Sunday, 10 November 2013

Getting to grips with art

I'm fairly certain that anyone who has studied an art degree will have had a conversation that goes a little something like this:

"I don't like modern art, I don't get it."
"Oh yeah?  Why's that?"
"My five year old could come up with something better than that, are you telling me that sticking blu-tack on the wall should be considered art????"

I struggle to respond to this sort of conversation, not that I don't have anything to say on the subject but more that I feel a weight of responsibility on my shoulders, how I respond will either fan the flames of dislike towards art or it will really fan the flames of dislike towards art. Usually (but not always) the person saying art is rubbish won't have their mind changed by me, they seem to have a very set opinion about art and that's that.

I'm not saying that all artwork is good or that you should like it just because it's within the art world etc. However disengaging yourself from all art because you don't get it or don't like the way it looks seems a shame to me as you might be detaching yourself from art that really engages you.  I'm going to let you into a little secret.... I don't get it all either, I don't like it all either, I roll my eyes at a lot of it all as well.  I like daft art, low brow art, colourful art, humourous art, art that doesn't take itself very seriously.  I do love a bit of whimsy.

But I must move on and get to the point of this post...

Grayson Perry was the 2013 BBC Radio 4 Reith Lecturer and gave a set of four talks entitled 'Playing to the Gallery'.  His lectures explore the non-sense of the art world and attempts to answer the question 'what is good art?'.  Perry's lectures are engaging, and funny and informative.  If you have a spare half an hour download a lecture, sit back and enjoy.

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