Saturday, January 17, 2009

If you are an artist who is part of the art world of galleries, museums, and universities, you can make art that is ugly, and the system, if it likes that ugly art, will force it on the public. If you aren't in that system, you can get more freedom by making beautiful art that people see and want on their own.

Dave Hickey wrote this in "Invisible Dragon: Four Essays on Beauty." The artist Mark Flood was thinking about the idea when suddenly he started doing paintings of old torn lace in bright colors lace wouldn't have been in lace days. These large, as tall as a short person paintings, caused people who looked at them to say, "I must have that."

I first saw a Flood lace painting much smaller than its in-person size, leafing through an interesting magazine from RVCA, the clothes and art store. I was looking at interesting things in this interesting magazine, and was suddenly riveted when I saw the reproduction of the lace painting. My spirit was lifted, my heart soared, that kind of thing. Beauty can make life seem totally worth it, at least for that gleaming moment.