Saturday, December 12, 2009

An Open Letter to Apartment Therapy Commenters:

You are a denizen of a website that regularly features $4000 coffee tables and $10,000 sofas. It fetishizes *original* Eames and Saarinen furniture and all things mid-century modern. The AT philosophy advocates saving up and investing in quality design for your home, your furnishings, and your decor, rather than buying whatever cheap crap from China fills up Walmart this week. And yet you accuse me of snobbery for advocating the purchase of art made by artists, and suggest that just anyone can make good "abstract art" with some paper and black ink. How does this compute? Abstract art, like good design, is a matter of connoisseurship. Anyone who reads AT often enough to comment regularly should be able to understand this. Why, I ask you, should someone who has carefully designed their entire living space give up on quality when it comes to the artwork on their walls? This is not snobbery any more than preferring an original Eames to a knockoff is snobbery.

Quality artwork at reasonable prices can be found at your local gallery, your local college art department, and online. "DIY"ing abstract art will result for 99% of DIYers in splashy shitty decorative crap that looks like something from a reality design show on HGTV, not something good enough to frame and hang in one's home.

Finally, if you can't tell the difference between Modernist abstraction and Asian calligraphy, you aren't looking very hard, and you have proven yourself a less-than-capable judge of artistic quality.

Jezebella, PhD

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