So I've never really been into the visual arts for several reasons. The first is that I can't really afford to buy much art, the second is I've never really lived in a house that would justify anything more than the odd family portrait (I mean you can hardly start hanging Monet's from a three-bed semi), but mainly because I have absolutely no talent beyond the written word (and even that talent is hanging on by a thread). I mean, I can understand people paying ludicrous sums of money for art (excluding Hurst). What would I pay for the original manuscript of Lyrical ballads?? (Hurst in this context equates to spending £18,000,000 on the original hand drafted screenplay of "Mean Girls"). I also get that aspiring artists should study to their hearts content, theory and/or technique, and whatever else it is artists do.
This gives us the rich and the talented.
But for the average man, like myself, there's just nothing to be gained. Now I can find all kinds of art on the internet, but let's be honest, a computer is a pointless way to view art for the common man, as are books. The only way is to go to a museum, or buy prints and hide them in the garage so noone thinks your insane. And let's face it, who wants to spend all day walking around a museum trying to appreciate art that you don't fully understand, can never actually afford, and that won't be taking home with you. So for that 95 % - basically anyone who can neither afford art, or lacks the talent to produce it - you might aswell pack up and fu** off.
This gives us the common man
So why are the visual arts so popular? Well I would say it was the equivalent to liking Wrigley's chewing gum on Facebook. I'm guessing that Wrigley's has a couple of hundred thousand likes at least, maybe more. But none of it actually means anything. Thousands of people walk down the street every day and see a Banksy, or fave a picture on deviant art, or pass sculptures in a foyer, or cut out from magazines, or see art in general. The truth is no one gives a shit about the art any more than they do the gum, it's all just a superficial pleasure. And those who are guilty of clicking, or seeing, or walking, or cutting out; have by now long forgotten.
So the other day I was in town. I had a few things to do but hung around just because I rarely make the trip nowadays. I love London, I miss London, but after an hour of being in her company I begin to feel slightly depressed about the things in society we no longer speak of. I was by Trafalgar Sq, and went into the Tate for reasons I'm sure I don't know. Anyway, I was walking around looking at this, that, the other, and then I stumbled on Turner's 'Fisherman at Sea'. I obviously knew who Turner was, my Mum mentions his name on occasion, and he features regularly on quiz shows, but before now I had never really cared to see his work.
I swear it was one of the most beautiful things, and I wished for all the world I could take it home with me. My mind was swirling amongst the colours, and those waves, they were like nothing I'd ever seen in before. I stayed with this painting for nearly an hour, hoping that perhaps there will come a day when the light would find a through.
But that hour is now a molecule in history. And I still find myslef unable to hang my favoured Rossetti. I wonder, am I to be like the person who stumbled upon the Wrigley's Facebook page, both did like, and soon to forget?