Sunday, 23 December 2007

Couch Potato Art

Oip-oip présente Miss France 2009Are you into potato sculpture? If so, enjoy Oip-oip's guess at what Miss France 2009 might look like. This is the first time - probably the last too - that Coxsoft Art News has featured the humble spud as a work of art; but it's more tasteful than those blocks of human excrement which some twerp is currently exhibiting in London. No, I'm not going to link to that poo show. It isn't art. Anyway, I prefer my spuds in this condition, before they've passed through the alimentary canal.


At 25/12/07, Anonymous Art News Blog said...

At the risk of having my comment deleted, I thought the Poop show was funny. ;-)

It's art for shock's sake, which becomes boring when it no longer shocks.

At 25/12/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

It's like humour. If you can anticipate the punch line, it falls flat (pun intended). The cloaca machine had novelty value and so did baby Whatsits' first poop bronzed, but bricks of the stuff? Too square. I'll stick to peat blocks.

At 25/12/07, Anonymous Art News Blog said...

Yeah, I guess it fails on a lot of levels. It succeeded in getting attention though, and I admire your stance of not mentioning it ;-)

Must have been hard to not mention a gallery filled with poop though!

I think most contemporary galleries are missing subtlety. A work of art doesnt have to yell or be big or shock or even contrast to be great. I would choose a 30cm x 30cm Giorgio Morandi still life painting over 95% of the pretentious crap that is exhibited today.

At 25/12/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

London is full of galleries putting on all sorts of pretentious tripe. If I previewed all of them, writing Coxsoft Art News would be a full time job. So I tend to show only the one's I can gat a laugh out of or feel obliged to report, like Doris's Crack.

I really object to all the publicity everyone, including me, gave that daft anti-art show. Maybe if we could all ignore such tripe people like Doris would shut up and go away. But Tate Modern is the second biggest tourist attraction in Britain! How can I ignore it? (Blackpool with its illuminations is the top of the UK tourist traps. It probably has more of a claim to art than does Tate Modern!)

I've spent this afternoon catching up on animated movies I haven't seen. It strikes me that that's where most of today's top artistic talent is to be found, but you hardly ever learn the artists' names, because they're all part of a huge Hollywood team! So it's the brand name you remember - DreamWorks, Pixar - not the artists, except for Nick Parks.

I noticed a Mickey-taking tribute to 2 Brit. artists in Finding Nemo. The scene where the seagulls attack is a lampoon of Hitchcock's The Birds, and one of those seagulls is a white version of Nick Parks villainous penguin in The Wrong Trousers. Excellent. That's fame for you.

At 26/12/07, Anonymous Art News Blog said...

Oh yeah, I have always been jealous of movie makers.. both animated and non-animated. They have so many more tools available to them to affect emotions or tell a story (which is what I think good painters do).

It's hard to make a viewer cry in front of an oil painting, but it's common to see red eyes coming out of sad films at the cinema.

At 26/12/07, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

Film director, absolutely! That was my youthful ambition. I was a real film buff in those days. Why fiddle around with a paintbrush when you can orchestrate all the diverse talents involved in movie making and stir the audience's emotions (if it works).

The nearest I ever got was designing games for early home computers: Oric 1, ZX Spectrum and Atari ST. (visit my Coxsoft Art Museum page for some screenshots). I was pretty useful as an artist/director so long as I had only an 8-bit or 16-bit colour palette to work with, but as soon as I had millions of colours to cope with I gave up on games graphics and design. The games that graphics artists are churning out now would put Caravaggio to shame!

Weepies are a bit like a joke. I'm immune to weepies when I can see it all being set up, as in a bad joke. I must have been the only dry eye in the house when E.T. was snuffing it! Spielberg does tend to go OTT. One of the best laughs I've had from the movies was when the hero is up the mast of a sinking ship and trying to shoot Jaws with a barrel of explosive in its mouth; then Boom! I fell about laughing. (Apparently his friends insisted he make that ending; he shouldn't have listened to them.)

Weirdly, there are two old movies that always bring tears to my eyes and I don't know why! The first is John Ford's The Searchers, when at the end John Wayne chases a gorgeous young Natalie Wood in Indian costume and you don't know whether he's going to kill her or rescue her. (Wayne plays an old Indian-hater.) He grabs her and raises her in his arms and she balls her fists to punch him, then realizes he's saving her. It's not set up as a weepie scene, but it gets me every time.

The other is in Robert Mulligan's To Kill a Mockingbird, when the children have been attacked and a bedroom door is pulled back to reveal their shy rescuer hiding behind it: Robert Duval's first and only appearance as the secretive Boo Radley. Again, every time, slurp! And again it isn't set up as a weepie scene. And I know what's coming! But still it gets me.


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