Sunday, February 8, 2009

I don't care about clever, I don't care about funny

I have recently discovered that I am the ignorant person. Where art is concerned that is. I've never been the type to spend all day browsing art galleries, even the Louvre lost its appeal to me after four hours; there are only so many ancient statues one can look at before they lose their magic.

Every season or so I visit the National Victorian Gallery to see what has changed. I was there last week. Not much had changed. I was walking through the Modern and Contemporary Art sections, most likely embarrassing my accompanying friend by smirking and raising my eyebrows at almost every single piece. How is this art? It doesn’t depict anything recognisable and the accompanying summaries are completely far fetched. Even the names aren't worthy of art: Untitled no. 18, Black smudges on paper, Vertical faded stripes. Oh, come on! Does anyone else think that perhaps the people who 'ooooh' and 'aaaah' over these pieces do so because they think everyone else 'gets it' while they don't?

I understand art is often a very different thing to its audience than it is to its creator. Art is fascinating because we can draw things out of it, get lost in it, understand it(or atleast understand the meaning we draw from it). But how the hell you can get lost in 'Vertical faded stripes', I don't know, unless you're on acid. Can anyone shed some light on why such useless unimaginative things are placed in national art galleries? Maybe I should paint polka dots on a photograph of my breast and say it represents the struggle between conformity and personal freedom in this messed up world. Maybe I shouldn't.

With all this said, I appreciate artwork you can see a story in. Renaissance paintings, Medieval manuscript art, Modern photography; they all appeal to me. They capture a moment in time, and the viewer can create the rest. I like art when it is obvious in its beauty. When it's not pretentious. Like these..

Sure, they may be 'Fashion Photography' rather than Modern Art pieces hanging in a gallery, but I'd rather stare at them over scribbles on a canvas anyday, and I'm not ashamed to say so.
Photos: Geoffrey Barrenger


  1. i think i can relate to ur 'how is this art' expression ><

    art is just as vague as its definition itself//

  2. Amen.

    & I think you should paint your boobs. Might make a few extra dollars for your trip. Kidding.

    But you're right. Art needs to show something, but something doesn't mean the boredom of a person who had nothing else better to do on a Sunday afternoon.

    Heck. Even I could do that!

  3. Funny you say that. I have visited Melb/Victoria art gallery 3 times in the past year or so and in your post the one picture that comes to mind...though i cannot quite recall, I do recall thinking 'what the f?' i know this picture had a hole in its canvas. I remember saying to my friend 'what the fuck is this supposed to mean' and she said something like 'well its really cleaver once you get to understand it'... she never did explain. My fave one is in the old paintings and it is on like a screen thing, its really colourful and relious and would have taken forever to do. thats all thankzzz

  4. I love how you wrote. That picture is great too.

  5. I don't know how they can call that shite art either.

    I love that they still have the rain window at the Nat-Vic. My neice loves it too.

  6. Hahahaha, good call.