Wednesday, July 11, 2012

But Is It Art? (With a Capital "A"?)

I'm going to muse on something here..... I think about Fantasy Art quite a bit. I ponder the way it is perceived by the Art World, and why it's usually regarded as low-brow, or even laughable.  It seems that a common and possibly defining quality of  FA is the presence of realistic elements within the work. Perhaps this is because in order for fantasy to be compelling it requires a model off of which to stray. A Rothko or Bauhaus-period Kandinsky wouldn't be categorized as FA. However is this a narrowminded viewpoint? Who's to say that a color field painting couldn't be representative of a fantastical world, where one is immersed in dense fogs of highly saturated color? So when we categorize certain works as "FA" are we are drawing boundaries on the realms of imagination? Seems rather oxymoronic. Perhaps because of the liabilities in the connotations of the term people keep a wide berth. But just what is fantasy? And isn't all art, after all, a window into a fantasy world and subjective reality? 

Narwhals Over The Rainbow

In this work, (Untitled, artist unknown) we have a pastiche of 1980's pop art elements.  The content and color palate is reminiscent of the work of Lisa Frank. Also present is a Modernist reverse integrity of the picture plane, an unabashed flatness of space. Juxtaposed with the high fantasy element of the content, it's a combination completely divested of realism.  Although appealing overall, I think the execution and medium of the work limits its beauty, and relegates it to a low brow or pop-art category. However if this were instead painted on a large canvass, I think I would react differently.