Thursday, August 07, 2008

Dispatches from No. 3 Equity Court

From Roger Curry's Blog... Here's a link to the full post and his full blog.

I am a common sort of guy. I drink a little beer, but only when it is extremely, extremely cold. I drink wine to impress women. Otherwise, I consider it a shame that some idiot let bacteria screw up the grape juice. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a drink of wine, so perhaps my cynicism belies impressing women these days. The first thing I think of when the term “art” is used is the something-or-other-on-canvas painting. I like Norman Rockwell, particularly a painting called “The Scoutmaster.” It’s realistic (and I’m sure there’s a “Realist” view of painting) and it reminds me of stuff I’ve done. It brings a tear to the eye, and I can smell the “woodsmoke at twilight.” (Kipling) Other stuff, I’m not always so impressed. Let’s see: Monet should have stopped at WalMart and gotten some glasses, then his paintings might not have been so fuzzy. (Yeah, I know, “Impressionism,” but I Just Don’t Get It.) Ernest Thompson Seton, gruesome stuff, but again, realism. TR loved him, but he wasn’t a noted art enthusiast, either. Maxfield Parrish, too cute but, OK, it is a nice shade of blue. Jackson Pollock, if there’s something to understand there, damfino what it is. M. C. Escher, that guy must have been abused as a youth by a dysphoric architect. The stuff by amateurs who know how to draw & paint some looks fundamentally OK to me – I used to share an office with some guys, one of whom had this big (4 foot x 5 foot) acrylic painting of a sort of post-apocalyptic distant city skyline in browns and oranges that just fascinated me. I’m sure someone who “knows art” would say that it’s totally prosaic. Who’s right? I like it. It gets me thinking a little. It’s a starting point for thoughts with misty edges that make me uneasy which feels like a stretching thing that I need to do mentally. Anyway, somehow that painting ended up over at the County Clerk’s Office, and I don’t know how others react to it these days. I keep seeing ads in various catalogs and magazines (Smithsonian, National Geographic, Sojourner, even Popular Mechanics) for prints of stuff by Thomas Kinkade. His paintings are either quasi-religioius (images of the Little Church in the Valley) or the equivalent (small town scenes from the 1960's or before) and he does something that seems to play with light in a pleasant way. I’m betting that most Artistic Folks think he’s a commercial hack, but I could be wrong. I like his stuff, it prompts me to feel good. There’s a strange painter from around 1500 who fascinates me, Hieronymus Bosch - Not because of the color or shapes, this guy was so far into symbolism that even the culturally clueless such as this ignorant scribe have an even chance of thinking of some plausible explanation for his images – maybe the wrong one, but plausible, and Bosch isn’t around to give rebuttal testimony. I googled “modern art” and got a long list of artists (mostly painters) I’d never heard of or, if I’d heard of them, it wasn’t about their art. Matisse, there was an odd sci-fi story themed on his painting eyes on poker chips which also involved a beer tap in a prosthetic arm, and I doubt any of that comes from real life. Dali had a helluva moustache, that’s the sort of irrelevant things I remember.,,,

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