take a tour of the art world from home

As hundreds of doors close, thousands of digital doors open. London’s galleries and museums are rethinking ways to reach the art-starved among us.

It’s not a bad time to have a virtual stroll around a museum that’s usually packed with visitors – you’ll have a guaranteed view of every artwork without someone’s head in the way, and get a closer look than might be normally permitted. As an added bonus, galleries around the world that would be normally out of reach are now right there on your screen.

A list of some of the museums who are hosting a virtual experience can be accessed here.

PHILOSOPHY OF ART BITESIZE – do the public have good taste?

Greek sculptor Polykleitos 5th century BC proposed to create two pieces of sculptural work of human form; one designed to illustrate his own canon of proportion and the other designed by public opinion. After completing both statues, the public preferred the statue representative of his own canon of harmony derived from, ‘exemplifying what he considered to be the perfectly harmonious and balanced proportions of the human body in the sculpted form.’

You could conclude that although the general public admire and appreciate art in its many forms and guises from painting to the advertising of branded products, each person would consider themselves of having good taste and judgement on such things. Art critic Clement Greenberg differentiated between the common persons taste and fine art as kitsch and the avant garde (transcript). Looking at some examples of kitsch art, you can see that there is a generalised depiction of generic benign subject matters that require little contemplation and are often ‘bright, sparkly and happy’ in overall composition. Was Greenberg suggesting that the common man was a simple man to please and has little taste? Could he also be implying that good taste is in the domain of the educated?

George Bernard Shaw commentated negatively on the creation of art to facilitate public taste declaring that the corruption of taste of the mass of the people is such that if any piece of art which pleases more than ten percent of the population must be immediately burned, inferring a tendency towards the depreciation of taste towards a more kitsch ideal, an echo of Greenberg.

Plato declared that art is like a mirror as it reflects everything that you can see. A meaningful but rudimentary premise that the common man or the less knowledgable can easily understand – art reflects and imitates life. However, Shakespeares Hamlet proposed further that art is indeed like a mirror, not just reflecting what you can see but perhaps also reflecting things that you never see, like your own reflection. This premise offers you, the artist, the opportunity to interpret and express something other than what the mirror may reflect.

Being young artists yourselves, you have the capacity to represent what is admired above the normality of everyday life and visual taste. You are pioneers of the interpretation of ideas.

Something to think about.

KITSCH – art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way. The taste of the common man.

AVANT GARDE – new and experimental ideas and methods in art.

A DIGITAL EVOLUTION: Have you heard of issuu?

Truro College of Art and Design have numerous courses on offer and have traditionally provided hard copy mini booklets, promotional material, prospectus leaflets and various other publication material for you to read through.

A nod to the environmental challenges of the day, Truro College has taken the digital leap towards ISSUU where all of the College’s publications, prospectuses and promotional literature can be accessed and viewed for free online. A great move in the right direction.

A list of all that is available from Truro College on ISSUU can be accessed here.

Happy ISSUUing.

Not quite the turmoil endured by Sisyphus

Former art and design student Robin Whitehouse serendipitously crossed paths with one of his former tutors. Robin spoke of his interest in the movement of artists’ materials, especially marble from where it was quarried to a sculptor’s studio. He said that he was going to explore this by making a sculpture of a rock and then dragging it from his workspace to a gallery where he was to take part in an exhibition; the moving of the rock through the streets being as much a part of the work as the object itself.

To read more on THE ROCK TALK PROJECT, click here.