Thursday, March 12, 2009

You Call That Art?

Do you remember that scene from Fight Club where The Space Monkeys bring in a very dead Robert Paulson and explain how he was shot while on a Project Mayhem assignment to destroy a piece of corporate art and a trendy coffee bar at the same time?

Do you also remember what that piece of corporate art was?

It was a giant sphere which they rolled into a Starbucks.

Even though it was a moving scene which ended with Meat Loaf dying of a massive gaping head wound, my thoughts weren't on the tragic loss of life or on how The Space Monkeys had all been transformed into unfeeling cogs, my thoughts returned to that ugly golden sphere and I remember thinking, “That is not art”.

Fast forward to today as I walked into an office building to attend a meeting and noticed the massive piece of "artwork" that hangs in their atrium from the third to the first floor. I stopped and stared at it, trying to figure out what the heck it was. It took me a few minutes, staring at it’s shiny silver surface until I realized that it looked like the bones of a giant fish.

Well, nothing says “Welcome to Company Inc™, where we do business” like a giant metal abstract trout skeleton.

That got me thinking about a lot of the different corporate art I have seen and I came to the conclusion that referring to any of it as art is damn near an impossibility for me.

I am all for abstract shapes and concepts, but when it looks like a giant piece of sheet metal that has been warped it into a squiggly cylinder which has then been plopped down outside an office building it is not art.

It may be like comparing apples to oranges, but I just can’t call that art as I would a painting by Diego Velazquez or Salvador Dali.


Anonymous fidelio said...

That is not art. That looks like my father's Volvo after a night of binge drinking.

12/3/09 12:00  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Most art, particularly public open space projects, are so subjective that I wonder why they do it at all. That sort of thing is littered all over Manhattan.

I stopped and stared at it, trying to figure out what the heck it was.

I’m pretty sure that’s exactly what the artist wanted you to do!

word verification: motha

12/3/09 14:01  
Anonymous Sharp As A Marble said...

Corporate "art" is usually such an eyesore. I can't stand it.

12/3/09 19:56  
Blogger Season said...

That art probably made somebody some real money! It's like watching Antiques Roadshow... the ugliest, stupidest stuff is always where the money is!

12/3/09 22:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corporate art nearly always sucks. the best contemporary art is never purchased or appreciated by a board of directors or whoever the hell it is who makes those monumentally bad decisions

30/3/09 15:46  

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