Don’t fake it . . . Enjoy it

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UNDERSTANDING ART: No pretentious analysis is necessary.

IT does my heart good when I see that some pontificating art snob has been taken to the cleaners with a clever fake, as happened recently in London.

Many of the pictures that we personally own were painted by a late Bermudian friend and are therefore special to us. He made his living as an artist, but having sold most of his work to American tourists over many years, you won’t find any examples in a Sotheby’s auction – although according to eBay, prices are steadily rising.

But they are colourful and evocative and have special meaning to us. We also have one that my Dad painted many years ago. It is of Dunster village in Somerset that he copied from a Huntley & Palmers biscuit tin (I bet Rembrandt never did that) and naturally it’s special to me.

Another is a humorous pencil drawing of several dogs peeing up a wall human style. It hangs on the wall in the downstairs loo, and if people don’t like it, they can look away. On second thoughts, they had better not, the walls are freshly painted.

And yet another, a pastel drawing of my wife, executed by my closest friend, has pride of place on our lounge wall. The point is, although the combined framing has probably cost more than our collection is worth, every piece represents a part of our lives.

In the 60’s I was introduced to the artist Terry Durham, whose work in those days was loosely termed as abstract. He could see that I was searching for words to comment on a particular striking piece that appealed to me. “Understanding it is not important,” he told me. “If it pleases you, then I have achieved something.” And that’s it in a nutshell.

Whether it is art, music or literature, enjoyment is all, and no pretentious analysis is necessary. And if it floats your boat to have three ceramic flying ducks on your wall, a collection of Jeffrey Archer novels and a Paul Potts album playing, then go for it.

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