Monday, April 14, 2008

art rant

I've been exposed to some galleries lately. It always depresses me to see the same themes over and over. In my case I am dazzled by the array of palm tree and heron and marsh depictions. Different artists but hanging right next to each other like one was looking over the other's shoulder in a workshop where boldness and innovation give way in a collective endeavor to emulate the instructor. The palettes have a sameness too. There must be a formula in a book at barnes and Noble that instructs as to how much cinnabar green light, sap green, and indian yellow is required to render the southern coastal ouvre.

Usually these paintings are small - tempting to the tourist who wants to bring home a little tang of the marsh and show people in Nyack what spanish moss looks like. Then again there is the avant garde marsh painter who paints on 5 foot canvases (wrap around mind) in dayglo colors - a purple stream may be glimpsed snaking its way through the hot pink marsh grass towards a copse of turquoise and indigo palms and live oaks - all backlit by an angry tangerine sky. These, the artist hopes, will grace the foyer of a wealthy retiree's winter snuggery of 10,000 square feet or so. And God willing, the retiree will want to impress his friends with 10 or so of these daring and "different" works.

well you have found me out. I am an art snob. Though not at all succesful myself, i can still wrinkle a nose at mediocrity. I was once a member of an art co-op. Some people in the c0-op

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