I started to respond to a comment on my previous post in the comments section, but then I decided to go ahead and include it in my regular post. So, Reuven, here goes:
I note from your blog that you are an artist, and so your focus when reading my post was on the art and the gallery owner.
The point of my post was the ridiculous phrase “hate crime.” The guy punched a woman in the nose. It was wrong. He should be prosecuted for assault.
However, people (like the artist and the art gallery owner) who choose to do things that provoke strong emotion shouldn’t be surprised when less than enjoyable consequences result.
You ask if I’ve ever been to a modern art gallery — kind of a snide way of insinuating that I must be uneducated in artistic matters. Actually, I’ve been to numerous museums from the National Gallery of Art, the Renwick, and the Corcoran in Washington, D.C., to the Museum of Fine Arts, the Contemporary Arts Museum, the Menil Collection, and the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas. I’ve seen art that moved me to tears, filled my heart with joy, and even made me want to punch someone in the face.
I’ve also been to museums of another kind — museums that document history and the lives that have gone on before us. Documentation of the influence others’ lives have had on the lives we live today. The lives we live today will influence those that come behind us. That’s why life and the art it imitates are so important — each and every action we choose has resounding repercussions across the ages. Part of the reason I find some of today’s art not only controversial, but also to some degree irresponsible, is because it does nothing to encourage people to strive to be better people. It degrades, demoralizes, and encourages actions of a baser nature.
I’ve seen art that looked like it was truly inspired by God and art that looked like a two year old spilled a bucket of paint on a canvas — all hanging on the same walls in the same museum.
I don’t have a problem with controversial art — but I also don’t think people should be surprised when it provokes a multitude of emotions and responses, some less than desirable.
I also think that some “art” is art only for the sake of the funding received — basically someone with a political agenda uses the label “art” to get their NEA grant funded and then creates something that is meant to provoke and agitate to bring their particular issue to the table. I don’t have a problem with their issue coming to the table. But if I don’t agree with their issue, I do have a problem with funding it with my hard-earned and paid tax dollars.
I noticed from your blog that you’re pretty young — 17, I think. Maybe when you’ve lived a few more years and seen a few more things you’ll understand what I’m saying. And then again, maybe not. Until then, enjoy making your zombie movies and hanging out with your friends.
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16, actually. I’ll be seventeen in September. As to the assertion that I am an artist, it’s true, but in a very vague sense. I’m a professional flash cartoonist.I didn’t mean to be snarky or snide when I asked if you had ever been to a modern art gallery. I was just trying to establish where you’re coming from. A lot of people haven’t.I also found the fact that they’re charging the perpetrator with a hate crime illogical and irrational. Hate crimes were meant for totally different situations altogether. Personally, I don’t think there should be hate crimes at all, but even if one does believe in them, one must concede that this is not the purpose they were intended for.The intent of my comment, however, was not to say that you have no idea what you’re talking about. It was to say that as soon as we start saying that some things are art and some things are not, we go down a very slippery slope. Furthermore, you don’t even know whether or not this piece was funded by the NEA, or even whether the artist in question has ever received a grant from the NEA. If you do, I’d like to see a citation.And your last comment on my age was totally uncalled for. “You can’t play with the big people. Go run along now, and don’t make trouble.” I take serious offense to that.
I think that our point of contention is based on my less than discerning use of quotation marks. I used them to illustrate my viewpoint that this wasn’t art for the sake of uplifting and inspiring people, but for the sake of tearing down and demoralizing people.
I am sure that the works in question are art. Just not art that I find very admirable. I never said that the works in question were funded by the NEA, so it wouldn’t be possible for me to give you a citation. I was expressing my opinion that some creations are labeled “art” to take advantage of tax-based government funding.
I think it was much better back in the days when patrons supported the arts (I know there are numerous memberships where people can support their favorite museum, etc.) I’m talking about the kind of situation where someone sees talent in a person and agrees to cover their living expenses, enabling them to create. The grants doled out by the government are paid for with tax dollars. I don’t appreciate my tax dollars supporting people like Robert Mapplethorpe, et al. Let some rich person who likes that kind of work do it!
And I apologize if I offended you with my comment regarding your age. I didn’t mean to insinuate that you aren’t capable of discussing issues like these. I’m 40. No, I don’t know everything. But I’ve found that with each subsequent year of my life, my views and opinions continue to be shaped and honed by the people and experiences I encounter.
Again, I’m sorry for offending you.
One thing I’d like to point out here – I am a singer, something that can be considered art. And as I understand it, art is meant to elicit emotions, of varying intensities and at various ends of the spectrum. Just something to keep in mind. :)One thing, Reuven…I’m in my late 20s. And I don’t think TXMom2Jami was trying to be demeaning or anything…she is speaking from experience. While my foundational morals and values have not changed, a lot of things and ways I see the world have. I’m a very different gal now than I was in high school!
Granted that age can give different opinions. However, the statement, ” Maybe when you’ve lived a few more years and seen a few more things you’ll understand what I’m saying,” gives the impression that you don’t think I’m old enough to understand what you’re saying.Now you’ve got me curious, though. What do you think of the poem “Dulce et Decorum Est,” by Wilfred Owen?(if you don’t know the poem, it can be found here.