Friday, February 15, 2008

Is It Art?

I enjoyed the article in the BOP Times on artist Mark Braunius, but there was so much SPIN going on, I had to check I wasn’t reading the washing machine manual!

It read like a press release from the emperor’s spin doctors, desperately trying to convince the public on the magnificence of his new clothes.

It did contain several interesting observations.

Mr Braunius has not made much profit from his art” - which I take to mean few people deem it worth exchanging their money for! and “the people of Kawhia call him the bullshit artist.

Marks work has the hallmark of somebody desiring the lifestyle of an artist and pursues that path despite having no real ability in the field.

By displaying work of this level of competence in a ratepayer-funded gallery, council is forcing me to sponsor mediocrity, to which I am vehemently opposed.

In a free market I would be right behind Marks right to pursue this chosen path, regardless of his ability, and if Marks work was exhibited in a private gallery, he would have my best wishes, but displayed in the council-owned gallery, of which I am a shareholder (ratepayer) I claim the right to comment on its quality and suitability, to which I find it lacking on both accounts.

Mark says likes to question peoples taste, and that is fine!

What is NOT fine, is when they are forced to pay for the privilege to do so!

All I can say is “People dont need a weather man to know which way the wind blows!”

You don’t have to personally like something to "know" it is quality! -

Just like music for example, I don't particularly like Pavarotti, or U2, but I recognise that what they do is very good, and when left to the free market to decide what is good and what is not, people vote or show their appreciation via their wallets.

I think this very simple phrase actually sums this entire thing up.

If it looks like a turd, and smells like a turd, chances are . . .!


This from the Tauranga Art Gallery site:

VISUAL BANK: Mark Braunias

20 Oct 2007
An installation in which the artist has created an internal world of brightly coloured comic figuration across the walls of the Gallery’s Atrium. Paintings on canvas, board, paper, acetate and plywood cut-outs converge towards the central wall where directly hand
painted imagery integrates with film footage of the painting process and an animation.

The result is a frenetic energy of humour, play and a sense of the irreverent which delivers an explosion of colour. Braunias has raided his scores of drawing books (his 'visual bank') to translate images which reference art history (past and present) popular culture (70's pop and film stars etc) with a disneyesque hybrid of biological and cartoon forms to present picture puzzles similar to stream of consciousness thoughts.

The artist refers to his work as a "cultivated 'silliness' which disguises layered meanings of how we perceive visual language".

Sponsored by K.D. Kirkby Charitable Trust / Guardian Trust


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