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Art Critique Hijacked by Nonexistent Hidden Meaning

March 1, 2013

As we approach this next piece called “Accidentally Art”, I see metal. Lots of metal. Lots of gray and even darker shades of metal. The metal seems to appear from nowhere–yet there it is–so it is indeed somewhere. There is flatness in the main piece, coupled with beams running in multiple directions (“Chaos?”). Behind we see ridged metal in a lighter shade of gray. The light source appears to be coming from above, which would suggest that it’s probably daytime. As the viewer, it would appear that we are looking straight at the object…though if this turned out to be the rear of the piece, well, how embarrassing for us right?

In my mind, the artist would have us believe that his work is photorealistic when in fact, it’s bordering on remodernism, with just enough neo-figurative feeling in it to walk us down the muddied path towards surrealism. And nobody really wants to hang out there.

My experienced eye is again drawn to the center–to the flatness with a beam running through its center–there in that flat area in the middle. I feel like I’m being forced to look at the center. But I must look to the left for some color. I see none. I look right for color, and I see no color. I want to see color. I look up…and I see no color. Down? Nada. So back to the center we must go…as if the artist is trying to tell us something.

I feel that this piece is forcing me to recognize trouble. I don’t want to recognize trouble. But there it is. Trouble. Yes I marched against the Bush regime and his wars, his torture, and his horrible use of our civilized language. But as the overall gray in this piece seems to suggest, we’re all just pawns in a much bigger game…and even though I understand some people are trying to tell us something about empire, endless war, and endless financial disaster brought on by serving Wall Street…that smells like trouble. I don’t like being forced to recognize trouble, or the lack of color in the middle…which this artist is apparently accusing me of being deeply entrenched in.

Overall…I want to like this piece. It’s very safe–but it’s also on the edge of something…like trouble. Safe. Centered. Gray. And trouble! I can appreciate the skill-level needed to say all that this piece says about everything it says. It works on so many levels…yet fails in its attempt to make me do anything about anything. It’s colorless, and it centers on trouble. I won’t have it. And neither should you.


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  1. Jeff Nguyen permalink
    March 1, 2013 10:59

    Perhaps gray brings to mind the steel bars and bracelets of the oppressor. Robbed of sun, sky and light. Hard edges all around. Many interpretations for this image are possible. Good insights here, lens1


    • March 1, 2013 11:21

      Forever war coupled with for-profit prisons?! True, many ways to go.
      Been enjoying your work over at your blog. Good stuff and glad to see you getting many eyes looking at it! Me? I’m just flailing around in the dark…trying to reengage my old anti-war, anti-this and that friends that have pretty much dispersed. Hard to hide my anger/contempt I know…this “art critique” post being another example.
      Thanks for the likes and such Jeff, I do see em’ and appreciate it.


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