Essential Cool - Part Five: Art

Cools love art. If you see somebody in an art gallery, they are probably cool. Wankers do not go to art galleries, and it is a fact of life that if you want to spend a day wank free, then go to a good ol' fashioned art gallery. Art Galleries are free, and free things are cool. Avoid Private Views, though. Wankers do infiltrate, and can be heard braying about some piece of total crap and looking around to see who else is there.

I went to Art College. That is sort of cool, because so did Bryan Ferry, and Bryan Ferry is virtually Sub-Zero Cool. Ferry does not travel like most people. He sort of floats. That is, unless he is going to Zanzibar when a maniac tries to take over the controls of the plane, but even then, while women are screaming and relieving themselves involuntarily, and men are puking and telling their wives and sweethearts they love them, Bryan is sitting reading Narziss and Goldmund and making annotations in the margin.

But I digress. Art is cool. Don't get me wrong, stuff that masquerades as art, such as anything by Damien Hirst or Tracy Emin, is not cool, or art. It is just crap; toss from the Deutsche Bank of Grossespunk und Tosserwanken.

Cools own works of art, but always because they have a personal reason for having them. Anybody who buys art to "invest" is not cool. The value of art is in its artistry.
There are a lot of cool British artists. Edward Burra (see left) - very underrated but collected by those who know, such as George Melly. Stanley Spencer - again underrated but so natural and so sincere. Anthony Gormley is cool. His work is far more than the sum total of its parts. Grayson Perry is cool.

I love watercolours. They are cheap to buy and very collectible. I have several, my favourite being a dyptich of English landscape that I bought for £1. An original, perfectly rendered work of original art for a quid! Come up and see my etchings sometime. I have a very intimate one by a Scottish artist called A J Hartrick, called "Midsummer's Night" See above right (detail)

Art is all around. You can create it by arranging fruit in a bowl or with a slice of lemon in a Gin and Tonic.


Spartan said...

l avoid any groups in an art gallery that have an 'expert' guide with them explaining things like what the artist was 'saying' etc etc blah blah. What a load of crap.

Art is quite personal ... you either like it or you don't.

Loved the time when cleaners cleaned up Emin's so called art of a messy bed! Seemed to be some divine intervention when her 'art' got destroyed by fire too. :)

You can indeed create art by just arranging still life ... hence my avatar. Says a lot to me and couldn't care less if it doesn't to anyone else. Took it on a lazy sun-soaked afternoon in Corfu after a romantic interlude. :)

Jim Baxter said...

Stanley Spencer, yes. The Cookham man. Always reminds me of Gulley Jimson, although that might have been Carey's plan.

Our own Alasdair Gray is a bit of a Gulley Jimson - hence his mural on the stairs down to the ladies bog in the UB Chip. Best place for it. I think his drawings are pish.

Spartan said...

Once was doing an installation at a casino that was being refurbed. Noticed in the skip a frame. l got it out and it was Beryl Cook signed silkscreen limited edition called Staircase. Think there were 365 produced.

Being offered nowadays for around £800. Strange what people throw away.