Sunday, April 18, 2010

Greatest Hits of Art

I was down in Canberra on the weekend and there were thousands of people queued up to see the works of some famous dead French men. This disappointed me immensely.

The fact is dudes like Van Gogh and Monet have been hogging the limelight for way too long. People aren’t going to see their paintings for any other reason but the fact that they have been told that their art is important. Art should never be important. The message an artwork conveys may have a degree of importance but sometimes a picture of a vase of flowers is just a picture of a vase of flowers. Should someone being shelling out $90 million for it? To me none of the artworks in that exhibition say anything other than the fact that we are more concerned with fame than any degree of revelation. It is a fucking greatest hits collection.

I think we should have a gallery where signed works are not permitted. No artist is important. No famous name will get you hung. If you produce an artwork that is amazing it gets in there. Crap Picasso’s don’t.

People go to Paris and are universally disappointed by the Mona Lisa. That’s because it is a ridiculously over-hyped picture of some ugly chick. If you want to see an amazing picture at the Louvre Check out Raft of the Medusa. It’s epic and you won’t have to battle the crowds to see it. The favourite artwork I saw in Paris was however at the Centre Pompidou. It was of a donkey on a boat in the middle of a lake. I don’t know who the artist was but he/she is someone brilliant. As well as being visually striking the work raises so many questions. How did the donkey get on the boat? Does the donkey realise he’s potentially quite fucked? Is the donkey annoyed that his hooves are too cumbersome to operate the outboard motor? Now that’s art.

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