New Year’s Resolutions

It was one year ago today, January 5, 2013 that I wrote my first blog post on The Power of the White Cube. 83 posts later, here I am still going (not as strong as I’d like, but hey that’s what new year’s resolutions are for!) and I still have LOTS I’d like to say. Art is like a bottomless pit or a massive labyrinth, you enter it either knowingly or perhaps you stumble into it, but either way you become lost in it. I have found almost every time I sit down to write a “short” or “simple” post it slowly grows larger and larger into this massive project. Why you might ask? Well it is because art is neither “short” nor “simple.” Its past is ancient and its future is still being written. So as I sit down and begin casually browsing through art’s history an infinite number of paths pop up before me. The question then becomes which road shall I take; what should I discuss today? That choice is never simple, but once it’s made the road is never straight and narrow, there are many twists and turns, flowers to smell, and rocks to upturn along the way. Like a bloodhound on the trail, I carefully sniff my way through art history’s past, present, and future to learn, understand, and share with you something I have discovered.

"What is Art?" from the series Special Collections Revisited from the Sorted Books project Pictured C-prints, each 12.5 x 19 inches, 1996/2008
Nina Katchadourian, “What is Art?” from the series Special Collections Revisited from the Sorted Books project, C-prints, each 12.5 x 19 inches, 1996/2008

What is Art? (Probably one of the most difficult questions to answer)

The dictionary would define it as such:

noun: art; plural noun: arts; plural noun: the art
  1. the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
    “the art of the Renaissance”
    synonyms: fine artartwork

    • works produced by human creative skill and imagination.
      “his collection of modern art”
      synonyms: fine artartwork

    • creative activity resulting in the production of paintings, drawings, or sculpture.
      “she’s good at art”
  2. the various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.
    “the visual arts”
  3. subjects of study primarily concerned with the processes and products of human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history (as contrasted with scientific or technical subjects).
    “the belief that the arts and sciences were incompatible”
  4. a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice.
    “the art of conversation”
 But I prefer artist Nina Katchadourian’s answer better…”close observation.” (as seen in one of the photos from her Sorted Books Project above ^)

 Her answer, unlike art itself, is simple and straightforward; I absolutely adore it, and it is how I want to live the rest of my life – with close observation. 

To begin my new view of the world (or maybe more specifically the art world, in the case of this blog), “with close observation,” I must start by observing it (art) closely and learning all I can about it. So my new year’s resolution is to read more, learn more, write more, do more. So to start out on the right foot I have started reading this book, “What Are You Looking At? The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art” by  Will Gompertz, so stay tuned for the full review of the book at some point.

“In the tradition of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, art history with a sense of humor.  Every year, millions of museum and gallery visitors ponder the modern art on display and secretly ask themselves, “Is this art?” A former director at London’s Tate Gallery and now the BBC arts editor, Will Gompertz made it his mission to bring modern art’s exciting history alive for everyone, explaining why an unmade bed or a pickled shark can be art—and why a fi ve-year-old couldn’t really do it. Rich with extraordinary tales and anecdotes, What Are You Looking At? entertains as it arms readers with the knowledge to truly understand and enjoy what it is they’re looking at.”

I highly recommend this book and suggest you go grab a copy of it for yourself!

I hope this year to bring you more than last and that you will continue to join me/ follow me as I continue to discover what art is. Happy New Year everyone!!!!! xoxo

Nina Katchadourian,"Primitive Art" from the series Akron Stacks from the Sorted Books project, C-prints, each 12.5 x 19 inches, 2001
Nina Katchadourian,”Primitive Art” from the series Akron Stacks from the Sorted Books project, C-prints, each 12.5 x 19 inches, 2001

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