Sunday, January 09, 2011

Is there such thing as "pretentious" artist?

Yes, absolutely.

You see it in "fine art" especially with the recent spate of them ripping off commercial artists and calling their "reproductions" "found art" or some such. Meaning in art is a lovely thing but honestly, it's really about how pretty and aesthetically pleasing something is at the end of the day. I miss the days of actual technical proficiency that'd go along with the long winded "explanations" for their art too. I appreciate most art, as I appreciate the beauty, even in the ugly side of life... but I really wish decent figurative art would make a come back.

Banksy, now, there's an artist who at least for awhile had real meaning and social commentary to his work.

In my opinion, the worst offenders of "pretentious" artists are some musicians, who rate their own work far too highly and go on and on in such serious ways...when the intelligent people in the room know they're simply derivative of many a musician before them, or even worse, are a creation and simply a front for corporate blandness sold as "edgy" and "new" when it's been written by committee and the singer mimes the words and looks pretty. People who don't even write their own music are not musicians, they're taking part in some shallow commercial karaoke business. Yeah, musicians, when you've written a piece that captures the mood of the times and affects a generation or becomes their voice, then you can take yourself uber seriously. Odds are though, those talented folks are just humble and like to write and acknowledge that it's luck of the draw as to what sticks. You're not all David Bowie. You're not all Nick Drake. ( Nick Drake impersonators are the funniest to me. )

To me, art, all art should first and foremost be a creative outlet that makes the creator happy. Sod anything else. Sod all the extra layers of meaning you want to add to try and make yourself "serious". Just have fun, make something beautiful and
hopefully many others will also agree. And by beautiful, I don't mean happy. By al lmeans, share your sadness with the world too. Don't fluff yourself up as if it's some deep thing. It's not. Unless you watched your heroin junkie parents parents die in a burning car wreck and were then raised by an abusive step uncle named Jeff, living with the demons he got while off fighting in some war that damaged his brain and the depleted uranium shriveled his testes and made him a eunuch...then you're probably just a middle class effete bastard play acting at such things. Don't take yourself so seriously. Because I won't. It's either pretty to look at/listen to or it isn't. "Meaning" ( pretention ) is too often used to cover up for lack of quality. I crack up when I hear musicians get interviewed and droll on and on about the importance of a certain piece or blah blah blah. Especially when they've got a 100 million in the bank. Yes, you have it so tough, please share your troubles with us. Same for you, Damian Hirst.

End angry old man rant. I tend not to like pretentious holier than thou types. Or as we call them, wankers.

Ask me anything. Typing actual english words helps though.



It's nice to finally see a famous artist give out a bloody serious opinion on today's art. Normally, famous artists (even the good ones like yourself) tend to keep their opinions to themselves because they're afraid they'll be seen as troublemakers by all the other wankers in the industry.

Arvid D'armond said...

"People who don't even write their own music are not musicians.."

OK, I understand the type that this is directed at, but this is way too broad of a statement. Musicianship isn't about writing, it's about performing. So John Coltrane's rendition of "Favorite Things" isn't art? Marvin Gaye isn't a musician in his performance of "What's going on?" And people who don't write their own scripts are not actors. People who draw comics from a script are not artists. And so on.

Templesmith said...

@Arvid I'm concerned with the term "artist". An artist creates something *new*. That's all.

In comics, I don't consider an inker an artist. They're a craftsman.

In music, someone who simply reinterprets ( just as anyone who does Karaoke can do ) is not an artist.

Someone who translates a novel into another language also reinterprets a work but they are in no way seen to be as valid as the person who actually wrote the work.

There's nothing wrong with being a craftsman, it's just one rung down on the creativity.

If they're not saying something truly new with the work, they're simply a shadow of the original.

taniacamille said...

i agree with templesmith. i value original art over craftsmanship