Friday, October 5, 2007

Big Thoughts About Little Drawings: Art

A few years ago I went to an exhibit of Keith Haring's work. They had lots of his sketchbooks under glass for you to look at. As I looked at them I couldn't help thinking, this is not how he envisioned these things ending up. I mean, as an artist you generate a lot of random, smudgy, incoherent doodles. I still remember when my parents made it clear that I was to remove my piles (and piles) of paper from my childhood closet. A lot of it was actually rolled up inside a laundry hamper.
Anyway, even when I'm looking at the work of someone fabulous like Marc Chagall or Keith Haring or Vincent Van Gogh, I can't help cringing a little bit - this is their stuff, all stuck out there for us to gawk at. Surely the artist would be a bit embarrassed to see the equivalent of doodles on a Trapper Keeper folder under glass and protected from UV light.
So if you are planning to be one of those people who get studied and biographied and museum-ied after you're gone, maybe you should go in and tidy things up a bit - just so your random doodlings will at least look cool when they get mounted on a board and put in the middle of a big room. Maybe cut those sketches off the Trapper Keeper folder and glue them instead into one of those hip Moleskine books. They'll still be that manila-yellow color, but you'll seem so very hip to all those future generations.

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