Friday, July 25, 2008

Yes, but is it art?

I'm limiting my computer time for a little while. I'm trying to enjoy the summer weather, because in British Columbia, you must absorb and store as much sun in your system as you can to prepare you for the 289 freakin' straight days of rain that begin in the fall. I'll be back more frequently to the blog world soon.

I've also been working on a lot of small format art pieces. Whenever I immerse myself intensely in art, I annoy myself by asking the same question, why does the art I admire and want to talk about, not the art I want to make or to own? I think I'm finally getting over myself and lightening up. And in that lighter tone, here's a hilarious scene from Absolutely Fabulous, when Edina (Jennifer Saunders) decides she needs to leave a legacy by investing in 'Art' after her father dies.







16 comments:

andrea said...

Oh my god -- I have to watch that series! Brilliant -- and I was starting to wonder if that was MY father in the coffin (though he wore a suit when I got married). BTW I was madly taking notes in prep for my next pretentious artist's statement.

Enjoy your break. (And before I forget, there's a queue here for Kavalier & Clay, if that's OK. Greg and Carl are tired of hearing me wax poetic about it so are waiting to take it off my hands. Only a few chapters to go...)

katie jane said...

I remember this episode! So true, "yeah, but is it art?" Enjoy your break, it's freaking 90 degrees here. I'd love some of your 289 days of rain and cool.

my croft said...

I've been thinking recently about that question -- why is the art I admire so different from the art that I make? But also, how do I avoid from mimicry rooted in admiration? No answers, but a good underpinning for a long weekend at a rented studio in Vermont. I expect to do a lot of staring at the wall.

Melody said...

I'm crying as I'm laughing so hard. That is just brilliant! I love that show and have even started taping it. Years ago we went on a houseboat trip with John's family and right beside us was another houseboat with ten women all wearing the "Absolutely Fabulous" t-shirts, laughing and drinking wine. I was extremely tempted to jump ship and join them. Thanks for reminding us to not take things too seriously.......it's not like any of us are getting out of here alive.

Ellen said...

Andrea: I think you'd like the series, it's completely over the top, that clip is one of the 'calmer' moments. I also found this comedy clip from French and Saunders- Old women visiting the Tate musuem, it's subtle but a chuckle -

www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkunQmpvkh0

Yes, by all means, lend the book out.
And I so want to read your artist's statement when you're done (they're so hard to write!) You could always take the easy route and say 'marks on paper'

Katie: I can't complain, it's been sunny and perfect temperatures here. BTW, I got your wonderful sketch book and will adding to it this week and then it's off to Australia!

Ellen said...

My Croft: Thanks for your comment. It reminded me of an assignment in university we had to do. We had to pick an artist we admired and an artist we loathed, and paint a large canvas in the style of each of those artists. Can you guess which of the 2 paintings turned out better for everyone? the loathed artists, hands down. Which made me realize, mimicry never really results in much. Enjoy your rented studio! staring at the walls if 3/4 of the process, don't you think?

Melody: I just discovered you can watch the entire series on You Tube, but I'm tempted to go and rent it. Fly out and you, Andrea and I can watch it, drinking lots of Bolly of course. (Bollinger Champagne for those who haven't seen the show)

Melody said...

Count me in!

andrea said...

Shhh -- I relate to those old ladies more than I care to admit...

my croft said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
my croft said...

I also need to proofread. (It's what I do for a living...)

I wonder if the loathed paintings turned out better because the artists felt freer in the assignment? Something of the idea: This is so bad already I couldn't possibly make it any worse, whereas with the revered work, there's that sense of needing to do well by it and to live up to it that can't help but be inhibiting if not outright paralyzing?

Coincidentally, this morning Virginia Spiegel
http://www.virginiaspiegel.com/blog/
posted the well known anecdote about the teacher with two groups of students who told one group they'd be graded on the number of pots they made and the other that they'd be graded on the one perfect pot they made. The 'go for volume' group, of course, in the story, made better pots.

Ellen said...

Mel: you simply must, cheers dawling!

Andrea: yeah, me too, and I admit pastry excites me more than conceptual art.

My croft- that's bang on! I can say for myself, that's exactly how I felt doing the assignment. Love the pottery story. I haven't heard that story before. That's a keeper, thanks for mentioning it (it's EXACTLY what I need to hear right now).

tlc illustration said...

Being just below you near Seattle, I can relate to the nearly 300 days of rain (we're having one today actually. I'm refusing to turn the heat on - in JULY - but I'm wearing flannel and thick socks and have a blanket over my lap. Hot chocolate is next).

Thanks for visiting my blog. I love Rima and her work and knew that she'd get wise and charge more for her clocks quickly so felt I'd better snap it up while the getting was good! It's even better in person. I love it.

patricia said...

Freakin' hilarious! Love those two gals.

Yeah...I got over myself a long time ago. Had to, since I draw cartoons for a living.

Hope you enjoyed your blog break. I sure enjoyed mine!

Ellen said...

Patricia: Glad to hear you had a good blog break, sometimes you really need it. I'm off again today.

Caroline said...

I love AbFab!

Great clip you found there.

Ellen said...

tlc: it's no coincidence, Seattle and Vancouver drink more coffee than in the rest of the Canada and the States (or so I read).A boost of energy in all this greyness (which has come back this week I see, a taste of fall)

Caroline: I miss those ladies. I admit to being a complete Anglophile. And you Brits are responsible for the best comedy. "The Office" - genius! I heart the BBC.