Friday, February 5, 2010

Lesson One: The Art Establishment

Today, after four works have been presented we instead focus on the theory behind Bad Art, and who decides what is and what is not, Bad Art.

By its very nature, the Art Establishment is not an actual establishment because organizing non-performing artists is a lot like herding cats, ergo, there can never be a true "art establishment".

As such those that form the art establishment are a bunch of self appointed elitists who exist to set the bar for what is good art, and what is everything else.  These people mock the average person on the street.  They look down their noses at the common man and woman on the street and pity them because they are certain that said people could never have the level of such exquisite tatse that they have convinced themselves that they have. 

And to these people, art is serious business.  Dreadfully serious.  So serious that art show openings have come to resemble calling hours at a funeral home, with everyone wearing black and pondering their own fate as they look at art that they may or may not like and wonder what the hell they are suppossed to be feeling at that moment.  If at a showing of a portraitists work, one will also hear the words most often heard in funeral homes: "He/She looks so life like."

But let's be honest with ourselves.  We've been to art shows and we've looked at the paintings and sculptures on display and we've said to our selves, under our breath, "I don't like it," and "It's not anything I would want in my house."  And then we just about have a heart attack when we discover that I Don't Like It is priced at more money than most of make in a year.

What these boring, and very bourgeois people forget is that art is in the eye of the beholder. 

The "Art Establishment" also don't understand that the man or woman on the street know what they like, and know what they feel is junk.   There are people out there who don't get Picasso, and never will because they think its a something Mexican that one pours over meat that gives them bad dreams at night.  To these people, a $50 starving artist paiting that goes with the davenport is more important than Jackson Pollack every did because everything that Pollack painted looks like the drop cloth after painting thier bathroom pink with purple polka dots.  And that's good enough for those people.  It may not be for you or I, but for them, thats just fine, because they have the right to love the things around them.  And you should be OK with that because it means you get to love the things that you love and think that Jackson Pollack is just fine if thats is your cup-o-tea.  But it also means that you get to look at piece of real honest to goodness art and say "Jesus! That's ugly!"  Its all good.

And if you are OK with that idea, that just drives the Art Establishment crazy.  And that is a very good thing - as this is the first step in truly be able to be honest about how art makes us feel.

So if they can do what they do, why can't we - Bad Art establishment do what we do: call them as we see them?

Our next posting of Bad Art will be this coming Monday.  Stay tuned!

Yours in Bad Art,

The Esteemed Director, BAMOO

NEXT WEEK: Who decides what bad, and why that's good.

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