Monday, January 16, 2006

Art Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Yes, another philosophical post.....................................

I am amused to read some of the things people write on internet forums. It's pretty amazing at times, both in a good way, and unfortunately all too often, in a bad way! Take for instance the mega-thread on recently documenting the creation of a 29"er by Jeff Jones. The person buying the bike had posted the thread and shared all the photos of the on-going build process sent to him by Mr. Jones. The tube selection, mitering, welding, wheel building, and on and on. If you haven't ever seen one of Jeff Jone's creations, then you need to check this stuff out. You won't believe it!

After the bike was built, a post was made concerning the finished bike and the term art. Whoo-boy! Did that ever start a firestorm! What is art? Can a bike be art? Is there a price range or special place that an object needs to be in to be qualified as being art? These were some of the actual questions being debated on that forum! Wow! Anyway, talk about a buzz-kill!

I was an art major in college, so I might be a little bit qualified to speak on this matter. I remember discussing this very topic, that is, "what is art?". Well, I remember that it comes down to a couple of basic things. First, does the art in question move you, or in other words, does it elicit emotions. Do you feel anything when experiencing this art? If so, then it is art. The other thing was that art is in the eye of the beholder. For instance, there are many utilitarian objects that were commonplace tools of ancient civilizations that are now considered valuable works of art. Not to be confused with their historical, and cultural value, but true works of art. Think of pottery as an example.

So, back to bikes, allright? Could a bike fall into this realm, this nebulous area called art? Why not? I think it's obvious. Look at a Hetchins intricate, handfiled lug work, or Sacha White's amazing dropouts on one of his Vanillas, or the amazing lines of a Jeff Jones bike. Art?

Yeeeew betch-ahhhh! ( as we like to say here in Iowa!)

Special Public Announcement: I'm still waiting for that Rush 29"er in Tangerine! Anyone in Bedford, PA. listening?........................hmm?

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