Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Conceptual or ... ?

For the past week or so I've been thinking about the judging on the TV show "Work of Art." So far, I have to say that I've agreed with the judges' decision about the overall winner, but their unfailing praise of pieces that are purely conceptual leaves me a little cold. Does no one value beauty or well-executed technique any more? In my mind, good art has several aspects to it besides concept.

I've run into this question when I've tried to write an "artist statement," which almost every exhibition requires. Does anyone read those? It often seems a waste of time, and so many of them read as if they were a strain to write. It's as if your work doesn't have value unless it has some philosophical or mystical basis. Maybe it takes more years than I have under my belt to develop that sensibility; at this moment, I just like to create things that are beautiful or interesting to look at, or which solve some design problem, or which express some particular feeling. That's about as conceptual as I'm going to get - at least for now. What do you think? 

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