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Page 158: Art Nowadays. From a Commoner Like Me.

/ Wednesday, August 22, 2012 /
Not so long time ago, I had a conversation with my friend about how creative industries in Jakarta been growing fast these couple of years as well as urban art scene. Along with its growth, some names also appear in the Emerging Artist list. We were also discussing about those people on the list. We agreed that some of them are making marvelous artworks, but some of them also overrated; they are not that good, or you can find other artist who can create better artworks with better technique and deeper meanings.

No, both of us are not curator, experts, or even working in art field. Yes, we went to art exhibitions sometimes. And sometimes, during our visits we found ourselves “lost” in some artworks from artists whom took part in those exhibitions. “Lost”, meaning we didn’t understand or think or feel that it’s good/superb/magnificent/great/wonderful/make-us-want-to-shed-happy-tears when we saw it.

Good in my perception is if I can see that the artwork can delivered the artist’s purpose, get the message beneath, or make me feel some kind of strong emotion all of a sudden when I see it. At least make me think, “Gosh, this is great. I will never have the ability to make this kind of painting, not even if I know the technique needed to produce it” when I see it because it’s so…awesome in details.

Not good in my perception is when I went to some exhibitions and I wasn’t impressed nor get the message, even after I read the description which curator made for like 10 times or more. Once again, I’m going to emphasize that I’m not an expert in art, but I have watched/read pretty lot documentations of what society claimed as good arts. Thus I think, even as a commoner, my level of understanding aesthetic matters. *insert smug emoticon here* :p

Besides, when you hold an exhibition, it means that you want public – including commoners – to acknowledge your art, right? Not to be an arrogant and judge them as a person who “don’t-have-good-sense-of-art-hence-I-will-definitely-think-you-are-lame-and-don’t-understand-that-my-works-are-actually-representing-avant-garde” right?

I remember what other friend told me about urban art scenes in Jakarta: that sometimes what makes a person can run or participate in an exhibition is connection. I have a friend, a talented graphic designer who has participated in international exhibition but he rarely showing his works to Jakarta crowd because once he told me that the issue of connection and mingle-ing bugged him a little. He has been avoiding that kind of stereotype, that if people find his artwork in some “hip” exhibitions, they can easily judge him as designer who used the connection. It’s not forbidden actually, but when it becomes more important than the artist’s talent, then we have a problem.

Other sub-topic in our conversation that night including a person that thinks that to be artsy are much much cooler than commoner, so he/she only wants to be friend with artsy people. Artsy in this kind of people perspective: artist, designer, people who often go to gallery to attend exhibition, talk about art, know who Warhol or Basquiat or Dali (but who doesn’t?), and dressed edgy. I’ve met a person like this. She’s a friend of a friend, who obviously dislike me (I am such an insensitive person, but I can tell you that this woman dislike me.) You have to see it with your own eyes how she kept showing people that she couldn’t remember my name and always ditch me every time she got the chance on every conversation. Haha. I am not sure what caused this or have I done something bad to her but I didn’t realize it, but my friend said that the reason why she acted like that was because probably in her perspective, I’m no one in art scene. I am not important enough to be her friend. Wow! That’s interesting :D.

It is interesting, also hilarious; this whole artsy thing and how it has influenced some people to behave, how the system of connection and mingle-ing (is this even a word? :p) matters more than talent, how they exaggerate things to prove that they are great enough as artists and sometimes makes they forgot the pleasure of following their passions instead of just looking for popularity. Nevertheless, what do I know? I’m not an artist :p


now that's a superb artwork! it has marvelous details! you should see it by yourself. 


Anonymous on: August 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM said...

art and stuff, and whatnot. the condition you mentioned above is exactly the reason why nowadays i rarely visit so-called art exhibitions. technically the artists are so damned blessed with skills but not much of their works impressed me, atau gwnya aja yang dudul.

"everyone floats around happily in the same online sea of mediocrity," said mr. poynor in this article a loved one once shared with me: http://observatory.designobserver.com/feature/where-is-art-now/22938/

{ hertiana dwi putri } on: August 24, 2012 at 1:38 PM said...

technically the artists are so damned blessed with skills but not much of their works impressed me, atau gwnya aja yang dudul << well, all of these things are possible, hahaha. sometimes i also think that, "ah well, maybe i don't get this artwork because i'm a commoner". i still can handle an artwork that has no deep meaning behind it, but still beautiful. But if it's not even comforting your visual, and has no message, what's the point.

still, this is my opinion as commoner, for expecting too much or maybe complicate few things because in my perspective, this is art, and art related to feelings and thoughts and everything. ah well :p

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