[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.”