Thursday, December 21, 2006

Artists And Their Works At A Gallery.

Bad things are bound to happen when you are at the wrong place at the wrong time talking to the wrong people about subjects as wrong as texture, color, intensity, balance, concept, stroke, media and things that make a lot sense only to artists, art collectors, art brokers and agents and those who pretend they know a few things about a painting to engage in an animated conversation, comparing a drawing of a gold fish with works by famous people whose names I can't even pronounce.
She said I should put on a black shirt with a matching black pants and a pair of black English shoes. It's not the kind of clothes I usually put on unless there's a funeral going on but she said it's about the safest thing to wear to an official opening of an art gallery, as safe as putting on the safety boots when you are on a rig to work the 12-hour evening shift. Maybe even safer than being in the comfort of a mother's womb. I trust her one hundred percent to go get me a black shirt that cost me quite a bit of money and a pair of black jeans that cost me even more money.
We arrived on time to find the place quite empty but she had a job to do. She said go ahead make yourself at home and started to make a lot of phone calls on her cellphone. I was free to wander about to gawk at the paintings they had set up on the walls with down lights trained at an angle to enhance the visual impact of a painting of part salmon part remote controller and part chopping board. It had a strange title, Metamorphosis, which got me thinking this must be some kind of a riddle and so I tried looking at it from a different angle but the more I tried to do that the more I was drawn to make the conclusion that the artist didn't know any better how to draw a decent shape of a fish.
People started to arrive in groups, fashionable people in trendy clothes, people who know how to start and end a conversation with a fashionable laugh and air kisses. A woman came up to me to ask if any of my works on display and so I said, no ma'am, I am not an artist. She said, you are a polite gentleman. I said, thank you ma'am.
There were speeches and a lot of clap clap clap of the hands and smiles and polite things people say to each other. Someone said something funny and everyone laughed.
Are you okay? She asked.
Yea, I'm doing all right.
Good, make yourself at home, go mix around, get to know people, connect, network, it's good for your business, say something intelligent, do this, do that, don't do this, don't do that. Don't give me that funny look.
Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against people paying good money for a piece of painting of a gold fish that looked like alien space craft, or a mini sub with over-sized headlights. I am pro-art. But tell me if you know a thing or two about art, how come some painting with a title say , Serenity By A Pond, is nothing but a riot of colors crisscrossing and overlapping one another that in the end the whole composition looks anything but a serene scene of a pond? In fact you'd be pissed blind if you try to look anything that resembles a pond in the painting.
Maybe I am not made for this sort of thing. Maybe I should take up some kind of class to understand the finer points of fine art, or maybe I should be a little more metropolitan. Maybe this kinda art is for those who can't draw because if you ask me, art is about being able to draw something real nice. It's not about putting colors together and putting a title relying on big words ordinary people hardly use such as Sapnaceous or such to confuse people even more so that everyone will say to one another, oh what a deep person he is, in fact he is so deep we don't know how deep he is in anything he has gotten himself into.
Maybe I should take up drawing.
She took a picture of me with her digital camera and put a title 'Self portrait'. Not exactly a Norman Rockwell. What do you expect from digital technology?


Blogger k.d said...

Very cultured friend you got there Mr. Bergen.

As for alien fish or splish splash of colour? I got lots of those hanging on my fridge door. An original by my kid.


2:45 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

K.D: You wanna keep those originals. They are priceless to you now and will be even more priceless years to come when they leave the nest. Aunt kept most of my drawings.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Ol Lady from the Green Mtn said...

Ah, give me a Rockwell any day. He captured the spirit of the real America ...

Enjoy your gallery crawls, Bergen. I have every confidence that you will recognize a masterpiece when you see one ... just wasn't at this particular exhibit :-)

9:07 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

OLFTGM: It's a new crowd I'm trying hard to blend in with. Kinda awkward but they're OK although I don't follow much what they argue about for hours. I'm taking up drawing to see how far I can go with this. LOL.

To everyone who came visiting, thank you. Have a nice week-end.

10:17 AM  
Blogger AuntyN said...

I could never do art or appreciate Art. I am very "cultureless" I think.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Ol Lady from the Green Mtn said...

I've always had a lifelong interest in art and literature and I found that it was easier for me to appreciate both by looking at the history of each ... nothing too involved (unless you are being tested on it) just a quick read and a visual scan of the different periods. Here is a weblink to a rather good art history site:

And of course to one of my favorite museums:

Early Italian art just blows me away and I am particularly fond of 19th century art too with Impressionism being a particlar favorite.

Cubism and abstract expressionism just escape me ... those I find a little difficult to understand or appreciate.

You should post your art work ... it will be fun to watch your progress.

9:54 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

AuntyN: We may be artless, ma'am, but we are the work of art in itself.

OLFTGM: Impressionism is a true form of art. It connects with the ability to draw and the emotion one feels for an event. Monet, to me, is best.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Ol Lady from the Green Mountain said...

Yep, Bergen, I agree with you on Monet. I like him so much we named a cat, Lily -- she is beautiful muted shades like his waterlilies.

If you're ever in NYC, please stopby the Met ... you will enjoy it.

6:56 AM  

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