Y'know, I don't have a problem with artwork. As a matter of fact, I go to the museum at least a couple of times a year to make myself feel somewhat cultured and refined. I don't always get what's on display, but I try to hide it. At present, I'm working on making observations which sound important, but ultimately say absolutely nothing of significance. For example...
Marilyn: I like the way he smushed all of the colors together. Such joie de vivre! Almost childlike in its energy and enthusiasm.
Companion: Yes, his use of primary colors is impressive. But see how he experimented with red and blue to make purple? So inspired.
Marilyn: Indeed, so avant-garde. He's really growing in his artistry.
Now I will admit that I tend to like sculpture more, especially when it's of the human form, for obvious reasons; I can tell what its supposed to be. But sometimes I still don't get it. Take for example artist Daniel Edwards recent work "Iraq War Memorial: Death of Prince Harry." The Memorial features Prince Harry prone, his unfired gun holstered, pennies placed over his eyes, and his head resting on a Bible. Prince Harry is represented clutching a bloodied flag of Wales, and holding to his heart a cameo locket of his late mother, Princess Diana, while a desert vulture perches on his boot. 'A war-mutilated Prince Harry is the symbolic fallen hero in a memorial honoring those willing but unable to serve in the Iraq conflict...Harry’s head is ear less, denoting the explicit threats against the Prince from militia leaders saying they planned to send him back to his grandmother "without his ears." Eventually, the severed ears will be bronzed, put on display and then auctioned on eBay.
Tugs at the heart strings doesn't it? Makes you want to enlist to compensate for him right? Somethings missing though, a card that says "Harry" in Charles'/William's/or the Queen's handwriting. Who knows, maybe Mr. Edwards thought that might have gone a tad too far.
Unsurprisingly Daniel Edwards is no stranger to controversy. He's also created 'Suri's bronzed baby poop', and 'Paris Hilton Autopsy,' as a 'warning to underage, teenage prom-queen drinkers.' His sculpture featuring Britney Spears is called 'The Birth of Sean Preston.' shows her on all fours, giving birth to her first son. It's meant to be a pro-life statement - the bravery of her decision, as a young mother, to put family before her career. "Britney provides inspiration for those struggling with the ‘right choice’,” said artist Daniel Edwards, pre-head shaving incident and regrettable MTV awards appearance. Isn't that like saying Madonna (the singer) is a model for Catholicism?
Whether you're for the war or not, whether you think this is art or not, this piece does make a statement. While his work is intriguing I find it somewhat sceptical that he has chosen such well known subjects, in such extreme positions, and claim they convey an important message. Actually having done so cancels any such message out. Some may find this piece inappropriate, an attempt to shock, a gimmick, a prank or a sincere comment on important issues. Ultimately art is in the eye of the beholder.
What do you think?
© Marilyn Braun 2007
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