I read somewhere recently that what makes art good is not necessarily what it represents but how you feel when you look at it (I may be paraphrasing but you get the idea). One man's masterpiece is another man's random blobs on a canvas!
|Match pots and Polyfilla!|
My own personal gripe however is with the pretensions that often seem to be associated with the art world. Take abstract art - I like to look at it and I even prefer to hang it on my walls over any other type of art work, but I genuinely don't get it when abstract artists create a painting made up of random shapes, splotches and colours and come up with some arty farty bunkum about how it represents "the soul in torment as a result of the devastation of the wheat fields of the Outer Hebrides during the great biblical plagues". Or something. 'Eh?' is my stock response to such hokum.
I would have so much more admiration for an artist who said, "Actually, I thought these colours looked good together and just let my imagination run riot with the paintbrush - hey presto this is how it turned out. It doesn't actually mean anything but, sure, doesn't it look nice!"
|'Abstract' just made up of match pots to go with the decor!|
I know that abstract artists (and probably the 'installation' artists who can make £1million from setting a dirty sock in the middle of a room and calling it art) would disagree with me and use big words to tell me how the very essence of their being cries out with artistic awakening which inspires them to... (yawn, sorry I dozed off there for a minute, you were saying?) but while we are still allowed to voice a personal opinion, mine is that abtract art is just that - really nice to look at but doesn't actually represent anything - that's why it's abstract!
So that I could try to educate myself on the subject, I've been reading up on abstract art and the different forms that it takes. There are so many disciplines and sub-categories that it would take me all day to attempt to decipher or explain it, but the gist is that most abstract art is not a study of a particular object or image but is a study in colour and brush stroke.
|The pictures for my parent's dining room |
using the curtain pattern for inspiration
and polyfilla for the textured look!
There are Cubists, such as Pablo Picasso, Neoplasticism - which apparently is the belief that real art should not be the reproduction of real objects but the expression of the absolutes of life (?). To those artists the only absolutes were vertical and horizontal lines in black and primary colours so that's what featured in that style of art - which seems a bit limiting to my mind - surely there are only so many straight lines in black and primary colours that you can paint. Not to mention they wouldn't go with my house colour scheme at all! (Sorry, I'm being flip.) Piet Mondrian was one such artist.
Then there are Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollock whose work I really like but, again, just because it is asthetically pleasing and not because I see anything deep and meaningful in why he painted what he painted.
Now, this might also seem controversial to certain arty types but I honestly believe that you don't actually require any artistic ability to create a piece of abstract art. When S and I moved into our house a few years ago, we decided to paint all our own canvasses. S had done this in his last house and basically it is as easy as buying match pots of normal wall paint in the colour scheme you choose for the room and just coming up with patterns and shapes that happen to please you - no artistic ability required!
|One of the abstract masterpieces S did!|
I like textured surfaces so experimented with spreading polyfilla on the canvas (and letting it dry) before painting over the top of it. I am also a fan of curves and not so much of straight lines and so most of the abstract patterns I created tended to have softer blurry edges while S creates much more elaborate designs with intricate details. I really like them and how they 'go' when hung on the walls but they don't mean anything - which I suppose is the point I am trying to make about my personal opinion on abstract art.
My parents asked me to do a couple of canvasses for their dining room and when they saw how easily I created theirs (I used the pattern on their curtains as inspiration!) my dad then took to rustling them up himself anytime they redecorate!
The last one I did when we re-decorated our living room was actually inspired by a little ceramic candle holder we found in Bulgaria in the exact colours we wanted (the only good thing to come out of a holiday from hell!)
|It matches the candle holder we got on holiday, is all !|
Anyway, it would be interesting to hear people's opinions of abstract art - is there something I am missing in understanding the meaning behind it or can we call a spade an effing shovel (as they say where I'm from) and say it's just paint on a canvas?