Re: Modern Art:
posted at 1/23/2014 4:11 PM EST
The "article" was nothing more than a blog post to me. The guy who wrote it is not much more than a small-minded, self-aggrandizing little twit. Additionally, he says the same thing over and over in the article when once would have been sufficient. We get it.
In the big picture, the 'I can do this" or the "anyone can do this" crowd are missing the point, no matter where they go, or what they see. Know why? Because in saying that, they are really the "all about me" people, and the "me" people are more concerned about comparing themselves, their skill, and in some cases, their woeful lack of knowledge, against a work of art, instead of focusing on the art and asking, "what makes that so great? why is that piece of crap in the National Gallery?" :) and asking questions about it, they judge it, perhaps after looking at it for 5 or 10 seconds. Now, do you want to know why a professionally trained curator, art expert, historian, etc., might have moved heaven and earth to have that work of art in that gallery, or do you want to know what some jerk off the street thinks of it, or worse, tells you "he could do that", too??
Have I made myself clear here?! hahaha. :)
I have made no secret that I read reviews and critiques --- NOT to develop my taste -- but to learn the what, why and wherefore of what someone who has studied, been trained, etc., has learned and will hopefully impart in a critique. In the Boston Globe, Sebastian Smee does this (most who follow him love him) on a periodic basis in his "Frame by Frame" column, where he takes a work of art and describes, reviews and discusses what makes it "what it is" (sometimes that's also explaining why it's controversial, or banal, too) -- and he gives the reader an appreciation they would likely not have without the benefit of his expertise. Do I always like the paintings? No, not at all. Is it his "opinion" ?? Yes, of course. Is it definitive? Unlikely. But it's a darn good benchmark, I can tell you that much. And I am never sorry I read his critique or explanation because he sheds light on everything he writes about. Smee is a renowned art critic, who has won a Pulitzer for art criticism, and he's a treasure the Globe is lucky to have. Once you read someone like Smee, you become a convert.
But back to the "I can do this" contingent. This is where the blogger really blows his cover IMO:
"What perhaps makes me unusual is not that I entertain such thoughts, but that I did go off and try doing it myself. My medium was the most accessible of them all: photography"
Firstly, he did nothing "unusual" -- he entered some photos in what was seen as a contest, moreorless, or a competition, so why he thinks he's done anything unusual, I have no idea. It's not as though he put together a porfolio and tried to get a curator or art gallery to look at them, in which case, he never would have gotten in the door. :P
But what it really smacks of is turning a walk through a gallery or museum into competition, judgement call, and not even having the humility to think that somehow, someone, somewhere, must know more than he does for that work of art to be there in the first place. (in his case, photographs, specifically).
No, I am not saying I think that the "experts" are God(s), nor do I like what I see just because I know there's a "reason" for it to be there -- but I have the humility to at least say, well, I don't get that ... and not trivialize it. Look, I've seen the same crap in museums that everyone has (and plenty of it has been in the DeCordova), but the thing for me is that, I wouldn't even *want* to make any of it, even if I could. :P
We live in a world where just about everything gets trivialized and belittled. It's very discouraging to see the disrespect and lack of acknowledgement that is accorded to people in certain fields of study.
I'm not saying that I disagree with the contention in the "article" where it's stated that there are people who have natural talent (God given? DNA given? Whatever ...) that comes out of nowhere, without training on any level, and that many people have a flair for what they do, that is also natural.
However, for me, the entire "I could do that" mentality has nothing to do with the object or the action that is "doable", but rather is about and feeds on the mentality that if you can copy cat something, that not only means you're "doing" it, but that you're succeeding at it. And that's not what it means at all.