Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
Oh My God is That Art!?!!??
Magandeep Singh (AROUND THE WORLD IN 85 PLATES)
Art baffles me. I just can’t seem to make head or tail of it, literally. The only reason I knew a certain painting was to be hung a certain way was because of the way the hooks were placed on it behind!
The singular way I know the piano piece is over is when the bloke gets up and bows and not when he stops in the middle of his piece for what is planned pause in the piece.
Art is almost as baffling as that other thing which I am completely clueless about – women.
But let me not talk about women and their complexities, I doubt the NDTV server is large enough to hold even a synopsis on the same. I doubt any server will ever be large enough...
But back to the other thing that perplexes in ways somewhat sometimes similarly satisfying, Art: It is quite the mystery box.
At a piano recital recently, I walked in after the first break and it became impossible to tell which piece he was playing.
Mind you, I do grant myself the momentary pride of claiming to understand more piano than merely some Hindi riff being played in a hotel lobby but once it gets into the ‘Allegro ma non troppo’ categories, I am the first to admit that I am in uncharted cola land.
Sure, I could tell that he was using the instrument in different ways but I couldn’t be astute enough to point out the typical Beethoven from the Classic Chopin just from the keystrokes.
But I enjoyed it immensely. I closed my eyes and it felt like the pitter-patter of rain drops on my mind and it sure washed away a lot of the Delhi stress.
So, I guess it was art and I was doing something artistically enriching.
This is where the trouble starts. Because another time I was at a painting exhibition and I call it such because the invite said so.
Outside of that there was nothing to denote anything that remotely resembled what my brain may process and perceive as art in its perhaps conventional albeit limiting sense.
The ghastly atrocities that adorned the walls reminded me of the scolding I got as a kid for doing something similar to the walls.
The one thing which did look like art was actually not part of the display. It was just there to adorn the space above the urinals.
I have read of the controversy Marcel Duchamp sparked off with his fountain he fashioned out of a urinal.
He was trying to prove a point that art exists around us and when taken in a different context, something as utile and banal as a urinal can be art.
The argument put forth was that he took an article and placed it so that its useful significance disappeared and thus created a new thought for that object.
I can buy that; I can use a fork to do so much more.
But M. Duchamp was also, at another level, debunking the world of art as glorified by the snobs of the times; the people who tried to make art an exclusive affair.
I am not going to be sending in any such entries yet.
But I do wonder about the works some people put up as art and then, I marvel even more at those who pay top-Dollar, Euro and Pound, often all together, to acquire this now-expensive, monstrous slop on canvass.
Could it be that the artist just sold us the works of his six-year-old as his contemplative and contrasting reflections of pluralism in this singular unified world?
In the gastronomic world, it is easier.
No matter how good the dish looks, or how appealing the cocktail is made to appear, what matters is how it plays on the senses i.e. the aromas and the taste.
If that is not quite acceptable, then the chef or bartender needs to start worrying.
Sure they can get creative and imaginative but rosemary-honey dressings for salads are not a keen idea, as I was admonished once.
So, I guess art is a definition of the threshold of our acceptances.
It is nothing but a measure of what we are willing to admit as aesthetic. To confine art is to not define art.
An artist puts forth his interpretation and if enough people at any point are willing to see things his way, he is on his way to the Bentley showroom.
If not, he might just try to invade the world like this failed Austrian cartoonist I know of.
To sum up, I still don't think I clearly know what defines or constitutes art.
I know what constitutes a bed, or an automobile. I know what constitutes good presenting skills, on TV...well, more or less.
I can even hazard a guess as to what constitutes a nuclear reactor. But I can’t point out art in the bourgeois-worldly sense of its usage, not even if it were to hit and splatter on my wind screen.
Actually, on that thought, can road-kill ever be art? I await your astute ‘artistic’ observations for my bordering-asinine condition.
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