Monday, October 4, 2010

Missing…..the BIG picture

The Uncensored Show at Anderson Creative seems to have touched quite a collective nerve in our local community. Being a “paper” paper person myself, I was unaware of the online opinion/comment pages that follow published articles. My morning ritual of reading the paper, shoving a cat butt off the part I want, drinking half a cup of coffee, removing paper from cat’s mouth, shedding a robe as yet another power surge takes hold etc. are all a lot more entertaining than scrolling down a screen. However, I did see a reference to some controversy going on in cyberspace so I had to navigate my way there and see what was happening!

What fun! There was so much irony and irritation run rampant that even I could never begin to process it all, let alone paint the poor bastards. My title above sums up the overall situation. So many opinions, everybody wanting to be right, very few admitting to any real identity (much easier to be critical when hiding behind a screen code name) and assumptions being made based on what others say without any real proof. Welcome to America and what makes us a great country…..freedom of expression AND freedom of opinions with an underlying system of laws, rules and regulations to protect those who partake in such activities. Translation….the masses have yet to take up torches and pitch forks to run the heathens out of town because……well…that might take some organization, some initiative and a bit of energy to boot, and most people just can’t muster the muster anymore. It is so much easier to eat Doritos and type on a keyboard than it is to go and see what all the fuss is about.

Let’s break it down shall we? When we moved here almost 20 years ago, we heard the comment that it is not a Canton paper without football, Jesus and abortion in every issue. Times have not changed all that much in that regard except add politics to the list. The same issues confront us as did our parents and will our children….war, sex, politics, death, body image, money, religion,…..somebody just decided to put those issues into visual form as opposed to text next to a car ad and happy hour specials. And who are these deviant little devils?...a couple of decent Christian men who have just as much right to conduct their business in our community as any other tax-paying constituent. Okay so how should these disgruntled and reactionary patrons of our community deal with this “show”? Prepare for a rocket scientist answer my friends….don’t go if it bothers you. Sort of like turning the channel if a show is not to your standards. Turn off the radio if the music is offensive and don’t buy clothes for your daughter if you don’t like the fashions. I think it is called “choice” and as Americans, we still have that right.

As far as those who are calling the work crap (for lack of a better summarization) …have you ever made any yourself? (Art that is, not crap, because of obviously your mouth and brain are pretty good at it already). If we all liked the same type of artwork, held the same opinions, worshiped the same God and supported the same candidates….we would all be eating Chinese food….in China or maybe even grass in North Korea. This is America people; you have a right to free expression just as much as the next citizen or the next business. You have a right to go where you wish (well…don’t cross crime scene tape or things like that), believe what you want to believe, say what you want to say, create what you want to create, but you must extend those same rights to everybody else and be respectful of that. Just because you want to only see landscapes and puppy dogs does not mean I want too. And If I did, and bought up all the landscapes and puppy dogs and you only got flowers and kitty cats, I’d bet you would bitch about that too.

Now personally, regarding the show in question and the artwork in it, I am of the party not currently in power and was not pleased to see the former regimen still being depicted in a negative way, but cross the street and visit my studio right now and you will see work that expresses my point of view. I can accept what I see and appreciate how it was made, the skills needed to create the work and the context in which it was created. Art is not just the image one sees, it is also the message one conveys or receives. Even those Romantic period landscapes and Dutch still life paintings had a higher purpose. I must admit however, I can’t really defend “Dogs Playing Poker” (all male pooches I am assuming) but put a bunch of female hounds in there and “Bitches Playing Bridge” could have potential!

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