Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. by Banksy
The below Stone Age stones were on display at the British Museum in 2005.
At first glance, You don't know in details but look at the shape of the picture. A caveman is pushing a shopping cart. These nonsensical Stone Age fake artifacts were seen under the monitors for several hours. But no one believed and catched that this was not a Stone Age stone. Probably either they wasn't interested, or they just overlooked it even though it looks like a comic cartoon.
Banksy, a world-renowned graffiti artist, did this performance. In addition to the British Museum, he put his fake stones at the Natural History Museum in New York and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It was a mockery of art lovers interested in art but could not escape from the bluff and capitalist thinking.
Vincent van Gogh also had a story about working as a salesman at a painting store and arguing with a customer looking for paintings for decoration purposes only.
As an artist, I acknowledge a gap between the person who makes the work and the artlover who buys it. Seeing the wine bar more crowded than the exhibition hall makes me feel lonely. Others seem to want the artist's art diploma, or award to be affixed behind the picture frame. It would be better for them to hang a diploma or award certification in front of the painting. Some people emphasize and brag about the image of a famous person. The trophy of the picture is better than the picture itself. Some say it is more valuable because it was drawn by a professor who graduated from a top-notch university. If there is a premise that one can draw only after attending a top-notch university, he would be right.
If you listen to these stories daily, you will understand why Banksy is doing such as performances.
Contemplating between art and business blurs the line between fraud and speculation. And if you work with sincerity in art, you will be criticized for being outdated. However, if you only paint commercially, the development of the artist's world of work disappears. There are so many dilemmas and paradoxes.
But the sincerity of art makes it act like Banksy, even if it seems a bit odd. As a naive artist, Henri Rousseau was tough to get exhibition opportunities in Paris at the time. At that time, the painter groups with authority placed more importance on the academic route, and the cartel, which recognized only their own group, rejected and ridiculed his demanding work. But he so wanted to hang his paintings in the exhibition hall. So it is a very famous anecdote that the curator hung his own painting secretly between the paintings of other painters while he was asleep. As Banksy said, Henri Rousseau made them uncomfortable, who had never felt uncomfortable in their league.
It is good news as an artist if your artistic actions and works are criticized by those who have comfortably owned and enjoyed art, or if someone doesn't like your work and career.
I am looking for the answer in the dream of Henri Rousseau's last work, the power that makes existing conventions and inertia embarrassing and uncomfortable. He painted from his own point of view thoroughly. Despite the criticism and ridicule around him, he never gave up on his dream of painting. His passion for expressing his dreams through painting eventually makes us realize that the sincerity of art exists. This authenticity teaches many lessons to us who stand precariously on the border between art and business.
Myungja Anna Koh