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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Schlock as Art

On the last First Friday I spent the afternoon gallery hopping with my friend from Fraser. Many of the galleries were set up for "First Friday Art Walks." I used to love visiting galleries - to be inspired and to give me a goal to aspire to and to study how some miracle of paint had made some object or figure zing. There are still a few galleries in Denver that have what I consider good art, but not as many as I believe there once was. Even galleries I used to think had "good" art are not living up to my expectations. I know I have grown over the years, but I also think that schlock is more prevalent than I remember. I have always recognized schlock for what it is. When I used the term "schlock" I was asked by more than one person what the definition is. The dictionary definition is:
  1. "trash," 1915, from Amer. Yiddish shlak, from Ger. Schlacke "dregs, scum, dross" (see slag). Alternative etymology is from Yiddish shlogn "to strike" (cf. Ger. schlagen; see slay). Derived form schlockmeister "purveyor of cheap merchandise" is from 1965.
  2. n. inferior merchandise. (From German schlacke, “dregs” via Yiddish.) : That store has nothing but schlock.
  3. mod.and schlocky. [ˈʃlɑki]cheap; junky; inferior.

There were more than a few gems, but they were far fewer than I would like to see. Paint decorative art if you must, and call it such; but please, not schlock. Remember; as soon as you attempt to do something “just for money” you literally kill the soul of it.

This past week I drove up to Longmont to see the museum show there for Jill Soukup. What a wonderful painter she is. I came away thinking I have a lot of work to do before me! Certainly cleansed my palate (palette?) and renewed my faith in art. Thank you to Jill for raising the bar.

1 comment:

victoriasart said...

someone told me I should cite my sources. The definition came from