March 03, 2016

Horse 2086 - Day 3 - Art (March Photo Hunt)

The broadest possible definition of "art" is a piece of work which demonstrates creative skill.
We usually think of the visual arts like painting, sculpture, photography, computer graphics but equally the theatre, film, television, dance, music, architecture, radio are also good things to include in that broad of the arts.

On the lower floor of our offices at work, hangs this picture which was painted by someone of whom I have no idea who they are. Apart from the painting "Defeat of the Spanish Armada, 8 August 1588" by Philippe-Jacques de Loutherbourg, I think that this painting in our offices is one of my most favourite paintings in the whole world.
It isn't as grand or as technically brilliant as a Dutch master but I really love its slap dash approach and the playfulness about it.

Having worked in the rarefied air of the Commonwealth Law Courts, I have seen many judges and barristers of this ilk. These are wizened and weather-beaten gentlemen who have seen the worst of all life's ne'er-do-wells and knaves, pass before them; in wood panelled rooms where the law and justice is dispensed.
Sometimes they spend years listening to tales of horror and woe and sometimes they are troubled by the perpetual serpent twisting of law and into infinite boredom. It is little wonder that they are seen as out of touch with society; yet in actual fact have probably stared at the very worst that society has produced at eight yards.

It is unclear if these two gentlemen, seen poring over the bound copy of a text from a Royal Commission (which intriguingly has the title on the wrong cover), with arthritic knuckles, collars, cuffs and wigs, are sneering with glee or disdain for the text in front of them. We don't know what this Royal Commission would be looking into but we can guess that must be of great importance to warrant calling for one and we can guess that it must be howling of controversy.

Even though the chap on the left is sans moustache, they very much remind me of those famous hecklers from The Muppet Show, Statler and Waldorf. I can imagine that this picture had it been a photograph, might have been taken in the private lounge; on the other side of the wood panelling where the public never treads and where the smells of sherry, whisky and hundred year old cigar smoke fill the air. Perhaps they are recalling old cases like  Jarndyce and Jarndyce, or the utter tediousness of similar cases like Barstone, Carstone, Darstone and Farstone.

Their wigs are dirty and unwashed and the vagueness of the background gives a timelessness to this, which means that it could be in 1811, 1911 or even 2011. They are so interchangeable with the legal heroes of the past, that even in the present they are indistinguishable.

There is another painting downstairs in the office of a beach scene but the perspective is rubbish and it just looks like the sort of painting that you put in an office so that the walls aren't bare. This painting though, is just ace because even though there are loads and loads of paintings that I've seen (even at Mosman Art Gallery) which leave this behind in the dust in terms of technique and execution, not many do as well as capturing that cheeky spark which this one throws to the world in buckets.

I know virtually nothing about art. I can't tell you what's good, bad or indifferent and maybe my taste in art is like McDonald's is to cuisine, but if a piece of art makes me think something or feel something about it, then it's done its job; and I think that this painting has done precisely that.

The grand list can be found here:
This is how to play along:

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