Art for art’s sake?


I don’t know how it started. I do know that art and I parted company in the mid eighties. Some dear friends of mine, culture vultures to the core, took me to the Kunsthalle in Düsseldorf, which is not as bad as it sounds. It hosted contemporary, modern art. I offended my friends deeply when I observed that an entire room of ‘art’ closely resembled the potato prints we made at primary school. I just didn’t get it.

Art and I almost became reconciled when I was taken round the galleries of Hamburg and encountered Kokoschka, Kandinsky and possibly Klimt. I was convinced then that artists had to have a name beginning with K, just as composers had to begin with B (Buxtehude, Beethoven, 37 Bachs, not now, I’m Bizet etc. etc.) By definition that meant Pablo was not good. I went to a gallery exhibiting his work in Luzern and came away convinced that Klee was better.

In recent years I have ventured into some rather impressive galleries in Florence, Venice, Madrid and Vienna. Established readers may recall my insightful piece in which I noted the strong correlation between the quality of the old master and the presence of a dog or indeed dogs on the canvas.

Recently I watched a fascinating documentary about van Gogh’s ear and found he was rather good, if a little bonkers much of the time. Then I watched a documentary about Picasso on a flight from Sydney to Hong Kong. Just to be clear, it was I on the flight, not PP. I don’t think he ever flew Cathay between Sydney and Honkers. Now I am watching a doc on Georgia O’Keefe. Previously the only Keefe I knew was Keef Richards of the Rolling Stones.

Which leads me to the latest marital challenge. I have seen a painting I like. Indeed I am willing to buy it if it is still in the gallery. The trouble is Mrs. Ha doesn’t like it. I know that because she says there is nowhere to hang it – this is a 4,000+ sq ft house. I know I can squeeze it in somewhere. And she claims it would be hard to keep clean. I wouldn’t bother. Paintings are supposed to look grubby and dusty – just look in the Prado. Then there is the small matter of price. I think it is about £3,500. I regard that as an investment. So I have to tread softly. The work is by Maya Eventov. I want it. What would you do?



47 thoughts on “Art for art’s sake?

  1. What would I do? I’d hang it where Mrs. Ha could not find it in a 4,000 square foot house. That’s a lot of room and I’m thinking Mrs. H. surely doesn’t see every nook and cranny.

    Loved the post and looking for more. You’ve gotten your groove back. 🙂

  2. great to hear from you Andrew
    I say buy it hang
    And when she asked where it came from
    Oh I thought I told you I was getting it
    And go on and say how lovely it looks in the corner of the room
    How it just blends in with the rest of the decor
    As always Sheldon

  3. I am shocked-shocked I tell you, Andrew. That in a 4,000 square foot home there is no Man Cave bearing your crest. Of course, maybe there is and it bears a sign that says for all the world to see “Gentlemen”.
    Is it one of her birch series? They are quite striking.

  4. This is a tough spot. My 2 art degree husband and I don’t see eye to eye on art. He almost made a fatal mistake by saying writing isn’t art….
    Yes, I have seen better artwork being presented on refrigerators than some galleries.
    I say marriage is a give and take. It will be her time to give in this situation. Can she at least sell it for a profit when you’re gone? Maybe you can persuade it to her that way 😉😉😉

    • I deliberately avoided the question of what is art. Writing is creative and ergo surely art. I may have to tackle this thorny issue soon but yes, we could hang it (sideways) on the fridge door. Good wheeze.

  5. If you love the painting, you should buy it. The art world needs you, Andrew! Tell Mrs Ha that you are becoming a Patron of The Arts. I’m sure that will win her over 😉

  6. Just tell her you found it in the attic and as proof, start dusting it down in front of her. Leave the man-hole to the attic open!
    Do a search on previous owners with the pretence you want to return it to the rightful owner. That is of course only possible if she did not take too much notice when you were at the gallery looking at it.
    In that case; try and convince her the painting is from a series by this artist who is known as being obsessed by painting the same theme. Then befuddle the issue by saying that an earlier work must have been bought and somehow found its way into the attic.
    Try and be convincing, Andrew.

  7. Hey, quit ragging on potato art. In 3rd grade my print came in 4th out of 17 entries. 😉
    And art does more than match your furniture, Andrew. It puts spice in marital arguments, or something like that.
    If your wife really hates it, keep it in the Man Cave, if you have one. If you don’t, well, keep arguing. 😉

    • 4th is almost a bronze medal Marylin. Kudos. The picture is too big for the man cave but I could rotate it with some of the other paintings. I need a cunning plan.

  8. Listen to Gerard, his advice is never/seldom wrong. At least, that’s what he would have us believe.

    I say, go for it, as the youngsters are fond of saying YOLO

  9. I watched that Van Gogh doc and have since day bought the book…he’s one of my interests! But back to the serious question – should you buy that painting? Yes! The art world needs support. I’m guessing that there must be at least one thing that Mrs Ha owns and likes that you can’t stand. Bargain/barter! Promise to load the dishwasher, replace the loo roll, but buy that picture.😉

    • You are suggesting extreme measures Jenny. Loading the dishwasher is probably a bit OTT. I could conceivably try to replace the loo roll if I can discover where they are hidden. As to things I can’t stand. To admit to that would be suicidal. But the word ‘shoes’ springs to mind.

  10. Hmm, I assume this is some birch trees. If you have the money to spare, does Mrs Ha have a similar amount to spare for an artwork entirely of her choice? There must be parts of the house that are more frequented by each of you. We buy art at intervals (a bit cheaper than yours) and we usually only buy stuff we both like, but I feel free to put anything I like up in my own workroom. I’m not sure about the investment value of your choice, so only buy it because you love it and want to look at it. Good luck!

  11. My wife and I have an arrangement. She lets me buy anything I want inside my budget. I try to buy things I could sell for at least as much (more a case of keeping their value than an investment) and anything I cannot resist. This seems to tick both boxes. Buy. Buy.

  12. Daren’t reply. When I saw the artwork on the walls of my Intended, it gave me the feeling that it was me or the pictures. Thankfully he chose me, albeit unknowing that the paintings would gradually disappear.

  13. Hi I’m new to the blogging life and was wondering if you could read my work and follow me I’d appreciate it as i am interested in literature and spoken word and lack a bit of confidence Thank you for your time and have a nice day

  14. Buy it! But then I would say that, I’m an artist and these kinds of marital dispute so often scupper a sale I’m about to make….I have never regretted my plunges into art purchase if the work speaks to me (and have more often regretted not taking the leap).

    • In the end we bought a different painting. Similar size and more expensive. I only ever buy what I like. Never for investment. It’s a shame if you lose a sale to personal differences of taste. I think each partner should have a room they ‘own’. Unfortunately mine is full. I would like to collect photographs too. Saw a cracker in Venice. Same issue. Split decision! That went begging. Not. Easy.

      • Glad to hear you dont buy for investment, when I had my first big break in London, I lost out to that too: “I love it…but is it an investment” was all the agent kept hearing. I’ve claimed the whole house as my art domain, lol…but then I have so much of it.

  15. com/2016/11/29/art-for-arts-sake/” rel=”nofollow”>Ms. Shada Burks/ Self Published Author and commented:
    I Like it! But then I would say that, I’m an artist and these kinds of marital dispute so often scupper a sale I’m about to make….

  16. com/2016/11/29/art-for-arts-sake/” rel=”nofollow”>Ms. Shada Burks/ Self Published Author and commented:
    I Like it! But then I would say that, I’m an artist and these kinds of marital dispute so often scupper a sale I’m about to make….

I'd be delighted to hear what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s