Sawubona, fam!!!! 👁
This week we are taking a detour from our usual and focusing on art. As someone who self identifies as creative, I don’t understand art. Frankly, I don’t think anyone does. Part of what makes art simultaneously beautiful and enjoyable is that we don’t have to understand it to enjoy it. Think how many songs you love without knowing the lyrics, or mistaking the lyrics for something else. I remember talking in college with hallmates, wondering why they say “Psi Kappa mister know-it-all” in Scar Tissue by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
, a gem of a tune. The actual lyric is “sarcastic mister know-it-all”. My enjoyment of the song remained once I learned the actual lyrics. 🎶
Learning how to do art- I went to a few community art classes in the Bay Area. This brought a flood of new experience into my life. First, the models were buck ass naked! That surprise quickly normalized, and I think more people should be exposed (no pun intended) to nakedness in this way. Its not always sexual, and the human body is a work of art. I recommend giving these type of classes a go. The drawings ranged anywhere from 2 minutes to 10? 20?. The ephemeral nature of them helped me avoid beating myself up when my drawings weren’t perfect– there was no time to worry about imperfection in the art. Another pose had begun! And, there was always the next week, too. 🎨
The biggest thing I took from class is that drawing is about putting to the page what you see, not what you know. For example, if a person’s arms are crossed, you intuitively know that one is behind the other. But, in reality, only part of the behind arm is exposed. Learning to draw what I saw helped tremendously with shading, lighting, and where to break or not break lines. My art became better immediately after I learned this. 🖌
Art Museums- while plenty good ones abound, here are a few of my favorites- The Hirshhorn in Washington, DC. The building itself is a work of art. The Art Institute of Chicago is absolutely massive and definitely is one of those multi-day museums if you have the time. The Getty in LA is worth a visit. In the Bay Area, I especially enjoyed the Rube Goldberg exhibits at the Contemporary Jewish Museum. 🖼
Art, like surfing, is often “just for the hell of it”. Its beauty often lies in the fact that it has no explicit utility. It allows us to be child like, expressing and experiencing wonderment.
I used to get puzzled by the question, “what is and isn’t art?” Now, I don’t think of that question and simply enjoy certain pieces while not enjoying others, and am at peace with that. I prefer to ask questions like “do you like it?” rather than “is it good?” as its easier for me to gauge whether or not I like something if someone of similar taste likes it, rather than to attempt to judge objectively what is arguably the most subjective of domains.
At the risk of sounding highfalutin and throwing gobbledygook at you, I’ve hoped you enjoyed reading this weeks attempt at shedding light on and describing something I think of as beyond words.
PS- they told Vincent Van Gogh he wasn’t a good painter because he cut off his ear. He replied, “I can’t hear you.” 🤣
PPS- if you’re mad at a painter tell them to Van Gogh f*ck themself 🖕