Sunday, 26 January 2014

Pop Art post

I promised to stop all that sepia nonsense and show you my new cushions...

And here they are.
Husband ordered them from the Tate for Christmas. One of my friends came round and said, 'You know, I don't think it would ever occur to my husband to order me anything from the Tate.' Which made almost as proud of my husband as I am of my new cushions.

So I've decided this is going to be a very Lichtensteiny post. Because I really love Roy Lichtenstein's art..

Ok, so I don't look like I'm massively loving it here, but that's because we weren't supposed to be taking photographs in the Tate, which meant my nerves were a bit racked.

I love the sharpness, the clean lines, the blasts of colour. I love the - the - modernness of Lichtenstein's paintings. I love that irreverent blurring of art and comics and advertising. I love the impact they make. But mostly it boils down to the coolness they make me feel. Who among us doesn't need more coolness in life?

Husband doesn't dislike them, but he's less keen than I am. He says all those perfectly-placed dots seem too precise to feel like proper art. I think he prefers the idea of artists painting freely and wildly and um - artistically? Like the way Jackson Pollock used to fling buckets of paint all over the canvas and then drag naked women across it by their toes. (He might not have done that; I haven't Googled it, but you know what I mean). In fact, while we were looking at the Lichtensteins at the Tate, Husband said that all those rows of tiny dots made him think of Donald Pleasence in the Great Escape, blinking blindly through his inch-thick glasses as he painted one perfect Ben-Day dot after another. After another.
'Nearly there...only another two hundred and fifty-three thousand to go...'

Donald Pleasenstein
When I started senior school, I had the cheapest of uniforms, terrible hair, clompy shoes and those tombstone teeth that look far too big for a twelve year-old's mouth. I was not cool.
But I did have a pop art pencil tin - and that was cool.
At least the way I remember it.
It was a dazzlingly lurid thing, covered in comic strips of high school teenagers making out or sobbing - with accompanying speech bubbles and thought clouds. I loved it.
I think most of the other girls had pale pink furry zip-up pencil cases. And a collection of scented, pastel rubbers or plastic bell charms. Do you remember those?

Well, I probably had some of them too.
But my pop art pencil tin was the only thing I had that was completely different to everyone else's school stuff. And if anyone teased me about it, I didn't feel the usual shame and humiliation because I knew they were WRONG. You just can't fake that.

And Lichtenstein's paintings make me feel that kind of coolness again.

Eleven-year-old's attempt at a self-portrait with Ben-Day dots.

Nothing to do with Lichtenstein - unless you count the fact that its very colourful - is the boys' latest art project. They've painted and assembled this carousel...

Ta da!

Ahhh...the peace and quiet of an art project...

And in case you haven't got the point yet, it's official - I am 'arty'.

Some time before Christmas, Actual Agent asked me to send her a brief biography of myself so she could send it out to editors with my ms. "Just a little something to give them a sense of you," she said.
To which I replied, 'Yikes!' (because I am nothing if not professional.)
It was one of those things I'd daydreamed about in the past, but which turned out to be mortifying in reality.
I sent her an email which said, 'Everyone lies their heads off in those things, right?'
She said 'No!' and sent me this example...

'Helen works as a plumber, is in her early 40s and lives in London with her family.'

Well, even that makes me sound far cooler than I actually am (since it makes me sound a bit like Super Mario).
So, I asked Eleven-year-old to describe me in a word.
'Grumpy,' he said.
'Come up with a nicer word or lose your Ipad,' I said (grumpily).
He thought for a bit and said that earlier that day one of the teachers at his school had asked him his name and when he'd told her, she'd said, 'Ah, yes - your mum's the arty one, isn't she?'
And he'd agreed that I was indeed the 'arty' one.

So that was the angle I went for. Artiness. And this was the end result...

'Helen Maslin lives in Cheltenham with her husband and two sons. She is generally described as "arty". She has studied English, History and Art History - which remain her chief interests. She runs an art club at her children's primary school, has unnaturally red hair and awesome shoes.'

As long as they never want to meet me, nothing can go wrong...

1 comment:

  1. They are statement cushions indeed, love them! Hope you move them if small boy or husband want to sit down. I can see why they are not allowed to 'plump' them especially with sticky fingers from an artistic creation!

    I think being described as 'arty' is a good thing, think I would just be the 'purple one' which sounds kinda freaky even to me!

    That sounds like a great bio - It says funky and clever at the same time ( hope that was what you where going for!!) Must stop now as in serious danger of exclamation overload. xx