Can We Talk Art?
April 5th, 2011 by Les


A David Hockeny painting.

David Hockeny, English Artist, said: “Art has to move you and design does not, unless it’s a good design for a bus.”

Overheard on “That Metal Show,” believed to be a quote from Eric Singer (drummer for KISS).  “I am the Forrest Gump of rock and roll.”


What constitutes art?  What are the specific art forms?  We could take a look at the essay, written by Leo Tolstoy in 1897 in which he argues against numerous aesthetic theories which define art in terms of the good, truth, and especially beauty.  In Tolstoy’s opinion, art at the time was corrupt and decadent, and artists had misled.  He has also said, art must create a specific emotional link between artist and audience, one that “infects” the viewer.

There is no definitive answer, according to Paul Gauguin (painter – postimpressionist)  and Joseph Goguen (computer science professor, University of California – San Diego) wrote: “a trip to the dictionary (noting also cousin words such as ‘artifact’, ‘artisan’, ‘artificial’ and ‘article’) may suggest that ‘art’ refers to something skillfully constructed by human artists.”  However, those very artists have been pushing the boundaries of any such definition, challenging our preconceptions, and leaving most philosophers, psychologists and critics well behind, to say nothing of the general public.

David likes to quote Andy Warhol’s famous words: “Art is anything you can get away with.”  Of course Andy also said: “In the future everyone will be world famous for 15 minutes.”  That quote was later shortened, by him, to: “In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”  How has that gone for most of you?

Ajijic is an artist haven in every sense of the word.  There are all types of artists, using all types of media in this small village.  Recently the Ajijic Society of the Arts struggled, via their web board, with the “what is art” question just prior to their annual judged show in the Ajijic Cultural Center.  Most could agree paint, sketching, sculpture, photography and multi-media was, to them, “art”.  However where did jewelry fit in?  Fabric and yarn hangings and other creative pieces such as dolls, basket weaving, leather creations of all types, etc.

Well, you can see, I don’t think a final definition of art is going to be accomplished any time soon.  Certainly not by me.  I, in my simple opinion, feel one should imagine a world without art to attempt to help us define it.

Mexico, is a place where art takes wings….like so many other places in this world of ours…walking out your door can conjure up a song (another art form) in the mind of a special blues guitarist I know.  David can be tripping his way (literally) over the cobblestones and see something that causes him to stop, take camera in hand and capture that very moment in a heart beat.

The other morning I was out feeding my aviary friends and heard someone chiseling away on a cement terrace being put into place on the house being built behind ours.  Gently he worked – if one can work gently with hammer and chisel – to create these beautiful curves folding like cloth pieces into this cement slab.  Certainly that must be art?!

Then again, I have boxes and boxes of “art” my children and grand children have produced for me over the years and, quite frankly, there is no amount of money in the world that could allow someone to buy even one piece of that art away from me…should that even happen.  Right there is a clue, I guess, to what art is.  If it touches your heart, it must be art.

David, and many other talented local painters and photographers, has hung his photographs in the new San Pedro Restaurant and Gallery on Rio Bravo in West Ajijic, the lake side of the carretera in the same complex as the new location for the Naked Stage.

And then, of course, there is dance in it various forms – except the way I dance which is similar to the ludicrous movements exhibited by Elaine Benes on Seinfeld.  I had someone ask me to dance once, we proceeded to the dance floor…he turned to me….I smiled and began to dance(!!) and he began to laugh.  It didn’t stop at a mere chuckle it plummeted into gales of uncontrolled snorts and guffaws, as if he was trying desperately to catch his breath.  I left the dance floor amid a round of applause.  To this day, I’m not sure why??!!  Sorry, the mind does wonder…

Below you will see some photographs I took of the San Pedro Restaurant and Gallery, as well as people browsing, during intermission of the latest Naked Stage offering – another art form.

Viva Mexico!

San Pedro Restaurant and Gallery.


If you’ve enjoyed David’s wonderful photography, please visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in David’s photos.

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