Art from Lowe’s?
I had lunch with a friend the other day. Somewhat older, somewhat more conservative. Lovely home. Except, I must say, for the art.
I think that the art one hangs in one’s home should reflect the character of the inhabitants. Most inhabitants seem reluctant to let it all (or anything) hang out. One must blend. Artwork should match the sofa. Nothing should stand out. Nothing.
Now, I am an artist. Whether I am a good artist or not is up to the beholder, not me. I’m think I’m pretty good, but I also believe I have quite a ways to go. Now, this lady might not be able to stand laying eyes on my creations. Whatever. There’s plenty of original art out there that I wouldn’t hang up in a portable potty in a beer festival parking lot. But this was art purchased from Lowe’s with a $50 discount coupon. Sure, it matched the woodwork and the shower curtain. And it added some needed color to an open wall. But its benefits stopped there.
This woman is not the only person I know who has scored “artwork” at a huge discount. I’ve heard bragging from several friends about their cheap finds. Rarely (never?) are these finds unique works of art with some kind of meaning. Just a smoosh of dull, tired colors. Is this what people really want?!?
What am I to think of my own work and the work of those starving and not-so-hungry artists that head to their studios each day to paint, sculpt, weave, and craft their hearts out? Why is it that original art is almost completely overlooked by the majority of wall-adorning consumers out there? Do these people not buy original work out of ignorance, fear or cost control? Do they really like this faded generic “art” that they buy by the ton? Are they actually inspired not one whit about any original art out there in the world?
I have heard of emergency art. Someone has said to me before and will say to me again, “I just had to cover that hole/stain/useless outlet immediately. That thing was just laying around and I thought, hell, I’ll just stick that old thing up on the wall.” I myself have used something on hand to cover up unattractive blotches and ancient outlets that have no business ever coupling with an electrical plug again. But whatever I do hang in this type of situation will at least have some meaning for me.
Perhaps this woman is giddy with happiness over her purchase. Inspired to the max. Maybe I am just feeling slighted and sullen. I could have marketed the hell out of myself and not left her house until she had agreed on buying five thousand dollars worth of art from me. But that’s not the way I operate. I just nodded and agreed that the new artwork did, indeed, match the towels.