Saturday, May 19, 2007

I had the pleasure of covering the Broadripple Art Fair for the Indy Star today. It was a beautiful day and as usual the artists were very friendly and really appreciative towards anyone that showed a genuine interest in their work.

The predominant art fair aesthetics are really interesting. Generally work needs to be attractive, easily accessible, and bright and shiny work seems be more popular than dark and brooding. I'd say less than five percent of the work there was really thought provoking or challenging. Not to knock the work, on the contrary, kudos to the artist for making and selling art.

It all makes me question the perception and role of art in our society. Obviously lots of people like looking at thought provoking work, go check out a local art museum. A large quantity of the work there will be pretty happy shinny pieces that illicit very little in the way of thought processes, but there will be lots of little gems that make you stop and contemplate something in your or someone else's life.

Does anyone in the general populace have an interest in buying that type of thought provoking work though? I mean consider the percentage of the population that buys art from actual art galleries (the havens of thinking controversial art that they are).

It all just makes me scratch my head and wonder what Thomas Kinkade thinks of his own work.