My report is for my art history class, for some reason we have to write a three page essay or show a power point and give our teacher a one pag essay on anything having to do with art.... Soooo I chose the little painter Marla Olmstead (look her up, she's quite remarkable) she's eleven now but she got famous when she was four-years-old for her "picasso-like" paintings (abstract art).
I chose Marla because I had found this documentry on her on netflix... For some reason I HAD to watch it and soon had it in my possesion. I knew I wanted to watch it but I just was not sure if it was going to be any good (If you want to watch it, it is called My Kid Could Paint That. You can find it on Netflix). I got my friend to watch it with me and we were both very pleased with the documentry. So, I figured, since my teacher said I could, I would just bring in the disc with a powerpoint and hand her a one page essay, then I won't have anymore homework for the class.
(Marla and her painting, Zane Dancing)
Anyways. The whole thing about Marla is not that she can paint amazing art... The thing is: Is she really painting the art at all?
Rumor has it that her dad painted most of her work and sells it at the art shows. They just play it off like it's Marla's.
I don't know who to believe, I feel like I lean more towards Marla (she's cute, so it's hard to say YOU CAN'T PAINT).
The other question is: What do we consider "good art", what are the standards? Why can we look at Sunday Afternoon by Seurat and say "That's great art!" But also look at Mondiran and Pollock's works and say the same thing?
(With the straight lines) Mondian's Red, Blue, and Yellow, (With the people) Seurat's Sunday Afternoon, and (With the paint splatter) Pollock's Mural on Indian Red Ground
All of these paintings are very different, some you may like more than the others... But... Strangly, they're all considered "good art", in fact, you may even see them in the same museum.
So. What's good art?
To me it's something that changes the playing feild. Something ground breaking. Something that takes your breath away.
Sure, not all "good art" does all of these things. But in reality, you only need one of the three. Mondrian's work certainly does not take my breath away, but it did change the playing feild. He helped change art, he helped create a new era.
So good art is only defined by the reaction it receives and on how it effects art, for better or for worse.
Now, I'm not saying I love all art and I'm not saying that Marla's work is comparable to Pollock's (though many people do that and I'm sure Pollock would slap a hoe if he heard)... I mean, I hate... HATE Picasso's work. I. Just. Don't. Get. It.
Picasso's The Dance --------------------------------->
I would never have one of his painting's on my wall. They're weird. I don't like them. I feel like a child could do the work he does. But what puts Picasso above children?
He's actually a very skilled artist.
Picasso's Old Guitarist ------------------------------>
Tell me one child that can paint that.
This goes for almost all the artists in the text books. They all knew how to do proper art, but the decided to do something different. And though at first they didn't recieve any respect... In the end... They became heros.
This goes for art work you see today as well (because all too often you here people only talking about old art as "good art" and none of the newer art...). For example, the elusive "Banksy's" street art.
Each of Banksy's pieces are not only beautiful but meaningful as well. Each holds a certian message. Each, if you were passing it on the street, would make you stop and think...
Sure, these are not hand painted, and sure, it doesn't take him a gazillion years to paint them... But that doesn't matter, Banksy has, at least, changed street art for the better. More and more you see beautiful peices plastered to the side of ugly brick buildings. Meaningful pieces meant to unite society.
Banksy's work is "great art" and should be given the same respect as Picasso, or Seurat, or Mandrian... Though almost none of them would give two shits about Banksy's are or even eachother's art (artist's are very conseaded in that sense).
(There is also a documentry on Banksy. I encourage you to watch it. It is called Exit Through the Gift Shop, it was nominated for an oscar and is on Netflix instant play.)
So... I guess now you are all wondering if I do think Marla does her own work and if I do think her art is "great art". Well... I will tell you (then I will leave because it's seven and I have stuff to do).
I do believe that Marla paints most of her pictures.
I grew up with children, and people, people change when they are in front of a camera. My sisters, who are cute all the time, suddeny become obnoxious and annoying when a camera is turned on. So it makes sense that Marla would not paint her best pictures when she knows there is a camera watching her.
(60 minutes "hid" a camera and thinks they can prove she's not a painter... But they hid it in the basement of all places and I'm sure Marla knew it was there).
And I say most because the art critics are right, some do look out of place, with complimentry colors and tiny tiny lines. So with some, I'm sure her dad helped, but with most I think she just did what she fucking wanted... Which is also what Picasso and Pollock and Seurat and Mondrian did.
Finally, I do believe that Marla's work is "good art". If you close your eyes and pretend that there isn't a controversy and pretend that parents aren't liars... And believe that a little girl can creat something so beautiful... Then yes. It is good art. And even if her dad is painting some of them... Who cares? They're beautiful.
I think the art is "good art" because it did change art. It raised this question. It stopped people in their tracks, got them thinking... Took their breath's away. And just down right baffled everyone.
When your art baffles someone, takes away their voice, and interacts with their mind... You should know that you have made good art.
The first time I saw a Banksy piece, my reaction was just this: