Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Between Fine Art and Pop Culture: A Visual Arts Educator's Rants and Ravings

Call me a curmudgeon, criticize this post if you will, but I'm driven to speak my mind. And by doing so, I'm wide open to attacks, I know. Yet, art is extremely subjective and everyone has an opinion, to which they are entitled.

As an art teacher, I know that some (or many) people may dislike my creations. I'm aware that much art is made to stir controversy and discussion. That's not what this post is about.  

I am sick and tired of "whimsy" and cute little fairy wings, dunce hats, and big eyes on poorly drawn faces. I'm also disgusted with so-called "art" that relies on words and sentences to fill the page.

The latter is fine with me if you call it journaling or call it a poster...it's writing, not art! It's either personal or commercial, but fine art? No.

My plea is that so-called art magazines (for grownups)  stop publishing artworks with faces and figures so lacking in proportion that they seem malformed. (And yes, I'm aware of primitive art and all the other art movements that promote such malformation. Again, that's not what this is.) If an artist is just learning, more power to him or her, and I wish them luck in their pursuits. But there are standards that should be met, dammit!

To continue to promote clich├ęs is equally offensive to me.

I believe most of us would agree that honing our skills, and then moving on, trying new things, experimenting, exploring, attempting to better ourselves is the right thing to do.

Thanks for hearing me out. I feel better now.
P.Guhin

 




12 comments:

  1. Buwahahahaha!!!! I am laughing hysterically while reading this great rant. I agree with you - wholeheartedly!!! I've gotten so disgusted with our local venues that I stopped showing altogether and just keep my website current. If we lived closer, we would be ranting over some fine wine right now.

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    1. Thanks so much for the positive reply, Gigi. You and I would be a couple of cackling harridans having great fun, wouldn't we?

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  2. I love your work, and respect you enormously. I wish I could see what you're referencing to get a better sense of your argument. I saw that the Art Institute of Chicago has some works on exhibit now by Christopher Wool, some are words that fill the canvas. Is this an example? I'd be interested to read more of your opinions on art.

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    1. Thanks for commenting, Anon. I haven't seen Christopher Wool's pieces, but if you just peek at Somerset Studio or ClothPaperScissors you will find examples of which I speak. I do love much of what they publish, but some of it truly drives me bonkers. Too, if SS had a good proofreader it would help educate readers better as to the written word, but that's a whole 'nother topic! Ha!

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  3. Amen. And butterflies, and dragonflies, and fat bluebirds, and skinny crows, and fake flowers, and "gears", ad nauseum. Thank you, Paula, from the bottom of my heart. I don't have to think now that I am the only one.

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    1. Oh, Cheryl, I'm in love with you! Yes, I forgot to mention the damn gears, and how 'bout all those hearts, even when it's NOT Valentine's Day? Thanks for your wonderful comment.

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  4. I'm in total agreement with you, Paula. Surely artists, being the highly creative souls that we are, can offer the world something besides the tired cliches you mention, presented over and over. I'd actually prefer to see offensive, provocative, controversial works than be subjected to this unending parade of winged fairies, bug-eyed waifs, figures wearing crowns and all those blasted birds!

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    1. Lynn, you are terrific...I plan to do a blog post in future with all the birds I used in the past. Yes, they can be a powerful symbol, but now they are ubiquitous!
      Thanks for your supportive words.

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  5. Wow Paula.........may i just say.......i disagree with you...I'll leave it at that.....:) Hugs! deb

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    1. That's okay, Deb. I knew it could happen when I vented!

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  6. Oh, my dearest Paula! How could you?! The nightmares had just stopped, and then you have to go and remind me of...HEARTS?! No need for Edgar Allen Poe when we have you! ;)

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    1. Thanks bunches, my dear Cheryl...you are the best!

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