I still really don’t understand what art actually is. All I know is that it is subjective and it has more to do with when the person actually did the art. Who was first in doing something different? I have also been told that the art business might be more corrupt than the music business.
What I remember was very first time we did shows in Paris, a few (Patrick, jimmy, Karl and I?) paid to take a train instead of waiting for the tour buses because we could to Paris early and get a few hours of time at the Louvre.
All my life I had seen images of the Louvre and heard about it. I followed I M Pei and the controversy of the pyramid entrance design in the middle of the courtyard. I really didn’t know what the actually Louvre was, but I knew I was simply led to one day see it.
Part of the problem on the road is you usually were always dead tired. I could not stand pack ins and load outs. All you really wanted to do after the later was sleep for a few days; yet, you got a few hours before moving along to the next city. I remember the four of us getting on a train from somewhere and all I can remember is seeing the pyramid for the first time and thinking, “wow, this is really cool. You have this old palace with this contemporary design in it.”
We went in and then the scale and size of the Louvre became apparent when we took out the maps and realized we only had a few hours in a place that could take days to get a basic idea of. So we just started walking and looking far too fast in a place that requires a slower pace.
I am not sure if it was the lack of sleep, or the vast amount of artifacts and art, but inside 20 minutes Karl and I both had to stop and let our brains grasp the amount of time and history that surrounded us. I had a sensory overload headache and looked down to see what looked like a tub of some sort.
It turned out to be a bathtub from the town of Pompeii that was dug out. I marveled. I think Karl and i looked at each other and simultaneously said, "This is freaking amazing."
My mind couldn’t take much more that day as we had to get to the arena and work. In France we had a promoter that tried to move a show designed to sit a week in one location around several cities in a week. That day I vowed that I would go back to the Louvre and give it time that the magnificent palace and the treasures inside deserved.
I have, and then perhaps that is why I love Paris so much. I was always alone in the city, the art in the Louvre, Musee D’Orsey, Petite Palais, Rodan museum and other art places were what I would spend my free time seeing.
While I can’t remember how many museums and the art I have seen around the world, I think it was this trip to the Louvre that in earnest began a great appreciation for Art.
Here is three moments that Lydia, Hedda and Terri taught me about art and how it has influenced my life.
A) “What did you like?” – is what Lydia taught me. Lydia and I grew up and probably shared a crib together at one time. Our parents have been lifelong friends. Lydia and I are like fire and ice. She is the refined art lover with elegance and grace. I am more like the bull in the china shop that would schlock show merchandise around the planet. It was in Los Angeles and we went to the art museum and after wandering around looking at paintings I never saw before, she asked, “what did you like?” I responded, “it might not be very famous or important, but I liked the way the guy painted the face of that cow looking at the people from the painting.” That day I learned art is subjective, almost like the quote of one man’s treasure is another man’s gold. Enjoy the art that makes your heart sing
b) “What is painterly” – is what Hedda tried to teach me. In the early days of the Internet and our video conferencing company, there was a woman who always appeared from Norway that had tons of books behind her. It wasn’t till a few years when we actually had a conversation. I figured she was a professor or market research person. I turns out she is an old master artist who at the time was teaching gifted students how to sketch. I still have no idea what “painterly” actually means, but I do know what a good artist is. One day I watched her paint an oil painting of her dog in a few hours as she left her camera on and allowed me to watch. It was a great gift. Allowing me to watch her paint and seeing a gifted artist with great skills make something come to life out of nothing but canvas, color and brushstrokes allowed me to appreciate how difficult “good art” really is.
c) “Leave, go out and walk around. If your heart tells you to go back, then you buy it.” - Is what Terri taught me. Terri was an art director I met in New Orleans Gallery that happened to have a really wonderful animation cell collection as part of the shop. I think it was my first time I was in New Orleans and we were doing shows in the Superdome? What I remember is that Terri became my girlfriend, and she would explain the art business to me and how it basically worked, why so many artists realized very little from their work. I asked here about art as an investment, and she said, “Those people really have to know what they are doing. Sure art can be a great investment, but for most, it will not.”
I asked her, “How do you know when to buy art?”
“If you are buying Art for yourself. You have to look at it and it will speak to you. Then you turn, walk out the door, and walk around wherever you happen to be and not make an emotional purchase. As you are walking around, if you hear your heart say, 'I really want you to have that art,' then go back and buy it. Your will find, most of the time, your heart will not tell you to do this.”
These three unrelated events helped shape my love of going out to the various museums of the world and seeing as much art as I could in the time I had off. I will never be an artist, and I would love to be able to do quality concept sketches versus having to use 3d Modeling in computers to get an idea to a level others can understand, but what I realized with great art is that it should be in a place where everyone can enjoy and see it. Not locked in a vault or private home to be enjoyed by a few.
Perhaps that is why I really never have bought art. The problem with the art I truly love and enjoy is what hangs in museums around the world and it is deemed “priceless.” Ironically, i love the sketch’s of how the art idea was created more than the finished pieces. It shows how the artists mind was thinking and working out the idea.
I might have schlocked merchandise all over the planet, but I really appreciate good art - even if i don't really understand it what "art" really is.
Backstory - i posted some images from a morning in the Petit Palais where i was on a morning run and happened to go by the building, look inside, and saw no one in the building. i asked, "is this museum open?" the information person said yes. i noticed the light in the building and asked, "is it OK if i get my camera and take photo's?"
"Oui monsieur, vous pouvez."
I ran back, got a shower and knock on my friend Susan's apartment door and said, "Hurry up, lets go to this palace place, i see cool photo opportunities!"
What a gift of a morning. As for the image of the good Samaritan, you have to go see it live to appreciate it.