Frank Zappa & Butter Beans

Frank Zappa & Butter Beans

I’d like to know what art is. I’d like to know what an artist is. I wish there was somebody I could trust to tell me what they are.

A long time ago I studied fine art. I remember in some class we were either assigned or we selected an artist to do a presentation about. However it came about, I remember my artist was David Hockney.

Somehow I bullshitted my way through the presentation cause I didn’t get David Hockney back then any better than I get David Hockney now.

It’s strange sometimes what the algorithms get wrong and right. The other day I was watching something on Mark Rothko. And from there I got suggested something about my old pal Hockney. But this video said something about his landscapes. So, like Frank Zappa and butterbeans, I decided to give it another shot to see if anything in me had changed. I thought maybe landscapes might help me better understand the artist than all that swimming pool bullshit.

I clicked on the video. Hockney was talking about landscapes and Van Gogh and Beethoven. He somehow tied them all together. This wasn’t helping. And from what I could tell, Hockney’s more recent landscapes weren’t much more than second-rate rip offs of Van Gogh.

Later that day, I went out walking as I normally do. I took my usual route around the lake and through the farms and fields. I looked at the lake and wasn’t much moved. I walked outside the park, passing by farms with faded, silver silos and dilapidated barns. And still, I wasn’t moved.

I wasn’t much moved until Ten Seconds to Love came through my earbuds. Then I was moved. It wasn’t Beethoven. It was only a song about getting a blowjob or fucking in an elevator. The lyrics are a bit cryptic regarding the exact style of intercourse. But I was moved. I was moved as much by Mötley Crüe as I could imagine Hockney being moved by Beethoven or Van Gogh.

Again, I’d like to know what art is. I’d like to know what an artist is. I wish there was somebody I could trust to tell me what they are. I wish there was someone I could trust to say if an artist spending the latter part of his career as a hack Van Gogh was an artist or not, even if he adored Beethoven.

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