Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

June 12, 2014

VALLEY: Some art is good, some just stinks

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A man by the name of Stephen Cohen was arrested last month at an outdoor show near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The charge was “sexual exhibitionism.”

Cohen, from South Africa, danced merrily in an “impromptu performance” in front of unsuspecting tourists. The problem stems from his outfit. He was dressed in – work with me here – “a corset, high heels, long red gloves, and an elaborate feathered headdress.” (Gee, good thing I changed my mind and didn’t go — I was thinking of wearing the same thing. How embarrassing could that have been?!)

You’re right, there’s more. He also used a ribbon to tie a live rooster to his private parts.

Upset by his arrest, Cohen complained that French officials had “no understanding of what art is, (and) what performance (art) is.”

If I may add my two cents … “And you, sir, have no idea what sanity is.”

What in the name of Salvador “Hello” Dali was this guy thinking?

That’s not art – it’s crap, pure and simple.

As he was led away he complained that no harm was done to the rooster. Apparently, he didn’t understand that the rooster’s welfare wasn’t the issue.

When I was young I understood art to be a hand-drawn picture or painting. And at that naive stage of art awareness, the picture had to look (somewhat) like what it was supposed to be. The more realistic the picture, the better the artist. That’s how I interpreted the art world.

And, basically, I still feel that way*.

When I was first exposed to “abstract” art/artists, I was suspicious that these folks were frauds. I thought they were trying to bamboozle the public. I wasn’t buying into it ... and I’m still skeptical.

An artist, by my way of thinking, has to have the ability to do something that most people can’t do skill-wise. For example: draw a realistic-looking picture. (And please, spare me the creativity thing as something I don’t have the depth to appreciate — because you’re right and I’m easily hurt.)

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