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What is Art?


I photographed this painting in Walsall Art gallery on Sunday. It’s not one I would give house room. There were some simple drawings by famous artists that I would have liked to take home with me. Why? Because they showed talent. They got the shapes they were drawing to represent what they were seeing. I don’t see much in this picture.

Recently someone scribbled graffiti on a picture in the Tate modern and said it probably add to the value. The guy didn’t understand. Anyone can scribbled on a wall or a painting. An artist does something others can’t, he uses his talent, he does something clever. Even doing something clever with words is art. Doing something clever and creative with music is art.

I also saw Damien Hirst’s sheep in formaldehyde and his butterfly pictures. The sheep is not art, that is more chemistry. The butterfly pictures reflected all sorts of things and so I couldn’t see them properly, that was closer to being art. That would have been better if the glass or (whatever it was) was less reflective.

While I was at the gallery, I considered the gallery itself. Was that art? It could have been done better. There was some aspects I liked, but it was a bit of a maze. I like to see exits clearly, especially in a multi story building where I see fire risks. There was a lot of flammable materials stored in the basement too. I’m glad I saw that after I came out!

L. S. Lowry did simple looking pictures using simple shapes for buildings and matchstick men. It was clever, it was creative and he had talent. He made it life-like because everything was in proportion. Some artists now are hyper-realists, they create pictures that look like photographs. They can create a picture that can’t be created in any other way. Yes, they are artists. A lot more so than using a chainsaw and a tub of formaldehyde.

I feel like the kid in the story of the emperors new clothes today. I’m stating the bleedin’ obvious for the benefit of the stupid people who will spend millions putting crap into our art galleries.

watercolour of the Milky

This picture is more like it. This should be hanging in a gallery. Auctioned at Christies. You can see what’s what. The trees, the reflections on the water, the tree in the foreground. It’s subtle. It’s impressionist. It’s art.

Yes, it’s one of mine!

What do you think? Are you a regular visitor to your local art gallery or is it full of bourgeois crap? Please comment and let us know. There are more articles about art and other things on the home page of a zillion ideas

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