Friday, January 2, 2009

Artsy fartsy

A co-worker of mine told me about this workshop that combines art and wine. It sounded interesting – I could bring my artistic ability to the forefront while sipping on a glass or two of some of the Valley’s finest, but after a few glasses my crayons would be going outside the lines and it would all be a big mess akin to my childhood years.
A few more glasses and everything I did would look like a Picasso, only not as organized.
Picasso went through the blue period, well I would call this the drunk period, which would be followed by the sick period, which would be followed by the hung-over period and it all would end with the I-promise-to-never-to-do-that-again-just-make-the-pain-in-my-head-go-away period.
The co-worker went on to explain I would sip the vino while a real artist did the actual painting, which makes much more sense.
It got me thinking about art, what it means, why it is worth such obscene amounts of money and why some of it is so weird.
For whatever reason, it seems the stranger the piece, the more it is worth.
I am no authority on art, but I know what sucks and I have seen some paintings that make me wonder how the ring-tailed lemur that painted it managed to hold onto the brush for so long.
I have been to art shows and some of the stuff I understand, but some of it makes less sense than a gas company’s explanation for the price of petrol.
Some of the work is amazing and I thoroughly appreciate the talent, but others look like someone barfed up a box of crayons, signed it and put a $10,000 price tag on it.
Now, before all the artsy types light their brushes on fire and storm the office in a rampage akin to the Frankenstein incident of 1722, I know it is artistic expression and the person is reflecting a part of their deep inner soul and all that stuff.
I am just saying I am not their soul mate when it comes to art I guess. I also think if the jumble of colours is a reflection of their soul, some serious interaction with a mental health expert, or even an exorcist, might need to be added to their ‘to do’ list.
Grocery shopping – check.
Pick up dry cleaning – check.
Have ancient Monrovian spirit Zolthar exercised – check.
I am sure some art lovers consider me a boorish peasant for my lack of artistic aptitude, and that’s OK, because it is not like we were trading Christmas cards anyway.
I realized I am not exactly an art aficionado when my wife and I were on a trip to a quant little resort town.
It was a quiet little hollow with quant shops, a beautiful lake, excessive prices and everything else a resort town is made of.
The weekend we were there, an art show and sale was being held in the park.
We casually strolled over to check it out and the first painting we came across looked like someone had rescued a piece of canvass from a paint factory explosion.
I am sure to the trained eye it was a titillating dance of hues that came together to express man’s struggle with one’s inner self.
To me, it looked like the artist simply used whatever paint they had left over while sampling some of that wine we were talking about earlier.
I nearly fell over when I saw the price tag of $3,000. My wife and I stood in shocked wonder. Three Gs for something that looks like a two year old with a hyperactivity disorder had painted seemed insane.
However, looking at the ‘art’ did give me an idea.
I figured when we got home I would run out to the art supply store, buy a whole bunch of paints, brushes and enough canvass to wrap a mummy.
I would then hand the supplies to my two year old and tell him to go to work. He is not hyper, but a cup of coffee or something would have worked I am sure.
The plan was to let him go crazy with the colours before taking the canvass to a park art show and selling it for a gazillion dollars.
He could crank out four or five of those a week, easy. I had dollar signs spinning in my eyes like one of those cartoon characters.
We could tell people the art work expressed the child in all of us and I would ramble on about how the random use of colours was designed to invoke a childlike glee of painting.
Anybody dumb enough to buy that line of drivel deserves to pay $3,000. And if they were willing to pay me $3,000 for $10 worth of art supplies, I was willing to let them.
I never did enact the child-artist plan, but I have a niece who will have a kid this summer and I think maybe we could work something out.

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