Thursday, October 14, 2010
The Fixings for Perch Espagnole, Cereal and Art
Ala James Beard is what's for dinner tonight. This is the set up of what's needed to be done first--chop this, dice that prepare the sauce--later I bake it according to the Canadians--ten minutes per inch in a very hot oven. Perch are thin, after the sauce is made, I'm ten minutes away from done. I'm going to throw in some mushrooms too even though they are not in the recipe.
This drawing took twenty minutes all together. My time was split by Honey wanting to get his breakfast. Me and my spontaneous still life were blocking his way to making his cereal. I got out and went to the computer to read the new blog I'm following.
The discussion this morning was "What is Art."
I used to hate that question( because I didn't know the answer). Then, in time and a lot of looking at art, I decided there was no one definitive answer. All you have to do is walk through any great museum and you'd see that art is whatever anybody wants it to be--from a single dot on a field of color to found objects addressed to
Judith with Maidservant and The head of Holofernes. I left a comment saying just that yesterday. It was rejected. Not what the lady wanted to hear I guess? She's still looking for definitive. She's young, or didn't notice in art history that the Impressionists were the first to redefine art followed by the Cubists, followed by the Abstract Expressionists, followed by the Minimalists, followed by a lot of other movements launched by a lot of artists all looking for the answer to what is art to them. The fact of all those movements means it's anything the artist wants it to be. I adore the impressionists--not because they brought color to the art scene, but because they threw the art scene open to artists of all persuasions.
From my point of view. I do think that art is anything I find expressive of my feelings towards the subject in front of me or on my mind. I always have a subject, but it's not always apparent. Today it's the ingredients for a dish I'm going to make. Two or three posts ago, the subject, pulled from out of my head, was a figurative abstract of frustration. Years ago I did a massive painting about ambivalence--very abstract--has figures in it, but they are barely discernible. Then there was the one that was a journalistic collection of paper casts of my hand. The subject of that one was tenacity. And now, chocolate mice. What's that all about? I really have no idea--but I do think pastries are beautiful and I particularly like the gross idea of making a mouse, a dislikable rodent, out of chocolate, a very likable substance, to be eaten. I like the contrast of ideas. So my art goes all over the place depending on what is happening in my life and how I feel towards it. I'm an intuitive painter making art for art sake. But that's just me.
What about the public? What does the general public call art? What art do they buy? After twenty years in the art business (prior to the design business), the paintings that sold the most were figurative--flowers, landscapes, portraits, still lifes. The paintings that sold the least were abstracts--colors and forms and textures not attached to any recognizable subject. But all sales depended on how that painting would fit in with the decor of the customer's home. In business, I learned the public likes and buys art that the subject of the piece is clear and it's decorative too. If they are collectors/investors, they don't care about subject or decorative. They buy (bet) the artist whose work is going to increase in value over the years and cheer when the artist passes away.
The best part is: everybody is right and all art is valid. I think the question "What is art" belongs in The most Boring Art Blog. The lady should stop reading and start painting.