). Also, Robert McCrum(b)- very,very strange.
 

thelmadonna

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#5
I suppose some of the Turner Prize Winners could be thought Fortean, like the sheep in Formaldahide
 

JamesWhitehead

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#6
Dadd is fascinating and his paintings keep you convinced that a
key is about to turn and the details resolve themselves into a
coherent whole. They never do.

Mind you, Victorian Fairy Paintings by supposedly sane artists are
nearly as weird!

I would also put in word for the amazing engravings of Piranesi,
whose imagined prisons contain some impossibilities of perspective
which Escher was to turn into a life's work!

Oh and Odilon Redon's nightmare engravings.

And most astounding of all, the paintings and engravings of Blake.

I can see this thread will run and run. :)
 

minordrag

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#7
Read an interesting piece about the "splash" paintings by Jackson Pollack (sp?)

Apparently, many of them are perfect visual representations of fractal equations!
 

carole

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#9
Rchard Dadd, definitely. And Saml Palmer.

I suppose you could also include the surrealists, Magritte especially - that picture of a man looking into a mirror and seeing the back of his head, and the man smoking a pipe with his nose going down into the pipe . . .

Carole
 

carole

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#10
May I take this opportunity to get the old soap box out to point out that, in my opinion, the Turner prize type art is not art, Fortean or otherwise. It is a load of pretentious crap - the Emperor's new clothes and all that. Thank you. Normal service can now be resumed.

Carole, who doesn't know much about art, but knows what she likes.
 
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Anonymous

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#11
Palmer was a fantastic painter who evoces the rich Englishness of landscape , mystical and like a hot house.. much forged by...err for got his name now!..(someone remind me please!..used to paint in emulsion and was very good at pastice)....sadly most of Palmers work was burnt by his son for fear that following generations would consider him mad.

Blake was one of my faves a true humanist/mystical man with a sense of humour.

Turner used to disapaear and live as a retired sea captain over a pub ocasionaly. A true ecentric his almost white painings wer refered to a Mr Turner little jokes (they didnt have a clue how good he was)
 
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Anonymous

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#12
carole said:
May I take this opportunity to get the old soap box out to point out that, in my opinion, the Turner prize type art is not art, Fortean or otherwise. It is a load of pretentious crap - the Emperor's new clothes and all that.
Lights going on. Lights going off. Lights going on. Lights going off. Lights going on. Lights going off. Lights going on. Lights going off. Lights going on. Lights going off. Lights going on. Lights going off. Lights going on. Lights going off. Lights going on. Lights going...:p
 

minordrag

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#15
I think Edward Gorey should get an honorable mention here.

Anybody who illustrates faceless rag dolls rising from under the flagstones gets my vote.
 

Justin_Anstey

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#16
If forteana is evidence of natural phenomena that is exluded and ignored by the scientific establishment, then would 'fortean art' be any artist's work that gets excluded and ignored by the art establishment? But one thing art is supposed to be is the opposite of nature, is it not?

I think it definitely would be more than simply anything that is strange (strange to who exactly?) or artwork that just features forteana like UFOs.

The crop circle makers seem to regard themselves as artists. In fact, one of my favorite articles to appear in FT is 'Art & Artifice' by Rob Irving. (FT122, May 1999, pg38-41).

The intro reads: "Anyone who has looked into fortean phenomena knows that a real mystery is often accompanied by its fraudulent twin; for example, is crop circle-making art or deception? Rob Irving -who has made circles and felt the anger of those who feel his 'art' mocks their beliefs- claims deception is part of creation and a necessary part of both science and art."

If you haven't got it then I've just found this:

http://www.grizedale.org/lying/festival/
"Guerillas in the Midst? (2 Real Media Video files 15 & 22mins !)
Rob Irving, artist, writer and crop circle maker discussed exploring art, artifice and belief."

http://www.circlemakers.org/folks.html
"Forays into other fortean areas have also been made by American artist Jeffrey Vallance, whose images of simulacra that occasionally appear in Fortean Times leave us unable to distinguish between artifice and reality, and Doc Shiels, whose sea monster photographs have much in common with the aforementioned UFO images. These art forms inspire a range of transfiguring interpretation and perception. Elevated from beyond their prosaic origins they are deposited in the realm of miracles, and otherworldly intervention."

-Justin.

P.S. Didn't Jeffrey Vallance have an article by or about him in FT years ago? I think it was about seeing forms like clowns in the marks on the Turin shroud or something.
 
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Anonymous

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#17
And while we're at it, what of older fortean literature?

Ooo, there's loads... mainstream stuff like the bible (how much strange phenomena can you take?), Dante's Inferno, Faust...

I could go on, but I'd rather hear what your favourites are:)
 
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Anonymous

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#18
i must say i regard the crop circlers as sort of comando artists in the tradition of Richard Long et al.
 
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Anonymous

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#19
May I take this opportunity to get the old soap box out to point out that, in my opinion, the Turner prize type art is not art, Fortean or otherwise. It is a load of pretentious crap


I thought that Rachael Whiteread's inside out house (Turner Prize 1993) was excellent. If you remember - an old victorian terrace which was due for demolition was pumped full of concrete. Then the walls of the house were removed to leave a concrete cast. I found it poingnant. Like how when a building is removed from a row ... and you can still see the outline of where the rooms used to be - and the lifts and the staircases ... wallpaper etc. The marks left behind by people's lives. Like fingerprints.

That was the last Turner Prize winner I actually saw. I particularly thought it worked in that it seemed to combine many elements - being essentially conceptual / idea art and yet also have very sculptural and humane qualities.

Much of the current conceptualism annoys me. Much of it seems arrogant and almost designed to annoy. But ultimately we're definitely richer for it. British (London - sycophantic - celebrity) gallery art could do with 20 or 30 years of recession and perspective.

Personally I collect watercolour landscapes and photographers' books.
 
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Anonymous

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#20
i was saying to a friend only this evening how much i thought the insideout house was an intersting idea and the guy doing pinhole camras in the laundret... but its only what u would find in any Art collage any time if the week (tho probably after lunch time!)........ the real trouble with "conceptual art" is the concepts its trying to convey are so benal and ordinary they need Arts clothes to make them meaningful....
 
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Anonymous

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#21
Fortean literature?

My 'Brewers Phrase and Fable'. Just couldn't live without it!

'Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds' (Charles Mackey) is another must-have but I have owned a copy of James Frazers 'The golden Bough' for many years and I am still on the first chapter, just can't get into it.......mind you it's a cheapie copy and the print is microscopic

On the subject of the Turner Prize, most of it leaves me cold but I did like the inside out house and Tracey Emet's unmade dirty bed did something for me, can't really explain what but I liked it.........
 

ginoide

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#23
the guy doing pinhole camras in the laundret
yeah, that one was great. turner prize every now and then gives you some good pieces of art. sometimes just crap, but that's life...

fortean artists, whatever it means:
hyeronimus bosch
fuessli
paolo uccello (you lucky guys who live in london, go to the national gallery and take a long look at his st. george fighting the dragon!!!)
the afore(somewhere)mentioned painting by hans holbein, with the amazing skull you can only see (decipher) from a certain angle
 

TheOriginalCujo

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#24
I'd like to join in the nomination of Hyeronimus Bosch and add a few of my own. Edvard Munch, MC Escher and Salvadore Dali.

I particularly like the way Escher's work makes you question your own perceptions of reality.

Cujo
 
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Anonymous

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#25
Paintings of Horror and Mystery ...

Reading about people seeing spooky 'faces' in tapestry/wood has got me thinking - can classic/medieval/modern paintings deeply affect you? I am not referring to ghost book illustrations, I am talking about great artists like Hieronymus Bosch ("The master of the monstrous... the discoverer of the unconscious." -- Carl Gustav Jung), or El Greco.

Here's an example: 'Hell', the right wing of The Last Judgement triptych by Bosch:http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/bosch/judge/

Posters are invited to attach images or links so that everyone can feel the awe...
 

stonedog3

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#28
Love 'em.... especially Bosch#'s Tree man with his spikes piercing his sides poor thing :-(

There's a painting of a brocken man/shadow thing which I find awesome in this sense.

Kath
 
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Anonymous

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#29
When in Lyon recently I went to the musee de beaux arts and saw an exhibition of paintings by an artist whose name escapes me but they were horrible!!

Maudlin, gruesome, sentimental Victorian morality peaces with an air of gloom about them. One in particular had the tag-line 'Voici le nuit, le mort' and depicted an old hag holding a dead child in her arms chasing another terrified child down a corridor while through niches in the wall, grim troll like character leered and laughed. A google has failed to find the artists name.

Francis Bacons' Pope Innocent X is quite horrible too.
 

Bannik

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#30
Re: Paintings of Horror and Mystery ...

Here's one of my favorites. For some reason that horse really creeps me out. The demons don't bother me though.

I've always loved Bosch's pictures. They're delightfully twisted.:madeyes:
 
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