in the inevitable design-art debate i often have to exit gracefully with a few knives stuck in my back. from either side there is animosity and presumption. the artistas with their egomaniacal pride and the ever calculating designerettes generally leave little room for manoeuvring in commercial applications.
the collage artist audrey smith‘s work for example strikes me as perfectly suited for a wrapping paper in one of the famous luxury department stores, but just mentioning that fact would seem derogatory to most and cause a near audible gasp of feigned disbelief amongst some purists. being critical of art and design is not as easy as it seems, the belief that they exist as a function unto themselves is a component of modern thought that threatens to isolate and venerate either, simultaneously creating too much room for the practice of mediocrity; a point which i believe is responsible for the greater volume of all those talentless pieces. perhaps the notion of ‘commissioning an artist’ or ‘appointing a designer’ is just a question of semantics but today’s reality is that the concept of design has spread into nearly every industry while on the other hand it seems unsurprising that art has always been much more functional than most would presume.