Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Art on Vacation

I recently came across a couple artists of interest while on vacation over Christmas break. I met one of them during an airplane trip; the other one's work I found in a gallery in Florida. I would like to show you some of their art; however, I’m not going to comment directly on their work. If you have read any of my previous posts on modern and postmodern art, you will probably have a pretty good idea of what I think about this artwork. I would like to invite you to opine, if you wish.

The artist I met on the plane is an associate professor of art and art education at a major University in the Midwest, and has a MFA degree from another major Midwestern University. He seemed like a very nice fellow; I asked him if he had a website. Yes, he gave me the url; this work is from his website.

The second artist I discovered in a gallery located in a popular gulf coast city in Florida. The artist owns the gallery, and has two others as well in different cities. According to his promotional material, he has sold over 35 million dollars worth of his art. His paintings were priced in the neighborhood of $35,000 to $65,000. Of course, he also has a MFA degree.

Okay, I can’t restrain myself. As much as I try to keep a somewhat open mind about art, I find this work very hard to swallow. The professor—I can’t believe that anyone takes this stuff seriously, but evidently, they do. The big dollar artist—when I saw his work I thought, “I can’t believe anyone is paying that kind of money for this stuff!” That being said, I thought that some of his work was arguably semi-okay (the last piece is an example), but mostly I felt like yo—I couldn’t bring myself to show anything like this.

Unlike some, I still believe that at least some demonstration of skill should be shown in a work of art if it is to be taken at all seriously. I recently read an article in Art in America (June 2007) titled “Art schools: a group critique”. In this article, I came across a new term: “de-skilling”. Apparently, in the view of some in the art world, “de-skilling” is seen to be desirable, even mandatory in some cases. Skill in art is a thing of the past—we need to move beyond it, don’t you know? It seems to me that the two artists I am presenting here are a couple of good examples of being de-skilled. Remember, the MFA is in many cases much more about “artspeak” than actual works of art (for more on this, see my previous post "Non-art","Artspeak" [October 10, 2007]).

“Art on Vacation”—perhaps this title has a double-meaning.

Again, your comments are encouraged. If you can explain why any of this work has any significant merit, please do so.

1 comment:

Gregorio said...

I really have to agree with you about the amount of trash out there.I enjoyed reading your posts.If you have any time I'd appreciate it if you could check out some of my art work on my blog and give a comment.I'm a self taught artist I never really had the money for art school.Thanks I look foward to some more of you posts