The Definitive Definition of Art


Anyone interested in art, working with art, should ask himself the question What is art? on a daily basis. If his answer is nowhere near the answer below, he is in trouble, or more precisely: art is in trouble. I call this answer The Definitive Definition of Art. What it, essentially, seems to tell, is that art always has to go that extra mile to keep up with the mind it escapes from: no easy ways out, no matter how self-evident she may seem...

Art is the last step before the ravine, the first vague inspiration of a crystal clear plan, the suffocating sense of omnipotence, the harrowing thought of an infinite amount of hope, the onerous intestinal cramps because of a blue so blue that nothing seems to be secure in it, the shock in the middle of the night when all ground appears to have gone under your feet, a voice that cuts through any Babylonian confusion of tongues like a healing lancet, art is an unsightly grain of doubt amidst an endless world of self-evidence, a cool, green toxic string of sheer unconstraint in a lukewarm sea of conventions,  art is cool when the blood unstoppably rises to the cheeks, warm-blooded amidst technocrats, delicate amidst rude pimps, impertinent amidst timid bookkeepers, she tears down where there seems to be built and builds where is demolished, she loves where the dry beaks of hatred are only capable of crying out arid words, she sharpens the senses which were too numb to see anymore, to hear, she plays the genitals, but does not know pornography, because oh her fingers are so tender, the fingers of the hand she clenches against the ruthless eyes of power, the not-seeing eyes of power, she strives, my God how she strives, for absolutely nothing, and blames those eyes for not seeing this, but at the same time she does not blame anything, because she is not looking for the nervous attention which adores looking at pictures, she searches, God how she searches, for a juice that flows in no flower, a stream so fresh, a swirl so tingling, that is what she is searching for, but most of all she is searching for the places where the blood is not supposed to go, especially those, where the warm blood, the all too warm blood, is not supposed to go, she seeks the chinks, the hairline cracks, where the mind floats out like a sigh, where the mind floats in, where the mind floats, but the mind cannot float, so she seeks, art, in her bare ass, with her feeding breasts, her kneadable tits, so she seeks what will probably stay untraceable, but she finds something a hell of a lot alike, sharing its appearance a lot, in essence, because art is standing on the edge of the ravine, with half of your feet already above the ravine – the ground under your feet is already starting to crumble -, there she is standing and sees a magical shining sun, maybe even a black sun, invisible to those who are not standing with their feet above the ravine, for those who did not have a courage that could sink into their shoes – because they did not posses this courage, this particular courage -, and art sees how this sun, this life bringing sun, does not only bring life, but with that also death, and knows – because she knows so much! – that this death is a bit of a dime a dozen-death, a bit of a confection-death, and so she turns it into haute couture, thus erecting a crystalline rigor mortis so beautiful so grand, the breath of life sticks between the lungs and mouth, for a while, because there are also beaches with warm sand in which the feet pleasantly sink, there is fragrant rain, fallen on freshly-cut grass, on dry asphalt, and there is a red so red, knows art, because she is at home with that red, like nothing is at home with anything else, which is child’s play, to art, because she is always at home, with itself, like nothing else is at home with itself, still art is not domestic, god damn it no, from her windows we do not see a neat garden, a neat dog, still in one of her rooms there is a bed, but the dreams dreamed there do not exclusively belong to the domain of the night, because to art the night is just another day, day and night she meets herself there in comfortable clothing, for there must always be something left to guess!, that is art.

Contemporary art, Saatchi Gallery,

London, © 2011 Mick van Schooneveld