There was a post today on the Clayart mailing list about bad art and about shocking people for no other purpose than to shock them.
It reminded me of a trip to the Seattle Art Museum. My husband and I decided to go on a little tour being offered from a local artist. They would walk us through the museum and discuss a few pieces. Personally, I find very little "art" in the world. For me, I want my art to be visually beautiful, clever, meaningful, without being assinine.
So this tour guide was pretty lackluster. I think she was a local artist who was forced to give the tour as part of her grade in school or something because she didn't really do anything other than "yeah, uh, so this is a spill of paint that was allowed to dry, and um, these guys saw all their empty beer bottles and glued them together to make this table"
So then she says "ok, I want to show you my favorite piece in the museum" and we are lead towards this stunning Korean coat made of dog tags.
Ok, now we're getting excited! We had seen this briefly before (how could you not) and really wanted to learn more about it. I mean look at it! Entirely of dog tags. Not only is it visually stunning if you look at it purely from an aesthetic point of view, but it's also a piece of protective armor made out of soldiers identities. The meaning and purpose of this piece has so many levels, it's just brilliant. And the crowd begins to murmur in appreciation.
But now she's walking past it. And heading towards something in the corner. The appreciative murmur morphs to a confused murmur.
And she shows us a wood carving of a head. Wrapped in a scarf. Made by a friend of hers. Something about how the scarf hides the carving and thus the beauty of the sculpture and wow isn't that a commentary on our times. Um no, that isn't commentary. That's an art student who fucked up the face they were trying to whittle the day before a big project was due and wrapped it in their roommates old scarf to hide the screw ups.
I realize that my pottery is not great art. It's not trying to be. I just want to provide people with something functional that they can enjoy. Or that it becomes such a staple of their routine that they almost forget it exists. I promise you I will never claim to be an artist. But if you really want something artsy fartsy, I'll be happy to send you all of the shards of my pots that came out crappy and will include a lovely garbage bag for display in your home.