Welcome to my world and beyond...

A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A to Z: Art...For the Sake of Art.

Art for the sake of art.  It popped up this week.

 Once, in a conversation after seeing the movie, "The Hunger Games."  Someone mentioned to me that there are angry book fans raising a ruckus about the casting.  I am not getting into politics. Just wondering about what happens when we become art critics?

What little switch in our minds, gets flipped?  When we become critics, does it remove the sense of pure joy of viewing art?  At experiencing art?  I know that when I am critiquing writing, I step back and disengage the part of my brain that is given to pleasure, laughter, and fun.

I am not alone; humans are like that. When we becomes critics, we become business people. We flip switches in our brains, becoming judgmental, analytical even...  "Just the facts, ma'am..."   We thrust ourselves toward a place of understanding.  But this type of understanding lacks philosophical leanings.


I thought that the movie was good. The sense of story was excellent.  It was all Hollywood, of course.  But, I didn't pay to see a movie filmed by a group of locals from Mainstreet, Podunk, USA.    Hollywood is over the top, big-budget, selling a vision of a book-- to people who don't read, along with the readers.  The readers, the purists whose first view of the story was in their heads-- painted there by the words of the author.  And...as often is the case for us readers, it is vastly different than the view Hollywood paints.  Each are lovely, in their own place.

At work, the Hunger Games art-dissection popped up again.  I had to chuckle when a friend,Carla, said, "It's art. Stop picking it apart."  Which reminded  me of one of the clearest lessons I was ever given about art.

I wasn't in school yet.  In the bedroom I shared with seven siblings, there were two pieces of "art" hanging on the walls.  One, an old print of a river scene.  Nothing about it was odd--a canoe, water, reflections. Everything was in  its place and as it should have been.

The other?  Well now...that was a different story.  There was a Pixie...I assumed it was a girl. In retrospect, perhaps it wasn't, but that was not my concern.  What bothered me, ceaselessly, was that her green stockings turned into green shoes with curled toes.  There was no defining line between the two. Were they leotards? Did she not have shoes on? How could the leotards have curled tips?  Why doesn't she wear shoes? Why, if they are green socks, do they not go up to her skirt?

After relentlessly badgering my older sisters about it (I think since I was old enough to ask questions) , one day--and one question too many, one of them--a teenager then, said, "It's art. Just shut up and enjoy it."

Ha!  There you have it. Art...for the sake of art.

25 comments:

  1. To the point and well said. I agree with your teen sibling. Nice write.

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    1. Thanks! I just visited your blog--loved the excerpt. Letter "A" run and done... :-)

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  2. Thought-provoking. There must be something terribly strange about me in that I can enjoy and analyze things at the same time. Maybe I enjoy analyzing?

    Sometimes you do need to stop thinking and just appreciate things for the mere fact that they exist.

    Great post, Teresa.

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    1. Hi Kate, Lol...I don't know about "strange", but I am envious of you! Thank you for visiting! See you on the #sixsunday :-)

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  3. Well done. Few people, except for artists of all media, understand the effort and personal risk in creating a piece of art. Feather

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    1. Hi Feather, very thoughtful comment. And very true. We do risk much...often baring our souls with the things we share. Thanks for visiting. Good luck on the A to Z! On my way to check out your blog :-)

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  4. LOL. Best line I've ever heard about art. "It's art, shut up and enjoy it." Love it, Teresa! Perfect. And I loved The Hunger Games, too. No movie will be just like the book, but I thought this one was close enough. And I balled my eyes out twice (when Kat volunteers to take her sister's place and with Rue). If a movie affects you like that, it's gotta be good. :)

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    1. Hi Joya, Thank you for visiting, reading, and commenting. Lol...Oh, Carla, a kind person she is, and quite practical. It just made me chuckle at how she said what so many of us thought!

      I cried, too. Your words here: "If a movie affects you like that, it's gotta be good. " So very true. That we all could create art in any form that affects a reader, listener, viewer, or observer so deeply--that is true success. :-)

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  5. Too many people over-analyze everything. And complain about the meaning or the actor. Just enjoy. That is what it's supposed to be about.

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  6. Visiting from the A-Z challenge! I'm smiling and LOL. best - Joe

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    1. Thank you for visiting, Joe. Quite a compliment--making a reader smile. Thank you!

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  7. Hooray for just shutting up and enjoying it.
    Rock on.
    Visiting from A-Z!

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    1. Lol, thank you, Kristen! I am rocking on. :-) Heading to your blog, now. :-)

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  8. Heh! Great start to the Challenge!

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    1. Thank you, Christine. I just visited your blog and I love your story--the beginning is on fire! Good luck this month! :-)

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  9. Great topic! New follower here. I’m enjoying reading my fellow “A to Z”ers. I look forward to visiting again.

    Sylvia
    http://www.writinginwonderland.blogspot.com/

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    1. Hi Sylvia. Thank you. First day and I am just so amazed. What a wonderful thing Arlee has established. I visited your blog. Quite lovely. :-)

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  10. Best explanation of the joy of art I ever had was also how I met one of my most wonderful friends- we were at nursery school together (ages 3-5) and she was painting a number, a two or a three, that detail I have lost, but it was backwards. 'That number is backwards,' I said. 'It's a painting, you can do anything in a painting,' she explained. It made perfect, fantastic sense. She is still an artist, of course, nearly 40 years later. Your sister had a point, but it was sensible of you to be asking those questions :-)

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    1. Lily, I love your story! lol...that is just so sweet. Kids have a way of looking a things that we, as adults, sadly-- have lost.I think it is fantastic that you made a friend that young--and you are still friends. :-) Thanks for visiting! :-)

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  11. Hi - visiting from the AtoZ linky.

    I remember studying English at school and being taught to pick apart a piece of writing 'word for word' to work out the meaning. It really affected my enjoyment. Then I studied it again later with the Open University and we could look at it in context, considering the life and context of the author. This type of dissection was more meaningful to me.

    But I agree that I still try to sit back and enjoy things as much as I can. And, finally I'm learning to 'judge' books and films as different entities which makes them much more enjoyable.

    Thanks for the post - it got me thinking.

    Kirsty

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  12. Hi Kirsty, my daughter told me the same thing about reading and having a hard time shutting off the editing process in her mind. She has a BA in English. I think now--she has been out of University for 8 years, she has a much easier time reading for pleasure. I am glad that you are learning a different way to 'judge' books--and they are enjoyable! :-)

    Thank you for visiting, good luck on the A to Z--and I wish you much success with your novel series. :-)

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  13. Momzee,

    I have always thought that art is supposed to be though-provoking. I guess some art can be aesthetic and that is the kind of "art" most of us want to hang in our homes.

    "What is art" is a debate that will probably never die.

    I like art. Sometimes I hate art, but then I like that I hate it because maybe it's provocative or unsettling.

    I have watched a Bravo series for the past two seasons called, "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist." I enjoy watching the artists. I like watching them process. I also get a kick out of the dichotomy of "legitimate" artists propped up on the backdrop of a pop-culture phenomenon known as reality t.v. To me, that is very cool.

    When Tim and I visited Chicago, an "up and coming artist" had a gallery display at the Art Institute. His art? Crushed up tissue papers that looked as though they had been used (ick) had been glued to display pedestals.

    Every one I was with was incredulous.

    "WHAT is THAT?"

    "I wonder if there is snot in those tissues?"

    "Gross."

    Fortunately, the artist's bio was up on the wall along with a nice little abridged criticism "explaining" what his art represented. (I don't remember what it said. It made little sense to me and I am a fairly literate person, lol).

    We then decided that what makes art become art is that someone has called it "art."

    A plan was born.

    Tim's sister, Kristi, would be the artist.

    I would write the "bullshit."

    Then it would be art.

    Another great blog, Mammaletto.

    Love,
    Zigzee

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  14. Hi Zigzee :-) Yep, I think the best art is thought-provoking. Just not pick-apart-in-anger-provoking ;-)

    I love this! "We then decided that what makes art become art is that someone has called it "art."

    When you and Kristi get around to creating your art, I will come and check it out. I will be the proudest person there. Can hardly wait to read the "bullshit" lol... It all begins with a plan, right?

    Love, Momzee

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  15. Oh yeah, I guess I didn't address the "pick-apart-in-anger" part of art. Eh. Some people just like to complain!

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