Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Fluid Paintings (?) of Chris Parks


The Greatest of the Birdmen.jpg

Spectral Intentions III.jpg

Hot Froth.jpg

I have a dilemma.

I really want to love these “fluid painting” photographs by Chris Parks. But he won’t let me.

I find myself weary of anyone who justifies their own artistry via the oh-so-validating proclamation of, “contemporary art” in the headline of they own website. This is absurd. Then there is the question of his titles. They are--in a word--pretentious, overtly. We’re talking heavy mythological referencing. Finally, the fact that he was spawned of an award-winning natural history photographer, Peter Parks. And still has the gall to say that his process is “completely original,” when it is clear even to the unkeenist peepers that he has inherited it, at the very least in part, from pops.

What I love about these images is how they are not (fine) art, they are science. I love the experimentality, the temporality made permanent, the delicacy of the materials (they are microscopic). But I don’t think that the images or the process by which they are captured is art, merely documentation of beautiful things that are possible. I don’t go to the gem hall in the Museum of Natural History to see art. I go there to see beauty. I don’t call those gorgeous crystalline formations “sculptures” because they are beautiful. I call them accidents.

Who knows, maybe I misjudge and this whole "contemporary art" thing is just a clever ploy to fund his passion for macro photography of organic light shows. Alas, the chap went to art school! Of course he did, because this sort of misguidance doesn't just happen, it is learned.

See more cute little science experiments at Chris Parks Art

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