The other misunderstanding [about art] is that it is beyond their means. Yet the people of the United States live beyond their means, gladly and disastrously. They have let themselves be sold the biggest bill of goods in history by a Frankenstein – industrial advertising – of their own making. We all are perfectly content to make down payments on any luxury we’re told we can’t live without, but we can’t quite bring ourselves to chance investing in ourselves through education, art, or any of those splendors we lyrically call “the best things in life”…
Many people are blinded by fear of seeing something different, or of seeing anything differently, or by the inability to differentiate between what they know how to see and what they could see if they knew how.
It is so easy today, with every medium of communication serving us feasts for the eyes, to see the world as the best of all possible worlds; to see mankind in its true light as the creator of so much beauty, to surround ourselves with the knowledge of art, man’s highest expression of gratitude for the gift of life.
Art is, or can be, an everyday experience, and if you make it such, every day will have a beginning and an end that means continuance, furtherance, and futurity. (p. 175)
Image from the television show ‘What in the World’ where Vincent Price was on a panel to determine the where/what/when of objects. Watch the episode here.
As many people know May 2011 marks the 100th birthday of art/food/horror/acting legend Vincent Price. Places all over the world are celebrating this “Vincentennial” with screenings, such as Cinema St. Louis, special websites, and other events. What many people don’t know much about is Price’s visual obsession with art. People are generally surprised to discover there is the Vincent Price Art Museum in Los Angeles, a gallery space to which his collection has been donated and that has given East Los Angeles College unprecedented access to a serious body of work. I even have the most incredible book on Impressionist paintings at the Louvre that includes, in addition to slides, a 45 record with Price narrating art commentary. Because somehow this aspect to his life has gotten lost in his popular historical persona, I am going to celebrate 100 years of Vincent Price by continuing to post his thoughts on art from his “visual autobiography” I Like What I Know.
The real meat of art appreciation and enjoyment is often the undiscovered, the unknown, the newly discovered, or those delectable tidbits we rediscover for ourselves…I will never fail to be impressed (or sometimes unimpressed) by the masterpieces, but it is those things I have made up my mind about, and am willing to make an effort for, that really belong to me. In our collection are objects I consider masterworks, and I don’t care who agrees with me…I have wanted to say only that art is so much a part of my life I would love to have it become a part of the lives of others who perhaps never thought of it as other than an outside experience; who have never let themselves become involved in and with the creative act of other men and women. (p. 143)
Read earlier quotes here.