Tuesday, February 24, 2009

what is the real deal?

The question on my mind lately is: what is real? This past summer while on vacation, Darren and I stumbled upon several new art galleries. Technically, they were not "new", but they were new to us. So, we are on vacation and enjoying ourselves, the boys happy with their ice cream and as we enter a particular gallery we are met by a woman overdressed for August in a resort town in northern Michigan. She informs us of the masterpieces within this here gallery. Fine. She tells us way more than any vacationer wants to know. She puts on a video of one of the artists she represents. We have two boys outside eating ice cream. I'm in no postition to watch or entertain watching some video of a guy painting. The paintings were fine, really good even. The buttoned-up woman says, "would you like a price on anything?" "No" I say. This is where she announces....and I did believe it was an announcement...."this is the real deal", over her glasses, the ones hanging off her nose. I'll admit it , it bugged me. No, it more than bugged me, because here it is February 2009 and I'm still thinking about it and it STILL bugs me. Who is to say what the real deal is? Is it an expert? An expert of what? Art is all real, even if it isn't. I mean, it is a vision, a feeling, a moment, a memory , a story, an idea, a purpose, a plan, a journey, a question, an answer. It is real. Want to know what is not real....claiming one way to do anything. Art is our collective and indivdual human-ness. It is what can heal us, humor us, teach us, remind us, challenge us and take us to the moon and back. That's real. That is authentic. And I'll take authentic over a "real deal" any day. Even six months later.


Karen Campbell said...

I have three favorite "real" art pieces...my ten year old's heartfelt letter of thanks to me, my eight year old's own Picasso inspired painting that is hanging in my foyer, and my three year old's "happy picture" (her words not mine). You nailed it Deborah...real art inspires you and moves you.
*I spoke to Angel today...she's thrilled with her purses.

paintchipgirl said...

You get it. And, lucky you have the "real deal" in your home. Thanks for sending Angel my way!

EclecticEffluence said...

This makes me think of two things: the movie Mona Lisa Smile where Miss Watson asks her students "What is art? What makes it good or bad and who decides?" (it's my favorite scene in the movie) and a book titled "Art Is A Way of Knowing" by Pat B. Allen.