Friday, January 29, 2016

Come On, Even I Could Paint That

Winterlude kicks off today in Ottawa and Gatineau, and runs until February 15th, for those in the area. I will have plenty of photos from the festival through February.

This is a somewhat controversial painting called Voice Of Fire, by the American artist Barnett Newman. Have a look at the display panel in the second shot.


Voice Of Fire is controversial not because of some shocking aspect to the painting (seriously, this is three stripes on a bloody big canvas, that's it), but because in 1989 the Gallery bought it for nearly 1.8 million dollars. Mind you, a year or so ago there was an article in the newspaper about it being valued now at a much higher price. Still, no matter how many times I look at it, I don't see something that "tests our sensory experience." I just see one stripe of navy blue, one stripe of red, and another stripe of navy blue. I can look at it close up, from either side, and straight on, and that's still what I see.

I could paint this.

Some paint, a roller, a big canvas, bada bing bada boom, we're done. Million dollars please. Preferably in unmarked bills.

I know, I'm a cultural heathen just for saying that....

40 comments:

  1. Je ne connaissais pas cette artiste,merci du partage et bon w end ;o)

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  2. I don't much about art but I do know what I like. And this ain't one of my likes.

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  3. You know something? I think I could paint something like that too but I might struggle to keep those lines straight :).

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  4. This kind of art is a joke...

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  5. Me gusta el naranja..un saludo desde Murcia.

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  6. @Nefertiti: I only know this work by him.

    @Andy: me too.

    @Lauren: that could be an issue!

    @VP: it really is.

    @Alp: thanks for stopping in.

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  7. Oh how good it is to hear someone being truthful about art like this William :) seriously when I see this kind of art I think someone's having a lend of us :) 1.8 million, someone's laughing all the way to the bank!

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  8. You should have thought about that before Barnett Newman did. The price is in the idea, I think.

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  9. I often think I could paint things I see in the modern section of the museum.

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  10. I am puzzled as why would this be called art when some artist
    is lost in the pile of selections to go upon the wall.
    Perhaps later you may have found some inspiring art to show us later. I have done that art but with colors many colors digital art mine you.
    I agree with you William.

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  11. I agree with VP and some other...

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  12. Not a fan of modern art....show me something that displays real talent.

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  13. I like it! But, I would pay 1.8 million for it even if I had it to spare.

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  14. I'm with you on this one. However, my art appreciation ability is pretty shallow. I really like Linda's sharp comment

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  15. @Furry Gnome: it's a mystery as to why they bought it.

    @Grace: I wonder who scored an easy payday back in the day.

    @Jan: ah, but he painted it years before I was even born!

    @Halcyon: some of it ends up looking like a child's fingerpainting!

    @Norma: definitely!

    @Carolann: the more inspiring stuff is what I've shown, but I'll be back here again.

    @Karl: I figured I'd be getting reactions like this.

    @Nancy: thanks!

    @Linda: I can look at some modern art and see it as art, but a lot of it just doesn't work for me.

    @Sharon: it's up around forty million these days!

    @Linda: I do too.

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  16. You're not a cultural heathen. You are absolutely right on this one. Sometimes I wonder if the human race will ever survive when I hear stories like this. I'd probably use it as a floor for my dog's house (if I had a dog's house). Otherwise, being canvas, one might attach to the outer wall of a tent so the elements could give it the attention it deserves!

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  17. William, I know EXACTLY what you mean. Putting up with pretentious twaddle is one thing, but I do have a problem paying for it - just think how that money could be used in schools, hospitals, caring for the elderly - or helping out impoverished bloggers.

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  18. I'm glad the artist was paid for his work!

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  19. Ah, but William, if you had painted it, you'd be famous. :-)

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  20. @Red: for me it depends on the piece as far as modern art is concerned. I've got something coming up tomorrow that actually works for me, personally, though others might not go for it.

    @Lowell: fortunately the Gallery makes up for this one with so much good art!

    @Mike: I have no idea why the value of this one has skyrocketed so much!

    @Stefan: in this case, his estate benefitted, as I understand it.

    @Revrunner: oh well!

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  21. This might just be my favourite post ever on ODP...

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  22. I think that a lot of what makes art valuable is when it does something that's not been done before. I always want to know the context of a piece. And yeah, while I 'could have' painted this, I didn't. It never occurred to me; perhaps that's part of it, too.

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  23. I for one think it would look great on my wall!

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  24. about the snow - do you shovel yourself? i have been shoveling with little old me, my muscles for 3 days or is it 4 ... i still have a bit to do ... but i am trying to go slow because it is & can be hard on the body. thankfully i have "white willow bark" to help with the pain. no fun. i prefer snow white and crisp but when it starts being clean up it gets all dirty and yucky... i guess i need to move somewhere the snow stays nice & pretty. ( :

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  25. mmmmh after you with the roller please William...

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  26. I must be a cultural troglodyte. Any house painter could do that. I just don't care for much of the so-called modern art.

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  27. Ah, but the mood! The feeling! The ESSENCE of it!
    He must be one heck of a salesman. I wonder if I could do something like that (I trust I could) and convince my neighbors I have artwork worth over a mil.

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  28. @Ciel: thank you!

    @Jessica: good way of putting it!

    @RedPat: you would need a three story high wall.

    @Beth: we take turns in the house.

    @Geoff: just to be different mine would be fluorescent orange and psychedelic purple.

    @Mari: it also reminds me of wallpaper.

    @Kay: hah!

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  29. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I guess. My tastes tend to go to more tradional than modern art.

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  30. I guess I'm a cultural heathen too.

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  31. It was probably actually painted not by him but a couple of assistants. When you get that sort of money for your 'art' you can afford to keep your hands clean.

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  32. Really, when I see art, I don't think of something like this but of course it exists for people to enjoy. I just walk by it and wonder why this is considered art. Like they say, "different strokes for different folks". I just don't care for these strokes. :)

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  33. Okay, commenting as an art major--I hate it. Yes. given the right sort of paint tape anyone could easily have done this. I took art because I could actually draw things to look like them. Although I'm lousy with portraits, but anyway, art teachers didn't want me to paint things to look the way they look like, say in a photo. No. Not kidding here. The classical artists of long ago are buried. No one in the art world wants another Rembrant, DaVinci, etc. They want Picaso's and such. However, if you go to local art shows you'll see that people do still paint a lovely scene exactly as if they'd taken a photograph, and I'm sure they get a nice sum for it. So real art isn't dead.

    I wouldn't pay a penny for that piece of crud. If someone has that sort of money to throw away, that's up to them. Just a bunch of rich snobs, and the artist is enjoying his wealth too.

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  34. It would look nice in an elevator.

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  35. Only an already known artist can get that kind of money for creating something that you or I could make. Well, maybe you could, I can't draw a decent circle or a straight line...

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