Friday, March 10, 2006

Arty Farty Day 1

As you can probably tell, I kind of like art ... just like I kind of like food. I like to think my taste in art saddles the high brow and the mass without lapsing into the plebian or the ridiculously delusional.

Often times, I am surrounded by people who either take themselves very very seriously. Or flit around proclaiming themselves the newest fairy of open, childlike delight which often leads to art a 3-year-old could have created. I just smile and sit back to ponder, snigger silently, gasp in awe, gasp in horror and just dissect all the information my brain, eyes and emotions are absorbing. I abhore the possibility that someone might one day tag any kind of "-rati" title to me so such constant processing tends to stick my food stained lips, ink stained fingers and paint stained feet back to the ground.

One of the insights I have garnered is that prejudice and bias ripple in every art community. The CG (that is computer graphics) artists tend to be one of the most under-rated and looked down upon by the more established and main-stream artists delving in the traditional mediums. Even among the CG community, they tend to turn their noses up at the few air-brush artists. And the visual artists tend to think that performance artists are not as truly creative as them ... and so on. Of course, this is generalising but it happens often enough that I find myself constantly re-evaluating my own predisposed preferences and bias to question where my boundaries lie.

Among my more lofty art circle friends, I am reticent about my love of CG art. Not that I ashamed of it or think that CG artists are less talented or "cheat" as some traditionalists view it, but because of the instant dismissal of any mention of CG art as even art. They are still viewed in the same disdain as graphic novel art ... another form of art I have vast admiration for.

It is almost reminiscent of how some of my more intellectual friends frown on comics or science fiction. Also categories of literature I find tremendously entertaining and unabashedly claim as one of my loves. It does not mean I am less intellectual just because I like my William Tucci as much as my William Shakespeare. (Yes, Billy, I know you come here sometimes.) It just means I have a wide range of interests and try to open myself to them as much as possible. I say this because I realised a close friend was terribly embarrassed to reveal that she read romance novels. I have absolutely no issues with that as I think everyone needs light entertainment to balance the hefty weight of modern life. And who am I to judge what is intellectual and profound anyway? For goodness sakes, I watch American Idol!

Thus, I aim to periodically introduce a piece of artwork that I find moving, aesthetically pleasing, meaningful or just plain interesting in this blog. After all, we feast not only with our tongues and stomach, but also with our eyes and emotions. So apologies to the purists who feel that I am littering my blog with non-food related posts but hey, I never said this was a food blog ... I said it was a blog dealing with food. And art is food for my soul.

This is not meant to be an art tutorial but just a feature of some arresting pieces of work. You decide if and what it speaks to you. It may be a photo, a piece of furniture, a shard of glass, a triptych by Cheung Yee ... whatever, but art should appeal and reflect on an individual basis. Damn the experts who will always strive to tell you what to appreciate or denigrate. Just like music, religion and food, the best judge of what moves you is you yourself.

So enjoy, hate, snigger, chuckle or love ... just feel the art. Let's stop to smell, caress with our eyes and fondle the roses that leap from a canvas or a garden together.

Please note that I will be showcasing works from different artists and this is not meant to be a gallery for commercial purposes. I do not represent any of the artists introduced in this series - I simply admire and have the utmost respect for their talent.

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema
Oil on canvas
21 7/8 x 14 3/4 inches (55.8 x 37.6 cm)
Private collection

Categories - Arty Farty Days


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