Sunday, 17 November 2013

the last post

My daughter once asked me what art is.  What do you think it is, I answered, stalling for time.  I mean, she said, I know paintings and stuff are art but what about music, dancing or ice skating.  Are they art?

Being of enquiring minds we started asking around.  We asked people what they thought art is. We asked what their favourite art is.

And we asked a more random question about wallpaper. Is wallpaper art?  We also collected a bunch of quotes, aphorisms and smart ass one liners.
100 days ago I started this blog with the intention of posting 100 of those responses so that, pulled together, they would in some way explain Art.

Obviously I got bored of that after a few posts.  So I wandered off into other areas, still with some kind of notion of pinning down Art.

So for 100 days I've posted.  And this is the one hundredth post. The Last Post. I don't think that this blog has explained anything but the journey has been a lot of fun.

Along the way I've seen a lot of art I haven't at looked before. I've become more entrenched in some of my views - for example, a painting by Jack Vetrianno might be a painting but it is not art, a song played by an old bloke in a funny hat which might only exist for the three minutes he is playing, unfilmed, unrecorded, unphotographed can be a work of art.

I have read and I have written, I've looked at paintings and I've painted. I have felt the buzz, the pure adrenaline rush, of applying paint to canvas and creating something where there was nothing before. Alchemy.

I've listened to all kinds of music but still can't understand why one song can break my heart, another can make me laugh, while another just makes me cringe.

Repeatedly I've heard a view that art is anything you want it to be or is in every thing we do, every aspect of our life. I don't agree with that. Tolstoy, you're wrong,  I think there has to be a conscious effort on the part of the 'artist' to create something. Not necessarily to create art, but to make something new.

Along with that intention there needs to be inspiration, ideas.  But there has to be more than an idea.  There needs to be some talent.  There needs to be technique. There needs to be some control, structure, purpose, meaning. This is why Tracey Emin's unmade bed IS art.

But what about the craftsman who makes the perfect chair. Is he an artist? Nope. Well, he could be, but the chair is just a chair. And the reason? You can use the chair. Art is useless.  Art has to be useless.  Except as art, as something to contemplate.  Think about it.
So that's it.  100 posts in 100 days.  Art explained. All wrapped up.  There will be more posts in the future.  They may be about art. Or maybe music, history or architecture. 
Thanks for listening.  Here's a couple of ideas to be getting on with.


So long, and thanks for all the fish.

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