TurkoTek Discussion Boards

Subject  :  "Beauty" vs. "Artistry"
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  10-24-2000 on 07:46 a.m.

Dear Sam,

A couple of things in your essay really caught my eye. One is that you identify yourself in it as a collector of tribal rugs, then present an urban Chinese piece as the one you find most beautiful. I thought that odd, then realized that the same oddity applies to my taste.

Here's a not-very-flattering picture of one of my few urban workshop pieces, a silk and metallic thread Hereke prayer rug (circa 1960)that I find extraordinarily beautiful. Without a better image of the colors, I'd be surprised if many of our readers would agree - but I don't have a photo with good color reproduction, so this is the best I can do.

One of the things it brings to mind for me is the difference, often forgotten, between the beauty of a piece and its artistry. I have many tribal and village weavings that are more artistic, but probably none that are more beautiful. Then, much really great art isn't very beautiful. What we think of as great music, painting, sculpture, etc., is frequently "great" for reasons unrelated to aesthetics.


Steve Price

Subject  :  Re:"Beauty" vs. "Artistry"
Author  :  Richard Farber mailto:%20farberr@netvision.net.il
Date  :  10-25-2000 on 04:05 a.m.
Dear Steve Price,

I have some difficulity in following your arguement. Perhaps you could help me. I'll assume for the moment that I have an idea of what "beauty' is. [I want to think about this for a day or two more and than add my input on this.] What I don't understand is what you mean by "artistry" and how this ties in to a comparison between tribal weavings and workshop pieces.

From what I might assume artistic means [technical proficiency from the definition of artist as one skilled in his or her means of expression] and assuming that weavers in urban workshops were generally technically proficient than I can't understand were you say that you have "many tribal and village weavings that are more artistic, but probobly none that are more beautiful." I would think that the Hereke rug is perhaps the most artistic of the pieces that you own.

Richard Farber

Subject  :  Re:"Beauty" vs. "Artistry"
Author  :  Steve Price mailto:%20sprice@hsc.vcu.edu
Date  :  10-25-2000 on 06:23 a.m.
Dear Richard,

I was afraid someone would ask that question.

There are, of course, many definitions of "art", the most traditional meaning something that requires some special, usually rare, skill. By that definition, the Hereke rug I showed is very artistic. Another, somewhat less crystalline definition, is that a work of art is something that communicates emotionally from the creator to the viewer (or, in the case of a musician or composer, the listener). The Hereke is much less of a work of art in that sense. While I find it very beautiful, the designer (who is the creator of this workshop piece, the weaver is simply playing his music absolutely acccurately) is communicating nothing very profound in it at all.

I have many ethnographic pieces - the Kaitag embroideries come to mind pretty easily - that are very artistic, very communicative and expressive, but not "beautiful" in the classic sense of the word.


Steve Price

Subject  :  Re:"Beauty" vs. "Artistry"
Author  :  Vincent Keers mailto:%20vkeers@worldonline.nl
Date  :  10-25-2000 on 08:42 a.m.
Dear Richard and Steve,

Life is a stage, and everyone has to play it's role. This is a kitsch way in starting this posting. It isn't artistic. But you can be an artist in living your life. 80% of worlds population have to be artists in survival.
20% is living a kitsch live.
Most of the rugs we admire, are kitsch. Made under a repressive, zero tolerance rule.
I think the genuine artist dares to be different. He'll be disregarded, because he's in the wrong play.

Lakai Uzbek? purse, Afghanistan: 18x10 cm. Overcast stitch. I learned the Lakai Uzbek mostly used cross stitch when covering the whole surface. So it can be the work of Bukhara Jews because of the overcast stitch.
And I will not tell, why I like it.
(You'll be contaminated with my way of seeing things my way)

I just, simply do.

Best regards,

Subject  :  Re:"Beauty" vs. "Artistry"
Author  :  Sam Gorden mailto:%20gordsa@earthlink.net
Date  :  10-25-2000 on 01:13 p.m.
Editor's Note: This is a restored message that was inadvertently deleted earlier.

Dear Steve,

Your contrasting Beauty and Artistry is well taken. After careful consideration, I would venture to say that Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder while Artistry stems from the creator. However, your comment missed the most important point. It is assumed that you chose this
particular piece above all others because it gives you the greatest pleasure. What your contribution missed is WHY! Is it the colors, the design, the way it fits into your decor, etc. If you make this self-analysis conscientiously, you will learn a great deal about Steven Price!

Happy hunting.


Subject  :  Re:"Beauty" vs. "Artistry"
Author  :  Patrick Weiler mailto:%20jpweil00@gte.net
Date  :  10-25-2000 on 01:18 p.m.
Editor's note: This is a restored message that was inadvertently deleted earlier.


You have brought up a subject that most of us do not consider when looking at rugs and other art. Where the artistry, or technique, of a piece intersects with the beauty, or visual attractiveness, of a piece, the emotional impact is felt. I suppose you could graph or plot this, but a sterile analysis cannot do justice to the gut-level feeling we get from the best pieces.

The mere suggestion of quantifying art would send shudders through the art selling community. It has been the purview of the dealers to generate interest and value in many fields of art.

Patrick Weiler

Subject  :  Re:"Beauty" vs. "Artistry"
Author  :  Sam Gorden mailto:%20gordsa@earthlink.net
Date  :  10-25-2000 on 01:23 p.m.
Editor's note: This is a restored messsage that was inadvertently deleted earlier

Dear Patrick,

We are ruled by our emotions which provide the psychic energy for what we do or think. I am certain that you have encountered artifacts which seem to speak to you and which you are unable to ignore.

I believe that there is in the collection of every true afficionado such an item. Every time you look at it you bless the day when it was acquired. Please photograph the weaving and let us share your pleasure. Above all, itemize the features which have enthralled you.


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