About Me

My photo
was sold to gypsies as a small child for half a tank of gas and a kitten. She was quickly, if not easily, retrieved by her mother after the kitten was revealed to be an Eldrich horror looking for a ride into the nearest metropolitan area to begin wreaking havoc. It's been a bone of contention between Maria and her family ever since, whether the Horror-kitten would've been more or less trouble than she grew up to be.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Guest Blog: What I see with my ears I hear with my eyes.

Long time friend and partner in crime, Aurora*, has provided me with an opinion piece regarding an art gallery we went to this past Friday.


We spent the evening at Towson University's senior student art exhibition at the Load of Fun gallery in downtown Baltimore.  Like most contemporary art exhibits, the gallery is a playground of speculative reality.  Unlike those Rorschach images where you interpret what you see, these images are what their creator tells you they are, often defying all laws of congruency. Tonight's were definitely exercises in the extemporaneous: welded metal bracelets linked to replicate handcuffs welded to an eyeglass case filled with origami birds made out of pages pulled from a porno mag is wittily dubbed "Sexual Frustration". Photographs of plant life bursting through plots of urban decay is "Wasted Space" - funny, my daughter is curating a gallery showing of similar works in a couple months which go by the theme of "The Third Conflict". Like I said, we must believe the artist's perspective, no matter how quantum the leap from their vision to ours.

Art is language, language similar to the speaking in tongues heard in old revival tents (or some Pentecostal churches). Not unlike Pentecost, each man hears it in his own language, regardless of what is being said. I must say some of what I looked at tonight was babble - things more geared toward the intellect than the heart.

I can't help but compare this language with the older mumblings of Mr. Van Gough or Gogh as you will or if you follow BBC's Dr. Who, Van Goth...(and a postmortem identity crisis ensues),  Like Mozart's four to eight measure classical constructions geared to the primate mind, Van Gough's language is simple and direct.  His vowels are color, his consonants clean dark lines, his elisions clouded skies and starry nights.  He will get in your face and speak of hope past despair with impeccable  diction. No need fear anything being lost in translation. He speaks to the heart, and his words leave you breathless.

I have a hard time reconciling the honesty of image found in photos by Pollock, or paintings by any great master from time immemorial with a gallery of works by students who have been taught to be fundamentally dishonest in the name of creating a commercial product, created without the discipline whose transcendence is the language of true art.

Or maybe this is the frustration of an old lady whose first love was the crayon box.  I did ok, the problem was the music was always voted more impressive than the drawings, which may have led down the inevitable path towards engineering, as it did for so many others on one side of my family.  I remember a high school guidance counselor looking over the results of one of the many tests we were subjected to and muttering something along the lines of "it seems you have an aptitude for engineering.  Too bad you're a girl. Have you considered a vocation with the Dominicans?" and so I turned to a life of crime instead.


*I have poked and prodded Aurora to start a blog of her own, but she prefers to remain the silent but deadly member of my crime syndicate. Show her some love so that she'll blog for me again. 

No comments: