Okay, Let's Smear Paint
I enjoy the world of art most of the time, more so than the actually making of art. So I'm perhaps more of an art appreciator, although I enjoy trying my hand at it as well and being a little creative. That said, however, I can be critical of it as well, perhaps not quite as critical of modern or contemporary art as Joe the Plumber or Joe Bob Sixpack, but still critical. I read one critical person say that most modern art should be destroyed, and we should start all over again. I have to admit, I feel that way at times. Ever since the Abstract Expressionist movement that occurred in NYC with the action painters and the slap, spill, dash, and dab art that came out of that movement, anyone else wanting to mimic that style, can and does. For me there's an over abundance of it, and I say that with some restraint, as I like a lot of that style of art. I don't like all of it, and I think it's overdone, but yeah, I like some of it--quite a bit of it really. I love modern art for the most part.
But having said all that, I'm still mystified by art, what makes it into galleries, what becomes hot art or artist, so is it any wonder that it's even more puzzling to the average person? Probably not. Though at the same time I cringe a little when I overhear someone in a show make a remark like, "Hell my pet monkey could paint that." I guess consider the source, but at the same time I guess I can understand it.
There was another art documentary called Cutie and The Boxer, that came out not too long ago. It's interesting and was about a NYC couple that were both artist, who are somewhat famous artist. It's certainly worth a look if you enjoy that sort of thing. One of the issues the film raises is although you might be famous or noted within the art world, but you also might be living hand to mouth ie. starving artist. One of the type paintings that the male counterpart of the couple did was put on boxing gloves, dab them into paint buckets, and punch canvases in sort of a splattered manner, and then he'd title them something sort of ambiguous, etc. I actually enjoyed watching him make his art, and I probably agree with his philosophy--art doesn't have to be complex to be art, but at the same time, I felt conflicting issues. I feel at times, that all one really needs to do to be taken seriously as an artist is to do something on a grand scale. In other words put it out there on a large canvas, then you are somewhat legitimized as a "real" artist. Some might scoff at that assertion, but yeah, I do feel that way at times. You certainly would be taken as a "real" artist quicker that way over say, painting on little 6 by 8 inch canvases, at least unless you are very very good at painting those small canvases, and some are. So anyway, it's a head scratcher...
I ran into a couple more video on Youtube that I found pretentious so I won't post them here (and it would take too long to find them again), but both were more or less how these two artist created their art. One was a guy that happened to also be a musician. He turned on some loud music and had a group of onlookers around him, and he first drew a human cartoon-y face on a canvas, and then a doggie, and some other stick figure, which was okay in a primitive, childlike manner, but then he goes on, and breaks out a mop bucket, and swabs the mop in it and covers up his previous figures, and steps back to look at it and goes back to attack the painting again flailing paint around as if possessed by the devil. I saw a similar video posted by a woman, that again, had some loud techno music, and she starts shaking her rump, getting into the groove, and paints, and swabs, and comes back over and paints over what she did, and stands back, makes a quick judgement, and then paints over that in quick smearing fashion. I don't know, it all seemed pretty pretentious to me. I just felt, I hope neither of you are trying to live off this stuff as it's going to be a hungry future for you.
I guess there's no brilliant take away here, just me thinking out loud mostly. I'll end with a pretty neat video I watched on Youtube the other night taken at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). I like how the guy presenting the video shoots and talks a bit about the paintings, evidently knowing a bit about art, the creators, and art history. I wonder if he just shot these with a hand held phone, which seems he may have, but most museums won't allow cameras, so that's a bit odd. At any rate, I did like most of the paintings in the show, except for the ones that looked like they were stick figures drawn by a six year old. I just found them too pretentious. If the artist that made those is making a living off that, I need to go buy and put some large canvases together and move to NYC.