Wednesday, December 9, 2009
If You Got Paid, Then It's Art
I've created some works of art. Several of them even took around an hour to create. I know they were art because they hang on the wall or sit on a table and I got paid for them. I created my art specifically for a space I was hired to decorate. It was intended to appeal specifically to the taste of the occupants. Perhaps the artistic value doesn't carry over to society as a whole, but so what? I know it's art cause I got paid.
I went out for a sandwich with a friend of mine last weekend to a place that's trying so hard to be hip they had framed art all over the place like a gallery. We were discussing the possibility that the acrylic lion was paint by number and the bluebird might be a photograph with some paint embellishment. My friend then revealed that her favorite art was something she saw in Key West. There was a man on the sidewalk spray painting rectangles of hardboard. He would put on several layers then use this spatula to expose the bottom layers. She thought it was fascinating. She said he sold them for $20 and he did them in 30 minutes. You could watch the whole thing then buy it. She thought that was a real work of art.
I happen to not care for the results of that technique myself. I wouldn't hang one of those pictures in my shed. But the fact is the man is making $40 an hour and selling those pictures to people that love the idea that they were able to witness a moment of creativity. I bet if there was a Kia assembly plant next to a daiquiri bar where tourists could watch the robot welders make a shit box car out of pot metal with chrome plating done with spray adhesive and gum wrappers they would buy it before the workers even had a chance to put that release film on the hood and trunk to protect it during shipping.