Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Can I get that in violet?

Art. It's a fickle thing. Ultimately, it comes down to a matter of perspective, as something that some people find truly beautiful, others will find to be downright hideous. This also applies to celebrities, but that's an entirely different tangent.

In China, that mere matter of perspective can lead to disaster for the artist. Take the case of the sculpture entitled "Fly", which was meant to appear at a new airport terminal in Tianjin. The sculpture took two years to build, and cost close to $300,000. A couple of days before it was set to be premiered, the entire thing was dismantled.

Turns out, a local official didn't like the color.

We knew that having the wrong hue could have harsh repercussions, but we thought that mainly applied to skin tones and less-than-tolerant people. We never suspected that something, which had been commissioned by the government, could cost so much and be reduced to so little so quickly all because the artist chose from the wrong color wheel. It's also fairly apparent that the concept of a new coat of paint never occurred to said official. He probably refused to buy a house if the trim on one window or the paint in the pantry wasn't precisely to his liking.

Which just goes to prove that, while we never claimed to understand art, the one thing that's even more confusing is art criticism.

This all begs one question. Would red be a good or bad color to use when creating a piece of art to commemorate the destruction of "Fly"?

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