Monday, September 1, 2008

Art Blog: DUMB People

I realize this might seem like a contradiction to the philosophy included in yesterday’s post. I did mention atree’s take on those who just don’t understand. She said we all are in different places in our lives and have our own set of tools which we use to interpret the world. I agreed. However, when the misunderstanding is so outrageous, it is hard for me to be so rational.
Case in point:
On Friday, the St. Petersburg Times ran a story, ”Struggling Gulf Coast Museum of Art to close”. This is such sad, sad news. The Gulf Coast Museum is one of our best visual art venues. The work shown there is far superior and more relevant than the majority of exhibitions in this area. The fact that they are struggling and are closing the doors is disturbing.
What is even more startling are some of the comments included after the article: (Some allude to the sculpture shown in the article photo.)

Photo credit: [JIM DAMASKE | Times]

by don Aug 29, 2008 2:04 PM
Soooo, I have a stack of old 4x4's in the back. Didn't know I was an artiste. If that is an example of art, the place deserves to close. Come on!
by LDH Aug 29, 2008 2:04 PM
That pile of steel beams hardly represents 'art'. Who couldn't put together giant pick-up sticks? If that is what the entire museum is representing then no wonder no one is interested.
by Fred Aug 29, 2008 2:03 PM
I visited there and it wasn't worth the effort. What they call art other call welded junk. Turn the place into a natural history museum.
by PH Mom Aug 29, 2008 2:03 PM
I call that art Ker-Plunk minus the marbles.

After reading these comments, my first reaction was GET ME OUT OF HERE!! Then my ears started ringing with a constant hum of “dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb……” Then, I came to my senses and realized these comments could be made by citizens of just about any city. Let’s face it. There is a huge portion of our society who don’t understand art. They don’t care about it. They have no interest in it. It is not part of their lives. I am not sure that will ever change. In fact, I think this zeitgeist might be expanding.

So now what? Well, as artists we have to keep speaking with our work. We have to embrace those who support our work. We have to try to help those who do not understand to at least think twice about the world of art.


Lisa said...

I kinda like that kerplunk comment - my daughter used to love that game and I played it a zillion times and sure if enough if that sculpture doesn't look a bit like it.

Isn't that a part of art - giving us something to relate to?

I think these comments are a least a place to start the conversation "why art".

Even the 2x4 comment - a discussion about what does and doesn't make for a pleasing pile of wood in the backyard and why that might matter.

Sheree Rensel said...

I think you are absolutely right!!!
Go talk to these people!!!!
Thanks in advance.