Monday, July 23, 2012

ROW80 DAY 14 YA GOTTA HAVE ART


Warning what follows becomes a true diatribe at some point. I go from "rant", pass "screech", and go to full-throttle "diatribe" followed by stupid story. Poseurs and hypocrites piss me off.

I was out playing on Facebook this morning like I do every morning. Making fun of the goons of the GOP, laughing at ee Cards, and bouncing over to Twitter, Tweet-bombing friends. My usual productive start to the day. My dear friend, Mr. Robert Lee Haycock proceeded to pop out one of his posts regarding the goings on in the art world of the San Francisco Bay Area. I lived there, once upon a once and have kept up with some of my homies. I have kept up with them; not the art world so much. It has always baffled me. I just know that the creative process in art is much the same as in music. The same rules apply. That is my disclaimer for the bashing that follows.

Anyway, here's the article. Per Robert Lee, just read the first 3 paragraphs.


Yipes, not knowing all that much about the SF art scene at the top, but suspecting it is much like all others, this reminds me primarily of the very heady days in St. Petersburgh and Moscow, Russia, in 1917 prior to the successful Russian Revolution. I don't know why, but it does. Probably because the Russian Aristocracy gave not a whit of care for the peasantry and well, look what happened there.

If MOMA dearest cares not one whit for the press and by extension the public, should she continue to endow her syphil... er, sybaritic family? As to exploring or expressing "anxiety of self"? Oh, go break a leg, anxious one. The most anxiety the scion feels is when the hair gel runs out, I am sure. Artists, or composers such as Bedřich Smetana, ("The Bartered Bride") who wrote buoyant and sparkling music went deaf, as did my true love, Beethoven. Bedřich was sick and broken physically. He ended a horrific life and died insane in awful conditions. He would be qualified to depict "anxiety of self." Ken Russell portrayed this heartbreakingly in his movie  "Mahler." When Gustav visits Bedřich in the asylum, the portrayal of the depth and the height of man's humanity in one scene is shattering. Gustav caring for Bedřich and Bedřich knowing that he is not an animal still haunts me. Anyway, that's an anxiety, as well as pain, suffering and grace.

But, how dare some spoiled, pampered poseur mount this kind of puffery? Oh wait. The nattering nabobs of mediocrity feast on the Emperor's New Clothes. The people line up and come to see and be seen. They fawn over things and daubs of paint that make no sense. I've been to exactly one "art opening." This was at the Detroit Museum of Art. I am still scratching my head over that and I went to it in 1979. I don't remember much about it, except that there was a very cool Diego Rivera mural. It's probably very famous. It shows a bunch of men working on an assembly line, being Detroit and all. That's probably the best thing there, in my admittedly, philistine-like opinion.

Anyway, I seem to recall lots of space; empty space. This was during the time where there were "installations." The placement of the art was as important (and this says what about the quality of the "art"?) as the art itself. One huge room had a regulation-sized boxing ring with a TV inside that was displaying a... boxing ring. Yup, that's right. A boxing ring. I looked around, very alertly to see if Alan Funt was around, but I was all alone (Gee, I wonder why?)

Passing along to the next room, there were a bunch of dummies in a heap. I can't remember if that was a display, or if I had somehow wandered into the ass-end of a storage room of the old Hudson's department store. I kept on going into another room. Of course, by this time, I'm hungry and disoriented, but I soldier on. I found myself in yet another "display" room and see a bunch of people jammed around a bird cage. I cram myself into this little group to see what's so damned interesting. It's a pair of those praying hands that us superstitious Catholic types used to put on our dashboards along with our 57 St. Christopher Medals hanging from the visor and rearview mirror, until some crabby-pants told us he wasn't a saint, and we were all going to die mid-journey, probably when our St. Chris medals impeded our views. Anyway, the hands are holding 5 playing cards, but the backs are facing towards the "audience," with the card faces towards the wall. I wait my turn patiently (I know, I hardly believe it myself) to crane my head around to see: a royal flush, but for a 2 of spades. One really had to work to see this non-irony.

I really hope and pray whoever did that art show thing didn't make a dime. I didn't pay for my admission. It was some "art enrichment" thing at college, whereby we would become better musicians if exposed to inexplicable crap. I guess it worked, as I played innumerable gigs for Garfield, C3PO, Luke Skywalker and channeled Elvis. It was important for us to expand our horizons. This is one horizon where I was fine with it being as expansive as the concert hall.

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