Before embarking on my volunteer experience for Art Vs. Art this evening (I sold the HELL out of some tickets this very evening), I ran across the street for a quick iced coffee. Since it was First Friday, there was quite the crowd standing around, observing photographs and enjoying the obligatory wine and cheese. The Art Vs. Art event was brought up, and somebody expressed their disdain for the event, saying they would never go somewhere where they were destroying art.
And that's understandable, I suppose. It'd be a terrible crime to run through the galleries of a museum, hacking and slashing and applying all manner of abuse to the works contained therein. Were this what was actually happening, this distaste would be perfectly understandable. In this case, though, there are a few notable exceptions:
- The art was created specifically for this purpose; nobody was surprised by the possible outcome
- The arts was created in a certain four-hour time frame from materials assigned to them. I doubt the emotional attachment to these pieces was very high to begin with
- The whole thing is a benefit for an art-based non-profit organization
- The event is as much performance art as the paintings themselves are
- A little gratuitous destruction is good for the soul
It's not an affront to the monumental importance of art in today's society. It's more of a light-hearted potlach. With chainsaws. As many smashed guitars as we've been forced to sit through, it should be refreshing to at least give something back with your random act of violence.