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October 13, 2008


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That quote from Le Cocq is great! Oh yes, problem solving… I have been saying similar things to young artists for years but they don't seem to understand, or be interested in the thought process of the artist/craftsman. It is thinking with your hands; or perhaps a better way of putting it would be a dialogue between the eyes, brain & hands. I've always had a difficult time articulating this, primarily because it is a non-verbal experience. However, the viewing of purely concept driven art tends to be, for me, a bit of a one trick pony. The object itself isn't, as Le Coqc states, uninteresting but after a single viewing (maybe two) is it necessary to see it again? Will one be engaged, intrigued or amused the third or thirtieth time? No, I can't imagine actually living with a Damian Hirst.

I suspect that modern people have become intellectually lazy. Face it. To look at great art one must at least do a little homework & today the general public seems unwilling to even bother to read the Cliff Notes. (Or for that matter, the label copy right next to the artwork…) Working in a museum, I have the opportunity to watch people look at great art. Sadly, most seem to only see a lovely painting, a pleasing surface, rather than the result of an enormous amount of thought, planning, technique & effort. In other words, problem-solving.

I really liked the quote as well and am not surprised you picked up on the "problem solving" aspect.

Speaking of Damien Hirst, in my last post (on Tyrian purple) at the very end I linked to another philosopher zone interview. Take a look at the transcript-- the philosophers discuss Hirst-- and it ain't pretty! More soon (I am stuck down in the salt mines today...)

Loved the analogy of the contemporary art world as an adolescent on steroids…
Absolutely spot-on.

That entire last quote by John Armstrong I thought was probably the harshest, most critical statement I have heard on that program. I agreed too.

More than that, though, I chose the picture at top because the velvety blue color of the chair is the same shade of blue as the woman's collar and it is so pretty I think. But the more I look at the painting, the more the cherub is bothering me. What is that baby holding in his hand? It looks like a playing card??

OK-- I am still down in the salt mines today and tomorrow. Doing a translation of an executive's speech (talking about Heidegger's different worlds...) Hope all is good with you!

Regarding the card held up in the baby's hand (in the above picture)
Conrad explains thus:

"Found on a respectable-looking website: "The Cupid holds aloft a card on which appears a number one which visually echoes the engraving's [i.e. the engraving on which the painting was based] caption, "a lover ought to have only one". By including it, Vermeer most likely alludes to the concept of love which includes fidelity."

Now, I'm curious about the aledged fact that the painting was based on an engraving... Better I may poke around and try and come up with a painting which won't annoy me the way this one has come to...

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