List of Monumental sculpture projects 2015

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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Mondrian's painting closeups

photos by James Elkins

Closeups of Mondrian's paintings

I was at a critique session of an art school.
A student mounted a number of "copied" Mondrian to show her criticism against todays practice of museums sometimes just showing copies and not the original.
When I looked at these copies, they look like postcards blown up, or worst quickie striped "copies".
If this exhibition-work-installation is meant to be "criticism of todays Museum practices" - just a very good essay or photos of these existing practice would be good enough? Why go to the trouble of reproducing all these paintings by hand so the dimensions are exact etc. ?

I have respect for good copiers, because to make a good copy of a master painting, it also takes great artistic dedication - whether the copy is very life like or just amateur love like.
Here in this case, I think the student has wasted her time. Because her message is really thin and the effort that she has made to set this argument in a spatialised installation is - time wasted. The paintings have no love in it.

Then, other teachers think this is sufficient whether the copy is v gd or not is not important, the student has made a statement and its very good work.

I question this point because, why not copy Mona Lisa? Why choose Mondrian? Is it because we think Mondrian is much easier to fake than the very familiar Mona Lisa?

I think its a waste of time, because, this art work has no love in it. It is purely a "mediatic critique" thats not worth all this effort. In the end, the reason why we have copies in museums are not cynical. It is a solution to an existing problem - that of a standing in while the original is on loan or in the vault or whatever.

I think all paintings, whether by famous artists, or copier or students or amateur naive painters, without an authentic desire to create the painting, its not worth it. Because you will end up with a pile of "quickie look-a-like stand ins".

So, I asked the student, has she ever seen any of the Mondrian originals. No, she has not. (Why not copy something she has seen?)

So, I checked on the Internet, and within the first page, the third down the list, we see the article on "copying Mondrian" by James Elkins. There are very good photos of closeups of the painting too!

What does this all mean?
Part of this shows the change of what "painting" means and how "painting" as an art form has turned from the act to meaning, to critical gestures; and students today are applauded for "critical capacities".

I ask this question, as an artist, what is your "pleasure", your "content"? There are thousands of bad worthy of heavy criticism of moral, esthetics, from many different angles. How do you choose to criticise this or that? And would you rather use your time to improve your own work and make it better rather than criticising these other works/phenomenon?

Its very easy to be critical of a specific event or phenomenon, but without placing it in context, the criticism is too easy, too light, too ineffective. It doesnt bring much food to the table; neither for the "critic" nor for the viewer.

Put your place in the position of the copier, what are the issues involved in this act? What do you learn from the process and seeing the end result and other peoples reception of your act? Did your message deliver something thats worth your action? (Only the creator could fully answer this question)

For what reasons did the author of the copying decided to launch this laborious or easy work?

1 comment:

enhem said...

I think it's because of trying to relate in expresion .