Sunday, November 05, 2006


The following was spurred by this.

Art is impossible, those who succeed do so by chance, except, maybe Michelangelo, he's created 3 pieces which are peerless and renowned as timeless classics. All three have a different feel, one which was not even the medium he was most proficient in.

I think there are many points to art, some of which we will never know of. One is timelessness, a way for people to leave a mark, the pyramids succeeded in that. Another is aesthetics, yet another a way to convey an idea or feeling, to be able to relate. Art can also serve as a impetus for questions. Everyone seems to think that art should be this or that, it shouldn't. People should allow for all these functions to be explored instead of saying, oh that doesn't look like anything, or, oh, that's ugly. Well yeah, that's not what it's trying to do, art doesn't have to be pretty, realistic, funny, sanitary or anything else.

Why can't people just try and understand art that they don't get? Why do we have to use one set of scales for every single piece of art produced? Why does any one piece of art have to be all things at once? Michelangelo's pieta is amazing, it's technical brilliance is mind-blowing and it is important to have beautiful things around you, it's part of being human. But it isn't all things at once. It's story is old, been done a million times. What's it's message? What truth does it convey to us? It tells a snippet of a part of the Bible, but even that's an excuse. It's an exercise in creating the illusion of human motion and emotion in stone.

Banksy uses stencils, he spray paints on walls, then his art gets covered up by people who think that it's a gang symbol, an indication that there are too many poor people. His art is transitory, it's technically proficient, but he's not even close to Michelangelo. Is he a lesser artist? He makes people think, his images are clever, interesting, sometimes provocative.


Bekah said...

The only part I'm not sure I get, and I Dont think I agree with, is that art is impossible and those who suceed do so by chance.

How can you "suceed" if art isn't supposed to be anything? Don't you suceed merely by creating art then? Or do you define success as unviversal recognition of excellence? But then does that not include standards and such?

DO GO ON. :)

Jonathan said...

Art, great art, is judged as art that stands the test of time. This art, seems impossible to achieve, it seems more chance than anything else.

I follow this up with my opinion that these designations are almost as arbitrary as the situations which lead to the art being made. A great painting one country could be seen as just good in another.

So then, I posit, that people should not be so empirical in their designations of great art. I think that Roger Ebert does this with his movie reviews. It is late, if it still makes no sense, please, ask again :-)