Sunday, October 26, 2014

Art Thoughts #1

An article in my ArtDaily newsletter the other day, announced the upcoming auction of a Cy Twombly painting, it stated that this masterpiece, which was housepaint on board with chalk scribbles was expected to bring $35-$55 million US dollars, and it caused me to ponder on the thoughts and conversations I have about Art, the state of it, what it is and why we do it etc.

Art is certainly not high on the agenda of current governments, at least here in Australia, as Art programmes and Art funding is progressively being cut or abandoned in place of more useful and productive subjects that focus on the more important matter of making money.

It does seem rather paradoxical that while art is seemingly of little practical value to everyday life... at the same time obscene amounts of money are being spent on art which is out of all proportion to the quality of the work or actual skill involved in producing it.

dictionary definitions of Art  are ambiguous “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance”.

“Art has had a great number of different functions throughout its history, making its purpose difficult to abstract or quantify to any single concept. This does not imply that the purpose of Art is "vague", but that it has had many unique, different reasons for being created “

“Few modern scholars have been more divided than Plato and Aristotle on the question concerning the importance of art, with Aristotle strongly supporting art in general and Plato generally being opposed to its relative importance”(Wikipedia)

The state of art today is a reflection of the world that we live in, with its crazy values and priorities!
While many live in poverty, and defenceless peoples are terrorised by evil men, we have become a world of tribalistic hero worshippers paying fortunes for entertainment. It seems that India can send a scientific rocket to Mars for less than than it costs to produce a modern entertainment film... or it could have bought a Rothko painting and had a few thousand left over.

One of my thoughts on art is that it is an essential part of the human experience, it is descriptive and expressive, it is communication, it could bring beauty and pleasure, awareness and thought and discussion.
Art is also work, and all work is worthy of some reward, but that reward should not be out of proportion with reality... and should not be the prime motivation for producing it..

In my opinion the works of Banksy, done in the form of graffiti, in public places for any to see, are better value than many daubings  on boards... that the gullible are conned into spending a fortune for!

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