View Full Version : My abstract painting offended someone!!

John Keates
08 August 2005, 06:13 PM
I was ging to have a painting in an exhibition. The exhibition was organised by a freind and had loads of paintings in it. It was going to be at the place where a man recently had the contraversial art piece of a running tap which got into the news.

So I was all set for the opening night when I got an email saying that the thing had been called off because the gallery owner detected an underlying sinister quiality to the work.

A small exhibition was held anyway at my friends studios so I looked to see if there was anything sinister there. Sure enough there was a painting of a witch with black threads eminating from her eyes, a sack with blood oozing out of it and a "garbage art kid" painting with some obscene text written on it.

Now get this... I was told that it was MY work which was the cause of the trouble. Here is my painting:

Aparently it the gallery owner didn't like it because it was "too matrixy". She didn't mean this as a reference to the film but she was refering to the type of abstraction or something. Aparently she found it really sick-making.

There was one other work that she didn't like which was of a man playing a keyboard. She didn't like it because one of his hands was out of view!!

Now what am I supposed to make of this? Does anyone here find my painting "too matrixy" or understand what she meant by this.?

By the way, the writing on the "garbage art kids" painting is too obscene for me to type here... but that was ok. :shrug:

08 August 2005, 06:23 PM
:eek: Sheesh! The gallery owner sure has some issues.

P.S. I like the painting.

08 August 2005, 11:32 PM
She should plead mental illness.

08 August 2005, 11:40 PM
She shouldn't allow her opinions to judge the quality of other peoples art. If I were you I'd print out a few thousand strips of reproductions and "toilet paper" (is that a US term?) her house. Seriously

08 August 2005, 11:41 PM
Dang, nice work.

I don't get gallery owners sometimes. Go find another less strange one.:D

08 August 2005, 03:14 AM
You probably should have asked her to elaborate on her refusal to show the work if you didn't understand her meaning. However, by looking up a few different definitions of "matrix" I found the following which may or may not apply: something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form the natural material (as soil or rock) in which something (as a fossil or crystal) is embedded; material in which something is enclosed or embedded (as for protection or study) the intercellular substance in which tissue cells (as of connective tissue) are embedded; the thickened epithelium at the base of a fingernail or toenail from which new nail substance develops a rectangular array of mathematical elements (as the coefficients of simultaneous linear equations) that can be combined to form sums and products with similar arrays having an appropriate number of rows and columns; something resembling a mathematical matrix especially in rectangular arrangement of elements into rows and columnsI don't see where any of this could (if applies to your painting) warrant any hesitation towards a showing. The image isn't in the least bit controversial or upsetting to me. :shrug:

I think you're just the victim of a fickle gallery owner and should probably just shrug it off and move on to another venue. I'm not much into abstractions, but this one is very interesting and thought provoking to view.

Best of luck with your next show. :thumbsup:

08 August 2005, 03:21 AM
Isn't your piece more surrealism than abstract?

08 August 2005, 03:42 AM
make sure you send her a Christmas card with that image on the cover :twisted:

08 August 2005, 04:56 AM
Isn't your piece more surrealism than abstract?

Doesn't the term "Surrealism" refer to an art movement and not a style of painting? One who isn't part of the Surrealist movement couldn't do a Surrealist painting, as I understand it. You could imitate the style of a Surrealist, but the result may still be an abstract painting.

08 August 2005, 06:27 AM
if this peace offended the owner, she should never go to "hamburger kunsthalle". the "modern" section there offended me (and that is lightly achieved). if those contents weren`t labeled art, it would have been the worst porn, even without a glimpse of erotic or aesthetics.

maybe she stepped out of bed with the false feed ;)

08 August 2005, 06:30 AM
You guys don't see it? This is a very clear picture of mother theresa eating the baby jesus with BBQ sauce. :p

08 August 2005, 09:36 AM
No, I can clearly see explicit images of anal intercourse! With midgets!
John Keates, the woman was right, you're a matrixy sicko and so is the other piano player whose hand you don't see!
Next time, please paint a sack with blood and swearwords written all over it, as to not offend anyone, please!:shrug:

John Keates
08 August 2005, 10:48 AM
Hi There people,

Kirt, "You probably should have asked her to elaborate on her refusal to show the work if you didn't understand her meaning."

I didn't actually meet her so unfortunately I will probably never find out.

Lunatique, "Isn't your piece more surrealism than abstract?"

Well, I often discribe my work as Surrealist-ish but this is on the more abstract end of things. Actually, this reminds me of something which might be the cause of her distain... I have been through the art education system and I always hated how people would attach themselves to one type of painting only. They would either love abstract painting and hate figurative, or love figurative and hate abstraction. This painting was partly an attempt to do both at the same time in equal measure... partly to piss off those people who want to put everything in a box and label it.

Bill Clinton gave a lecture over here in England once where he made the point that people rarely killed other people because of thier principles. Instead they tended to kill people who threatened thier "boxes" as he put it. People feel the need to categorise things as this helps them control things. Maybe I broke some of her preciouse boxes with this painting?

Oh yeah, about the whole definition of Surrealism... there is a manifesto but it is all a bit messy. Surrealism was a part of Dada which was more like a political movement which saw life as an absurd game and derided anyone who took it seriously. Magritte got chucked out for repeating himself (a big no-no) and Dali left because he thaught he was better than them. I guess it is an example of a word which is more usefull when bent to fit.

08 August 2005, 11:16 AM
if this peace offended the owner, she should never go to "hamburger kunsthalle". the "modern" section there offended me

I went to "hamburger kunsthalle" but wasn't offended by the modern section. even if it is bad porn, I don't see why one will be offended. :shrug:

08 August 2005, 11:36 PM
Very nice painting. Subjectivity can be a pain sometimes. Who knows what that gallery owner was smoking.

Oh by the way, screw trying to define styles of art. Just keep on creating and eventually people will name a new style after you. Right on.

08 August 2005, 12:52 PM
Regard it as a compliment that your painting provoked such an intense response.

What kind of gallery was it anyway?

08 August 2005, 07:30 PM
Technically speaking Surrealism is also classified under Fantasy. ;) (Is just that some people cringe when they hear 'fantasy')

08 August 2005, 10:02 PM
Repost the picture? I can't see it...

John Keates
08 August 2005, 10:32 PM
What kind of gallery was it anyway?

I don't really know.. I know it is new. I don't think it has quite established itself yet. Maybe that is part of the problem?

keiphus, Here is the painting as an attachment rather than a link to my ftp

08 August 2005, 04:41 PM
This is really weird. At no point in history abstraction in painting was seen as offensive. Since it is abstract, by definition the meaning resides outside the painting and inside the subject of the receiver (spectator). If she got offended, she just offended herself by herself. Your painting might have triggered some bad childhood memories to her or a smart boyfriend who dumped her, that's all. Keep doing what you're doing and more :)

08 August 2005, 03:47 AM
I would take it as a good sign, and selling point to future galleries, that the lady had a strong reaction.

That being said, many women don't like order in art. I find the piece very orderly as if some underlying logic is at work.

Great peice. Keep at it, because Ii really think your stuff is good.

08 August 2005, 04:08 AM
I would take it as a good sign, and selling point to future galleries, that the lady had a strong reaction.

Haha, I could see the selling pitch now....

"Need to give a gift to someone you don't like? Really want to piss that person off? This painting will do it. Money back guarantee!" :D

08 August 2005, 06:40 AM
That isn't a bad painting, I like the idea :)
Nice abstract there :)

Human minds, ha, you can't read them so easily unless your some mental genius. Some People find paintings offensive and some people don't. Hahaha, my old friend found the mona lisa painting very offensive. I have no clue why so I didn't bother... (I WAS VERY CURIOUS WHY). With my very two eyes, in you're abstract painting, I see, things like, inner body parts. Just thinking carefully about that, some people may have bad pasts or have a disgusts with inner body parts, or anything related that looks like that cool painting of yours. Thats just my hypothesis. I'm not offended by this painting, in fact, I like it! :) Good job! But again, thinking about other people's taste of art and offenses is something to think about too :)
(One time, I saw an art where this old lady was stabbing this baby to death with a sharp knife and blood was splashing everywhere and dang, did people found that very offensive) Meh, you can never tell people's taste of great art, bad art and offensive art (Unless you ask them)

I hope I didn't offend you, :) Anyways, keep up the good work!

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