Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Splash in the Bath or Roar in the Sea

Here's a question that has always puzzled me: why don't we buy more art?

We fill our homes with computers. Ipods. Big screen televisions. Video games. But when was the last time you or someone you know made a trip to a gallery, not just to browse or nod thoughtfully at the stuff hanging on the walls or perched on some pedestals, but to actually purchase something? Something that stirs you. Makes you think. Hits you in the gut or makes chocolate mousse out of your heart.

Maybe it's because most of us don't know squat about art. Which brings me to another question: why don't we teach art appreciation in our schools? Art is a language after all, just like mathematics. And like math, it serves an important function in helping us order and understand our world. Which means we really, really need artists, we need them as much as we need airline pilots and computer programmers and shoe makers. But artists don't create in a vacuum, you know. Michaelangelo, he was a genius, but he didn't paint for kudos. He painted for cold, hard cash.

So I'm going to have one of my bossy moments and order each and every one of you to go out and buy some art before the month is out. Then I want you to share it on your blob. And tell me what about it made you buy it. If you've done this recently, then tell me about that in the comments section to this post.

I'll start. Here is my most recent purchase:

Artist: Found here
Why I Purchased: I am drawn to the way in which she explores her relationship to the natural world. Sometimes this expression is exuberant and slyly humorous, like Otto above. Sometimes it is wistful and melancholy, hushed and almost holy. Like this:

Sometimes, her work tells stories of the places she's been, the music she's heard, the animals she's loved. I'm a sucker for narrative and for mood and for finding within myself that same feeling, sinking in a hook, and dragging it to the surface.

I'm also a sucker for pretty. And boy, can she do pretty:


Gnomeself Be True said...

The wife and I so seldom agree on art that we've bought almost nothing.
I have some Gustave Bauman prints that I love and she tolerates.

moi said...

So y'all must bring new meaning to the words, "Art Therapy." Sorry, couldn't resist.

I love Baumann. He provided all the interior design for Albuquerque's first public library on Central and Edith.

Wicked Thistle said...

I have two words for you: vernacular artist. I'm going to make something out of leftover cereal boxes and kitty litter. *Then* we'll see who gets a nod in the 2008 Catalog of Traditionally Modern Cataclysmically Inclined Artists, mm-hm.

moi said...

And I'm going to pay you $5.67 for it!

I totally rock as a professional appreciator.

ThursdayNext said...

Mmmmm....I know this artist...and her art is worth a million. ;)

sparringK9 said...

OMG!! im misty *sniff*

one hardly knows where to begin. how about with thank you? thank you. i am honored. your words about my work is one of the pleasures that makes moneyless times endurable. seriously. i love what you said about the "harbinger of spring". holy. what a compliment.

you and anonymous boxer have kept me hopeful toward the solo flight sans representative and assignment work and i really really appreciate it.

back when i did the art festivals (that is a young woman's gig -all that hauling and setting up and breaking down) the painters used to talk about how flat art, 2D was a hard sell. meanwhile the jewelry people would clean up since people will spend anytime they think it will make them look better.

hmmmmm free botox with every painting purchase?

paintings, art, art education are seen as non-essentials, yet you have beautifully made the case for why it is very essential. in a multi-culti world visual intelligence is a critical skill. a painting tells the truth in a way a photograph never can. an example:

if picasso paints a woman and you see her from multiple views, i.e., the side, the front, from above, her arms moving in many directions as if she has more than two ...then he has folded space-time into a flat plane showing a more correct reality than what you eyes can see. all of her at once in a single view.

goyas commentary on war; emotional isolation: van gogh; physical pain: frida kahlo; villiage life in croatia: lacovic; vulgarity: jeff koons; animal abstraction: charley harper.....on and on.

when i was teaching at GSU i had an idea that we could start a charter school that used art as the principle teaching methodology. think about history! not just art history but history. its amazing to study human events in this way. math!! my goodness beyond geometry there is pattern recognition and order. science? again -very visual. what is the first rule of empirical research? observation! you see how this is going...but the idea faded away from lack of funding.

i see pretty on a cycle of comeback in art after a decade of angst ridden zeitgeist of negativity.

gustave bauman reminds me of the landscapes of gustav klimt -they are much better than the lovers patterned in gold. theres an out of print book of his landscapes my university has and i checked it out over and over again. they are just amazing paintings they have the feel of being in a field when all the dandylion seed things are blowing around in the air.

whew. what a long ass comment. well, let me end it with this: art is an excellent path. the rewards are many or else there would not be so many of us doing it when we could do other things for mo money. its like that little song in "close encounters of the third kind" bee bee bee bon bee...many hear the call, some follow, and a few go all the way to the devil's mountain. grrrerhahaha

:-) !!!!

sparringK9 said...

oh yeah, i forgot to tell you, i will post my recent Etsy purchases next post!!

h said...

I'll be commenting upon this post when I gather my thoughts after winning a poker tourney.

Please don't replace it with a "I like shoes and girly stuff" post until I have a chance to do so.

moi said...

She: You're welcome!

Great points you make about "visual intelligence." Wicked and Doris Rose and another friend and I attended an exhibit of Gee's Bend quilts a few weekends ago and we just yapped and yapped and yapped the entire time about what we saw in their patterns and how they related to other forms of art and what they made us feel. It was awesome to flex those skills again and to hear others flexing them as well. A most inspiring day.

Troll: 'kay.

sparringK9 said...

i saw that show! (gee's bend) it was the video that struck me. a happy full of life people with a lot to be angry about. but no! in remarkable contrast not ONE pity party amongst people who recycled everything to live....and then you have michelle obama. grrherhahaha

Jenny said...

Hey! I wanted that last one. So, YOU'RE the one that bought it. Grrrrr. :-)

I wish art was more affordable at times; because to think about forking out $4,000 for a small print that doesn't come with a certificate that says in 10 years it would have appreciated "X" more $$, is hard.

HOWEVER, I have brought the Fabulous She's Art into my home and office and I feel there's an engery it brings that cannot be described... but felt.

I just wish art wasn't only for those that can afford it.

When you're President, will you put a piece of art in every home?

moi said...

She: Did you see the Lonnie Holley video on the Birmingham Museum of Art installation, too? "Cold Titty Momma" - brilliant!

AB: When I'm president, I will eliminate taxes to pay for stoooopid ass stuff so that more people have more money for all of life's necessities, including art. And here's the thing, too. There's wonderful art out there that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

As for Moi snapping up da dawgs, sorry 'bout that! Hey, we could always swap on loan :o)

h said...

I've collected my thoughts after NOT winning the Poker Tourney. Finished in 13th place and won a whopping 117 bucks. Sigh.

1) Nietsche said something like "All great artists need a Troll to stand behind them with a club to tell them when the work is finished."

2) SHE'S stuff is magnificent, life-affirming, smart, funky, and extremely cool. SHE requires no Troll.

3) Therefor, Nietsche was kind of a long-winded douche-bag.

4) However, THIS Troll will continue to buy her art and Promote it. Cause it's good!

moi said...

Troll: Perfectly said! Sorry 'about the poker tournament, but $117 does buy some mighty fine She art!

Jenny said...

I've bought great art on Esty and ebay for under $150, I agree.

I can't WAIT until you're The Prez!

Karen said...

I'm one of those buffoons that knows diddly squat about art appreciation, however, I do know what I like and the magnificent She's work is instantly recognisable and appreciated by me. I'm wondering about the cost of shipping to my ass end of the earth because there's a few there I can picture in my study.

sparringK9 said...

ya'll are all so good to me. thank you, thank you!

moi: i know lonnie holley. when i was at the High Museum of Art i hired him to do some workshops for the teacher summer courses i developed. the "sandman" was excellent. i met him through Bill Arnett a folk art collector in ATL that was profiled on 60 minutes. he was the one that really raised the fortunes of lonnie and thorton dial and saint EOM. although he had been accused of exploitation: buying short and selling long. in the end though his actions created a market for these outsiders.

moi said...

AB: And cake for everyone, too!

Gypsy: You are kinda down under it all, aren't you? But look how the Innernets shrinks time and space so beautifully!

She: I know well of Bill Arnett and Co. I'm one of his supporters. That's so cool that you've met Holley. What a towering character.

Anonymous said...

I'm so gonna get the Cock print. I can't believe how good she is at painting cock. And I'm really looking forward to writing about the cock on my blob. You know me. Anyway, what a great idea Moi to promote a fellow blogger like you have. You are a saint.

NYD said...

I agree with what you say.
I do my best to make my home and school a place where various aesthetics are displayed. It keeps me sane and the cost of placing something of beauty in your home is soon forgotten when you get to look at something that fils you with happiness.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

So true Moi - I liked the painting of the trees (sorry if that's not the one you bought!).

And then there's Libraries. Public libraries will eventually close down if numbers carry on declining at current rates (except in the free internet areas). Britains's libraries are certainly selling off a great deal more book stock than they are purchasing! These are such vital and irreplaceable public resources. Internet fiend as I am, I try to make a point of using my Library regularly, not to mention enjoy what my taxes have paid for!

Aunty Belle said...

I din't see this soon enough! Wait, wait.

MOI wrote:

"helping us order and understand our world."

Yeah, but thas's the whole thang--the current philosophy is a disorder, discordant meme, no wonder the "art" is like the man-worm on Aunty's BACKPorch.

But the She-puppy, now her haid is in the right spot and so her art gits some holy goin' wifout usin' a bludgeon, ya know? It's immanent in the work.

So....Look on the Front Porch soon fer some selection from Aunty's Gallery.

moi said...

Uspet: You are aware, aren't you, of just how much sunshine you spread throughout the world?

nyd: Yes, MORE art therapy!

Poet: Oh, I love the library. Used to stop in about once a week, but then they started a remodel on my branch and now I'm tapping my toes for the finish.

Aunty: Will do!

Upset Waitress said...

Hehe :) Aww I love you more! :P

Anonymous said...

Well I bought a nice piece of art this month. Why? I think you know the answer to that already.