The Color Beige
Special Guest Author /Artistic review
I went to an art show today. It was called Art vs. Craft, and was held at the Harley Davidson Museum, here in Milwaukee. I went with a friend, M, and two of her friends, R, and J.
Now, normally I can find at least a dozen things at an art show that make me go â€œgimme gimmeâ€, and â€œI want I wantâ€, but this year, I found the offeringsâ€¦ lacking. Now, this isnâ€™t to say that the people selling their goods werenâ€™t talented, as there were definitely a few beautiful items on display. In particular, I saw some lovely worked and branded leather belts, with amazing color, and very cute designs. Unfortunately, they were selling for $95.00, and I donâ€™t have that kind of money to throw at something that is an accessory. Besides this fact, they were selling for only $50 at the same show last year. I wondered at this huge leap in cost, but moved on to look at other things.
In fact, upon circling the offerings twice, I noticed that none of the food items were labeled properly to avoid allergic reactions, nor were they being pushed or sampled into the crowd. It was if the people making the food just didnâ€™t care if it sold or not.
None of the clothing options were particularly attractive. I wasnâ€™t the only one who noticed this either. I heard several people complaining about having to pay $5 to get into a show that offered nothing anyone seemed to want. None of the accessories were particularly attractive, and as for regular artistic goods, such as paintings, metalwork, and water painted wrapping paper, everything kind of came in on the â€œmehâ€ range.
Now, I know this sounds like a person who has no appreciation for the work and effort that goes into it, complaining that art wasnâ€™t â€œartsyâ€ enough, but please, be assured, I know very well the work, time, and talent that go into making things. I come from a pretty artistic family, and many of my friends are so amazingly talented it would put you to tears.
The fact is, throughout this year, the artistic offerings I have seen are lackluster. And the profits these people are making off their hard work? Minimal at best, and nonexistent at worst. I was thinking about it, and I think I may have an explanation for the sharp fall in artistic offerings, as well as the rise in the prices of the things that did get offered.
People are at their most artistic when they are either happy, or on some more gothic occasions very depressed. I have a friend who writes amazing stories, but he can only write when he is depressed, so when the paper comes out and he is churning a chapter a day out, I know it is time to be worried. I have a friend who makes the most amazing silk art, and she is the happiest person I have ever seen.
My friend who does the silk art has recently decided to begin phasing out that part of her goods. The best part, the part that shows the most talent, and she is getting rid of it, in exchange for bleached clothing that anyone could make, artistically gifted or not. She seems like perhaps she is less happy than she was when I met her.
I think these artists have lost something. They are in that grey area, that appears before you lose hope and get depressed. For them things are in a beige area. Beige, and boring. Uninspiring, and costly for an artist. These people are finding it hard to create, and when they do manage to create, no one wants to buy anything.
I think the reason these people are in the beige area of apathy, is they look around at the state of our country, and realize, that for the most part, they voted for this. They voted for the current president. They cheered the Affordable Care Act on. They know, somewhere inside them that they wanted this, and didnâ€™t know what approving all of this was going to mean. Â They donâ€™t know what to do, or where to start to do it. They are looking at the world, and all they can see is self-inflicted beige, with grey creeping in on the edges. Â Perhaps the reason all their creativity is being locked away, falling from them in drips and drops of beige paint, is the guilt they feel for their part in how our country is falling. They dreamed of a better world, and got swept away by the promises of a false prophet, and now, when they see what the results of their choices areâ€¦wellâ€¦ the effects are obvious to one who appreciates art in its many forms, one who looks from the outside.
Take pity on your Dem friends. They are only just realizing what theyâ€™ve done, and they need a guide to help them do the right thing, and lead them back to the days of yellow and blue, the days where caring about something led to passion, which led to amazing art. Letâ€™s lead them away from the beige days of apathy, and show them they can create a better world, without destroying our country in the process.