date: November 10, 2009When looked upon by inexperienced critiques, one might wonder why such a work of art deserves a high score. But, if one looks in depth and with a high degree of intellectual insight, we can see exactly what makes this work brilliant. My interpretation of the piece, as follows, regarding the very structure and sustenance in which art like this thrives; will be -- I believe, revealing to those that fail to understand the beauty of the B.
The first thing that strikes me as I look upon the B is that one notices it is not quite to the centre of the canvas -- in fact, the B is maligned and off-kilter, slightly to the upper left of the centre of the piece. I believe that this was done on purpose to convey the underlying theme of the piece, that of chaos and unorthodoxy, that of irreverence and rebellion. The artist is trying to convey the message that our world is not perfect, that each one of the many peoples of this earth must work together for a humane, constructive effort to ensure the betterment of our civilization, and our future.
This theme is predominately reflected by the simple choice of colour for the B, that of a pure, mathematically perfect red. When viewing the piece, the average audience member might simply interpret red as fury, anguish, and aggression. But, due to the exact and calculated nature of the red used in this work, I offer that it portrays itself moreover as knowing and confident, acting out of will and intellect, not arrogance and bravado. This is where the genius of the artist comes out, that such as rebellious and vulgar colour can be seen as precise, and civilized.
As for the white background, one might interpret it as more of a clear, sterile, and forced utopia. I recall images of Huxley's and Zamyatin's nightmares as they reflect upon the background. It portrays the B, almost as a lone child wandering off into the wilderness, being pushed to perform inhumane tasks by his cruel masters. The emptiness and lack of conscience is contrasted by the will and soul of the B. A nightmare indeed, but one that haunts us all.
When we notice that the choice of the letter, B, out of all twenty-six in the English alphabet was chosen, we must wonder why. Before I get into that, let me offer some rationale and evidence from further examination of the B itself. When looking at the typeface, we immediately realise that it is of a serif font, most likely Times New Roman or Bookman Antiqua. We also notice that the B is a capital B, not a lowercase one. Thus, I suggest that this implies a struggle for power and control, over the most likely antagonist: A. Because of its Roman nature and status, we assume that the B is of a high-rank lieutenant in some corporate atmosphere, but has the desire and will to become the very best, to overthrow the A and in turn, become first. B does not settle for second place. B does not accept anything other than perfection. B is disgusted by the corruption and inability to function by A, and B plots to end the reign of the A. This is the horrible truth, the truth that all of us hold true. For yet, life is only a struggle for more and more power, control, and wealth.
This is but my interpretation. Yet, I would argue that many more would hold this opinion as well. Although close to perfection, I do not believe that this work deserves a perfect ten for a few reasons. Despite its succinct and flawless simplicity, it lacks of literary elements that give more power and gusto to the artist's voice. Though violins and cellos alike can perfect a string quartet, the clarinet is left in the dark, as its own timbre holds back its performance. Though this work is like the clarinet, struggling to match the power of the strings, it does come very, very close. Though, through wavering willpower and diminishing strength, it does not achieve the goal it set out to reach. But in effect, I bow to the beauty and elegance that enriches the entire performance, for it is this work of art that truly dominates the entire concert.