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kleinbl00  ·  2633 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: I'm Sick Of Pretending: I Don't "Get" Art | VICE  ·  

Well, here's the thing:

It's really easy to say "this stuff sucks." If you read the follow-ups, they're an art student saying "this stuff doesn't suck because X" and the guy saying "no it REALLY sucks because Y."

One of the things I discovered as a screenwriter is that it's far more useful to watch a bad movie and figure out how you would make it good than to watch a good movie and figure out what was bad about it. More importantly, if there's a movie or genre or director that everybody else loves that you hate, don't sit there going "I'm so original" figure out what the audience is getting out of it that you aren't.

So we see all this modern art, and it's all selling for shit-tons of money, and we all go "WTF was the point of that" and we presume that it's just bullshit and the people who like it are stupid. But are they really? The guys buying "modern art" are all richer than croesus and most of it isn't inherited money, so they're smart enough to get rich, at least. And they tend to buy the kind of consumer goods we wish we could, so they aren't totally tasteless, either.

So to me, the observation isn't "I don't get Art" it's "Why don't I get art?"

For me, the most transformative art experience I ever had was at the SF Moma. I was shooting a wedding and had a day to kill, so I rode the BART from Oakland to downtown and wandered around. One of the first things I saw was one of Yves Klein's monochromes (now you know where the name comes from). And this is a canvas, painted blue, sitting on a wall.

And I stared at it, transfixed, for twenty minutes.

Because it wasn't just blue - it was this amazing blue that can't really be described. It was an insane amount of pigment, painted in just such a way that it held my attention in a way that Guernica never did. I wandered through the entire bicentennial Van Gogh exhibit in Amsterdam and didn't really give the first shit - saw Starry Night in person and everything. But there was something about Yves Klein Blue that left me positively gobsmacked.

So I "get" that. I get Klimt. I get Kandinsky. I get Mondrian. I get these guys that had an amazing amount of craft in what they did that renders something thought-provoking and new.

But I don't "get" Warhol. I don't get Basquiat (but I totally get Banksy). I sure as fuck don't get Damien Hirst.

Steina and Woody Vasulkaare good family friends. I have a framed poster from one of their exhibits at The Kitchen in '69. Helped them put up one of their exhibits a few years back. They're "artists." Make a good living at it. Saw some of their stuff at the Stedelijk But, I mean, some of it is just weird goofing around. So, to me, "I don't get art" is an admission of failure, not a brag. If there's something that a whole bunch of people think is awesome, you owe it to yourself at least to figure out what they think is so cool. That's why I'm at peace with the fact that I f'ing hate Chris Nolan, but still uncomfortable over the fact that I f'ing hate Wes Anderson. I know exactly what people get out of Nolan films (and reject it) but Wes Anderson I haven't quite figured out yet.

Make sense?