Being a Critic

Art puzzles me.

Perhaps because I have a more scientific look on life, I can’t get past a cigar just being a cigar. The meaning of art is something I struggle with. If the artist has placed meaning in their work, I can understand and follow that, but it is the hidden or interpreted meaning that I cannot grasp. If not explicitly stated does the esoteric story of a painting really exists, or do experts place their own thoughts onto art?

I like modern art, yes I think it is just blobs of colour in random arrangements but I like that. I’m fond of a Mondrian. In fact, during my Art GCSE my artist study was Mondrian.

This meant while the others in my class were slaving away over replica Van Gogh or Monets I could paint a few black lines and colour in a few squares with primary colours. I could get just as good a grade as the real works of art and it made me realise that how much someone works at a piece of art is unimportant. What matters is that it either looks good or the artist can convince you it is good.

This may have been Van Gogh problem

Rather than being able to convince others in his lifetime he was a genius he came across as mad and desperate. Why would you buy artwork from a man like that, you want someone brash and able to sell his work? This is how Damien Hirst survives in the art world.

The art world is often like the Emperor’s New Clothes, you are told you only get art if you are clever so when confronted with a confusing piece of work you have to feign understanding and talk about the juxtaposition of the light. Inside you are thinking what is this crap but if you do, you’ll be ridiculed by those around you who are as equally befuddled.

Mama-G is the small child who points out the nakedness of the Empower. When confronted with the amazing Guernica by Picasso she took a few seconds to look at it, went “nope… Don’t get it” and walked off. Even though I know all the meaning in the painting (of which there is a lot) I was so proud that while everyone else stood in reverent silence, my Mum expressed her feeling without worrying about what others thought.

This “representation” of meaning is something that puzzles me. I once did a university course in media full of interpreting films and TV for hidden messages. Why are neanderthals given dark skin, is it possible that the creators of the program are unknowingly racially bias?

Or maybe because it is more scientifically accurate that way.

Art is wonderful, the world would be a much more dull place without it. We should not put it on a pedestal (unless it’s a statue… They look good on pedestals) but be art you like and art you don’t.