Re: Imagination vs. Critical Thought
Fri, 20 Jun 1997 19:17:57 -0400 (EDT)

This is kind of a tangent, but I thought I'd bring it up.

Often I find I begin to appreciate an artist I didn't originally like once I
understand where they're coming from. One thing I almost hate is when I read
a foreword to a collection of a comic strip I don't like (yeah, I know, I
read everything). Often afterwards I start appreciating the strip!
Sometimes this almost makes me feel used.

I've had similar experiences with my favorite art, music. Schubert was once
no big deal to me. But then I got a music professor who explained about
Schubert's playing with keys and some interesting deliberate breaking of
compositional rules. For example, in one song, Schubert deliberately makes a
beginner's error of going to the dominant too soon to create an atmosphere of
somebody who doesn't know what they're doing (which is the point of that part
of the song). Now I love Schubert.

"Modern" art (which is not really modern anymore - we need a new name)
generally leaves me cold, no matter how well I understand it. John Cage can
be interesting, but I don't think he should be listened to - his pieces are
better appreciated as visual or conceptual art. Some abstract painting
(complex semi-random smears/streaks/etc), however, I now like, as I realized
it's very similar to the appearance of polished stone. "Fantasy stone", I
call it. Indeed, the tile on my floor (a mid-grade commercial) could pass
for an abstract painting if you hung it on the wall.