Late night TV show. I couldn’t miss the opportunity offered by the Daily Prompt to write up my own script for my own show. I spend a sizeable amount of time evaluating scripts of others, I can surely sketch my appearance. Or not? We’ll see it now.
Let’s talk about art lovers. When I go to an art exhibition, I usually pick a few fellow visitors, at random, and ask them what they think about the show. I hear a lot of multi-syllable words, adjectives upon adjectives of praise but no one could ever explain to me why they felt the way they felt, and that lack of explanation usually makes the whole story phony.
I can’t get rid of the sensation that my fellow visitors often feel nothing at all, but want to be seen as someone who can resonate with art. People are afraid to admit they don’t get it, because someone would say they are illiterate, ignorant, and not worth drinking with.
So, today, we decided to invite someone who writes about art. We didn’t want an art critic, so we settled on an art blogger. The problem is that most art bloggers just go around posting pics of art they found online. So, we decided to invite Artmoscow, who is behind one of popular blogs (“Standing Ovation, Seated”) on art appreciation, not just about art.
Host: Hi, you say people can learn feeling art, sort of learn how to get a kick out of watching art. I can’t believe it. I think some people are born either with a built-in ability to feel someone else’s artistic expression or totally numb in that department.
Artmoscow: Are you brave enough to take a work of art that doesn’t make you feel anything except, perhaps, confusion, and show it to me?
Host: I didn’t get to hosting a late-nighter, being shy. A work of art that I think shows the artist who created it could benefit from a Valium course? Here it is, Miro. The name is Blue III, because there’s a lot of blue in there, I guess.
Artmoscow: All right, turn it face down now.
Look here. Imagine a world of 2-dimensional creatures. These creatures can’t see us, they can’t even imagine us existing. We are like gods to them. We can tap them on the head but they won’t even know what hit them. Can I borrow a few markers and some paper? [gets them]
This is one of those creatures, a black blot. What’s it doing?
Host: well, looks like it is going to leave its home. The door is swung open, the blot is ready to step out.
Artmoscow: Yes, this is what I wanted to show. The drawing looks very abstract though, but you did well.
Host: I can understand your logic and decipher the drawing, but I don’t really feel much looking at it.
Artmoscow: Just wait a bit. Now, what do think is happening here?
Host: the blot is steadily walking… or flowing from left to right, there’s probably some place it needs to get to, and the other blot seems to be going to the same place, but rather in a hurry. And it is red, or it’s getting red, so it is probably sweating as it tries to overtake the black dot.
Artmoscow: Well, here is another drawing. What is happening in it?
Host: It is an excited red dot that comes up to a black square.
Artmoscow: How does the black square feel about the red dot approaching?
Host: it’s a square, for god’s sake. It is always right, impregnable, solid. Not very welcoming, but not aggressively rejecting the dot.
Artmoscow: very well. What if I alter it a bit?
Host: now the square shows it will take the red dot. Not all the way in, but it will allow the dot to dock.
Artmoscow: now let’s get back to Miro again.
What do you see here?
Host: The red oval first decided to go see what the black oval was doing, but it wasn’t sure how the black oval would react to that (the line is a bit wobbling), and then the red oval decided it didn’t want to go right up to its black sister and went up, sort of watching from above. It is shimmering with red, so I feel like it is agitated about something. Perhaps, it is agitated because the black oval doesn’t move, doesn’t care about all the attention the red brother wanted to give to it?
Artmoscow: you see, you said “I feel” for the first time. Now, look at this blue ocean or whatever it is. Try to remember your own experience of approaching someone who was not that much ready to throw him or herself into your arms.
Host: You know, this is getting too much personal. A couple of times I was captivated by women I didn’t know well, but… There was that intern with auburn hair, who had an air of teenage dreams in the body of a grown-up woman, and she did a nice job on a special report we ran on the Presidential election campaign… I remember… Oh. As they say, I need to zip it. My wife is watching my show and I don’t think I want to go into graphic detail of those experiences. Tell me, do you really think about chance encounters when you look at this painting?!
Artmoscow: no, I think about opportunities that I missed and I ideas I thought were there forever, and that I would have plenty of time to go grab them later. Never did.
Host: do you want to say there’s no meaning behind it and that each viewer makes up his or her own?
Artmoscow: Exactly. A great abstract painting can trigger associations and memories that you thought had been deeply buried in your memory. Showing nothing specific, it can make you relive those moments, relive those feelings. The Miro painting itself can hardly make you feel anything. It is what you remember watching it that makes you filled up with emotions. The blue colour just helps to get immersed into it, into your own mind.
Now you are ready to revisit Kandinsky, who is a bit more 3D.
Host: Thank you, I need first to sort out the Miro accident at home. Good night, folks, remember to never talk in front of other people about things you see in an abstract painting!
PS To my loyal readers: I remember about the promise to talk more about Isaac Brodsky!