I attended the opening of the collective studio HRN74+ last week and these are some of the photographs I took for/of the event. It was packed with people enjoying their Grand Manier mixes whilst drinking in the variety of works on display. My brother’s girlfriend actually owns the studio together with two other cheerful girls. You can see a sneak peek of her work in the first picture, designed under her company ByNasia.
I just had to snap a photo of the boy with the red beanie in front of the drawing. I know an American Apparel beanie when I see one! It surely complimented the work and so I was pretty glad I captured it. Ok, I have to admit that stood their a good solid 5 minutes waiting for the moment. It was one of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s famous “decisive moment”, if you can call it that in the age of digital photography any more.
As the night wore on and I exchanged my camera for another Grand Manier mix (or three) I found myself being told off by the artist who created the work of Art that I captured in the last picture (again red-beanie-boy makes an appearance). Apparently I had been leaning against the wall, and thus accidentally against his works. Apologetically he admitted that it might sound a little arrogant, but he naturally felt the need to protect it against my perhaps soon-to-become clumsiness. Without hesitation I moved away from the wall.
But it did get me thinking. Being trained in the Philosophy of Art I found myself wondering what claim he, the work, the studio could have to it being a work of Art. A he an artist for that matter. Regardless of whether (or not) this person had established himself a reputation – and here I must admit I did not use my super Google skills – what right, or perhaps lack thereof, does anybody have nowadays to claim X to be a work of Art? Need it only hang in a gallery, a museum or a studio? Need it only have a title (or more commonly be titled ‘Untitled’)? Need it have a fancy explanation?
Now I am not denouncing that the piece in question carry the burden of such a title. Rather criticizing the way in which everything nowadays seems to be open to any kind of label if one so chooses. It seems that being an artist nowadays is more likely a choice made intrinsically as it were, rather than being bestowed upon you extrinsically. It’s like Marcel Duchamp without the wit.