April 19, 2012

Art Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

One man’s fence post is another person’s work of art or so it appears.  

I enjoy visiting art museums and art festivals. Over the years I've been to many of them. Most I have seen is fascinating even if I don’t think it’s beautiful or understand it. Occasionally though, I’ll wonder why something is featured and exactly what makes that piece any more special than a common object in our world.

I’m not saying common things can’t be artistic but I like to think the artist put some effort into a piece especially if they are going to charge thousands of dollars.

I saw an exhibit by a great person who charges outlandish prices for simple things like a fence post that is painted blue.

I called my husband over, “Come look at this one.”

He looks at it with a puzzled look on his face. “It’s a fence post.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought too. We have a gold mine in our backyard.”

I realize that simplicity can be a subject of beauty but I draw the line on some things.

Another piece is paint splattered onto a canvas. If I can do it… it’s not art.

I’m not an artist, at least not the kind that puts things in a museum. I write, which some consider art but if I wrote a single word in blue letters on my website and expected thousands of people to come look and if they wanted to own that particular font and want a copy of it then they must pay me $3500.00.

I would be quite bold to expect it and I couldn’t ask that price with a straight face. I’m not even sure how people come to think so highly of themselves that they are comfortable doing that.

At what point in your career do you decide that anything you make with your hands is very valuable no matter how miniscule or how little effort you put into it?

Perhaps J.K. Rowling or Stephen King could simply put an “X” on a sheet of paper and sell it for thousands. I joke but that is probably true especially if they signed it. Actually, their signature is what would be valuable more so than the “X”.

Maybe those artists created really wonderful things before the fence post and splattered paint pieces and I’m just not hoity toity enough to know about their past wonderful creations. Perhaps that is how they have come to this point in their career where they don’t need to make much of an effort to sell anything.

The flip side of that coin are the artists that put hours and days into a temporary piece like sidewalk chalk, snow or ice. It would be difficult for me to work so hard on a project knowing it will deteriorate in a short while. 

To me these creations are much more beautiful and worth a bigger price than the fence post and yet they are only here for a short while. We can enjoy them today and perhaps tomorrow but after the next rain or warm day they will be gone. 


Peaceful Warrior said...

Oh yeah miss hoity toity....

I love that expression...

Can I get a set of painted fence posts in ten different colours and perhaps a pair of sunglasses to see them through.

How much???
a bargain I say...

A nice and thought provoking post, I'll be back...


Pamela N Red said...

Thanks, PW, I like that expression too: hoity toity.