Sunday, January 30, 2011

Art, We Take It for Granted, at Least I Do

I fess up.  Today I did not go to church.  I just felt like relaxing (drinking coffee and reading the newspaper), watching the CBS Sunday Morning Show (this show conflicts with church, so it was a treat to watch it today), and doing some things around my place (laundry and such).

There were two pieces on the CBS Sunday Morning Show that got me to thinking, a sometimes dangerous thing to do.  One piece was on Roy Lichtenstein, the person who started pop art.  The other piece was on actor Geoffrey Rush, an Oscar winner who is in the film "The King's Speech".  Both people are involved in very different forms of art, one being painting, the other acting.

I started to think about how much I take art for granted.  Art is all around us.  We see it everyday whether we think of what we are seeing as art.  Art might be a building, a bridge, even a laptop.  It might not have been built as a piece of art, but it can be art nonetheless.  Art is really in the eye of the beholder, to coin a phrase.  What I see as art, or what I see as art I like, can be just junk to someone else.  I think that is okay.  Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinion.

I do have art in my condo.  I have several prints and one original painting by Kenneth Aunchman (I am not sure that "Kenneth" is his correct first name).  It was given to me by my ex-wife for our 10th wedding anniversary in 1995.  It is a sea scene with a view both above and below the water.  Above the water is a sailing ship and the sun partially hidden by the clouds (having the sun in his paintings is a signature of his).  Below the water are two whales, three porpoises, and a school of small fish.  One of the whales is breaching, jumping from the water into the air, half in the water and half out in the air.  When I look at this painting, it makes me wish I lived by a body of water.  There is something calming and peaceful about being around water.

I worry that we really don't appreciate and support art like we should.  In tough economic times, like the present, things like art get cut from school budgets, and financial support to both artists and art galleries goes down.  We need art and artists in our lives, whether we understand it or not.  Art, in my opinion, is part of what makes us human beings.  We as a species have had art in our lives since the stone age with the paintings on the walls of caves.

I certainly want to have more art in my life.  I especially would like to hang more prints on the walls of my cave, my condo.  Alas, my current cash flow does not support such a desire.  I have to admit that in someways I am no different than the people who put together the school budgets.  If the choice is between a new print and eating, I have to choose eating.  I can do one thing at least.  I can do a better job of not taking art for granted.  I can do a better job of recognizing the art that is all around us.  I can go to art galleries (especially the free ones) and look and admire art of all kinds.  I can see and understand what each art piece means to me, after all art is personal.  It might be a small thing to do, but it is something that is guaranteed to enrich my life.  

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