Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I could do that...

Yesterday I went to see an art exhibition. As I walked past the first painting, I noticed a middle aged man saying to his daughter 'I could do that', 'how much do you think think I'd get for that', 'I'm telling you, I could do that'.

So, just like I don't really understand quantum physics, accounting procedures or engineering, there are lots of people out there who don't understand art. I get that, but I feel sad for people who walk around thinking this way. The exhibition, Intensely Dutch, was one of the best I've been to in a long time, it was vibrant, filled with variety, it showed development of artists and transitions that they had made throughout their careers. A lot of the art was abstract, some of it was naive in style and I found myself reinvigorated in the way I was thinking about making toys.

This art wasn't about interior decoration. It was about deep creative expression and process, and being so far into whatever it is that you do, that you've let go of the restrictions of realistic representation, and that's what I adore about art. I love seeing the result of these thought processes, and that's what they are, serious contemplation, whether intellectual or visual, an artist isn't some robot that spouts out random images onto a canvas (or whatever) in order to make money or to make a wall look nice.

There was evidence that these artists were capable practitioners who could represent in a realistic style, they had the technical ability to do the art that might impress narrow minded folks, but they chose to go beyond that. And that's awesome.

I actually found myself back tracking and writing down the names Edgar Fernhout, Jan Riske & Karel Appel, and I don't often do that.



Isa said...

I heard those comments, and always think the same, they are artist because they did... instead of watching others do.When people say these things it really shows that they couldnt even if they tried.

Simply EC said...

I LOVE this, having heard the SAME thing recently at street fairs, right in front of me. I shared it with the artist I share a booth with and we had a good chuckle. Thanks!