Monday, May 15, 2006

Maybe the Art World Needs a Good PR Firm

I know there are plenty of insiders who agree with the general public's assessment of the art world as a cesspool of degenerates and talentless wanna-be's, but in watching two works of entertainment over the weekend, I was struck by just how little respect there seems to be for the realm. Not that stereotypes aren't often based on a grain of truth, and not that we shouldn't be able to laugh at ourselves, but in this age where perception trumps reality, it seems a bit foolish for the art world not to get out ahead and start spinning a better story. So I'm wondering if it's not time for a Public Relations make-over of sorts. The current perceptions are simply god-awful and actually a bit boring.

Warning: possible spoilers below.

First, Bambino, Ondine, and I saw
Art School Confidential. It has a few delightful comic moments, and once or twice the script was insightful (I was pleasantly surprised by the Q&A with the alumnus art star, who told the student audience what they all really wanted to know was how to become him, and then argued that the freedom to be an asshole was essentially what they all envied), but overall that movie's a bit of a mess. The thread about the murders drags on painfully and rather pointlessly, the critique about the art market is one-dimensional, and most of the best bits are in the trailer, so you might consider saving $10.75 and wait for it on cable, which pains me to say because I was so looking forward to this film.

I know it's supposed to be a dark comedy, but by the end of it, I was ready to take a shower. The dealer was perhaps as scummy a human being as imaginable (I mean really, when will we see a portrayal of an art dealer that doesn't have him/her all but boiling kittens alive and twisting a long pointy mustache?), the school's instructors were so icky and pathetic you wanted them to take a shower, and there was barely a scene in the whole film where the set wasn't strewn with detritus, suggesting the entire milieu is founded on filth. Even the lead character, the supposed "real artist," willingly sells out. Granted, the scene where the main instructor (John Malchevich) defends his triangle paintings is hilarious, but one leaves the film feeling the art world's all one big sham, the last bastion of hope for losers who can't see the reality of what's right in front of them, let alone anything even moderately profound. Which seems an accurate reflection of the public's perception, as Ondine noted when we left.

Later at home, Bambino and I watched an episode of Law & Order where a character based not-at-all-loosely on Thomas Kinkade kills his business partner and his wife so he can keep all the profits from their burgeoning joint franchise business of his work. Normally, I'd have no sympathy at all for Kinkade, whose business practices are repulsive, but to suggest he would kill anyone seemed a bit beyond the pale to me. More than that, watching everyone mock his artwork rubbed me the wrong way as well. Perhaps deep down I feel that's a privilege reserved for me, I don't know, but I think it was more the annoyance with how so many folks who wouldn't criticize a scientist's theory feel fully qualified to weigh in on art as if experts. I was also annoyed by how the collector couple anxious to start their own franchise were portrayed as total imbeciles. As much as I dislike Kinkade personally, I would never tell anyone else they were wrong to like his work, which is essentially what the writers of the episode were doing. More than that though, they were lazy about developing the character. The artist was a greedy fraud...end of story.

Now I realize that the more three-dimensional portrayal of the art world I crave would require a sharp increase in actual interest on the part of the general public, and that's unlikely in this country where folks wear their anti-intellectualism like a badge of honor. But still, I can't help but feel the art world itself is mostly responsible. Afterall, if we don't correct the misperceptions (assuming this film and TV show reflect misperceptions), how would we expect anyone to conclude they weren't accurate?

Ondine saw another film yesterday that held a clue as to what might be the solution here. He saw
Giuliani Time, in which he learned that "America's Mayor" tripled the PR budget for his office and that that, more than actual progress on issues like reducing crime (which was already well underway in NYC when he took office), accounts for the perception of him as a success and hero. Now, don't get me wrong, I will always be grateful for the tremendous job Rudy did in the wake of 9/11. He was spectacular. But I want to hold my nose a bit when I see him exploiting that as he explores a run for President. As one who lived under his regime I don't mind saying he was a total nightmare as mayor, one who stomped out so many aspects of what drew me to NYC in the first place. But the perception remains that he saved the city and turned it around, because he had his PR people out there every day shaping that perception.

So what am I saying? That the art world should mislead the public through a concerted PR effort, the way Rudy misled the city? Even as I write that I cringe. But what about simply getting better at telling the real story, the one in which not all dealers are villians, not all artists are sell-outs, not all instructors are washed-up, and not only the assholes become successful? How about telling the story about the collectors who know what they're doing and rightfully love the works they acquire?

I can hear a film executive somewhere scratching his head, saying, "Who'd watch that?"

32 Comments:

Anonymous Nolan Simon said...

Part of me would love to see the art world unite behind a better image, willing to throw it's money behind the public's perception in an attempt to raise the broadly heald opinions of art. Maybe an organization like the Armory or a Museum or two would have a better chance at maintaining a leadership role out front fighting for the cause. Though, in the current climate where even science is looked at askance, we're facing an increasingly pitched uphill battle.

5/15/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Pelle Cass (pc) said...

This reminds me of the discussion here about Vettriano (sp?) a while back--how non-art people see art people. I haven't seen the movie yet (but I loved Ghost World), but I got the idea from reviews and your post that it was a hatchet job. These kinds of satirical looks at the art world happen all the time on tv commecials set in galleries. The manly, common-sense hero of the ad raises his eyebrow at the crap on the pedestal and looks knowingly into the camera. With modernism's tradition of shocking the bourgoisie, it's no wonder we're being made fun of.

When I was in art school, my future wife and classmate was ostracized for painting realistically. I have a feeling that this is what the movie's about (again, not having seen it, only having read about it). Daniel Clowes, I believe, was a comic book artist in art school when it wasn't cool to be one. This friction between cool and knowing versus talented and idiosyncratic is surely a good subject for a movie. Anyway, I ramble.

5/15/2006 10:18:00 AM  
Anonymous Todd W. said...

Not that stereotypes aren't often based on a grain of truth, and not that we shouldn't be able to laugh at ourselves, but in this age where perception trumps reality, it seems a bit foolish for the art world not to get out ahead and start spinning a better story.

Maybe a renewed focus on art that is relevent to everyday life would work even better. But, as I've said before, we aren't likely to get much of that since the Art World is so insular, incestuous and inwardly focused. The prevelance of grad-school trained artists is only likely to exacerbate the situation.

And to blame Americans' well-known anti-intellectualism implies that there is some well-distributed amount of intellectualism in the art world. If I grant you the most positive aspects of intellectualism, can we really say this is true?

Still, to look at Law & Order and come away with complaints about realistic portrals of the art world only makes me wonder if you watch the show much. Darkly-hued charactature is its stock in trade, why should art get off lightly?

As for Guiliani, my wife once felt as you did: worst. mayor. ever. Back in '98, one trip on a crowded subway next to a drunk singing Dinkens' praises was enough to turn my wife's feelings around on that subject. If you want to talk about fear, in my circle there was explicit concern about what would happen to the city's quality of life once he left. Luckily, we got Bloomberg who built on the best qualities of the Guiliani years.

Sorry for the tone, it's a prickly Monday.

5/15/2006 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Prickly Monday understood... ;-)

Maybe a renewed focus on art that is relevent to everyday life would work even better.

What does that mean, though, Todd? Dumber art? More mundane art? What about "everyday life" is currently missing in the art you see? And isn't art a vehicle through which we seek to transcend our everyday lives?

And to blame Americans' well-known anti-intellectualism implies that there is some well-distributed amount of intellectualism in the art world.

That's fair enough, actually (although it cuts across your previous call for everyday art [wouldn't more intellectual art be less everyday art???]). But I'm hard pressed to explain what, other than that anti-intellectualism, leads Americans to automatically reject the art that doesn't spoon-feed back to them a flattering reflection of their everyday life.

Still, to look at Law & Order and come away with complaints about realistic portrals of the art world only makes me wonder if you watch the show much. Darkly-hued charactature is its stock in trade, why should art get off lightly?

Again (and I do watch regularly), fair enough. It was more the combination of the two portrayals than the L&O one on its own.

If you want to talk about fear, in my circle there was explicit concern about what would happen to the city's quality of life once he left.

I realize it's a catch 22. Only by feeling safe do New Yorkers leave their homes and create the atmosphere in public that draws so many of us here, but Rudy went too far...he took Gotham and Disneyfied it. Perhaps that makes it safe to walk around, but it also makes it boring. No offense intended (honestly), but those who will accept boring to ensure safe should consider the suburbs, in my opinion.

5/15/2006 10:55:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Oh man, I don't see a crisis. There is a huge audience for art, do we really need more attention paid by people who need to be cajoled to come. Maybe an anti-PR campaign to put art below the radar is in order.

There is a lot of phoniness in the art world, posturing, inflated egos. We all know it is part of the game and pretty enjoyable if you just let it go. People who have to tow the line in a nasty work environment (ie almost everyone) are bound to see that as annoying and self-indulgent, which it would be in their day to day lives.

A lot of 'Law and Order' takes place in the millieu of the clueless and narcissistic wealthy of NYC. Our heroes can really flaunt their pragmatism and fearlessness there.

5/15/2006 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Todd W. said...

those who will accept boring to ensure safe should consider the suburbs, in my opinion.

Since I live in the Outer Boroughs, perhaps I resemble this remark. But I work near Port Authority, so I have some idea of what "non-boring" is like and I can do without it. Besides, how often does a native visit Times Sq, either before or after gentrification? Not much in either time, I'd guess. I find most of the lamenting of "pre-Guiliani time" to be sentimentally nostalgic not so different from how some yearn for the purported innocence of 40s or 50s.

What about "everyday life" is currently missing in the art you see?

What touches you in the everyday? Love, hate, jealousy, getting ahead, getting by, raising kids, worshipping your god(s), money (yours and others'), etc. etc. These aren't mundane topics, they're the most important things in life. Much art today focuses on art itself - what is art? how is it made? what influences what does/doesn't get made? These topics couldn't be more removed from the everyday. In general, the art world views as acceptable just a very small portion of the spectrum of subjects, approaches and treatments possible.

isn't art a vehicle through which we seek to transcend our everyday lives?

Sometimes.

5/15/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous Oriane said...

I also saw ASC yesterday and was mostly disappointed that it was such a lousy movie; after Ghost World and Crumb I was expecting better. I did laugh out loud a few times, but the pacing was interminable, the characters were all stereotypes (and the lead changed his stripes from idealistic striver to cheating opportunist, so he switched from one stereotype to another, and unconvincingly) and the murder plot line was rediculous. I didn't really mind the view of the art world - as seen from art school- as shallow and phoney (my art school experience was pretty bad); I was just hoping for a better movie.

I especially found the women's roles to be complete stereotypes with the possible exception of Anjelica Huston's. We never even knew if the object of the hero's affection was a student at the school or just worked there as a model. After the complex female character(s) of ghost world, that was a disappointment.

I think that it's inevitable that the masses, as seen through tv ads and shows like L&O and other pop culture vehicles, will make fun of the art world - there's a lot of material there to poke fun - at but I'm not sure it bothers me.

5/15/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

how often does a native visit Times Sq, either before or after gentrification? Not much in either time, I'd guess. I find most of the lamenting of "pre-Guiliani time" to be sentimentally nostalgic not so different from how some yearn for the purported innocence of 40s or 50s.

I'm not sure that's an applicable parallel. I watched NYC change. I watched the East Village shift from a virtual festival of diversity to just another expensive, uber-hip neighborhood. I watched Soho, where I live, evolve from a playground of galleries and cool boutiques, where you could meet a living legend at the local diner, to obnoxiously expensive luxury vaults and restaurants I'd spend a years salary on an apetizer in. I watched individual expression in the form of clothing virtually disappear under a cloud of cookie cutter and hopelessly bland labels. I saw clubs that rivaled Weimarian Berlin in their energy and decadence undergo spiritual lobotomies.

Now maybe it's all just geography. Those people who made NYC the place I wanted to be must have moved somewhere. I can't believe they all drank the Kool-Aid, but as I look around today, at an ever expanding ocean of fanny packs on tourist's seemingly ever expanding asses, at the conservative uniforms, at the abscence of interesting street performers, drag queens, and other outsiders making their way through the streets, I sense a loss. Others might disagree.

5/15/2006 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Oriane said...

Art Fag City has a post up now about Artstar tv, which according to her, doesn't sound like it's going to do much to change the public image of the art world.

5/15/2006 11:41:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Gusky said...

Edward you bring up a point that hits hard with me: the "art world" has done nothing to make itself relevant to the rest of the world. I don't think it's entirely untrue to suggest that the influential art world players enjoy a certain degree of elitism. And I think it's a damned shame.

One of the people whom you say 'wear(s) their anti-intellectualism like a badge of honor' -- to wit my grandfather -- made one of the most interesting wall pieces I've ever seen, strictly off the cuff and without any art education at all. His contributions to, and his ability to benefit from, the larger art world organism were greatly limited by this attitude I'll describe as 'elitist,' although I realize it's more complicated than that.

I'm not suggesting we should turn our backs on our own educations. I just wish, as it seems you do, that the art world seemed more connected to the 'real' world, the way that other arts seem to connect.

5/15/2006 11:47:00 AM  
Anonymous ml said...

Movies and tv foster stereotypes - they tell viewers what they already know. I've observed that anyone with a southern accent in movies or tv is either an idiot or evil. Anyone who listens to opera is either about to die or evil. If you've ever read Agatha Cristie, the artists are always the murderer. So the ideal villain is a Southern artist who listens to opera.

And Edward, to your list of the east village and Soho, you can add Williamsburg. My theory is that the gentrification of NYC is the Republican mayors' strategy of converting a Democratic stronghold into a Republican one.

5/15/2006 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

One of the people whom you say 'wear(s) their anti-intellectualism like a badge of honor' -- to wit my grandfather -- made one of the most interesting wall pieces I've ever seen, strictly off the cuff and without any art education at all.

Obviously I'll take your word for how great his work is Bill, but this raises a theme that I've been talking about all week. Whether or not an art education makes for better art. Obviously not in every case. You can't believe in poetry without believing some folks are born poets, so I do indeed believe some folks are born artists, but I don't believe the work they make untrained has any quality in that would make it better than work they would have created had they gotten some training. In other words, I think there are naturally talented people, but that training would in fact make them even better artists. The idea, popular on one coast of this country, that training interferes with innate genius is perhaps the most idiotic thing I've ever heard.

Training frees up the artist to not think and still make good work. The opposite (i.e., lack of training frees up the artist to not think and still make good work) is a fallacy. Only innate talent would do that, and really, how many bona fide prodigies are there? Not as many as call themselves artists, that's for sure.

5/15/2006 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I just realized that I stated that poorly. I am arguing that in every case training makes for better art. What I meant is that training is no guarantee of good art.

5/15/2006 12:16:00 PM  
Anonymous bambino said...

I loved it, and not sorry for $10.25 (even though it was a treat from our dearest friend)
:P

5/15/2006 12:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Oriane said...

Edward, what about bad training? Learning is good, but some things you learn in art school need to be unlearned. I didn't go to grad school so have less to unlearn. That's a bit glib, but I believe it. I got a few basics in undergrad, then trained myself by getting a studio and working a lot and looking a lot.

5/15/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

Bad training is certainly a consideration, but training most often simply passes down hard learned lessons. Art history is nothing if not a list of people who rejected those lessons, but you can't reject what you were never exposed to.

5/15/2006 12:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Oriane said...

Well, I don't mean to harp on this, and I know it's not really what this thread is about, but I think artists should be open to alternate sources of learning. And gallerists sbould be open to it too; do we really want to show only people who trained at Yale, etc.? That makes for not a lot of diversity.

5/15/2006 01:34:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

...in this country where folks wear their anti-intellectualism like a badge of honor...

I don't know, Edward, I think it's a mix. I can't tell you how many people I've met who, now that they've read The Da Vinci Code, are proud to show off their newfound expertise about Renaissance Art (not to mention the history of religion). I don't think it's so much anti-intellectualism that's so common here as a distrust of anything that doesn't make sense to them (like much contemporary art). When people read something (or see a movie) that makes them think they have insight into something, they're often happy to be intellectuals too.

5/15/2006 01:37:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

And gallerists sbould be open to it too; do we really want to show only people who trained at Yale, etc.?

I'm sorry if it sounded that way. I'm certainly not suggesting only Ivy League educations are valuable. I'm simply making an argument for studying what others have done before you take up the paint brush, camera, video recorder or whatever in order to profit from those explorations.

Perhaps I'm being too polar here in my thinking. I tend to interpret arguments that education and training are unnecessary as suggesting that somehow folks can teach us something even though they haven't yet learned to communicate or speak our language. That's not to imply they can't invent their own new vocabulary, but if there's no mapping it back to an existing vocabulary, who's able to translate?

5/15/2006 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger highlowbetween said...

Ed- I agree 100%. Training is essential.
Why do people think that there is no need? You can't break rules unless you know what they are to begin with. Let's face it - art that 'thinks' its operating outside of the 'academy' is far too often impoversihed in its attempts. Personally I think the continuum of art history (training) is an asset to artists, something to think on and contribute to - even if that contribution is an act of defiance.

5/15/2006 02:39:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

I'm simply making an argument for studying what others have done before you take up the paint brush, camera, video recorder or whatever in order to profit from those explorations.

I'd like to suggest that it's actually the reverse that makes the most sense. That the exploration should begin before any formal study, and that it's the passionate involvement in that exploration that should lead someone to want to learn more about the history of what they are doing. I'm all in favor of art education. I just don't think someone should feel that they have to wait to start painting (or whatever) until they're somehow qualified to do so. Someone who already has an active art practice will approach the study of art history in a very different way than someone who has never actually made anything themselves.

5/15/2006 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger serena said...

Ed, marvelous post. I haven't seen ASC yet, but you raise so many interesting points I'm all aflutter as to which to address first.

In terms of training--my experience in art school was that I received virtually NO training. I expected to, but I had to corner my professors and forcefully extract a small amount of the technical training that I thought was part of the package. The rest of my technique I learned by going to the bookstore and the library and giving myself assignments.

As far as 'critique' was concerned, I had no trouble sucking up and regurgitating the approved language, with interest, but I found that this more often impeded my creative process than not. It depends on the context, of course, and different schools take different approaches. But the net result of art school, as Oriane says, was that afterward I had to spend a lot of time dislodging the sniping voices from my head, while seeking the nurturance, inspiration, and technical expertise that I'd looked for in art school, elsewhere.

Re: the wonderful discussion between Todd and Edward about art in everyday life and anti-intellectualism--well, what IS intellectualism? Bad intellectualism tends to be arcane, infinitely self-referential, intentionally opaque, and all but irrelevant to larger issues such as 'love and jealousy,' as Todd points out. It's possible to be deeply intellectual and still be broadly accessible; I'm reading Neal Stephenson's Baroque Trilogy at the moment, and I think this is a perfect example of this. Accessible intellectualism requires having such a thorough understanding of one's topic that one can make it not only understandable, but enjoyable to one's audience. It strikes me that a lot of the 'intellectualism' in the art world is a defense mechanism, concealing a shallow, narrow understanding of science, philosophy and culture, rather than a passionate interest in such, and a joyfully generous desire to communicate this passion to others.

And Ed, I think it's a bit disingenuous, if not downright patronizing, to suggest that art which is connected to everyday life has to be 'dumber' or more mundane than 'intellectual' art. A lot of the so-called 'high conceptual art' that I see can be boiled down to an obscure one-liner, and is manifested with such literalness, lack of richness, complexity and ambiguity that there's nothing to do with it once you say "yeah, I GET it" and move on to the next piece. (Of course this is a gross over-generalization. Please bear with my crankiness.)

In contrast, art which is simple and unpretentious in its roots can often express layers and layers of pure poetry in the intimacy of its connection with its own medium. The works of Isamu Noguchi come to mind; he was so connected to the physical process of his work that his late sculptures express the infinite nature of 'rockness' better than anything I've ever seen. I just want to hug them.

5/15/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I realized after I posted that last comment that it implied a strict chronology, David. Of course, artists can begin painting before they've studied or been trained. I agree that it should be the thirst to understand what they can't figure out themselves that drives them to study. I don't think it hurts for the powers that be (mostly parents) to encourage study/experimentation before it's that urgent to a carefree youth, mind you, knowing that a leg up isn't always first and foremost on the minds of younger people, but forcing someone to study without any inclinations suggesting they want to is not what I'm advocating.

To be clear, though, without an academy-like structure/tradition to perpetuate the knowledge base, young artists will be at a decided disadvantage once they yearn to learn, so...

5/15/2006 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

And Ed, I think it's a bit disingenuous, if not downright patronizing, to suggest that art which is connected to everyday life has to be 'dumber' or more mundane than 'intellectual' art.

It was a question to be answered, perhaps suggesting what you took from it as a means to draw a line in the sand, but certainly not declaring that to be the case. Although, I do think there's much more to be learned about everyday life from the most heady of work than most people credit it as offering. Yes, there are the one liners, but something can be extraordinarily intellectual (think "Finnegan's Wake" or Twombly's "The Italians") and yet so much more human, and humane, than work that limited to the exploration of an idea like "jealousy," in and of itself.

I'm arguing for more depth, with which I believe comes more, not less, connection.

5/15/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Edward, now that you've clarified it seems we agree. Wow, that was easy :)

5/15/2006 03:05:00 PM  
Blogger serena said...

I'm arguing for more depth, with which I believe comes more, not less, connection.

Oh, absolutely. I think the trouble comes in when you use an idea like 'jealousy' as a starting point, and explore it in a vague and cliche'd manner, rather than using something intensely specific as a key to a universal expansion.

I do think there's much more to be learned about everyday life from the most heady of work than most people credit it as offering.

I'm in complete agreement with you here, as well. I've been reading more of your blog (Oriane gave me the link, and I'm reading it instead of getting to the studio, naughty me) and I really love your insights. You seem to have a gift for seeking out the work with true depth and presenting it in a way that is accessible without being dumbed-down. I've found this to be rare in my personal experience with the art world--so bear in mind that my current comments have more to do with past experience than what I'm reading on your blog.

5/15/2006 03:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems to me that these annoying popular stereotypes exist as society's cautionary tales to keep regular people (viewers) uninterested in even attempting a creative life and risking being branded "kooky artists" --because the truth is, a life steeped in the arts encourages real free thinking, independent action, and dynamic expression--which are all a danger to society as we know it.
Why have the most repressive regimes always censored the arts so heavily? Social ridicule leads to self-censorship.
I think that this is also the underlying reason why arts budgets are being cut in schools all over--not because the arts are "frills" --but because real art has awesome transformative power which makes kids hard to control.
So I think it would be useful for everyone to consider the possibility of serious "art education" and
"training" as extending down through high school, grade school, and preschool and up beyond the college years and, in fact, throughout life.
Kids, befor ethey are squashed, are so capable and are some of the most amazing artists, and I know we could !!change the world!! with really dynamic art teachers in every classroom striving for nationwide art "literacy" --part of the Core Curriculum--if only!
The most dynamic societies throughout history have had art at their centers, not stuck out on the loony fringes.
Regular working people of all ages don't even know how thirsty they are for the creative process in their own lives until they get a little taste--then they can't get enough of it!
--and our greedy society cheats most people of their birthright of soul vitamins and replaces it with mass media junk.
And--all us MFA grads should consider how much of a huge difference we could make if we shared some of our passion and expertise with teenagers, for instance... the exclusive prestige attached to college teaching is lopsided and dumb.
We all know (from our own student experiences)that great art teaching takes lots of time and commitment to build those trusting relationships. So everyone with any willingness to do so should consider ways they could share the creative life with others. Does this sound sentimental and boring? It is not!
Also-many of those who we assume are hostile to the artworld--the "Middle" of society that Edward was referring to back in one of his art and politics postings, are actually more timid than contemptuous, probably never met a real artist, and would love a generous boost in the direction of real creativity.
Sorry to go on and on but I think about all this stuff a lot.

5/15/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

I was confiden going in that Clowes, being an artist himself, and Zwigoff, who showed such empathy for artists in "Crumb," would get this one right, but they really failed .. it's just all too cynical to be funny or terribly entertaining

5/15/2006 05:44:00 PM  
Blogger brent hallard said...

Hey anon.art is context driven though who knows where it will land or end. I'm with you to start it young. Taught the right way, it's as good as any literacy slap.

That said:

To land on understanding ‘without prior knowledge’ is, to use yesterday's word, ‘an extreme'. Let's add todays new‘rarity'.

What is art?

What is art? I'm not going to go with art is anything and everything because there is not a lot to be learnt from starting there. Art is something that is understandable and is able to be processed, experienced, through prior knowledge, and via extention a leap of experience. I beleive this experience is not textbook, instead something latent and ready in the persons.
(I'm expreienced driven)—honestly that's how I see everything every time.
There is an escalating number of art students and collectors. That must be good news. So what's the problem?

The every day! It's a funny word!! What do you think an artist does most days, when they have the chance? Isn't that everyday. Sure some walk their dog; sure some network, others fowl themselves up ready for a fresh start the next day. Generally, though, young artists are trying to make it. So their everyday usually has everything, and everything, to do with art, for some part of it. Their everyday I would suggest is different from the average folks.
Everyday as a comment is kind of lame if you are reaching out for our average folk. Art is not a religioun, though can touch theism on many roads, at many interects. Art is a very focused profession. And at it's best will leave you if you get in the way.
Well, sure that's the extreme case.

It has been an experiment to dumb things down for quite some decades now. Sure, experiment is a good thing. But understand when the experience has concluded, otherwise it just another form of navel-gazing.

At the same time, back to anon.. before I could appreciate pi I did have quite a few years brushing up on addition, subtraction, and multiplication and the other one, which I forget: I use a calculator for all that now.
What I would have changed in my experience is to be exposed to pi earlier on, though not tested on it.

In the end, when hot things happen hot people are there—like they say in every MFA—context driven.

5/16/2006 08:01:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa Hunter said...

In your search for a PR firm, maybe you could go in halvsies with Science, which is even more unfairly maligned.

5/16/2006 01:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Steve Ruiz said...

I'm going to echo a few other commenters here, and say that the reason not many non-art folks like the art work is that, from what I've experiences, a lot of the the art world doesn't like non-art folks. Its been a mark of quality to have "confrontational" or art for quite some time now. Why should anyone expect that after so much confrontation - and I'm talking on all levels from simply aesthetics to core morals - audiences wouldn't start giving art the finger?

I'm not suggesting that all of Fine Art should start pandering to the low standards of common shopping mall print stores, but I do really believe that as artists interested in creating a new public interest in art, we should start reconsidering what qualities in art are hurting more than helping us.

5/18/2006 12:05:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

I keep hearing that, Steve, so (being a bit dense and slow) I'm starting to think there's something there. I'm gonna do a post on that next week, so thanks for the comment.

btw...nice site, but too may pop-ups on it. ;-)

e_

5/18/2006 12:21:00 PM  

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