In other news....when art's letting you down, go and check out a shop window!
I couldn't help and resist to show you these images from Harvey Nichols shop window front in Bristol which had a very tool related theme. Namely, a bicycle made of spanners and a giant hammer made of nails! I know its a kitsch and tacky (no pun intended) as they come, but its definitely fun and witty. I am not so sure if I can bare the pretentiousness of 'art' a lot of the time. So, I'd rather enjoy this consumerist window tat and liken it, in my mind, to the work of Claes Oldenburg and Vik Muniz and then think about spanners and how they are used to build bikes and tools and link it altogether with associations of tools and people/transport and industry, yet along all the Freudian connotations which spring to mind! And its for all that, which is why I rate work like this. It is 'showy' and 'dressy' in the way it is staged and built as its purpose is to be a creative and eye-catching window display. That's also why I like it, for its unabashed honesty, that says,
'Yes, look at me! I'm a window display of a woman riding a giant hammer made of nails! Have you ever seen anything so weird on your way to get a loaf of bread? I know you're busy, but look I'll only take a moment of your time. I'm not even selling hammers, but you can be sure that if you come inside you'll find lots of similar creative things that if you buy will make you as creative and kooky as me!'
Unlike so much art (and I'll be the first to admit I know I do this) which almost tries too hard to clamour for attention because it holds a profound meaning or message and would possibly, if it could talk, would say something like this,
'Hello, you know you ought to look at me. I know that I'm just a white square with charcoal on me, but I'm mounted in a perspex box frame of high quality that's been suspended as though floating on the white washed wall of the gallery. You know you should spend time with me, after all you chose to come here and it was a long drive...plus, they gave me my own wall! And look! I've also got a label that explains how deeply complex I am and how I was conceived after weeks of rigourous research into the metaphysical cosmology of existential thought processes and systems, but I'm sure you knew all that just by looking at me.'
Maybe I'm just fighting the system that I'm part-of, maybe there is more than a pinch of cynicism in there too (but some would call it honesty?) but I'd like to think its always important to keep an open mind that art can be everywhere, especially shop windows and that maybe making that isn't trying to be art wouldn't be a bad idea for any artist to follow. An artist that is 'trying to make art that isn't art', where to begin?