Saturday, September 11, 2010

licking up art

Growing up outside of Sydney gives you a different perspective on the arts.
I recently found out that Australias most respected and revered ceramic artist lived lived in my hometown. His pots are found in the national and state galleries and in collections around the world. His work has commanded the highest prices of any australian ceramic artist.
He somehow came up in a conversation with my Dad.
'oh Peter, yeah he lives out on shipley, he likes the japanese stuff. He gave us one of his bowls you remember the dogs old food bowl?'

At first this might sound like a devaluing, or at least ignorance of art.
I can just see the aghast faces of some eastern suburbs socialite, as our mutt's tongue eagerly licks chum off priceless glaze.
So I looked the guy up, and as I read the wanky gallery brochures, turns out this artist was important in a movement called 'mingei', which saught beauty in everyday objects, that even thought they weren't perfected until well used.
I like the thought that my dog enjoyed this artwork more than the collectors viewing them in sterile white rooms.

Turns out the use of the bowl was the artists suggestion.

I wonder, if artists didn't need the money, whether they would choose for it to be shown the way it currently is.

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