|Tue, Jul 25, 2017 03:46 PM
|Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
An eye for art
All my life I have had an appreciation for art. Although I do not profess to know much about it, I, like most people, know what impresses me the most. I admire the soft, muted pastels of Impressionists Monet and Renoir, and the more colorful pieces by Van Gogh. I even like the untrained eye of Grandma Moses’ primitive drawings of rural Americana.
As much as an art lover that I am, I never did appreciate some of the early 60’s art. Used automobile tires being suspended in the air by coat hangers or Andy Warhol’s paintings of Campbell soup cans. Somehow they never quite pushed my button. Even Picasso’s weird-looking abstract faces that looked as if one of my grandchildren had drawn them left me with a sense of “what?” However, my artist husband adores the paintings of Salvador Dali. You probably remember one of Dali’s most famous creations of a clock melting in a tree on a barren landscape. (The Persistence of Memory.) I suppose it says something about time slipping away, but I just can’t appreciate a piece of art that makes me think for more than a couple of minutes “what does it all mean?”
All this artsy information was brought to our attention the other day when our friend Cinder and her daughter Devon returned from a cruise to the British Isles and brought Ronnie a brochure of the newest art that is now touring Europe. While perusing the leaflet, Ronnie commented on some of the unusual paintings.
“Sara, you should see this so-called art,” Ronnie whined.
“That bad, eh?”
“Listen, Clyde Pack would have failed me if I’d turned in this stuff.”
“He did fail me!” I admitted.
“Well, you’d probably do well on this art tour,” Ronnie smarted back. “Artistically you were just 35 years ahead of your time.”
“You think so?” I asked.
“I’m telling you,” Ronnie insisted. “If your work looked like this, they’d be throwing wine and cheese receptions for you at New York’s finest galleries.”
“Really?” I let him rave on.
“I can just imagine all those pretentious art yuppies standing around sipping Chablis and stroking their chins while assuring one another as they fawn over their latest favor-of-the-week art, ‘This is good.’”
Ronnie then started telling me about some of the pictures in Cinder’s brochure. He was incredulous about one picture from a Barcelona artist which showed two fish heads back to back. Another artist from the same city painted two hearts that looked like a badly drawn Valentine created by a three-year-old.
“If it’s that bad,” I lamented, “then I think some of my artwork deserved more than a ‘D.’”
“Get over it, Sara. That was a lifetime ago,” Ronnie retorted. “I just can’t believe that art has stooped to this level. And, to beat it all, the brochure is called Bazart.”
I detected a bit of sour grapes on Ronnie’s part. Being an art major, one of Ronnie’s early goals was to be a working artist instead of an artist who works. Though he still makes a living in the art world as a videographer and sometime actor, he long ago laid his paint brushes and canvases aside. However, he can still be very opinionated about some of the articles he reads, especially in the Lexington Herald-Leader, about what passes for good art these days.
But as critical as he has been of the paper’s art section’s selections, he is now expressing his delight at the “Door Art” that local Lexington artists have been painting on some of that town’s front portals.
“It’s wonderful,” Ronnie commented. “Area artists are painting doors with beautiful designs at various locations throughout Lexington. It makes me want to pick up a brush and start painting.”
I’m hoping if it’s that inspirational, he’ll pick up a paint brush and paint our front door. I’ve been trying to get him to do that for a year.