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Wednesday 7 November 2012

Private View

A hundred paintings on the wall,
all thrown together thoughtlessly -
enough they could be crowded in
with no blank wall to spare, now
looking down at people on display:
Conceptual Dressers -- are they? -- or
Performance Artists  maybe? Some
new genre for the in-crowd to go on about?
Motifs interchanged before your very eyes:
motives confused, confusing or Confucius-
like -- you'll know them by their too much
nibbling at their cheese on sticks, and too
much sipping of expensive wines. So where's
the art in that? the pictures ask. The people,
they point out, are frameless every one. And so,
these strangers who keep peering up at them,
these voyeur-viewers-concept dressers-per-
formance people with no boundaries,
all without straight edges set to crop 
them into manageable wholes and hold
each whole together, are one conglomerate mass,
devoid of individual voices, setting out a style.
You hear it in their talk, the formless way
it spills across the gallery, the vague
waft of the hand to indicate
where Post-Impressionism colonises
something known as  Luminism. or
a perfect balance is achieved
between Expressionism and ingestion
of the spirit. More Burgundy, like blood,
lands SPLAT! upon the floor.

Linking to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night #69


Steve King said...


The idea behind this is terrific...and the execution as well. Beyond the simple role reversal of subject vs. subjectivity, your poking fun at human inconstancy as it attempts to render judgement on "art" is a much needed tonic for us all. I really enjoyed reading this.

Brian Miller said...

ha, take two people into an art gallery and they will seldom agree on what is art....or what they see in looking at it...and perhaps that is the magic of art...the blood ont he floor in the end is very telling dave...

Sabio Lantz said...

A bad night at the gallery, eh?
Yah got to be special to go to art shows -- yah got to have money to be able to afford the right wine!

Fun to hear your gripes.

Ygraine said...

How wonderful!
The idea of the paintings observing US is truly inspirational.
I'm sure that is exactly what they'd make of us - the confusion of "one conglomerate mass"...and yes, we're messy drinkers too!!

Mary said...

Well, different strokes for different folks probably, as the old saying goes. It definitely is interesting to see what people have to say about art.

Claudia said...

ha oh my...the blood closure came unexpected..i always find it interesting to watch people in art galleries...def. seeing the same thing but interpreting it in such different ways..

Sarav said...

Dave, I love this flow of consciousness and especially that confused, confusing, Confucius--contrast of frameless and straight edges--very well done!

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I enjoyed it, in particular the last line. It reminds me of an Alan Bennet's work for tv, a documentary about people in a museum gazing at various paintings and commenting...

hedgewitch said...

This is a very deft and sincere examination of the pretense that rules so much of How Things Are Regarded--regardless of What They Really Are--just excellent, David. I think every art gallery should make bringing a child along mandatory--then you might hear something meaningful. ;_)

Arron Shilling said...

Hey David.

a sense of concise measure spreading . . . Thinking over the material . . . And a great choice of wine and colour.

Makes for An excellent read,

cheers David

Elephant's Child said...

Not only did I enjoy this shift in POV, it had me considering whether say all Cubist paintings would have the same take on the crowd below, or whether they too would differ. And not always politely.

Unknown said...

I spent years of my life running an art gallery so this brought a huge smile. What I noticed after hundreds of shows is that no one looks at the art, or if they do it's for about 5 seconds and then they want alcohol. We literally had performance artists and a busload of people who dressed up for first Fridays sometimes only in body paint show up. I love this one.

A Cuban In London said...

I have to say that this is one of your greatest pieces. The concept is unusual, the way to put into practice is masterful. Many thanks. Next time I visit an art gallery I will be more self-conscious about being "observed" whilst observing.

Greetings from London.

Dave King said...

Hi, a warm welcome to you, and much thanks for your thoughts. Really good to know you enjoyed it.

Yup, I agree re the two you take into a gallery. Any decent exhibition's gotta end wiv blood on the floor!

No, it's a private view thou knows -- the blood (wine) comes free!

I think so, yes. I've spent a fair bit of time over the years observing gallery goers.

Agreed! Much thanks.

I have this feeling that all gallery showings should provide something of a bang!

Thanks Saar. Good to have your response. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

I don't know the documentary, but I can almost see it in my mind's eye! Thanks for the kind observation.

I so agree with your suggestion. It really would be revealing to know what a child thought - esp. in some cases!

Hi! A warm welcome to yoou. Much appreciate your remarks. Thanks so much.

The Elephant's Child
Brilliant thought. Yes, me like! Off the cuff, I'd say they'd differ... but what a line to follow up!

This does not surprise me, but it's wonderful to hear. Thank you so much for sharing it.

A Cuban in London
Ah, yes, to have to watch out for those tricksy paintings! Thanks for the comment.