Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Arting: are we consuming the right art?

Ok, I know there is no new thing in art ever…it has all been done before. But that does not keep us from trying to identify what is going on right now in our society. In the April 5 issue of The New Yorker magazine, there was an article No Rules about Le Fooding by Adam Gopnik. Le Fooding is the latest cuisine craze and started in France ten years ago and has finally reached our shores. The most notable result of Le Fooding is the restaurant guide in competition with Michelin (traditional high cuisine) and Gault Millau (nouvelle cuisine). Le Fooding includes a few fast food joints of exceptional quality which is heresy to Michelin. Le Fooding is about food that is passionate, provocative, and spontaneous.

Mr. Gopnik uses all sorts of art analogies to explain Le Fooding. I immediately thought what characteristic of cuisine might apply to the visual arts.

If hor d'oeuvres traditionally tempts us to eat more at the beginning of a meal, what can we do to sell more art? This is especially important at a time when the art world is anxious about the stability of the market place. Will new art lure established buyer to start buying again? We want it all: fresh ideas, tempting visuals, and superb craftsmanship. I think we are getting lots of those qualities with our local artists. I am constantly astonished by the wealth of talent we have and you need to go no further than the New Contemporaries emerging artist exhibition in its third year, to see the menu of starters for 2010.

The main course or entrĂ©e is the surprise. It is not the newness of the art, but developing the new audience, which should be our current focus. How the viewers enters the art world, are engaged and become patrons, buyers or even simply supporters is the dish du jour. What are we doing to take the art walk attendees (all 300,000 of them) up to the next level? Is our audience ready to participate and are we making that easy and fun for them? Social media is everywhere, and a good idea can rise in an hour like a soufflĂ©. Are we working together to take the best of the good ideas, stuffing, basting, and grilling them until they are ready to consume? The SD Art Prize in it’s four year, Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair in it’s second year and San Diego Art Month (click to request details) this coming September and Art Meets Fashion in 2011 are certainly taking us in the right direction.

The desert is definitely a la mode. No, not art covered with whipped or iced cream, but described in the words of today that we all understand. Gone is the art speak of ancient historians, and even the double speak of some conceptualists. We want art that nourishes us, provokes and challenges us into discussion, maybe a palate cleanser of pleasure between courses occasionally.

We seek art that can go on the walls of our homes and into the permanent collections of our museums. We want to gather in real (not virtual) spaces to celebrate that art. We also wouldn’t mind going directly into the kitchen now and then to see what is cooking and maybe stir a few pots.