30 Sep

In the last post I mentioned Takashi Murakami. Here’s a great quote from him (after a question on mixing art with commercialism) that I agree with wholeheartedly and describes quite accurately how I feel about my own work:

“I don’t think of it as straddling. I think of it as changing the line. What I’ve been talking about for years is how in Japan, that line is less defined. Both by the culture and by the past-War economic situation. Japanese people accept that art and commerce will be blended; and in fact, they are surprised by the rigid and pretentious Western hierarchy of “high art.” In the West, it certainly is dangerous to blend the two because people will throw all sorts of stones. But that’s okay— I’m ready with my hard hat.”

For me the key phrase here is “the rigid and pretentious Western hierarchy of high art”, more than the art and commerce stuff.  Murakami nails it with this observation; the primary concern always seems to be this is art or this is not art. A concern for whether the ideas or the execution are any good comes later, if it comes at all. Modernist floor installations of metal chunks are “good” because they have Fine Art imprimatur, not because they’re necessarily interesting or relevant to anything or anyone outside of the art world itself.

I still think Murakami’s kawaii breast milk and wanking sculptures are dodgy, though.


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