Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I found this wonderfully pithy essay by Robert Fulford over at the National Post that muses on his ideas of the ethics of art and those who appreciate it (he calls it his religion). Instead of a didactic treatise that devolves into a gobblygook stream of art-speaked laced adjectives, it’s a rather light treatment of the topic.
Fulford even writes, “we also can't claim that immersion in the arts will create a lively mind. Art education has produced armies of learned bores […] As for those who create art, we get it all wrong if we imagine their work makes them admirable in private life. Rebecca West, a great journalist of the last century, remarked (rather like Antonio Salieri discussing Mozart in Amadeus) that "the power to create a work of art, like a good complexion, is frequently bestowed on the undeserving."
The essay is lively and funny and as I mentioned, it eschews the trope of artspeak for straightforward dialogue. Avoiding the trap of boglike art rhetoric is an idea increasingly gaining purchase. Close to home that idea is embraced over at Urban Art Warfare’s Artist Vs. Artist editorial. Though I tend to like the idea, especially where UAW promises: “there will be no cheesy artsy bullshit questions in any interview conducted on our site. And to answer the question your probably already asking yourself…why are both artists doing the interviews? Because the questions at hand can often be as informative as the answers that follow.” I must make the caveat that the proliferation of often seemingly ridiculous or ripped-off terms in art writing is an attempt to be specific in a diaphanous field; to give form and substance to new ideas. Plus, words like fluxism and onotological are fun to write.
Embracing the un-specific or the seemingly ridiculous also seems to be the provenance of Jacksonville-based artist Brian Gray. Gray recently launched his own site: theouterbox.com, “a central location on the web where the outsider artist, urban art, graffiti, tagging, bombing, and illustrative artist can share their work with the public and inform/educate the masses about what we do.”
From my perspective, I always like to see what he finds on etsy.
*note: the pictured image is from Gray's submission to the Jacksonville Mural project over at the Art Center. Yes, his is the most accomplished piece in the effort.
** if you are interested in the entire Fulford essay (don't worry, it is short) click on the title link.