Saturday, August 7, 2010


Rocket surgery
it's not: with something to prove, one
ceases to wonder.

The above is a little ditty I made up as I pulled into town. I was/am tired, so "it's" and "something" aren't going to bother me too much at this hour.

Long day in the big city. Saw a lot of art. I have two reviews to write.

I'll leave you with this:
Nouveau Americana, by Peter Gronquist


KenP said...

Maybe an ax and a hammer would have been more appropriate. The goal is to hit people over the head with the artist opinion. In the process, they infer their view is the righteous.

They can express their views -- right or wrong. That's their right. But, it is wrong to call it art.

Sorry! I know you enjoy the avant-garde. But, sad lectures like this speak down to down to the viewer.

bastinptc said...

When I came upon this piece, I chuckled, for while I get the idea behind it, and allow myself to enjoy the parody, I would not call it a great piece of art, and therefore not groundbreaking, or avant-garde. However, one finer distinction has to be made: it is art.

This assertion may initially seem anything but discerning. The point is that it is not up to me to proclaim what is not art when the person who made the piece says it is. I can, however, say what I think makes it ineffective as art.

I'll give you another example, Ken. You know those pictures I took of the flowers in the field? Pretty pictures, eh? But they're not art, or more precisely, they are not my art. I've used some of them to make art, but in and of themselves they are not my art. That is not to say that someone else didn't come to that same field of flowers using the same camera and stood at the same spot and angle, at the same time of day and with the same exposure (you get the idea), took a picture and called it art. For them, it is, (and my photo might be art for a viewer) and that is fine.

Along these same lines, there are different genres of art. The one I posted might be called political art, and as such, carries a message that some would call propaganda. (I agree with you that the piece is one-dimensional in it's meaning. DW actually cringed when I told her the title.) But let's go back to the field of flowers, the pastoral art. Some would call it bucolic while others would deem it saccharin.

I don't mean to sound relativistic. I have very strong opinions about what makes for good art and believe me, I am very dismissive, which, by the way, does not mean that I am necessarily discerning. Sometimes I just don't feel like being 'open' to give an artist a second look, sometimes to my detriment.

Art is not the domain of the righteous (nowhere and nothing on this earth is); yet it is a realm in which one can aspire, and from here we can discuss whether the work is successful.

KenP said...

Labeling is often in the realm of the individual. I like your label for the piece of one dimensional. As you point out, the piece is political. I'd also add the label extreme. When combined I always miss the humor.

That goes for MoveOn and Swift Boat types. I just blogged about another extreme that claims a journalism label. I will always place all of the above with labels of self-righteous and morally bankrupt.

I'll admit I'm intellectually challenged when it comes to art. My tastes are enjoyably plebeian. It really boils down to like. But, not really dislike in most respects. This gentlemen earned only that label from me. He is self-righteous and talking down to the viewers. I cannot offer him any respect. If it is anything it is craftsmanship but there are far better examples like Calder's jewelry, local wrought iron shops and such.

I also have no problem with anyone who views the piece different from me. Our views on art often help define who we are.

Anonymous said...

I think that the thing that it is missing to push it into the realm of good art is a painted plaster representation of an Italian porn actress cavorting with her latest husband.

Aki :)

bastinptc said...

Aki - Targeting your remark at Jeff Koons is right on the mark. The influence is obvious.