5/25/12

I hate painting abstract.

I've only done it once, and I hate it already.

Now that I really think of it, I can't think of a single artist who ISN'T an abstract artist that doesn't despise abstract art.

Before any reader (could it be possible there's one out there?!) gets their britches in a bunch, I don't hate abstract art. I know about a million artists who do. A lot of them get in a RAGE about it, and I kinda just wave them off with an "alright, whatever." I like quite a few pieces of abstract art.

For example, when I Google "abstract art," this is what I enjoy:
                 
And the retaliation I get when I explain that I like designs like this, people usually go on big rants about how they don't get how people can GET this art. Well, I don't get it. I think it looks pretty. There you go! I SAID IT! I like to LOOK at art, and just enjoy the shapes and colors without doing backflips in my brain about how it's about the downfall of the economy due to the amount of peanut exports. Or something stupid.

That being said, I also like art that makes you think about its meaning. But only if I'm specifically going out to look for it. If I go to an art gallery, I like looking at all sorts. I also had the privilege  to go to an arts school (for music) where the fine artists put up a bunch of displays, a lot of which had deep meanings. It was awesome. Some people also just painted a picture of a deer in the trees. Equally awesome. Someone did this "sculpture" using nails and yarn on a board that actually looked like ocean waves. It was so cool.

Anyways, I'm slightly straying from my point.

What I hate is minimalistic art. Screw that. What the hell is this poo?


It's a stripe. With the word "reduction" in the upper right hand corner.  That's what it is. SO DEEP MAN. Someone probably paid a thousand bucks for that. That makes me mad.

So, today, I had a quick thinking-about about why some art makes me so angry, and the only answer I had for myself is that I'm really passionate about what I do, and thus the other side of passion has to be expected. That's the only explanation I can give to you to help you through the next few rage-filled paragraphs (or as rage-filled as I'm capable of getting).

I have determined, today, that there are three things I HATE in art.

1. Minimalistic art.
Art teachers will get angry with you when you say within their hearing range "my 2-year-old cousin/brother/sister/self/child/nephew/neice/child-that-just-walked-by could do that!"
I get angry when you say the infamous "THEY CAN'T AND THEY DIDN'T SO APPRECIATE IT."

They can, and I'm pretty sure my younger siblings did things very similar multiple times on walls with Sharpies when they were toddlers. I had very well-behaved siblings, by the way. Get over it. It's a stripe/square/circle/silhouette-in-the-shape-of-a-boat on a monochromatic background. One of the world's most expensive pieces of art was a red square over a black rectangle on a white background. Or... something like that. I saw it in a documentary once and there's a fuzzy picture hovering in my mind. POINT BEING, it went for millions of dollars. That makes me physically angry. I'm not a violent person, but I would probably smack the buyer right in the teeth if I met them.

What makes me most angry is that, morally, I HAVE to respect them. It's a very grudging respect. Grr.


2. Art that I don't get.
I'm not talking about things like the above three abstract pieces that I like. I don't understand their core meaning, if they have one, but I get why they're appealing due to color and cool shapes and the way they would bring an awesome PUNCH to certain rooms. That's great, don't really care about the meaning.

I'm talking about things like what recently happened in Alberta's capital city, Edmonton. I had the joy of seeing the monstrosity about two weeks ago, for the first time. And I about grabbed the wheel of my friend's car to suicide us into the art, just out of anger. It's an installment beside one of the main roads. It's literally a shapeless pile of large polished stainless steel balls. Sweet. I don't get it.

It looks awful. It's shapeless. It really can't be anything but a messy pile of balls. Maybe if they were in an appealing stack, perhaps a creative curve to them, or make a few peaks to make them mountain-esque, or SOMETHING. I can see them being really cool if they were wave-shaped. But they aren't. It looks like a shapeless lump made out of steel. Congrats. You infuriate me, unknown artist. You are a dick.

Another one came from my school. It was a bedsheet someone had ripped and sewn another ripped piece of cloth on it to look like someone's armpit, then they had taken a needle and black thread and made the armpit ACTUALLY HAIRY. Then hung it up in a window.

Excuse me, but the HECK are you doing?! Seriously. It made me angry every time I walked by it.

Perhaps it's because I view some of these ridiculous things as a mockery of art, and nothing gets me more riled than someone making a mockery of something I love.


3. Painting abstract art.

Okay so this is a new one I discovered today! I love learning new things.

I got an e-mail from a woman asking if I could do an abstract piece for her. And my brain went "Person, you are so creative. Let's be friends with this idea," and so I DID. I told her sure, I could make something for her. And she asked me if I had any examples.

And I went oh, crap. Guess I'd better make some abstract today. So I grabbed a spare canvas that was collecting dust and plopped down with big paintbrushes and pots of acrylic, and got at it. I took blue and green, and made some aurora-esque streaks, then proceeded to flick and dribble paint over the surface of it, took a paintbrush and dragged it through some of the drops and dribbles to make more streaking, and then splattered some more colors on, some reds and yellows.

So, this took me all of twenty minutes. And what I'd come up with had actually turned out into something that I could somehow stand to look at for a bit and wouldn't be TOO mortified to show people, so when the paint dried, I scanned it and sent it off to the customer, who loved it and said she's let me know about the commission.

Great.

I hated every rat-faced second of what I was doing when I was doing it. I was actually so angry with it. I was what I would describe as scribbling paint onto the canvas. I was doing things that made my artistic self scream "NO FOR THE LOVE OF BABY JESUS NO!!!" It's because I'm a realism artist. Art doesn't take me 20 minutes to do... it takes me 20 HOURS. My larger paintbrushes are virtually unused, but that's what I used for these. I do teeny little delicate strokes with my nose hovering inches above the canvas as I inhale the fumes and contribute to my overall health. I paint with deliberate, paced intent until my hand seizes from the strain.

I do. Not. Scribble.

Now, some people are PHENOMENAL at abstract, and I love that. I'm just not one of them, and I hate myself for even proposing to sell my BS piece to someone unsuspecting. By the way, stranger, I could have done that when I was five, but I'll take your money anyways.

The things I do to survive. [enter dramatic sigh here]

Okay, so I'm tempted to continue and see if people actually buy them, and if they do chances are I'm about to become a very angry artist. If all of my art turns blue, we'll know it's because the only way I can stay sane is if I stare at the color I adore so much all day.

But yeah. That's my rant on abstract. Every non-abstract artist needs one.

Oh, and to all of you artists who say abstract art takes no skill... SCREW YOU. Good abstract art takes tonnes of skill. What I did was not good, unfortunately.

Then again neither is this, and I don't think it LOOKS too bad. It's just that... well, it's paint dribbled and splattered onto a canvas, is all. Looks like he loaded up his paintbrush and hovered above the tan-colored canvas and whirled the brush in circles for a bit. And then called it a church (the painting is called "Cathedral.") The only reason why I'm not angry is because it's not ugly. It's got a nice color scheme, in my opinion.



Okay, that's enough anger for today. I'm going to try and write some more. I have NOT made good progress today.

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