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An endlessly debatable question.....

Posted by Harry Parke, 26 March 2017, 9.12am

What should art do? And what is good art?

I went through art education - I’ve heard lots of different takes on this.

I’m a big fan of Turner’s turbulent seascapes. He wants art that draws us in to a scene, and makes us feel the power of the earth’s forces - the haunting truth of our fragile mortality.

Other painters like Lowry, create art to depict and comment about their current time. His smoky grey and terracotta factories, brilliantly depict the working industrial north of the 1960s - a time that has now passed.

Sharp and witty cartoonists, like my Godfather Nick Newman, use art to expose and dismantle nonsense, hypocrisy and corruption.

Today I saw another take on good art, but not where I expected. Walking passed a very worn-out park bench shelter, with a floor littered in soggy cigarettes, I saw the crumbling brick wall marked with the usual manic graffiti. But I also saw a bizarrely thoughtful dried spray of luminous green….
It said ‘Art Should Calm The Disturbed’.

Maybe he/she has got a point?


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