Friday, May 20, 2011

Art Needs to Wake Up and Smell The Stench Around It

There are all kinds of different art, and definitions that define art. To you, Andy Warhol's "Brillo Boxes" are art, to someone else, they aren't. We (the public) are expected to respect what others call art, and live with it, no matter what it is. I say, shouldn't the public be taken into account more?

Art at it's finest

The above image is called Tilted Arc. It was placed in Federal Plaza and the public was expected to appreciate it as art. It wasn't well liked, and rather than being relocated (the artist didn't want that) it was removed and destroyed. To the people, it was a relief. To the art community, it was a travesty. An artist's work was destroyed because some people didn't like it! 

Was it art? By modern definitions it was. But outside the community, it was just ugly. My question is, shouldn't public taste be taken into account when displaying art in public? (Allow me to define public: Outside a museum. As in exposed to the elements. In a window of  business or inside a privately owned business, that's the curator's or owner's decision.) If the people of a particular area who have to directly interact with a piece of art on a regular basis, shouldn't their preferences be taken into account more than a committee of people who are supposed to determine if it should be displayed?

A counter argument: If the public got a choice of what art would be displayed in public, the Eiffel Tower would have been tore down. This is correct. But by this same logic, it wouldn't have become an icon, and it wouldn't have been missed, so it wouldn't have mattered. 

What do the people want? Why not ask the people near the area where the art will be displayed? People vote for American Idol and Fox News polls, why not vote on art? Artists submit their work, a panel narrows it down to the top five, and the people have a week or tow to make their voices heard. After that, they live with what the choice the majority chose. This allows the art community to have their say, and the public to not have to deal with a huge, rusting wall in the middle of a plaza that was already designed that way by another artist. After all, isn't pleasing the public and beautifying the area the point of public art? 

Am I right? Or is my argument dead on it's feet? Let me know! Contact me or leave a comment! 


Marvagoat said...


Teresauras said...

To my tired Saturday morning me, it sounds like you're speaking on avoiding having a work taken down after it was up. Art sometimes takes it's risks. I'd rather the artist's feelings be hurt than having a smooth system on what goes up.

Oh man, when I went to the sculpture park in STL the sculptures weren't much. they were kind of ugly and generic, but safe. Things worked out for the park because of this.

I'm also reminded of Brussels's old peeing baby statue.

I'm not sure if I'm making a point, but these are just thoughts.