Thursday, April 16, 2009

art on art and Jerry Saltz

A couple of months ago I sent a proposal for a show out to several galleries. Within days of mailing my stack of envelopes I received a reply from one Liz Wylie at the Kelowna Art Gallery. A rejection. I emailed her to ask Hey! Why the rejection? She replied that far from being good the proposal lacked "intellectual underpinnings". Although I was totally pissed and also a leetle disgusted by the academic non-speak, I pressed on, pointing out to Ms. Wylie that indeed the proposal had plenty of underpinnings in the form of ideas! several layers of them, but no no no, that wasn't what she meant. She meant that I hadn't gone full circle by referencing art history with my art. It wasn't enough to make art about current issues surrounding climate science and biology and human psychology. The work needed to more than art, it needed to be about art. ha ha.

Later I took a closer look at the work they were showing at the Kelowna gallery and low and behold, there was one fellow who had drawn the route of his recent motorcycle trip onto a series of Matisse prints. Neat hey? And it had Matisse in there too!

Now I'm not saying that my proposals were any good or anything. I'm just saying that maybe there is more to art these days than Matisse or anyone, actually, who isn't living and working in the here and now. There is a lot going on these days. It's not really boring rich times anymore. Everything is under threat. And artists, I thought, were historically people of visionary talent. People able to absorb and communicate the danger and the beauty of our shared lives. What good is art when it's about nothing relevant to now, especially when the only people who appreciate it are the academic baby boomer generation?

Anyway, enough from me. The point of this post is to turn interested readers onto Jerry Saltz, a New York art critic writing for Vulture. His last article deals with a show called The Generational: Younger than Jesus, which was showing in N.Y. city @ the New Museum. Among other things he says about the artists, " they're investigating the whole world, not just the art world. Their work is less about how we affect time and people than about how time and people affect us". He says a lot more and he says it well, so check it out!

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