Featured Interesting thought on "Abandoning Art" for art's sake..................

Discussion in 'Art' started by Mansons2005, Jul 15, 2014.

  1. Mansons2005

    Mansons2005 Nasty by Nature, Curmudgeon by Choice

    Interesting article from "Daily Finance" on-line:

    My wife and I drove last month from our home in New Jersey to Illinois for our son's college graduation (it was wonderful, thank you). We tried to pack very light, leaving plenty of room in our Toyota Camry for our son and his clothes and other junk we'd bring back on the return trip. But we did put seven original acrylic paintings in the trunk to give away to people we didn't know and probably would never even see.

    By doing so, we'd be taking part in the fast-growing Art Abandonment movement, which allows people with little or no money for art to acquire original works, while artists (and their friends and relatives) can let their art live.

    Here's the backstory of how we joined the movement: Our friend Eleni Zatz Litt lost her father, Leonard, last year at the age of 87. After dealing with all of the legal and financial issues, she tackled a much bigger project -- what to do with nearly 600 paintings he had created and stacked up in his Philadelphia home.

    She didn't want to throw them out, but there was no way she and husband, Neil, could keep them in their home in Princeton Junction, New Jersey.

    "We had all of this wonderful art," Litt said, "but didn't know what to do with it." So they decided to give it away. One painting at a time.

    The first one, she left at the commuter train station less than a mile from her home. Attached was a sheet of paper informing passersby: "It's your lucky day!! You have found FREE ART!!!" along with a description of the Art Abandonment movement and a link to its website. When she went back the next day, it was gone. And she was hooked.

    On the Road With Art

    So now, back to our trip to the Midwest. We wanted to help our friend out by leaving some of those paintings at highway rest stops along the way.

    We placed the first piece near the entrance to a rest stop along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. We were about to do the same at the Blue Mountain stop in central Pennsylvania, but before we could even set it down, two 20-something women came running over, gushing about how much they loved the work.

    This was indeed one woman's lucky day. She couldn't believe that we were just giving it away. One said she was studying painting but didn't have enough money to buy anything. She was literally jumping up and down with excitement as though she had just won the lottery. Her friend said she loved the art as well, so the four of us went back to the car and pulled out another piece to give away.

    My wife and I thought: This is exactly how this is supposed to work. Let the art find a home where it's valued, where the new owner can revel in owning an original piece of art, even if they don't have the money to buy it.

    This Art Abandonment project isn't about the value of art, but rather the love of art. You can spend spectacular sums on art (the "Balloon Dog [Orange]" by Jeff Koons recently sold at a Christie's auction for $142.4 million), or you can find paintings at a highway rest stop. In addition to the Art Abandonment project, other peer-to-peer art swaps and art meet-ups are popping up across the country.

    We left other pieces in Ohio, Indiana and at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston.

    So far since March, Litt has abandoned about 250 of her father's paintings. She has a Facebook page and an email account so that people who pick up the paintings can tell their stories. One young woman wrote to say that she had just moved to this country and had only bare walls in her first apartment -- until she found one of the paintings.

    "My dad so wanted his art to go out in the world," says Litt. "It's his love letter to the world."

    Leonard Zatz was a dabbler in art during his careers in education and business. Then later in life, especially after illness limited his ability to get around, his art output became prolific.

    Litt describes her father's style as whimsical -- a little bit of German expressionism meshed with influences of Gauguin and Matisse -- what she calls "delicatessen style, with vibrant energy and bold colors." She says her effort to redistribute the art is "like a letter in a bottle. You don't know where it's going to go. That's the whimsy of it."
    lovewrens, kyratango, Pat P and 2 others like this.
  2. kentworld

    kentworld Well-Known Member

    Maybe that's what I should do with all the stuff I have -- care for an ABP pickle dish? A retro tea cup & saucer with dessert plate? I have tons! But, where would I leave them?? ;)

    Cool idea. I like it.
    Pat P and Bev aka thelmasstuff like this.
  3. verybrad

    verybrad Well-Known Member

  4. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    Not my style either, but they're colorful. I donate stuff to local charity thrifts instead. My own work is worth about that - the gas to take it to the drop.(LOL)
  5. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    Interesting idea... I just checked the Facebook page, and it's very active. Some of the things people are abandoning are more what I would call crafts than art. But it's still fun!

    The website is a blog that was started two years ago and only had two posts from June 2012. I guess the Facebook page took off, though.

  6. moontymes

    moontymes Well-Known Member

    Okay they are hideous....I wonder if some people are taking the artwork so they can paint over the canvas with their own creations. God, I hope that's what they are doing.
    spirit-of-shiloh likes this.
  7. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    What a cool idea!

    Why restrict it to art? I could see the same approach used for other types of items.
    Bev aka thelmasstuff likes this.
  8. silverthwait

    silverthwait Well-Known Member

    All legitimate art critics, please go away for a moment. (Bev - begone with thee!)

    However untutored the renditions on those canvases, taken as a group, they reflect a most interesting personality. Someone who is aware of heaven and hell as they appear in everyday life, but someone who recognizes all the nuances which allow him to live with joy, and to want to give joy to others.

    I hope that the majority of the recipients of his paintings are able to appreciate them as he meant. From light to dark, and everything in between. The picture of the concentration camp prisoner jolted me out of a rather cursory viewing of that site. So I went back and looked again...and again.

    Would I hang these in my home? If I had a pair, yes. (And this from someone who hates those sunflowers, and whose favorite portraitist is Sir Joshua Reynolds!)
  9. Bookahtoo

    Bookahtoo Moderator Moderator

    It is a great idea. Maybe we should do an art /nice things exchange on here? Post things to give away - whoever wants it pays the shipping?
  10. Bev aka thelmasstuff

    Bev aka thelmasstuff Colored pencil artist extraordinaire ;)

    Oh, now my critiques aren't that bad. When people ask about factory or "sofa" art, I tell it like it is. That doesn't mean it's bad. Some of those poor folks in that city in China who spend all day reproducing classic paintings have real talent. It's too bad they don't have an opportunity to paint what they want.
    Pat P likes this.
  11. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    Bookahtoo, now that is a super idea! I almost offered something to someone yesterday after something they posted, but was a afraid it might be a bit inappropriate. I think this would merit a subforum of it's own.

    Bev, I know just what you mean. Real talent can be found anywhere... there are so many talented people who no one's ever heard of.

    And it's always bugged me that popularity isn't always synonymous with aesthetics. I think that often what's valued has as much, or more, to do with an artist's personality or contacts or good luck than with the quality of their work.
  12. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    That's a great idea -- who wants to send Peter a message to request this? -- I imagine he does not read every single discussion here.
  13. Bookahtoo

    Bookahtoo Moderator Moderator

    I will if no one else hasn't already done it.
  14. evelyb30

    evelyb30 Well-Known Member

    It's a thought. Some things are too good/cool to resist and then impossible to sell. I end up donating a lot of those.
  15. Bookahtoo

    Bookahtoo Moderator Moderator

    So Peter thought it was a good idea - I guess I'll just start a thread in the Marketplace section and we can work out the details over there.
  16. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    Is he going to create a new category? This doesn't seem to fit into any of the 3 categories currently under Marketplace.
  17. Pat P

    Pat P Well-Known Member

    A separate category makes sense to me, too. Then there could be different threads for different types of items, maybe?
  18. johnnycb09

    johnnycb09 Well-Known Member

    If I had an inch of wall space Id ask her for one ! I thought some of them were quite..intense. I think its a lovely thing to do.
    kyratango likes this.
  19. Bookahtoo

    Bookahtoo Moderator Moderator

    Jeesh - I thought I replied to this. Yes - I suggested he start another category.
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