Oct 15th, 2004

Off the Soapbox

Yeah, so you know how I feel about politics. Time to rant about something else for a while, I think.

Today I'd like to talk about this article. An artist was commissioned to create a mural for a library in California. The concept was enlightenment. The artist is a former school teacher here in Florida. The finished mural contains 11 misspelled names, including Shakespeare, Van Gogh and Einstein.

The artist is furious with the public for focusing on the mistakes, and not the big picture, which, she says, is that if you follow the words into the library, you can learn something.

Huh? A mural advertising enlightenment and education has eleven mistakes (a mural, I need to remind you, that was produced by a former school teacher) and the public (who paid for that artwork) is supposed to just say: OK. Kewl.?

I just want to bitch slap that woman into next week. And I can't even tell you what makes me crazier: that she can't spell, that she didn't even think to look up the names if she wasn't sure of the spelling, that she thinks her mistakes are negligable, that she is so arrogant in her ignorance, or that her whole attitude buys into the popular myth that artists are inferior intellectually.

Mistakes don't matter? I shouldn't have to correct them, because someone else should have seen them? (Well, she has a point there, someone should have seen them, but that doesn't relieve her of her own responsibility.) The point isn't about spelling, but about art?

Am I the last person in America with a sense of pride in my work?