What Were We Drinking?
Updated: Apr 5, 2022
This series of writings is for the purpose of fun and appreciating art. I invite a friend or two to my studio once a month, we drink wine (mostly), and visually dive into a painting or sculpture that we find the flavor of the wine matches. Let's call it "painting pairing".
I hear more frequently than not people say, "I don't know good art from bad art, I just know what I like." If you like it, it's good art. If you feel anything looking at a piece, happy, nostalgic, hopeful, empathetic, calm, etc., the artist has done a great job for you. Your taste is spot on. But why?
That's what we want to dive into, why do we like a piece of art? If you've seen movies or TV shows where there's a scene that takes place at an art gallery, people are carrying around glasses of wine, having dramatic conversations, and they all seem like experts in art. Truth: they're actors saying lines and following a director's blocking. I've been to several art gallery shows and I have been served a range of wines from Charles Shaw (2 buck Chuck) to a wine rep curated selection. However, even when served the tastier wines from the wine rep, if they chose to present and offer a selection of sweet table wines and the artwork theme is, I don't know, mythical dragons and their relationship with caves, the flavor profile doesn't match the visual profile. That's what we are thinking about in our monthly painting pairing session. In the example of the dragons and caves, we might find a more complimentary sensory experience if the wine selection was spicier, with black pepper and smoke on the palate. We might even go so far as to say instead of wine an Islay scotch whiskey would pair nicely.
Why am I doing these "pairings"? Because it's fun to have wine with friends. We are not sommeliers nor do we have PhDs in art appreciation. I am an artist who works hard, puts a lot of heart into each piece I create, but like everything else on this planet, they're not for everybody, but they are for somebody. Even when a piece I create doesn't resonate with you, grab a glass of what we're having and come on the journey. Maybe you'll notice something you didn't see, and when you go out into the world and look at other artists' work, you can take the time to look deeper and be confident that "good art" is how you react to it, and that's subjective.
When you buy art and create a home gallery, you can up your hosting game and serve wine and libations to your invited guests that compliment the artwork you've brought into your life. Even artwork wants to feel useful (anthropomorphizing here) and included in your life. Let the art make you feel the value in yourself that you've given to the artwork. That makes artwork priceless, and "good", to you. And that's what matters.