Thursday, September 01, 2005

The (is it?) Art Fair

The two most popular events in Ann Arbor every year are known locally for their brutality. Yet, over a hundred thousand people attend each. One is the University of Michigan football game, legal assault on artificial turf.

The other is the summer art fair. The art fair takes place on the most sweltering week in July, picked just for that reason, locals feel. Then people cram together so tightly that, for women anyway, it's a form of legal assault. Parking is made deliberately scarce. And everything you want to buy in the vicinity is overpriced. Brutally overpriced.

Originally the art fair attracted the most accomplished, talented artists from around the country. Then the local artists felt left out, so they got an art fair of their own. Then the local businesses felt left out, so they got art fairs of their own. Now there are, I think, four or five art fairs running simultaneously downtown Ann Arbor. So everyone can be an artist.

Anyway, that's a long way to go to make my point, but here it is. This is supposed to be an ART fair! So why do we have all this photography masquerading as art? Heck, I can snap a picture of my desk at work and charge a hundred dollars for it. That doesn't make me an artist.

Gypsybobocowgirl takes and publishes gorgeous pictures on her blog, at least as good as those at the A2 Art Fair. So do many other bloggers. But I don't think they expect their names to soon follow the masters Michaelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, Leonardo and Splinter. Art is art. Pictures is pictures.

I'm not even sure the fella pictured with this blog is art. Okay, it's metal sculpture and it will set you back thousands of dollars (it had such a price tag). So it may qualify. Actually, it would probably look pretty cool next to the coat of arms in somebody's great room. Or as an expensive clothes rack if your bedroom is big enough to accommodate it.

My wife and I did break down one year and purchase an Audrey Ratterman watercolor featuring flowers, trees and a restless pond. But any pictures on my wall will be of family.


Blogger Deb said...

Yep, hafta agree. Objects at art fairs are very overpriced. I saw a candle at one once that was the size of a voltive; I almost dropped the darn thing when I saw the price was $10.00

10:56 AM  
Blogger Gypsybobocowgirl said...

Loved it! I react the same way at art fairs. Art is in the eye of the beholder. So, my picture might be art to me, but unless the viewer loves the place also, I don't expect someone looking at my photo's to see them as art. Actually, I often refer to my photo's as my souviner's. Although I would love for Texas Highways to call me and publish a couple of them. :)

People lack creativity, so they are willing to pay for other's creativity. That's capitalism.

8:35 PM  
Blogger schnoodlepooh said...

We have a fancy-dancy arts & crafts fair here every year also. My ex bought me a tiny little hand painted vase one year for $50. I thought it was cute, but not anything that special. I sold it at a garage sale for $2.

11:15 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

"I don't know what art is, but I know it when I see it...."

7:30 AM  
Blogger Bernadette said...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles accomplished what few art history teacher could. Is that metal sculpture supposed to be a Wolverine?

Your allegiance to the glories of Ann Arbor is touching. Sorry I cannot concur.


11:48 AM  
Blogger Trucker Bob said...

Who knows Dave, a picture of your desk might fetch big bucks. Or not! ;-)

2:41 PM  
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1:02 AM  

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