To say that a work of art is good, but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can’t eat it. -Leo Tolstoy
I’ve been thinking alot about accessibility vs. pretension lately, as I ponder what in the world, if not an ‘artist,’ I’ll be when I grow up. So, I like to draw. Calling it anything else seems absurd. It is nothing loftier than that.
While I believe that successful art is powerful because it is universal and wonderful because it maintains accessibility, the art world doesn’t function on those terms.
The foodie world, where being humble is so important to understanding and working with ingredients, has similar issues. It’s like people want to fight accessibility, and elevate their process and their work by making it incomprehensible.
I take issue with this, if anyone cares to know.
And we could talk for an eternity about how these issues conflict with or are led on by cost & consumerism, but let’s just stay a little more focused, just for now.
Let’s celebrate sandwiches (Saltie!) and simple line drawings and cleverly designed clothing. Let’s think about how people interpret beauty, and how they try to capture it and hold onto it in their everyday existence. Please, let’s. Let’s consider how problematic and faulty it is to use the designation ‘art’ as a divider between oneself and the everyday. How utterly against the point.
Yesterday I had a hardboiled egg and poached shrimp bahn mi, with the egg & shrimp still warm, and melding with the mayonnaise & sriracha and the juice from pickled vegetables.
And I have been eating big bowls of farro salad with tomato, green olive, and almond, a dish that was both humble & proud. Oh, and a salad of boiled potato, tomato, and blanched green beans in vinaigrette, with some sardines and much love.
I decided awhile ago, without really realizing it, that I wouldn’t like to be called an artist. Maybe because I’m not one, or maybe just because it’s a loaded descriptor.
(top image from Garance).