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Sunday, 26 June 2011


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Only British humour can produce replies such as the one by "MrGrabich" to the "Artist's Statement."

One of my favorites making the rounds. The Arty Bollocks Generator

Absolutely the best accidental footage I've ever seen. I can re-live that flight over and over again!

Dear Mike, I have passed the first link and the one from Chad Thompson around some of my friends to universal approval. Much appreciated.

But I wonder what your take is on artists' statements in general, or at least on accompanying commentary to works of art?

In a brief conversation with the estimable Ctein, he believes the work should speak for itself and the viewer should decide. A lot of artists agree of course and most of the time, I probably do as well.

But I am not really that satisfied with my own subjective critical analysis when I simply don't understand entirely what I am looking at. I don't really think a statement like "I don't like that" or "it's boring" is enough when considering something like the Dusseldorf school, for instance.

My uncle was an art teacher and he explained a lot of the thinking and symbolism behind modern and contemporary art, as well as some of the technical differences between some of the old masters. I'm really not sure I would have such a wide appreciation of art and photography without that background.

Cindy Sherman is a good example. After the post about the price of one of her images I actually spent some time looking her up and developed a much greater appreciation for her contribution to the art world as a result. I'm not sure I can bring myself to like much of it, but I'm not sure that's relevant. I can at least understand what she was trying to do and judge her on that. Price is really a bit of a red herring.

One thing I am sure of though. Describing art does not have to be done in artbabble. My uncle was from Liverpool and a very direct and plain speaker he was too. One of the reasons he was such an excellent teacher.

How she manages to make her sermon without wince is really great. I always thought women cannot be funny - now I have to reconsider and change my opinion.

I like the first video. From what I've seen, a lot of the art world is about pure pretentiousness. I mean the use of a lot of turgid and polysyllabic rhetoric to cover up the fact that--like the emperor's new clothes--there ain't really much there, and quite often that includes talent, too...

I mean, how else could people, back in he 80s, have been deluded into thinking that three basketballs floating around a fish tank should be considered as a meaningful piece of "art"?

"I always thought women cannot be funny"

Seriously?!? Of my three favorite comedians on Comedy Central, two are women—Maria Bamford and Kathleen Madigan. You should look up their Comedy Central Specials--they're wonderful.


I used to be totally in the Ctein camp. Then I heard the idea: If you don't make a statement about your work some one else will. Thereby you would lose the initiative in establishing the basis for interpretation. This may make more sense in the context of a specific body of work ie series or essay rather than a single item.

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