Sunday, 31 July 2011

Saatchi's life-not for the faint hearted

I was interested to hear the news report about  the current Art Gallery of South Australia display The 'Saatchi Gallery in Adelaide: British Art Now' .
It said "I can guarantee that you will not like everything".
Now, I am (or like to think I am) as outré as they come but I found it difficult to like anything!!!
This is 'modern art'.
There are an awful lot of plastic bags. And quite a lot of black dripping plastic!!!!!!
There  is a bed that looks almost like the bed of two of my daughters.
And I tried not to look too closely at the empty vodka bottles and the condom packets!!
I suppose this is a credit in itself, that one work of art clearly encapsulates two totally different people. And indeed articulates the third daughter in contradistinction.
But one room is a huge plastic detritus that caused me to say to K "Is this art or just the rubbish that was left over after they unpacked the crate?"
What I found was interesting was the comment about the way Saatchi was able to influence the value, price and meaning of 'art'. The cynical say that he bought cheap stuff, and the mere fact that he bought it inflated the price...and he was then able to capitalise on this process.
Saatchi denies this and says this is the sort of criticism that the 'refined' make of those who presume to trespass on what they have thought of as their private domain.
Nevertheless I look at some of the works and wonder. Why is it that works that have indeed achieved "major art work" status lack refinement. 
Why do we have to see crassly cut pieces of electrical insulation, or stupid bits of sticky tape, glue squeezed from a tube which looks amateurish and untidy.
No doubt the smug artist would say I am an arrogant snob. I don't think I am. I think I am an ordinary person who wants to appreciate challenging art.
I love to be challenged.
But I fear that this stuff is cynical exploitation.
I would that it were better.
There are some good works.
Buit it seems to me that the bulk of it is cynical crap!

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