I visited an art gallery the other day and it triggered a lot of head scratching.
About art, life and how you can make nearly anything look cool if you hang it with enough attitude.
Which is what you want at an art gallery I suppose. Confusion. No.
I mean engagement, but it's important you don't exclude the masses when trying to include them.
Which can happen when reading some of the descriptions. Talk about flowery.
The point is that art is for everyone, and value is measured by what people are prepared to pay.
The fact entry to the gallery was free should not be linked because the works on display definitely cost a fortune.
And although art is for the people, clearly not all the people own it.
Otherwise the bottom might fall out of the market.
And that's a priceless thought.
One of many that roll through the mind as you wonder the National Gallery of Victoria.
A fantastic space to immerse yourself and contemplate just where we fit into the bigger picture, or sculpture, or whatever genre floats the cultural boat.
One exhibition showcased a history of women's fashion accumulated privately over many years and gifted to the gallery after a death in the family. Possibly the accountant.
Brilliant and illuminating, the exhibition underscored not only how fashion lost the plot in the 80s, but also the importance of patronage, for surely only the very rich could be convinced to wear some of it.
Talk about being stitched up.
Makes you wonder whether the creative process is a ground-up compulsion on the part of the artist or a trickle down transaction from the well-heeled and needy.
A question many starving artists struggle with as they strive to emerge.
Exhibitions are critical to gaining exposure and staying "hot" is the trick. That is if you're still alive.
Gallery gigs usually indicate you're temperature's rising.
Mine was as we moved onto an exhibition of Chinese art where the first work encountered was a 10m mural depicting various species of animals fornicating, and not necessarily along partisan lines.
"Earthy", as my mum used to say, and certainly a statement on the duality of existence if ever I've seen one.
From there we moved on to the portrait section - the great selfies of the 16th and 17th centuries. Paintings almost exclusively of rich toffs and naked waifs.
A curious combination. One ruddy fellow had been shot in the head fighting for the British during the American War of Independence and retired back to his estate in England to lick his wounds, where he was duly crushed by his horse and died.
Don't know why, but this struck me artistically nearly as heavy as the horse did old mate. Perhaps because it was a description I could follow.
Ultimately I guess we all strive to leave a mark, and like the horse, that's what a visit to the art gallery did for me this day.