• Wednesday, 25 April 2012

    I don't know much about art, but I know what I like

    Art is entirely subjective. For every piece lauded by all and recognised as Good Art - the Mona Lisa, say - there's a piece of brutalist architecture like Birmingham Library, unloved by many but also recognised as an exemplar of it's type. Modern art is even more divisive and for every acclaimed Antony Gormley statue there's an Eduardo Paolozzi head that remains unseen by many, praised by few and loved by even fewer. For every one of Dali's melting clocks that adorn the walls of students, there's also something like his Portrait Of My Dead Brother, a dark, disturbing piece, but also utterly compelling.

    Football, we are told, is art. Barcelona, we are told, are the Flemish Masters of their day. But the art they produce is only one interpretation. Widely acclaimed and admired it may be, but it's not the only way to produce something that someone, somewhere will love. Nothing is right, nothing is wrong. Some styles may have more aesthetic appeal to a mass audience and be easier on the eye, but that's not to say that alternative methods of achieving the same goal are worthless or devalued.

    What Chelsea did at the Nou Camp was not pretty, but there are plenty of other things it wasn't as well: dull, ineffective, unworthy. It wasn't some major tactical masterplan, rather a case of needs-must and pragmatic determination brought on by events (stupidity and misfortune in equally large measures) that left them without either of their first-choice centre-backs. Whatever else had to happen to ensure that it worked did and it's that confluence of circumstances that makes it something worth celebrating.

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