Jack Kerouac, as Sal Paradise once said: "I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running from one falling star to another till i drop. This is the night, what it does to you. I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion." And I think that's a rather apt description of my blog over the years, and perhaps the most perfect description of me in general that I've ever read. So that's what this blog is, a collection of the falling stars that are beckoning me at any time.

14 August 2005

sundays I talk about art

So a couple sundays ago I mentioned that Bansky, the British graffitti artist now famous for smuggling pieces into New York museums, was one of my heroes specifically for the museum stunts. I also mentioned that I have a general dislike of art museums in general and said I'd elaborate some other sunday, well today is that sunday.

Obviously I go to museums, and I always find a lot of art that I'm really into when I go, I prefer to go to gallery showings far more than I like going to the Met or the Louvre however and the reason is that art museums don't really foster the kind of visceral experience with the art. Museums are all about hero worship of what a select few have decided are the artists and works that you simply must be excited about. There's no real sense of democracy or personal reaction to them. They say, these artists are simply the best, and that's how it is, we're the exclusive group. Museums seek to take art from the people and make it snobbish and exclusive and the artist who manages to get his or her works accepted is placed on a pedastal.

I think the reactions of the museums who were "hit" with Banksy works really speaks volumes to me about how removed from the common man and self enshrouded in an air of superiority the art world has become. The general feelings of those in the illustrious power seats viewed what Banksy had done as an affront to art, a slap in the face to the legacy of greatness, that how dare just anyone think they could hang a work in a museum for the public to see. But what could be more appropriate than "just anyone" hanging work in a museum? Doesn't it challenge us all to consider what exactly it is that makes a work of art something for all times and what makes it minor? Doesn't it inspire us to consider the whole nature of art and what it is? To consider all the groundbreaking rebelliousness of art particularly in the 20th century and beyond? I'm by no means saying that the works that Banksy hung are the kind of works that will endure for any length of time as great art (in fact I was less impressed with most of them than with the bulk of his graffitti pieces) but to me what was important and groundbreaking and art about what he did was the fact that he did it at all, it was the intorduction of populist pieces into the patrician world of illustrious museums, it was the attempt to shake up the neurons of the art spectator.

That's one of the things that I like about the guerrilla art movement, that much of it is really about getting people to take a peep outside their tunnel and really look once again at the world that actually surrounds them, to view for a minute the places they've trudged through everyday for ten years to the point that they don't even notice they are actually alive there anymore as a tourist does on his first visit, to interact with their lives again. It's about reclaiming one's life again in a world where we've given it up for habit and mechanisation.

You'll note that I really don't think that enough attention is being given to guerilla art, everyone is so damn focused on smooching up to 'outsider art' (a term which i hate to the ends of the earth)not that there aren't a lot of great outsider artists, but I think too much attention is paid to that, when there isn't even really any such thing as outsider art, this so called movement is built up of self-taught artists and folk artists, which are right there two serparate forms of art and not something you ought to just lump together under some pretentious word that someone thinks sounds better.

But anyway, yes I don't like museums because they foist an opinion on you about the works in them, and really never give you much of a feel into the world into which these works and movements sprung forth. And I like to form my own opinions, even if often they aren't at the same eye level as the critics :)

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