Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Incomprehensible for the sake of Incomprehensible.

I have always wondered whether it is too 'immature' of me to think that a blob of paint on a blank canvas is nothing more than a blob of paint on a blank canvas. It most certainly doesn't seem like ART. What happened to perspective? Proportion? TALENT?
"The world today doesn't make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?" -Pablo Picasso
I guess, Picasso should be held guilty. Modern art, however, is what can only be called - Incomprehensible for the sake of it! The less you understand something, the better it is supposed to be. It reminds me of Hans Anderson's fairy tale - The Emperor's New Clothes! All the people ooh-ed and aah-ed over the Emperor's "clothes" till the little kid shouted, "Hey, he isn't wearing any clothes!"! Every time I look at an abstract MF Hussain painting, I feel like shouting, "Hey, he doesn't have any talent!".
Check out this painting, for example :
The Yellow Curtain - Henri Matisse
I have to agree, it does look like a curtain from a certain angle, if you keep looking at it long enough; and it does have quite a bit of yellow colour in it. So it may not be completely nonsensical. Yet, is it only me, or does it look like a 4-year-old's not-so-successful attempt at drawing a yellow curtain?
Art is looking beyond the brush strokes, and expanding your horizons, and letting your imagination flow; or something like that, they say. I don't completely agree with that. For me, art has always been like a work of fiction: a picture that tells a story. Have you ever read something, and felt that the words paint a picture in your mind? Actually painting that picture, that should be art. Painting something exactly like it looks, painting reality, making it believable, making it look real; that requires real talent, and hard work and time. What's more wonderful : looking at some random strokes and wondering if it looks like something, at all, OR looking at a wonderful painting that is so realistic, and so correct that you feel like the thing/place in the picture is actually right in front of you. For me, modern art just seems empty. Behind the "ooh-aah" aesthetic thing that's going on, there's really nothing there. Why is it so ridiculous that I have seen a couple of elephants in Thailand paint pictures that can pass off as modern art?
Of course, my opinion does not carry any weight whatsoever: “I can’t possibly know what I’m talking about -I have not had any formal training.”! Any argument that supports the fact that some of the works out there are just plain rubbish gets rebuffed as “ultra simplistic views made by people who can’t grasp the process”. So, think for yourself- What's more artistic? What's more beautiful? What's more meaningful?
This random, chaotic.. mess?
(A painting by Julie Mehretu)
or this : a painting that makes you wonder if it is a painting or a photograph?
("New Moon" - by Maxfield Parrish)