Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Eagles and Art, Connection Between

Welcome to Art Jealousy. One purpose of this blog will be to share art that I think is interesting, important, relevant, or just worth seeing. Another purpose of this blog however will be to aim to dispel examples of what I will term anti-constructive criticism (not to be confused with anti-constructive naturalism or cognitive closure, which are unrelated). By anti-constructive, I mean a) criticism that hijacks a work of art to be used in favour of the unrelated cause of the critic, and b) criticism that so distorts a work as to make it unrecognisable, as in the exaggeration of a reading or understanding of a work that is too speculative and/or unfounded on commonly accepted and established knowledge to make it a legitimate piece of criticism.

Of course nothing new would ever be achieved if we did not push the boundaries from time to time, but can we and should we trust a critic whose writing is so extreme as to alienate the work of art it discusses from the context in which it resides? 

Additionally, this blog will include articles in which I get some cathartic relief by snowploughing through what I see as artistic pomposity. The first example being this picture above. I do not know the artist, although I assume it is in Berlin somewhere by the look of the underground station.

This is purely 'statement' art, and blunt and clumsy at that. In other words, more work has gone in to the point it makes than the actual work itself. I once na├»vely queued round the block for Banksy et alii exhibition in a tunnel near Waterloo to spent about five minutes dodging idiots before emerging into the light at the other side and making straight for the nearest pub. I remember things like an Michelangelo David wearing a flak jacket, little baby security cameras peeping out of birds' nests, subtlety and delicacy of the bull in china shop variety. It's not meant to be subtle! I hear you cry. It's ham-fisted dross, I reply. 

'Art in a frame is like an eagle in a birdcage'. I do not want to turn up at a gallery to find the painting I came to see is soaring around the sky out of sight, nor do I want it to bite me. I like my art framed, thank-you. The whole statement is just so desperately weak, cringeworthy, embarrassing; everything that sums up the throwaway modern culture of the average tumblr, instagram, whatever it is. Art in a frame preserves the work, we can come back and wonder at its power, beauty and importance centuries later because someone has immortalised it in a museum. The public museum is the home of art for the masses, not street art.

Frederic, Lord Leighton / The Bath of Psyche / 1890
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