I love art and believe creativity, imagination, etc. are the most important aspects of what it is to be a human being. I go to a lot of exhibitions and always keep an open mind. I almost went to art school myself, after all, before literature and English language won the day...
Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I do have a problem with most contemporary art, though.
You know, the Tracey Emins and Damien Hirsts of this Earth, whose only talent is a knack for self-publicity and "shocking" rubbish - the only shocking thing about their work is that it's being lauded as art worth millions. And it looks like that's the direction taken by Art schools, who seem to teach their students how to write a stupid statement to cover-up your complete lack of artistic skills.
By the way, if you are an artist and you want to create your own artistic statement, THIS WEBSITE does it for you; the texts sound so much like real artists statements I've read, recently... Actually, scrap that, the "real" ones were much, much worse...
Have you ever been to the Serpentine Gallery, where, a few years ago, I had the immense pleasure of admiring bits of clear plastic stuck to a white wall? The meaning was probably incredibly profound and deep, but it escaped me, somehow...
Anyway. So, the Turner Prize... Don't even get me started.
At least, one of the competitors could paint OK, but the fact that she was shortlisted might have had more to do about where she was from then her actual painting skills.
You know, art and culture are really having a hard time these days, when it is all about hardworking families (I really, really hate that expression) and cuts to the arts. It shouldn't happen, because art and culture are essential for a healthy, successful and prosperous society - just like education. It is not random chance that in dictatorships and countries ran by religious fundamentalists, the first things to go are the arts, music, cinema and academia.
But honestly, when the Turner Prize entries are the only kind of art that is shown in the mainstream media, when it gets repeated over and over that this is the only type of art that will get grants and prizes, that filming someone sneezing in slow motion and exhibiting their soiled tissue in a glass cabinet will get you rich and famous, then are we surprised if non-artistic minded people sneer and shrug and think it a waste of time?
It makes me incredibly angry.
But I have found the remedy for my anger...
The one good thing about the Turner Prize is that it is the reason the Turnip Prize exists. Conceived in 1999 in a pub in Somerset as a joke response to the Turner Prize, it has carried on and acquired a certain... shall we say, prestige...
HAVE A LOOK AT THIS YEAR'S TURNIP PRIZE ENTRIES
If you really want a laugh, go to the Turnip Prize Wikipedia page and read through the previous years's entries and their description.
It's pure genius.
I think therefore I write.
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