In 1971 Bowie released Quicksand….. my older brother came home around that time with it on 7″ Single, and it was the first time I’d heard Bowie… I was four years old and it struck me as somehow special…..all the albumssubsequently appeared in our house, Ziggy, Alladin Sane, Station to Station, Live In Philadelphia, Low etc . I got to hear them all on a spectacularly good Yamaha hi-fi with a 30 watt amp and marvelled at the images on the gate-fold album..
Ultimately it’ll probably feel like a privilege to have grown up with the many opportunities to listen to this music when it was newly released, to have seen The Man Who Fell To Earth secretly on a portable TV in the bedroom…. to have seen him live on stage at The Olympia, Dublin, playing incredibly…. to have gone back to vinyl once more and bought the Blackstar album and danced around the kitchen with Sandra listening to it this weekend.
Good art is an attempt to lie. It’s not what it seems, nor appears. It’s a lie to your eyes, makes you think you’re seeing something that’s not there. It’s a necessary lie, to guide you to a more significant truth. Perhaps it’s misdirection, but the intention is to fool you into thinking…..
The light that bounces off of an artwork, filtered and diffused, is a conduit for this misdirection…. you are looking at surfaces, at shapes and colour tones, and the lie guides you in… and you will see that lie until the reality is revealed….. it’s more than pigment and sand and form, it’s more than the image, the object…
It tells you the simple lie: I am something to look at!
It leads you to a truth: I am something to think about!
Art is too important to a society to simply be there to window dress it, to solely be a source of beauty…. art is the collective consciousness, the Holy Ghost, the electricity that kicks the atoms, it is the moment when the mind of the artist pokes that of the viewer and says, I am not what I seem, come closer and look into your own imagination ….