20 October 2010

Art or vandalism?

Don't get me wrong, I like art and do not believe art should conform to strict sets of guidelines defined by those who are all for free expression, providing it conforms to parameters set by those who learned about art in scholastic halls rather than the academy between their lugholes.

However, I do have my "miserable old git" moments and Sydney's "Art and About" exhibition is the cause of one such moment. Quote: "Dressed up and flamboyantly decorated, Sydney's historic statues are putting on their finery for Art & About Sydney. Creative Director Michelle McCosker and Producer Imogen Semmler have called on the talents of established and emerging Sydney artists, textile artists, and fashion and costume designers for this fresh take on historical symbolism, inspired by the colorful wearable art scene of the 70s and 80s."

Granted, not all Sydney's statues can be describes as works of art - in fact many Sydneysiders probably wouldn't notice most of them, (not including the pigeons of course) but many are indeed beautiful pieces representing our history and/or culture, created when Sydney was just a toddler trying to learn how to walk.

I took the photo accompanying this post two days ago. It is one of my favorite statues, in one of my favorite locations - Edward VII. It is a fine, regal statue - or it least it was until someone decided it was a good idea to turn it into Clint Eastwood Meets Priscilla Queen of The Desert.

Sorry, but to me that is not art - that is vandalism. If a bunch of kids or University students had defaced the city's statues in such a way, the tabloids would have a field day with, "Youth Gone Wild" stories. But oh no, call them artists and it's fine. Someone puts a pair of socks on a historic statue - and it's art not vandalism. Bill Henson takes photographs of nude minors, and it is a work of art wrongly supported and defended by arty farties who would rightly consider it porn if anyone outside the Art-istocracy did the same thing.

I would love to read the minds of bewildered tourists who will have no idea why our statues are wearing ponchos, footy socks and pantomime hats!


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