Abstract art pisses me off.
Not all of it. I haven’t seen enough to condemn all of it. Besides I don’t have the right: I don’t know enough about anything to go around making such statements. So, to clarify, I’m talking specifically about the brand of abstract art that involves going out to the local stationery store and buying a geometry set. And a canvas and some paints. Sad waste of good money, if you ask me, that canvas buying. Perhaps squares excite you. Or maybe you have a thing for semi-circles and diagonal lines. That’s perfectly understandable. I suggest you open up a new document in Microsoft Paint and go crazy making basic shapes all over it. Unless you have a painterly disposition. Then go get a simple drawing book. The type you used for art class in school. But a canvas? Seriously? Isn’t that an expensive choice for the Painting of Squares?
Here’s the thing, Zonk. I’ve been making an ad for that waste-of-money class of mine. It’s a watch ad, and my concept revolved around art. I’m pretty much done with one ad (and sort of happy with it too), for which I used Rodin’s ‘The Thinker’. I kind of liked the idea, so I decided to make one more ad with the same concept and tag line. This time my watch was rectangular.
And so I thought of Mondrian.
Like I said before, I know very little about art history. The only reason I could come up with Mondrian was because I’ve read this book called ‘I, the Divine’, and the protagonist in that book is a fan and imitator. Plus, he’s famous. So I googled a bit today, because I felt like I ought to read up about him a bit before I used one of his griddish masterpieces in my little ad. But I couldn’t make it past the wiki page, even. Because it pissed me off.
That image on the right is one of his later works, apparently. Peak of career blah blah blah. Not that I have anything against squares and lines and triangles on a general basis. I think they are kind of cute once in a while. What pisses me off is not the fact that people paint these things. It’s a free world.
But to get famous doing it; specially when you are without doubt a gifted artist…now that is really ridiculous. I saw stuff by Mondrian that was Beautiful. For some reason, at some point in his life, he decided to stop painting lovely cubist trees and paint squares and lines instead. Apparently it was a spiritual quest of some sort.
I believe it is possible that, through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness, but not with calculation, led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty, supplemented if necessary by other direct lines or curves, can become a work of art, as strong as it is true.
Taken directly off wiki by your’s truly. I’m not proud of my sources. But like I said, just the wiki page pissed me off. There’s no way I was going to do any more research here. Anyway, for the artist, it was a spiritual thing. Fine. But what of the rest of the world!? Did they not have eyes too see with! Did no one sit him down and say ‘Hey Piet, how about you paint a few more of these pretty trees sometime?’
But no. The squares became revered. And people analyze the shit out of them. Again from wiki:
The black lines are the flattest elements, with the least amount of depth. The colored forms have the most obvious brush strokes, all running in one direction.
Indeed. It’s a fucking Black Line. I would very much like to see a black line that shows more brush strokes than a yellow square.
And I’m tired of copy-pasting from wiki. But if I had, then you’d have known that the white squares are the most interesting; they have brush strokes running in several directions and show great depth. The white squares ‘overwhelm’ the other squares. It’s their party, and they kill it. The other squares just sit quietly in the side with their drinks.
The white squares fucking own the canvas.
I don’t understand it.
Maybe I’m simply stupid and this is art of the highest order.
Maybe the whole thing was an elaborate prank and Mondrian is still laughing at us. I hope to god he is.
Bye bye Zonk. It’s time for me to go and draw a tree of my own.
Ps: Here’s my favourite of Mondrian’s trees, if you want to look. It’s beautiful.