Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm not sure I like art. What is art, exactly? Depending on the definition of it, I might like some. I'm not really sure.

This is a response to Liza's most recent post.  Enjoy.

I read Liza's most recent blog post about the characteristics of her tastes in art, and I couldn't help but realize how incredibly hopeless I am when it comes to understanding, or, hell, even liking, art.  I can't look at a painting and appreciate it for anything more than paint on a canvas.  The closest I've come to getting enjoyment out of paintings was watching reruns of "The Joy of Painting" with Bob Ross when I was a kid.  And only because he was so boring, it was entertaining.  I read Liza's descriptions, finding myself becoming more and more frustrated because I had absolutely no clue what she was talking about as I read.  I recognized a few artistic period names...A few famous painters she mentioned...But as for what characterizes and separates those periods or those painters...Not a clue.  I am ignorant when it comes to that kind of stuff.  And what's worse?  I don't really care.

I've never really thought of myself as "complex."  I've never really been creative in the sense of "creating."  Unless you count the period from the time I was about 4-9 years of age.  I would paint with watercolors and draw from time to time.  I have a notebook at home filled with countless superheroes I made up.  My mom has a painting I did at Memaw's when I was about 5.  It's eloquently titled "Spaceship" and looks like a frog with red wings.  I don't know why my parents didn't nurture the obvious gift I had.  I could've been a prodigy.

And now...

I have ideas from time to time about a little project I want to work on, or something I want to build or make.  I'll go to the store and pick out items I think I will need.  I'll get home, start working without much of a plan, then realize I need at least ten more things to even really get started.  I'll go back to the store.  I'll come back and begin again, get halfway through said project, realize how incredibly awful it is.  I'll continue, thinking it will look better once I'm finished.  I will finish, sit back and look at the final product.  I'll then cuss.  Then I'll go back to the store and buy whatever it was I was trying to create, tossing mine into a gas station trash can on the way.  It's frustrating

I've never watched a movie and thought to myself how the the protagonist in the story represented some underlying abstract idea, or how the direction, camerawork, and lighting illustrates a particular "sense" that the director is striving to bring about in the audience.  I've never listened to a piece of music and appreciated it for the "story" it tells, whether it's a lyrical piece of work or an instrumental.  I've never watched people doing a dance routine and thought "those movements speak to me.  The grace and timing is impeccable...You can feel what the piece of music is trying to make you feel."  No, no, no...I've never really done any of those things.

I like movies that make me laugh.  I like movies that have really cool special effects, just because, well, they're cool.  I like movies that are based on true stories, and I like to research the "real" story after I watch them.  I like music that I like.  If it makes me bob my head, or listen intently to the lyrics, or makes me want to sing along...I like it.  I listen to it because it sounds good.  I listen because it illustrates someone else's incredible talent.  I am impressed by a dancer when they do something just looks cool.  When they do something I wish I could do, although I wouldn't even try unless I was alone in my house.

So, what kind of art do I like?  Well...None really.  I don't find artistic beauty in "traditional" forms of art like paintings, sculpture, classical music, or film.  I find it in nature.  I find it in super slow-motion camera shots of a water balloon bursting.  I find it in an outfielder tracking down a sinking line drive in the gap to save two runs.  I find it in a 30-minute drum solo.  And I couldn't really tell you why.


  1. Just so you know, that little engagement of your might be off when Adrienne hears your take on Bob Ross.

    She loved him...and his impressionistic, loose brush strokes that transformed muted hues into lovely landscapes that made you feel as though you were a child exploring the forest for the first time.
    Enjoyed this so much, Zach. And for the record, most of the time I don't think about why I like what I like either (and, as I mentioned, if I did I would probably be upset to learn that I am indeed crazy), but I just wanted to make myself try to be a little more focused for once.

    Here's another shot: Why I like Zach - you talk about your family in a way that makes it obvious how close you all are and not so people will say "awwww, look at how he mentions his memaw", Adrienne will never have to listen to you pretentiously talk about the artistic merit of Step Up 3D, your description of gas station trash can bound projects reminds me of some of my and mom's projects, reading this made me think, "I think this is how Dad might describe his tastes," and.... you and Adrienne are both "what you see is what you get" and I appreciate that.

    Thus concludes the longest blog comment ever.


  2. Ha thanks, Liza. You biting the bullet and describing your artistic tastes made me want to give it a whirl. Until I found out i don't really have an artistic taste ha. I need to broaden my horizons.

  3. I love that you mentioned your masterpiece, "Spaceship." As soon as you started talking about your collection of artwork, I knew that particular one would be mentioned.It is awesome, by the way. I always like reading your blogs. Now I'm gonna have to read the one Liza wrote, too.

  4. It's linked on the right side of my page...It's called Pillow Book