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.