Patterico's Pontifications

3/29/2014

I Could Have Painted That!

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:24 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Disclaimer: I am not an artist. I am not an art major. I am not an art critic. I am not married to an artist, although I once dated an art major. And surprisingly, that was not all in vain. Aside from the college-age Herculean disaster of love that it was, I also became exposed to the world of art in a focused way.

I became immersed in art movements, Impressionism, Surrealism, Expressionism, and other “isms”, as well as learning gouache painting techniques, the tedious process of stippling, and much more. I developed a love-hate relationship with Kandinsky, a lifelong passion for the Ukiyo-e artists and Calder’s mobiles, and still remain entranced by the romanticism of Waterhouse. And unbeknownst to me in that time of my youth, not only was the visual being absorbed, but what drove it was as well. I even built a pseudo-philosophy around art: What one feels must be truth.

Art: It is seriously powerful stuff. And anything powerful enough to simultaneously reflect and deeply influence the individual, or society at large, has the potential to become a bit too big for its colorful britches and self-assured in its relevance. Hence, the birth of sacred cows.

In artist and comedy writer Miriam Elia’s recently released book, We Go to the Gallery, the not so subtle poke at the world of art rings true.

In the author’s words,

“I thought it would be humorous to see Mummy, Peter and Jane going to a really nihilistic modern art exhibition”, she says. Among the works confronted by the trio on their cultural outing are pastiches of Emin, Creed and Koons, through which they learn about sex, death, nothingness “and all of the debilitating, middle-class self-hatred contained in the artworks.”

7a_art_areyouartist

1a_art_nothingroom

1aa_art_deathofmeaning

6a_artcanvasblank
(pictures via American Digest)

–Dana

55 Responses to “I Could Have Painted That!”

  1. erf cake again

    it’s a thing

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  2. “Oh dear,” says Peter.

    hah charming post Dana it made me smile

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  3. “erf cake again”

    Oh dear, too deep for me, hf, I don’t get it…but, thanks for charming post!

    Dana (9a8f57)

  4. We could use more general mockery of pretentious art and postmodernism.

    JVW (9946b6)

  5. Where is Spot? His piddle formation on a gallery floor would be considered “art” in many installations these days.

    Very fun post, Dana.

    elissa (aa6b49)

  6. “art” that is as pointless as is the “erf day” event this evening…

    someone get me some carnitas tacos, por favor.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  7. The smart alecks behind “Epic Rap Battles of History” take on art with Bob Ross versus Pablo Picasso here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGN5xaQkFk0

    Then I find out that these two comedians and their troupe are shilling for the ACA, as well.

    I just shake my head. Jonah Goldberg was so right.

    But many of their videos (some of the decidedly NSFW) are funny.

    Simon Jester (77a5ff)

  8. Yes, we know, Arts’ types are imbeciles.

    Rodney King's Spirit (ca9e04)

  9. Little birdy
    in the pet store window
    there is no food for you today
    only, death.

    Thanks, Dana, your post took me back to those certain (wasted) college days when I thought I was all that -when I wasn’t. Who was I? In the words of Hollywood, “I’m a dude, playin’ a dude, disguised as another dude”!

    felipe (6100bc)

  10. “they learn about sex, death, nothingness “and all of the debilitating, middle-class self-hatred contained in the artworks.”

    Hits.Nail.On.Head.

    Exactly why I visit museums, to see debilitating middle-class self-hatred captured by now rich artists memorialized on the walls.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  11. This says it all, daley:

    http://theeasel.tumblr.com/post/11612302112/an-upside-down-matisse-at-the-moma

    My wife thinks me a Philistine, because I say that if a chimpanzee can do it, it’s not art.

    Simon Jester (77a5ff)

  12. Simon – That is spectacular art Simon! Your wife is indeed correct. She received a proper college education. You are a Philistine. :-)

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  13. I don’t know nothing about art, but I know what I like.

    Nudes.

    Pious Agnostic (ac89e5)

  14. Simon Jester,

    My hub says modern art is the very reason he loves math and science so much.

    Dana (33f7e6)

  15. My mother and her sister were both artists and went to grad school at Columbia after WWII. They evolved into very different styles but neither went much for the modern stuff, although many of their professors were into it.

    Having a knowledge of art and the collections of the various museums in NYC helped me impress numerous young ladies back in the day.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  16. erf cake is when it goes all shaky shaky and you have to run and get on the couch, where it’s safe

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  17. I have got to get a copy of that! Man, I miss being an art student. I did change majors when I transferred to another school over this sort of thing, though.

    tek (a5b7ce)

  18. racist

    mg (31009b)

  19. Apparently copies of this book are pretty hard to obtain. It was a limited printing, done in England, and I can’t find it anywhere online. I think you just have to be lucky and find it in some museum gift shop.

    JVW (9946b6)

  20. @daley, I completely agree. I was raised in North Long Beach, and my parents knew nothing about art and literature, but in those days, the schools saw potential in me, and made us learn. I was bussed up to the J. Paul Getty Museum once a month. So, for me, Rodin does sculpture. Picasso and Monet paint. That kind of thing.

    @dana, I don’t know if your spouse means learning proportions and scale in art made him understand mathematics and science…or the modern form of art made him appreciate intellectual rigor to be found in the sciences. Either way, his wisest decision was agreeing to marry you.

    I’m a scientist, and you can take my opinion as, um, gospel on that.

    Simon Jester (ea4e1a)

  21. Simon – I said that because I think you once mentioned where your bride matriculated.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  22. teh artist KoKo
    her impressionist paintings
    banana and cat

    Colonel Haiku (be0e31)

  23. @ Simon,

    It’s definitely not the former. Viewing modern art simply drives him to the understandable haven of math/science. Something about modern art’s seeming disorder, lack of logic, nose-nose-anything-goes heart of it, makes him nuts. You’ve gotta be able to solve for X.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  24. Oh, daley, you are correct! I’m indeed a prole who married way, way up.

    Dana, I’m with your spousal unit on this topic. But my wife does point out this:

    http://discovermagazine.com/2001/nov/featpollock

    Who knew that splattering paint was, um, mathematical? I have a lot of trouble with accepting that, but it appears to be true.

    Simon Jester (ea4e1a)

  25. And Dana, if we knew one another IRL, I could send you some work I have been doing with students merging science and art! It does happen…

    Simon Jester (ea4e1a)

  26. R.I.P. Lorenzo Semple, Jr.
    Screenwriter on Batman (Adam West & Burt Ward), movie and series; Papillon; The Parallax View; Three Days of the Condor; Never Say Never Again

    Icy (95e789)

  27. This all makes me so (soooo!) glad that Mrs. Gramps has the affinity for Gorman’s colorful Native American works.

    And, yes, x must be solved for. Always.

    Gramps, the original (8c018c)

  28. it was a VERY long 3 days

    a lot of people don’t remember that part

    interminable

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  29. The Arts, by Ernie Kovacs, if you have seven minutes. If you only have two, fast forward to around 3:00 for Mother Rustic, America’s premier native (no, not like in Indian) painter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bB-bHHhNLho

    nk (dbc370)

  30. Art has had a problem ever since the days of Louis Daguerre – about 1839.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf07f)

  31. Dana said:

    …a lifelong passion for the Ukiyo-e artists…

    The floating world.

    That’s the only term you used that I not only recognized but still had any meaning to me. Not that I’m stupid (although I may be) but that none of the other terms are useful to me on a daily basis. I haven’t heard them since college. Consequently I can’t tell a Manet from a Monet.

    A wise man addressed this issue.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO8x8eoU3L4

    Father Guido Sarducci’s Five Minute University

    R.I.P.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  32. Oh, shoot! Screwed up. Don Novello apparently didn’t die. Sorry.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  33. This is off topic, but it seems to question Scott Walker’s integrity and, if true, his refusal to stand for what’s right and go after what is clearly abusive and wrong:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304756104579451301145002122?mod=trending_now_5

    Colonel Haiku (be0e31)

  34. Another matter that some of our brethren need to give more thought to:

    http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/186014/

    Colonel Haiku (be0e31)

  35. That is horrible about what is being done to the lady in WI, Col. Especially since we know stories of how actual government computers have been used on company time for purely political purposes in other states (see Joe the plumber among others) with apparently nothing near the life shattering consequences this lady is enduring.) Still, it’s hard to see what Walker can do without looking like he’s trying to use his office to “interfere” in a matter which started out to get him in the first place. That’s the Kafkaesque aspect of this.

    The publishing of her private email is an especially grievous and unnecessary invasion of her privacy and threatens all citizens. This sounds like a cause for Althouse and I’ll bet/hope she puts up a post about this later.

    Now that the story is out, I’d be interested in hearing from any lawyers here on their opinions as to what Gov. Walker, or the WI R party, or even other concerned private citizens can safely and reasonably and legally do to help her. Hers was a small potatoes oopsie–and clearly not all oopsies are equal when politics is involved and witch hunts are in progress.

    elissa (aa6b49)

  36. In artist and comedy writer Miriam Elia’s recently released book,

    She’s pretty good since I at first assumed her illustrations had been lifted straight from a school book published in the 1950s.

    The cultural scene throughout the Western World has been cheapened over the past 50-plus years — with the phenomenon of grade inflation spread far and wide — and the industry of today’s visual arts is merely an off-shoot of that.

    Whether that and the peculiar growing specter of the culture of Sharia Law end up in a head-on confrontation is anyone’s guess.

    Mark (12c2a8)

  37. Another matter that some of our brethren need to give more thought to:

    I agree with Kevin Williamson, certainly from the standpoint of purely tactical reasons.

    Mark (12c2a8)

  38. Love that book!

    Patricia (be0117)

  39. That is horrible about what is being done to the lady in WI, Col.

    I wouldn’t be too surprised if those who are pursuing her for political reasons also are the same fools who’ve incubated situations like the one in the US military, in which someone as outrageous and flagrant as a Nidal Hasan is tolerated until it’s too late. If so, they and characters like Hasan deserve one another.

    Mark (12c2a8)

  40. Once you plead guilty ….

    nk (dbc370)

  41. 40. Once you plead guilty ….

    Comment by nk (dbc370) — 3/30/2014 @ 8:53 am

    And, really, shouldn’t a court have to spell this out. “Once you plead guilty…”

    One might be compelled to plead guilty with right of appeal because one is offered nothing in between trial or that plea. One might be compelled to do so to avoid imprisonment so one can remain on the outside so one can pursue their appeal.

    One might plead guilty to a charge even though convinced of their own innocence in their hope that a court might later overturn it. The “guilty with right of appeal” plea.

    Shouldn’t a court tell them it’s BS, nk?

    Steve57 who has lawyers in his family (a017ec)

  42. @ Steve57,

    but that none of the other terms are useful to me on a daily basis

    I think this is interesting: I’m pretty curious about the world around me, so I enjoy learning that which doesn’t even impact my daily life. And don’t we all know a lot of terms not useful on a daily basis? I know a lot of cooking terms and methods, but I can’t don’t cook – yet I certainly admire those who can. I know a number of electrical engineering terms, and can explain the basics of an oscilloscope, but trust me, these are not useful to me in my life any day of the week.

    My point is, we absorb so much information in life about an array of subjects, and not all would we choose to learn about. I have found that that which I thought would not interest or captivate or be useful to me, sometimes surprisingly does, and is.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  43. 33. 35. They stopped her from even having a legal defense fund.

    If I understand this right, her mistake may have been to freely talk without getting immunity. She may have revealed a possible crime that they didn’t know about.

    She made some kind of a deal where she would get leniency if she co-operated. She had nothing say and they accused her of protecting Governor Walker or others.

    What they were investigating was possible illegal co-ordination between Governor Walker’s campaign and groups that were supposed to be independent.

    (People who really violate that kind of a law in a serious way, are careful only to use lawyers as intermediaries between the two groups.)

    If she had nothing to say, she shouldn’t have made that deal. She was not dealing with honest prosecutors. The prosecutors demanded jail time
    by saying she had provided no information useful to prosecutors, and that that her loyalties rested and continue to rest” with the Republican Party and Friends of Scott Walker.

    What she actually did – what they got her for – was make telephone calls and send e-mails from her own personal electronic equipment while physically present in state buildings and while signed in, for the campaign of Brett Davis, a candidate for lieutenant governor.

    She was getting paid to do so by the campaign, and this had really nothing to do with Governor Walker, who had remained neutral in that race.

    This may technically be illegal, although at the time these laws were passed that really involved a situation of TWO people being present inside state buildings.

    I think Al Gore did the same thing but that’s federal law maybe.

    There could also be an issue of state time, but she says she spent more time there than she was being paid for and never left at 4 p.m. so she put in the hours.

    She is now facing a new investigation for failing to redact her initials (as well as those of Wisconsin Club for Growth director Eric O’Keefe) on court documents.

    Instead of being satisfied with charging her with fundraising in a public building, a misdemeanor under section 11.36 of the Wisconsin criminal code, they charged her with four felony counts of misconduct in office for doing other work on state time. Or technically, Section 946.12 of state law, which bars public officials from acting in a way that is contrary to their duties and confers a “dishonest advantage” on themselves or others. It would be hard put argue she did that if she put in more hours on her job than she contractually had to.

    When she pleaded guilty (originally it was supposed to be no contest, but the judge would not accept that) she retained a right to appeal, and she’s appealing on the grounds that the original search warrants that led to the discovery of her fundraising, or at least to her getting questioned, were overly broad.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf07f)

  44. He (Gov. Walker) may indeed be constrained somewhat, but perhaps a statement that these John Doe prosecutions will not be abused under his administration and that any prosecutorial misconduct or abuse of their authority will be dealt with to the full extent of the law… in both criminal and civil court systems?

    Colonel Haiku (be0e31)

  45. Sammy – Thank you for regurgitating the guts of the article.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  46. 42. …I think this is interesting: I’m pretty curious about the world around me, so I enjoy learning that which doesn’t even impact my daily life. And don’t we all know a lot of terms not useful on a daily basis? I know a lot of cooking terms and methods, but I can’t don’t cook – yet I certainly admire those who can. I know a number of electrical engineering terms, and can explain the basics of an oscilloscope, but trust me, these are not useful to me in my life any day of the week.

    My point is, we absorb so much information in life about an array of subjects, and not all would we choose to learn about. I have found that that which I thought would not interest or captivate or be useful to me, sometimes surprisingly does, and is.

    Comment by Dana (9a8f57) — 3/30/2014 @ 9:24 am

    As always I appreciate your thoughtful response.

    I too am curious about the world around me. But unfortunately I’ve discovered limits to how many terms I can retain to describe the world around me.

    Here’s a glossary of sake, or rice wine terms:

    http://www.sakesocial.com/pages/glossary-of-sake-terms

    This is important to me now because I operate a Japanese restaurant. What used to be important when I was recalled were the terms I used in the Navy. Before I was reactivated were terms that I used as a defense contractor. aphrael has correctly called me out for using those terms incorrectly.

    I guess what I’m saying is that learning all the Japanese knocked the Spanish, Italian, and German right out of my head. There’s only room for so much. I can learn new stuff, but when I do the old stuff gets lost in the clutter.

    Steve57 who has lawyers in his family (a017ec)

  47. It gets lost if I don’t keep using it.

    Steve57 (a017ec)

  48. It’s still a little shorter than the article, isn’t it?

    And it sounds like maybe she could have talked herself into a jail sentence by agreeing to co-operate.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf07f)

  49. nk, what is so incredible about that Kovacs sketch is that in real life the pretentious poet would have a tenured position at one of our fine universities and would be writing op-eds in a major urban newspaper calling for unilateral nuclear disarmament. It’s amazing that in a supposedly more unenlightened era they recognized that sort of bunkum for what it is.

    JVW (9946b6)

  50. I’m afraid that you’re right, JVW.

    nk (dbc370)

  51. And, really, shouldn’t a court have to spell this out. “Once you plead guilty…”

    The court does. I’ve done them and I’ve done appeals from them. There’s no such thing as a “guilty with right to appeal” plea. You have to tell the court you’re pleading guilty because you are guilty or your plea will not be accepted. You can appeal the plea procedure and the sentence. Always. No special reservation needed. You can waive it only by not doing it (you might need to move in the trial court to withdraw your plea as a prerequisite to preserving some issues for the appellate court).

    Anyway.

    nk (dbc370)

  52. Ceci n’est pas une pipe.

    AZ Bob (533fbc)

  53. Oh, shoot! Screwed up. Don Novello apparently didn’t die. Sorry.

    Comment by Steve57

    Yeah, it was Saturday Night Live.

    tek (251528)

  54. Henry J Soulen would be a no talented hack today.

    rls (d22c01)

  55. Comment by nk (dbc370) — 3/30/2014 @ 11:08 am

    You have to tell the court you’re pleading guilty because you are guilty or your plea will not be accepted. You can appeal the plea procedure and the sentence. Always. No special reservation needed.

    I think you can reserve the right to appeal on the grounds something was not a crime, or the law was unconstitutional.

    What the WSJ article said here was that she had (or thought she had) a right to appeal on “fruit of the tainted tree” grounds. Whether that is so or not, I din’t know, but she could have gotten bad legal advice.

    It sounds like a real stretch for her conduct to fall under the category of acting in a way that was contrary to her duties (it was not) or conferring a “dishonest advantage” on herself when all she did was not officially sign herself out or take a break. She did her job, it seems, or she’s denying that she didn’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bf07f)


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