Tuesday, April 1, 2008

To the Moon (or not)


image copyright Gary Larson

Over the past nine or ten months, I’ve had a few people ask me why I call this project Art Isn’t Rocket Science. And my answer is two-part-ish:

1. It is a Dave Hickey quote. Actually, it’s a quote he attributes to a friend of his that is like a hero of old. Briefly paraphrased it says: “Past his personal idiosyncrasy that delights in irony and absurdity, she believes in truth in all its ideological/mythological glory, and justice, both karmic and the kind that is meted out physically.” It’s a statement wherein I recognize my own penchant for windmill-tilting...and I do not think I am entirely alone.

2. It is a reminder--to myself--to resist the seduction of the dogmatic proselytizing of my own opinions. Sadly, I am not always successful.

So when I ran across the above cartoon, it reminded me not just of my own theory of art criticism…but of various pathetic projects I have mounted and seen mounted. The tender ministrations of artist attempts (on occasion) to craft a functioning object are sometimes enlightening, often humorous, and I think they only occasionally make it to the moon. Not nearly as often as NASA. Of course, that presupposes that one believes in the moon landing...

Anyway, no, art is not rocket science.

6 comments:

kelly said...

Did you ever go into finding out about Spencer Finch? He sent a brainwave of his to space. It probably reached the moon. ;)

Brian G said...

Art is definitly not rocket science. If you can create something that makes people happy or enriches there life in some way then you have accomplished something great. I "try" to steer clear of those out there who think art IS rocket science. ANYONE can pick up a paintbrush, ANYONE can draw a stick figure, ANYONE can be an artist. You just gotta find an audience that will enjoy what you do and have fun...dont take it to serious or youll just end up frustrating yourself beyond belief. Art isnt rocket science...its paint, canvas,determination,imagination and a drive to want to share your creativity with the public.

madeleine said...

Brian,

Though I agree with you that art is something that can be accessible on many levels...I believe that those who do decide to pursue it seriously owe it to themselves and to the craft to be selective and edit what gets shown. It's a problem that I believe is rampant in this city (I can't speak to other markets because I don't know them as well as I know Jacksonville).

It might be a redundant point that I am making, however, the idea of self-editing is one that (I think) needs to be articulated and bears repeating. Especially in a scene that sees so many group shows and the quick ascension of hobbyists to professionals.

madeleine said...

Oh, and Kelly, I did a cursory look into your man, but have yet to dig deeper.

Brian G said...

Yeah, i agree with ya there too. Some artists start to get lazy once they sold a couple pieces. They feel they dont need to perform as good as they did i guess. Its alwyas a good idea to self edit your work..especialy if you are selling your work to someone else.

Anonymous said...

word. to thine own editing be true.