Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I Am Not An Art Critic

Having remembered last week how calming I find galleries, and being much in need of soothing, this lunchtime I popped into The Photographers Gallery. I wasn’t really bothered what was showing, I just hoped the white walls would give me solace and space to relax. But it turned out to be pretty good.

The exhibition was of work by Keith Arnatt entitled ‘I am a Real Photographer’. Arnatt used to be an artist but back in the seventies decided to concentrate on photography. The title of the exhibition comes from an earlier work of his, where he was photographed holding a plaque proclaiming ‘I am a Real Artist’.

I know very little about art (as it is probably painfully apparent) but it seems to me that art is frequently described as humorous or playful, and usually I just can’t see it. But in this case I could see it plainly, particularly in his series of photographs of notes left for him by his wife. I wondered though whether they were real and if so, how did his wife feel about them being exhibited for all and sundry to question their relationship?

Another set was of owners and their dogs, with a description about how both may look equally attentive, but the dogs were only responding to his presence or calls of their name, rather than being aware of him as a photographer. All very interesting, but really I liked this set just because I like dogs!

There were other photographs of rubbish, discarded items, old cans, but photographed to bring out a hidden beauty – which would assert for me that he is indeed an artist as none of my photographs of random debris looks so good.


V*Kstro said...

I myself cannot understand some forms of art, but that is what is so interesring: the process of "getting the picture". I have the same approach when listening to music and trying to comprehend some peculiar lyrics out there. Or even grasping a person's character when you first meet(of course without passing judgmnent). I believe that we ALL have some form of art espression, whether it's through a lens, brush, mixed media... and yes... blogs... ONE FORM OR ANOTHER, we all have something to say, it's how we choose the transmission and chanels that makes it more interesting. And hoping along the way that some day someone will "get the picture".

V*Kstro said...

Oh... YES, galleries are one of the more calming places to be. It's where one goes to interpret someone else’s character and maybe see part of us through their talent and along the way discover a new persona in us.

Roses said...

Oh wow! That exhibition looks amazing. It's been too long since I've been to the Big Smoke for some arty stuff. Well, I'm not going to manage it for awhile yet. But it's definitely on my list of things to do.

M said...

He could be very talented. On the hother hand, maybe his random debris is just more photogenic than our random debris. :)

SandDancer said...

v*kstro - interesting thoughts on art and galleries. Glad someone understands.

Roses - it was a great exhibition and I think I will probably have another look at it before it ends. If you do ever come to London again I may insist on meeting you though and buying you a real drink to make up for the several virtual ones you've given me over the past year.

M - surely that is a great state to reach, when even your rubbish is attractive! I'm not there yet.