Art starts a conversation. Sometimes the conversation goes well and sometimes it goes the other way.
The conversation might start like this.
"Wow, that's incredible."
Sometimes like this.
"What kind of monstrosity is that?!?!?!?!"
Sometimes it could be, "You know, I was in Rockport, have you ever been there?"
Sometimes - "Was a dog sick on that canvas?"
"I was in Macy's and I needed something to go over my couch so I got this. I think it's pretty cool"
Every piece of art has a story. Every work of art in your home has a story attached to it. The story is usually personal.
A piece of art tells others who we are.
It could be where you got it. It could be that butterflies mean something to you. It could be the artist was a friend or the colors are beautiful. It could mean any number of things.
My art story this week includes a trip to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.
The rooms were crowded. There was some unintended jostling going on. I'm not good around crowds. I can get uncomfortable and irritable when I'm closed in with a bunch of people, but I didn't blow a gasket or run out screaming and whining like a child. This time.
It was interesting to listen to the comments from people on the floor. Some of the work was interesting and some of the work was fabulous Some of the work was just not worth the time it took to make it.
There seems to be no end to the opinions people hold and many times they're happy to share those opinions with a complete stranger.
"I'd never have that in my house."
"That's the most horrid thing, why would they select that?"
"Where did they get the idea for that?"
"I can't believe someone bought that?"
"Really, that sold for ₤22,000! I can't believe it."
No one will like everything and I have my opinions as well.
There were some large works that looked like they should be hanging in a soulless atrium, selected by a committee, and approved by the board. They were well executed but looked like they lacked any investment or inspiration from the artist. Some were creepy and some were downright horrible.
Some were just funny. This year, there was a skinny pink panther laced through some strange structure. It was huge - over six feet long. I really didn't get it, but I can appreciate it nonetheless. It made me smile and I liked it. I could hear the theme song playing in the background.
Some were smaller and more intimate portraits. A couple caught my eye. They were about 8" x 10" and though they were hung amongst a hundred other paintings stood out to me.
They were titled MOH 8 AND MOH9. These were obviously, at least obvious to me, portraits of United States Marine recipients of the Medal of Honor (MOH) recipients. The MOH is the highest decoration possible within the ranks of the military service in the United States. The paintings gave me pause to think and reflect on them and their sacrifice. A few goosebumps were involved too.
Executing something well is important to me. Some of the entries were incredibly detailed and intricate like this marvelous forest scene made entirely of wire.
Some of the artists in the show displayed no effort and looked like they were just slapped down, trampled, twisted up, run through a trash compactor, and then hung. Their effort and investment were minimal/dismal.
I don't like criticizing an artists work because maybe I just don't get it. It could be someone else will. Perhaps I think if I criticize someone else's work it leaves mine work up for criticism as well.
I do enjoy going to these shows even though I know I won't like a lot of the stuff there. To me, it is an explosion of creativity and different opinions. It helps me see new possibilities.
I'll be back to see the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Go see some art. Visit a gallery. Start a conversation. Lord knows we could use a bit more conversation today.
So, without mentioning Tracy Emin's horrible contributions, I will leave it all alone. But... someone will always find her interesting for some reason or other. Ack!
The painting I've included today, at the top of this section, was submitted by me to the show a few years ago but was not selected. I like it. It's hanging in my house. It has its own story. :-) I'll keep trying.
Until next week, I wish you peace.