Strange days indeed…I’m having one of those “I have to accept I am never going to learn how to skateboard or surf” days. Even looking at surfboard and skateboard art is depressing. Its almost as bad as those days when you realise you are never going to trendy – or even funky. Lucy Jordan can have her sports car in Paris, I’d just like to be ‘hip’ for 1/2 a day :-)
I also wonder if I’ve missed the contemporary art bus (now there’s a visual image for you). I can’t even come up with a good definition of ‘Contemporary Art’ and I am finding Wikipedia annoying. The word/concept ‘Design’ is also proving challenging today. Does it really mean 1960’s orange German Pottery and $220 a roll modernist/atomic themed wallpaper? Actually the wallpaper is almost acceptable as it meets that ‘form and function’ criteria that I have in my head – but what is the function of art pottery? I guess there in itself, is the art/design delineation. Art does NOT have to have a function (maybe its a bonus if it does?). So is art just ornamentation then?
With all the gloomy talk of a recession I’ve been thinking about about art in that context too (as have others out there who are blogging). I somehow doubt there were schemes in NZ similar the Federal Art Project in the US in the Great Depression, but I think it was an interesting initiative. “New Deal arts projects were guided by two novel assumptions: artists were workers and art was cultural labor worthy of government support.” Didn’t Jackson Pollock (and Lee Krasner) come out of that? Some of the murals are pretty amazing – inspired by the Mexican mural movement and Diego Rivera. Of course there is the infamous Rockefeller Centre Murals incident (ahh – political art in its prime).
I guess even in a depression there was money for art and I don’t think that will change much. Prices may drop, collectors may be more conservative, but art will continue to be made. On a slight tangent are the 1930’s murals anything similar to today’s bombing or throw ups or whatever you call it? Intent might be similar but there is the issue of permission – mind you, Rivera’s mural was quickly removed when “the man” didn’t like it.
More discussion on artists, families and sacrfice continues, so what about the aforementioned Lee Krasner? Obviously there was a Pollock influence but look at the earlier works.
“although she acknowledged Pollock’s superior gifts, she did not become his follower. More than three years his senior, she was a mature artist when they met and throughout her aesthetic evolution retained elements of her early analytical skills and structural sophistication.”