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This website features Ned Radan Fine Art Photography.

All images are copyrighted. Please contact me for collaboration.

The main product on this website is framed art photography by Ned Radan. Images, printing and framing done exclusively by Ned Radan.

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NAVIGATION

- Any highlighted word in this info is linked to the particular page.
- Click my logo located on the menu bar, top left, to access Home page at any time.
- Home page is designed as menu page with links to most of the content.
- Menu icon on the menu bar, top right, is the most comprehensive way to navigate.
- This website is divided in two segments: Website and Blog.
- Website features art photography for sale and is interconnected through the menus and home page.
- Blog contains articles and pictures by Ned Radan, in purpose of building good will. You can access blog home page through the drop down menu, through this info post, or type in the browser www.nedscapes.com/blog.


PRODUCTS

- Check Western Art framed in reclaimed Live Edge Wood Frames.
- Modern Barn House Style Art framed in reclaimed barn wood.
- Contemporary Look Art framed in gallery style frames.
- Limited edition works are sold in edition of 25 pieces. Each subsequent piece is sold for more money than the previous one.


SERVICES

- I do custom printing and framing. My specialty is picture frames made of reclaimed wood. Please contact me for a quote.


INFO ABOUT NED RADAN

- Short Biography
- Mission Statement
- Places where I exhibit my works.
- Places in the past where I exhibited my works.


Modern Art Introduction

Modern Art Introduction

Introduction

Art is one of human activities that is old as humankind, and has the highest level of freedoms. There are no written rules which need to be followed. There are quite a few roads to Rome and all of them are valid, while the shortest one may be a mirage on the horizon. To be an artist is not only to be able to create art but to appreciate work of other artists and have appreciation for art in general.



How to Become an Artist

To create art or to be an artist you just need to claim 'This is art.' In simple words it does not take a lot to be an artist. So anybody can be an artist and can practice art.



If somebody tries to define some rules about art then this stops being art but some other activity. This statement is so easy to misinterpret. One can say if there are no rules then there is nothing to study since anything can be art. This can be true but practically there is much more to it. For example, I want to create good art. I feel I need to understand how art is created by other artists in order to create mine. Being artist is a profession like any other and it takes a few years to master it. It may be even harder than other professions since there is so much competition. On the other hand there are different ways to get here. For example, Richard Prince purchased rights for Marlboro Man (famous photograph that was used for cigarette promotional campaign) and took credit for it. Now it is exhibited in Museums of Modern Art under his name. He did not create the artwork. So the ways can be substantially different.



Background

As we know from the Classic Greek Civilization, democracy and freedoms of expression brought wellbeing and prosperity at first, but caused collapse of Greek dominance at the end. So there is a term “too much freedom”. In art, since everybody has freedom of expression, it is hard to distinguish between relevant and not so relevant content. This is even more so when you read about a completely new topic and have very little knowledge about it.

• There is a huge amount of books written about art. Here applies rule 80 – 20, which means 80% of the books may not be useful for students of art.
• You would think that artists who talk about their own art are reliable source of information. This is not always the case. Most of the times, artists are primarily concerned about their public image. Secondly, some artists touch sensitive topics which can have negative consequence to their wellbeing. For example, Goya, Spanish artist from the end of 19 century, could get executed for his paintings of Spanish Royal Family. Artists get black listed or have to leave their native country even during our times. This happens more or less in every country in the world.
• Curators and critics tend to be vague and will not help a student to understand modern art.



How to Figure Out Modern Art

Every critically acclaimed artist has inspired on art from some artists from the past. So you just need to be familiar with work of artists from the past, and the meaning of contemporary art comes much easer. For example, Annie Leibovitz created a photograph of British Royal Family a few years ago. She arranged the royals in the same way like Goya did with Spanish Royal Family. If you are familiar with Goya’s work, you just need a glimpse on the Annie’s photograph to get the meaning. On the other hand if you study Annie’s work from her books and other books on this topic you come to the dead end. It is very likely she will not say anything about meaning of this image since it can be a setback for her career. Who do you trust?

Andy Warhol said his work is not art. Nowdays, in some circles, he is regarded as one of the most prominent artists of the 20th century.



Not all artwork have hidden meaning. Some art is created just to enjoy colors and design. Some artists may use this to mask their works. For example, Kazimir Malevich, created works with and without meaning to confuse his critics.



So it is very easy to get lost when studying art. I got lost a few times, but kept on going and eventually things started to make sense.



You may ask how to start?

Some artists when they pass away have their biographies written by a university professor or person with academic background. These types of books are the most relevant to study modern art. If you have a knowledgeable person to help you along the way is a bonus.



What is Modern Art?

To explain the topic I found a scribble somewhere on line:

scribble

In our times everything can be art so I will refer to this scribble as artwork. When you look at it, there are two layers of meaning.



The first layer is pure visual content. The author sketched the island surrounded with sea and a survivor dreaming about money. The author shows basic level of draftsmanship, but I can clearly see a man, island, palm tree...



The second layer of meaning is intellectual. The man in the picture daydreams about a lot of money which may not be of a big use in his circumstances. I can ask myself, after looking at the scribble, 'Does money buy happiness?' Whatever the answer may be, this inquiry makes this scribble a good piece of art, since raises a question which may be a balancing act in our own lives.



If I look at this artwork from pure visual perspective, this scribble is at a very basic level. It does not have much artistic value, just an ordinary sketch from untrained artist.



On the other hand if I consider intellectual content, the artwork becomes very good.



The reason I tell you about this scribble is to make comparison to modern art. This analogy applies to majority of modern art. For example, Andy Warhol’s art, when looked from pure visual perspective, is not much to see. Some critics call his work ink blot, while Andy said in his own words that his work is not art. As I mentioned earlier artists are not reliable source of information about their own art. The artistic value of his work comes from the second layer of meaning just like in the scribble.



The scribble is a simple example of intellectual layer of meaning. When it comes to modern art things are not so simple since the viewer is supposed to be a bit more knowledgeable.



In simple terms in order to be able to get the meaning the viewer needs to:
- Have open mind. Sometimes you hear things that don’t make sense, still you need to pay attention and figure out along the way what makes sense. Sometimes I was told the meaning but was not able to comprehend at that point in time. It can be hard since on one good lead comes 2 or 3 misleads.
- Have some knowledge about art, and about artists.
- Have a circle of friends to discuss art.



Why bother?

I would like to tell you how my father made me curious about art. Once a year and whenever we visited some other city, he would take me to art galleries or museums to look at the art. The visits were the most boring events in my life. It was like looking at the colorful walls for hours. So I asked my father what was the purpose of the visits. I told him I was cultured enough and to let me go to play with my buddies. One day I would find out was his reply. At the time I thought my father had some corks, but later in life I felt it must be something in it. My father made me curious to find out.



Back in the days, I had a job which would drain me physically; sort of a repetitive job that I could do blind folded. I needed something to challenge my brain. In the evenings I started reading art books to get familiar with art, artists, and art styles. Some were interesting and the others not so much.



Eventually, I stumbled to a good book which brought to light my first understanding of modern art. I was so happy that I was finally able to appreciate modern art. Of course it was my first piece, but it was a big thing for me. Later I wanted to find out more and more.



It is pleasure when I discover story behind a good piece of art. It does offset all the time that I spend studying art. I would love to do more studies, but there are other challenges in my life. Every hour that I have spent studying art, has been awarded later on learning about stories behind some very beautiful pieces of art.



Discussing Modern Art

Discussing modern art can be a sensitive topic. I would only discuss it with people who appreciate art. Even then it can be awkward. For example, Alfred Stieglitz, one of my favorite artists, told story about his life in his art. When I say he presented himself as a tree in his photographs, it can lead to a very awkward discussion.



Conclusion

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to learn about meaning behind the works of modern art. Not all works have the meaning. Some are abstracts that feature beautiful colors and design.



World of modern art can be very confusing since there are multiple sources which are inconsistent with each other. The valid way to study modern art is to study artists from the past. You can not pick any artist, but the ones that have available info.



It is very rewarding when I discover a wonderful story behind some beautiful piece of modern art. It resonates in my mind for days.



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