I’m going to say something and I’ll try hard really really hard not to use any swear words to tell you……… but I’m gonna be really struggling with this, so bear with me……….
Lots of people give me things that they think may be of interest to me, especially if it’s to do with art, and this morning was no exception, as I was given a pamphlet about an art exhibition for a group of artists. I’m always interested to read about other exhibitions, even though I rarely buy art (because I’m in the business of selling it!) and I flicked through it with half interested attention until I read one of the phrases in it and instantly went into *rant* mode! WHAT THE FUCK????!!!! ……….(Told you I wouldn’t be able to tell you without swearing!!!) – Well, I’ll tell you what it was and you tell me what you think, cos I know what I think about it!!! The pamphlet was about the exhibition and gave a few brief details about the artists exhibiting then said:
“Placed in the company of the others, each body of work affects the viewing experience of the next, while retroactively changing the memory of the preceding one”
Yeh? Well, what a surprise! Of course it does! Anything would! That’s how the brain works!!!! WHATEVER you look at affects what you next look at and is affected by what you JUST looked at – whether its baked beans on a supermarket shelf, guys in a bar, flowers in the desert, clouds in the sky or questions in an exam. But to use this as a selling phrase for an exhibition of paintings seems to be stating the bleeding obvious to me (you see, I’m swearing again!). Of course viewing one painting will affect the viewing experience of the next, that’s what images DO, no matter WHAT the image is of. We all do it, all day, all the time!
This rant and my thoughts on it has reminded me of two separate conversations I had over the weekend, one late at night in the pub and one with other artists (and not the erotic lot I was with on Sunday) and it seems to me that I just don’t understand the bollocks (you see, more swearing!!) that surrounds modern art. Why does a piece of artwork need to be explained? Why does it have to have “intellectual” artyspeak to describe it? Why can’t it stand up on its own with out having to be propped up by fancy words? It seems quite easy to me, if its a piece of art it should be self explanatory. And it can evoke emotions in others one way or another (and it doesn’t always have to be in a positive way) and it should speak to the viewer, and the viewer should be able to tell that some sort of artistic talent has gone into painting it (not that a child of three, an elephant, or someone just out to rip off other people, has produced it). I don’t mind looking at a painting of a blue box on a red background so long as I feel that that image is created by an artist. I don’t like every realistically painted painting I see, I don’t like every old masterpiece I see, and I love some modern art, but I want to feel that I LIKE the painting because I can relate to it, not because someone has TOLD me its good. We’re back to the “Emperors new clothes” aspect of art again. Its the only way I can describe it! (Whoops, I almost swore again!!!!).
Right, I’m off to paint a picture, and something that’s NOT white spots on a white background!!!!!
And if you want to you can tell me how the painting on the left “speaks” to you, and what deep emotions it evokes. And after that I’ll tell you that its part of the painting on the right, and I bet you get a different emotion from THAT one!!!