On Taste

Some people enjoy landscapes

Some people enjoy eating these!

The idea was edgy 50 years ago, today it is only mildly eccentric

Diversity is marvellous. Who would want us all and everything we see, to be the same?

But - it is often difficult to understand WHY - why do some people enjoy eating deep fried Mars Bars? Some people enjoy gazing at very realistic pictures, while others prefer their stimulation to come from concepts.

Personally, I cannot imagine eating a Mars Bar that has been coated in batter then sunk in a deep fat frier. I also find some art that was cutting edge when it first appeared to be little more than mildly eccentric today.

I have to accept that there are trends, though - look at the number of young men who are now proud of their beards, or young couples who insist on dressing their young babies in absurdly expensive clothes because they carry designer logos - both are concepts that I find completely bewildering.
While diversity is great, there must be an instinct amongst us to feel that we belong with the tribe, we seek to conform to norms and standards shared by people we respect, or whose respect we crave. So the decisions about how we choose what to hang on our walls, and hence what art work, if any, we choose to purchase, will be complex.
I have never understood why anyone would buy a book purely because it is (allegedly) written by someone who was once a famous catwalk model, and the same doubt applies to artwork created by ageing rockstars or retired actors. The rationale has to be that those works will give the buyer something to talk about with those friends and might somehow garner a notch more esteem in the tribe.

Take that line of thought forward and it would suggest that my paintings are more likely to become more sought after if there was some story associated with my name that would give future owners of those paintings something to talk about - Cut off my ear? Deep-fry the paintings? Hang them in the Oval Office? Make them so ridiculous they will gain coverage?

Or maybe there are people out there amongst the billions of us sharing this earth who will want to look at a picture because you like it rather than because of something odd about the artist?

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