Sunday, April 24, 2011

Artrageous art!

This was my last painting which I did sometime in March....
.....which has since been gifted by a wonderful chai guzzling fellow blogger to her mum for her birthday. And since then the flow of my creative juices has sort of come to a screeching halt. Maybe it was the Oz vacation, maybe its the heat here in the low 100's, or maybe it's the 50 year crisis (is there such a thing?). 

Well, anyways, I was browsing thru one of my favorite art sites....not just to get said juices gushing again, but also to see what's new, to rant about the outrageous prices of some, to rave about the gorgeous quality and talent of others and generally to, as we say in India, "time pass" while watching IPL cricket.

That is when I came across this painting by one Shefali Nayan being sold by a collector. A 12' X 15" watercolor for $175/Rs 7,500.
My first reaction was "No way"....this is like something my 10 year old niece in Sydney can do. THIS is a collector's item? My husband was convinced the artist was a child, and I insisted it could not be since they have never featured art by children on this website. So I googled and found out Shefali is 35 years old and this is what she says about her work "My paintings depict a sense of wonder, have a tinge of humor and joy through humans and animals. These impersonalized humans speak my emotions and feel my feelings. Animals add the joy and create a story that floats on my canvases.The pleasant amalgamation of the aesthetics of these moments and the various forms, textures and colors create a fairy tale and a kaleidoscopic world in my works."

Hmmmm I thought. Can you really say that and get away with this kind of art? I was all set to resurrect this post and go off the deep end once more and raise a hue and cry about art in general. But, I thought, let me look at more by the same artist. Maybe there's more mature stuff out there...and so back to Google I went and unearthed these by the same artist....pretty much more of the same.

And the funny thing is the more I saw the more I not only liked it, but realized that the paintings were strangely very captivating and appealing. Something about them, the juxtaposition of the colors and textures were definitely more than what one could expect from a 10 yr old. And then I researched some more and found these in a gallery of paintings by disabled children.

by a 9 year old
 Alexis, 12 years, North Carolina
 Done by a group of 9 year olds
 By Kiana, 8 years old, Honolulu
 by Shawna, 14 years, South Dakota
by 12 year old Yuri from Reno
by 12 year old Cody from West Virginia
So now, I'm really confused, and want to ask my original question. Can a 35 year old artist really get away doing stuff like this all in the name of "art"? As long as there are people to buy them, is it justified? I know I keep beating this topic to death, but as an artist it bothers me a lot!!!!


Sayantani said...

great that you raised this issue, I was scared to question this as many times i have been laughed at by so called artists for not understanding their arts. but its true that i dont see any beauty in these which I believe is the prerequisite for anything listed under arts.

GB said...

K, I think that it is more a question of how the artist had to deconstruct art or untrain herself to come up with the art in the first place. You have to admit, for a 35 year old to (deliberately) create art that a child could make is more difficult than the other way around (did that make any sense?). I found the one with the bubbles and the one with the watering can refreshing. (I found the kids' art refreshing as well!! So I guess I'm as confused as you are!)

Would I pay $175 for any of them--I doubt it. :(

Kamini said...

Hmmm GB....I didn't think of it that way, as in having to "untrain herself". But don't you think it is easier for an adult to draw like a child than the other way around?....still confused in Hyderabad :-) said...

u r making others to think...such a good post...loved it

rupa said...

I am with you 100%. See, that's why I love your blog. You raise questions that a lot are afraid to ask and more often than not, they are the same questions that come to my mind too :) People then put us down for not "Getting the art" but some times artists use that line as an escape route for justifying their work (or lack of talent in some cases? ouch, I said it!). Sorry for the rambling. In a nut shell, I wouldn't pay any amount for that art since it does seem very childish. If it was done by a kid and wanted to sell it (only for a good cause), I might consider it. Yes, Yes, I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder blah...blah..blah..

purplehomes said...

I totally agree with you. Art that is apt for a kid's room doesn't necessarily have to look could still hv the strokes of an adult mind & it doesn't work me for at all and i agree with Rupa it doesn't quite justify the work or the price.

jhon deny said...

Hi! Super-Duper site! I am loving it!! Will come back again - taking you feeds also, Thanks...Online art gallery indian artists