Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 58

“Complex, statistically improbable things

are by their nature more difficult to explain

than simple, statistically probable things.

Richard Dawkins, Ethologist, evolutionary biologist, secularist and author of the best-selling book The God Delusion

Fine Wine.  Fine Art.  Fine Mess.  Am I wrong?  Put a glass of wine in someone’s hand and ask them to tell you about it and, what happens?  Stand someone in front of an abstract piece of art and ask them to tell you about it and, what happens?

Put a glass of wine in someone’s hand and stand them in front of an abstract artwork and ask them to talk to you about the wine , the art or, both.  Nine out of ten times, what will they do?

First, before I continue, I have no agenda.  I have no solid theory.  I have nothing but a need to explore and inquire about what I feel is, at the very least, an issue of sorts.  And, perhaps the one question I want answered is: How in the world has the simple become the complex?

Art and wine are two things you need not know a thing about to enjoy.  They are what they both are.  Wine can be enjoyed by any one of or, all five of the senses.

WINE – The wine offers you its color to be scrutinized by your eyes; its scent is for your nose and, combined with its presence in your mouth and on your tongue; it offers you its taste and feel.

Wine also offers your ears something to delight in. These little gifts of sound are sometimes under-appreciated or overlooked.  The pop of the cork.  The glug and gurgle of the pour into your glass.  The clink of the glasses as a social gesture.  These are wine’s gift to your ears.

What do you smell when you drink wine?  What do you feel in your mouth?  What do you see in your glass?  What do you hear?  And, of course what is it that you’re tasting?

ART – And, in this case abstract art, may also be enjoyed at or on several sensory levels.   Yeah, just like wine.  The eyes, it would seem, have it.  Sometimes there’s a hint of the scent of the materials used to create it – especially oil paint.

But the eyes are also offered tactility and a sense of space or time.  As the alcohol in a glass of wine when swallowed floods the brain’s pleasure center, it affects our intellect.

You know, the intellect?  An ability and a faculty of being able to reason and understand objectively.  It is especially important when  it comes to abstract matters.  It is a reflection of your mental powers as supported by your education and talent.

Herb Cummings, my college painting teacher used to say, “People say they don’t understand abstract work.  I tell them that the first step to appreciating it is understanding it.  How they ask?  Simple I say.  What do you see?  Nothing but colors and shapes.  You’re already off to a great start!  Really, they say?  That’s all there is to it!”

I’ve never forgotten his ramblings (obviously) on this subject.  The colors, shapes and lines in an abstract piece of art, if allowed, they can flood the brain’s pleasure center.  No!  It’s not a secret code that requires a college course or education to decipher.

I’m going to revisit this subject again.  I’ve been trying to create a mini-course called (working title): Fine Art.  Fine Wine.  It’s Not So Scary!   Before I go any further, I want to interject the other side of this inquiry: Beer and Realistic Art.

Again I have no agenda and no answers.  But based on perhaps a limited amount of experiences, what would happen if the proverbial shoe was on the other foot?   Put a beer in someone’s hand and ask them to tell you about it and, what happens?  Stand someone in front of a realistic piece of art and ask them to tell you about it and, what happens?

Put a beer in someone’s hand and stand them in front of a realistic piece of artwork and ask them to talk to you about the beer , the art or, both.  Nine out of ten times, what will they do?

So, what’s the difference?  Then again, there’s this to consider and the parallels: Wine is worse for brain than beer, scientists reveal…

 

 

Posted on: 30/05/2013, by : Ron Fortier
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