Thursday, January 15, 2009
Clearly not the result or cause of frequent sexcapades.
It's a well known fact that art students are easy. If you put a bunch of outcasts and misfits together in a safe and nurturing yet challenging environment that encourages self-expression and exploration combined with 24hr access to darkrooms, sculpture studios and something we used to call "the spray room" - what else could happen? There have been past surveys that have declared art students to be the most amorous in the college set. An Australian study came out late last year claiming that female art students are the most likely to get it on while science nerds adhere to the stereotype despite the moon bounce scene in Revenge of the Nerds.
While I always thought the promiscuity of art students was just a byproduct of the sometimes tumultuous creative process, a new book by New Zealand philosopher Denis Dutton claims that's the whole reason we were at school in the first place. Humans have been making art, in every society for thousands and thousands of years, and one of their main motivations all this time has been to get some. And we all thought it was a good attempt at making one's life look really cool and interesting.
Dutton's The Art Instinct, according to the review I read in the Washington Post of all places, claims that humans have been making art, a completely useless thing in general, to return in a sense to the picaresque homeland of our cave-man forefathers and to attract a mate. According to Dutton, the ability to appreciate beauty is one of our most primitive functions and the basic reason why the layman struggles so violently against many works from a post-Duchampian vein. We're not supposed to "like" Twombly or De Kooning or any of those "my kid could draw that" dudes. So, it's cool, everyone is off the hook. Art should not be work or about learning or expanding or challenging your own set of aesthetics - it should be about fucking. And what sexes America up more than Thomas Kinkade?
Ah, the lands of my kinfolk. "Painter of Light" indeedy.