Saturday, June 4, 2011

Dictates of Art

Commercial Art needs to be bulletproof no room for graffiti, a lot of safety concerns, if it is painted it may not rust, low maintenance, not climbable,
no public risk.  The gentle scrolls and open spaces found in older metal work are made busy with the four inch "rule" so a child's head cannot pass through the space.  A vertical structure, like a railing must be able to withstand 300 pounds of horizontal pressure, no wiggly railings allowed.  Sharp edges are not allowed.
   These are not bad rules, they have probably saved lives over the years.  Like a poet limited with iambic pentameter, they set conditions for a particular art.  Within these parameters you can pretty much create anything you want to.
   I think there must be committees that choose "Public Art" and I think they have a bit of a McDonald's Complex.  It is strange to me that one of the great successes of McDonald's is that one can get the very same cheeseburger anywhere in the world.  We LIKE that yellow color, those reassuring arches, the plastic tables.
We find comfort in the familiar and reassurance in a standardized french fry.
   Something different can just cause problems.  We want the reassurance of acceptance, others like it.  It is tested and true and safe and acceptable.  Without controversy or problems.
   A local metal artist created a really nice safety rail system for our bus transit system and with three styles available you can see his work all over our city.  He did a great job and I admire his work.  He is clever and industrious and a great marketer and soon you will find his same three rails all over America.  That I don't like.  Oh, more power to him.  He will gain wealth and fame but shame on the purchasing agents who will reduce his work to the standards of McDonald's.  Like "golden arches" soon we will recognize public transport by the rails they display.  And shame on us that we would even want such sameness everywhere.
   I know now why graffiti artists crawled out of the woodwork demanding to be heard, wanting to express themselves, making something individual and personal in a world increasingly the same.  A muffled cry in a sea of yellowness.
You can get lost HERE

1 comment:

AutumnLeaves said...

I am in complete and total agreement on this one. I never like same old same old. As much as I enjoy the challenges myself sometimes, I don't do the ones that are very much followed because I even get tired of seeing the same incarnations all over blog world. Some stand out and so stellar and beautiful, other less so, but all so very skilled. Still, I'd love to see that skill and talent in original pieces. Oh the joy that brings me!