Friday, May 10, 2013

Beauty Is In the Eye...

Hey all,

Sorry this is a day late, but...the internet. Need I say more?  Oh well, at least I'm able to get on now.

I went to a museum the other day.  One here in Sao Paulo.  It was very small, but quite well kept and I was surprised to see that the info was in Portuguese and in English.  Since English isn't so often used here, I was very pleased.

It wasn't a varied collection, actually only two artists, and while it didn't take long to go through it, I did enjoy myself.  The first one (see above) was kind of surprising.  Photographs of Andy Warhol in drag, done by Christopher Makos.

The second-- a graffiti artist--was someone I'd never heard of before, a guy by the name of Alex Vallauri who has work in both Sao Paulo and New York.

Both art displays were interesting.  Not too much to my taste, mind you, but I do like to see different types of art.

I've learned to ask myself three questions.

1.  Do I like it?
2.  Would I hang/display it in my home?

If the answer to the first two is yes, then I ask the following...
3.  Why does it touch my heart?

If the answer to the first two is no, then I ask the following...

3.  Why is it considered art?

You see, I've discovered it's not enough to just look at art, you've got to understand what it is about it that makes you feel.  Whether it's bad or good.  

For me it's easy to stare at a Michelangelo or Monet and feel the throb of appreciation and enjoyment I get when I'm fortunate enough to see what they've created.  But I've learned over the years that approximately two-thirds of the art I see DOESN'T make my heart go pitty-pat.  So, I can just ignore that the art is out there, or I can try and understand why some people think it's art in the first place.

So I ask myself the above questions, and if it isn't something I find attractive, I try to analyze the piece.  Understand why it doesn't make me sigh.  I don't spend a great deal of time on most of that art, but I've learned that every once in a while, when I take a second look, I actually wind up LIKING it.

I know...weird, right?

For example, (see the picture to the right) I love Alfred Sisley, and discovered him the first time I went to the Louvre.  Now, I can recognize his work whenever I see it in a museum or hotel.  I love the way his art makes me feel and I hope someday to own a selection for my very own, though I'll most likely have to make due with a professional print.

But I also discovered another artist in Paris.  One at the modern art museum I chanced upon.  Alberto Giacometti.  When I first saw him, I turned up my nose at his work.  I didn't like it at all.  But later I found myself wandering back towards his display, and for the first time I tried my three questions.  And to my complete shock, I decided that my first impression had been wrong.  I DID like his work.

Very much.

So I re-asked the same three questions and realized that Giacometti's art (not all of it, but many of his sculptures) just made me feel good.  And while that may not be a fancy or artsy reason to like art, it was enough for me.

So next time you see a piece of art you blink at... one that makes you think, WTF?, try asking my three questions.  You might actually find out that weird piece of art that you initially thought was horribly ugly, is actually something that will make your heart go...


Until next time,

CJ England

Follow Your Dreams


Phylis said...

Will have to remember those CJ. Not sure when I will be going to a museum next. lol But looking at the stuff you see will work! Thanks for sharing.

Ray said...

Good Questions. I Like the Sisley.

The first piece of fine art that spoke to me was Woman With a Parasol by Monet. I first saw it on a book cover. I saw the original in a museum in Richmond, VA. I have an app on my iPhone, Daily Art. The day I downloaded my first pic was Woman with a Parasol.

I visited the Keene Studio in San Francisco and saw a painting of a Flamenca that had I had the money I would have bought on site even though it was larger than life size. One of the paintings that tore me up in that studio was a painting of Holocaust victims behind real barbed wire with the Keene big eyes.

In Norfolk, VA there used to be a painting of a woman being forced onto the makings of a burning at the stake. No matter where I stood in the room, close, distant, left, right she was looking directly at me and no one else.

My favorite from the Louvre, Liberty by Delacroix.

When it comes to photography I am kind of parial to some of yours.

CJ England said...

Go online and check the different artists, Phylis. I find so many great works that way. And it's cheaper than a museum. LOL

CJ England said...

I love that picture, Ray. Liberty is also one of my favorites. And thanks for the compliments. Wait until tomorrow for new ones!