Saturday, April 22, 2006

Goodbye, Blue Monday

For all current A.P. Art History students:
We need to figure out what our class art project is going to be. We don't want to lame it up like last year. We need something powerful and amazing, or at least something; it's Lade's last year, for Christ's sake!

I have a modest proposal, influenced by both my commie-pinko-beatnik-hipster sympathies and my general laziness. It's based off of (gulp) my favorite Kurt Vennegut, Jr. novel: Breakfast of Champions.

Besides being weird and terrific, this book has a very nice little commentary on modern art. The piece in question is entitled The Temptation of Saint Anthony and consists of a rectangle with a 5:4 side ratio. It has a large, solid field of color (Hawaiian Avacado) and a single vertical stripe of day-glo orange reflecting tape along one edge.

There is a quote that could accompany it, if necessary: "I thought the artist with his meaningless pictures had entered into a conspiracy with millionaires to make poor people feel stupid."--Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. Although that is a little critical of modern art...but we'd be very tongue in cheek about it. We could all sign it around the edge, or just leave it clean. Maybe we could get it a big, gaudy frame...

This is just one suggestion; if anyone else is planning something that's actually beautiful and/or creative, we don't really need this plan. But this one would be easy and clever enough, and Lade's always liked Rothko-style stuff.

Oooh, here's maybe a better quote: "If artists would explain more, people would like art more. You realize that?"--Abe Cohen

Also, t-shirts?

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At 12:00 AM, April 23, 2006, Blogger Houley said...

You could put my Dada piece, "Three Friends" on your t-shirts.

At 1:39 AM, April 23, 2006, Blogger Johnny V said...

That's a good idea.

T-Shirts: Hercules on the front.
On the back, "The male dominance of this is disgusting."

At 8:32 AM, April 23, 2006, Blogger graham said...

flood the whole town.

killer umbrellas? of course...

or: protest art. stage an anti-war walkout and have everyone start mock-fighting, to indicate how ridiculous war truly is.

At 8:59 AM, April 23, 2006, Blogger Josh said...

heroic nudes

At 12:03 PM, April 23, 2006, Blogger Samwalkertron said...

I think this would be a decent idea...if:

The quote you included in the post was included, but also, near the end of the book, where one of the characters (I think it was te artist himself explaining the piece in face of criticism by the townspeople) explains the true meaning of the painting, and why it is such a great piece (something about how the ray of orange light represents a human soul). I always found this quote to be moving, and it actually helped me gain a greater appreciation of minimalist art. I think the contrast of including both of these quotes would be a nice commentary on modern art.

The important variable here, however is: does Lade like Vonnegut?

At 12:05 PM, April 23, 2006, Blogger Samwalkertron said...

Oh, btw JM: this what I was asking you about the other day (remember when I asked which Vonnegut book is the one where a philanthropist builds a spherical modern art museum and pays an exorbitant sum of money for a piece of modern art which is hated by the townspeople?).

At 7:22 PM, April 23, 2006, Blogger constant_k said...

Mmmm, sam, I think you missed the point.

The idea is that the artist is a pretentious, self-centered, dismissive asshole. His speech is all bluster and big talk; he doesn't really believe that stuff.

The people are such sheep that they mistake his bravado for conviction and truth. They lose their courage and apologize with simpering thanks to him for "enlightening" them.

And graham-Mmmm, protest art. Let's fuck some shit up!

At 9:47 PM, April 23, 2006, Blogger Josh said...

i don't know, i've never read it

At 6:43 PM, April 24, 2006, Blogger Samwalkertron said...

Max, I think you missed the point.

Even though it had to be explained to them, in reality there was a message to the painting, even if the artist apparently failed at conveying it.


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