Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Art 'a' Tack

A conversation with my niece, who's doing her masters in art [and living my dream] in London, led to some interesting reflections. Am sure she [in her glorious twenties] was secretly smirking at my 'unqualified' opinions.

We were discussing contemporary art. She's a fan and says art must not be restricted to beautiful depictions of even morose and morbid things on canvas...that art must leave the canvas and the four walls and be taken outside...that art has evolved to embrace the now and is not regressive or contained in a box. That video is the new canvas. That everything is art.

My take is that art has always been seen as therapeutic and a release from the regressive and contained. Also like all things real and invaluble , it was supposed to be timeless. If art today reflects the times, would it not be instantly redundant unlike what has survived and indeed enhanced generations? She doesn't agree. She says change = evolution and not necessarily a rejection of what is old. Adaption would probably be another word here. What is free, again, wont adapt.

So, I disagree. Take glass and plastic for example. Even today glass is fascinating and offers endless possibilities...plastic, well...!

What is Art? And what is its purpose?

Science for science's sake? No..there are applications
History? Again applications...well, of a kind.
Math? Applications
Geography? Applications
Art? It has always primarily been for art's sake.

I remember, we were never assessed for our aptitude for art in any great detail in school. It was, at best, an indulgance, a hobby [thank God that has changed]. At best there'd be little windows on our marksheets for DRAWING and CRAFT and we'd get graded poor/good/excellent. No marks.

Can there be theories on art? Maybe classical forms of dance and music where there can be discipline...but how does one teach another how to create a piece of art? How does one FREE art? How does it evolve? I have always found this whole 'analysis/appreciation of art' idea very pseudo...but then maybe that is because I haven't 'studied' art? 'Studied art' - an oxymoron? And 'study of free art'..again intrinsically contradictary because anything 'studied' isn't 'free'. Basic technique can be taught, perhaps...but art itself is like breathing. It has to come naturally.

Art has also always reflected current culture...and I dread to think that contemporary art will depict the lack of anything closely resembling culture today...again culture, like art, is being redefined.

Yes, the world is more eclectic and I love those buses with 3D pictures on them...and the street paintings that are surreal yet engaging...but this isn't my idea of art....this either!!!Maybe I need to take a serious look at contemporary art before I comment any further...maybe I'll change my mind...and again maybe not!

How do YOU define art?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Of balance.

Some things go as planned.

Some things go differently.

Some things happen without warning.

Some things just never happen.

The secret to peace I'm told is in finding the path of least resistance and in realising that we can control and be answerable for only our own thoughts and actions.