Have you seen the Independent and BBC articles about Jake Chapman and his comments about children and art? No? Then click here or here and then hurry back.
How are you feeling?
Unsurprised - he is a turner prize winner after all and likes to shock
In agreement - I'm amazed you've come back to read this
Incensed - aren't you the village idiot, you and me both!
Jake Chapman is happily telling all who will listen that children can't understand art and we're wasting everyone's t time if we take them to see art. All I can say is
"Have you ever taken a child to an art gallery?"
I'm guessing he hasn't, because if he'd been with my Rachel or any of the thousands of other kids you'll see at at galleries, then he'd have heard profound commentary and insight from their young lips. In fact if he'd ever taken a child to see art he'd know that as an adult you gain a whole new dimension of understanding when you hear what a child sees.
It may not be that a child can tell you about the political antagonism of a painting, but that is more due to their knowledge of systems that understanding of the work. They may talk about arguments or friendships, of anger or love, of yellows fighting purples or textural differences. The child sees the truth within so much more readily than we do as adults, and sometimes that is the truth of the artist which bleeds through their work despite their best intentions.
I love going to art galleries such as the Tate modern with Rachel, to experience the art with her and through her and visa versa. Art, whether artists like it or not, talks to those who see it and experience it and I wouldn't change a child's eye view for anything.
Call me a village idiot; but listen to my words and you might just hear the truth you try to hide. You can't hide from children; they see it all.