time for love
art of the deal
Jones is no ordinary guy. Just ask him he'll tell you all
about his murky triumphs back in the day, when beat was spelled
with an upper-case "B" and men like Bukowski and Kerouac
roamed the planet, mighty dinosaurs of the literary sort. But if
his Brazilian Web site (GZO
Jones Town) is any indication ... well, as we like to keep in
mind, Dr. Jones has a way with words, never turns down a good question
and hasn't missed a deadline.
Dear Dr. Jones,
I've been looking at all of this art lately and I
still can't tell "good" from "bad." Sometimes
I think it looks like shit and it's worth a million dollars, other
times I love it and the "critics" call it shit. What do
I get the feeling you must go to those galleries where there's
a 10-foot-square frame and a postcard-sized splatter of Dutch Boy
in the center. It might be hard to believe, but an old psychedelic
freak like myself can't stand modern art. Abstract is worse. That
Serrano show was the first and only time I've been 86ed from the
There's too much room for interpretation, like trying to understand
a poem with all the punctuation and capitals left out. I've always
found the modern styles to be like brand names. The shoe is no different,
but the little sigil on the side makes it "worth" 50 bucks
more ... though maybe I'm biased ever since the time Salvador Dali
made a pass at me. Only a well-timed slash of the ol' balisong kept
my maidenly virtue unsullied, and he looked awfully surreal with
half a moustache ...
Actually, I follow a few friendly clichés whenever I
try to wrap my arms around any so-called art:
- Beauty is in the eye of the beholder (Don't discount this
seemingly simplistic one: why pretend to like something you don't
like? Some men like big-breasted women, and others do not ...).
- If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck (And if it
looks like crap ...).
- I know it when I see it (This, of course, follows the method
the U.S. Supreme Court uses to define porn, and where I run into
problems is with erotic art. Of course, not all problems are bad
I've known a lot of artists in my day, and a lot of pretenders.
But the fact is that you could probably exchange the name at the
top of both those lists and make a strong argument either way. So
here's the bottom line: Art is to be enjoyed, not fretted over.
If you see something you like, enjoy. If you really like
it (and can afford it), buy it. And if not, move on.
Hell, if money was the be-all and end-all, a $500 prostitute
would be worth more than any man's wife. Of course, that sort of
economy of scale will buy you nothing but trouble.
In the end the only thing that separates a critic from the masses
is the price of a typewriter. And your opinion is the only one that
even comes close to mattering (except for mine).