CALL me a philistine - and I know I’m about to divide the room - but my opinion on art is this: if I could have done it myself, it doesn’t count.
That still allows for quite a lot, I hasten to add.
I can barely colour between the lines, wouldn’t know a paintbrush from a blusher brush and have never even dot-to-dotted without making a mistake.
Even applying make-up is beyond my creative limits so I barely wear more than a slick of lip gloss most days.
But to me, ‘conceptual’ art doesn’t look like art.
It looks like someone dropped something on the floor and forgot to pick it up.
How, for example, can a balloon tied to the leg of a table be ‘art’?
I saw this in a Manchester art gallery about 10 years ago and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I’d been dragged into an elaborate joke.
I half expected a TV crew to jump out, cameras pointed in my dad’s desperately-trying-to-be-earnest face.
“Gotcha! But don’t worry Mr Clarke, you’re not the first middle-class idiot who’s fallen for this trick.”
Either that or the artist would be watching us on CCTV, rolling around in piles of cash and wiping away tears of disbelief.
If it had been a table painted with images from Greek mythology I’d have been impressed.
If it had been intricately carved or even covered with graffiti I’d have appreciated the skill and effort.
But it was just a plain, pine table. Probably an Ikea flat pack. With a balloon tied to one leg.
I’m not a total cultural heathen but please. Give me a van Gogh any day.
The reason for this rant is a conversation I had earlier this week with a colleague.
He told me he never makes his bed in the morning because if he did he’d be destroying a priceless ‘creation’ on a daily basis.
“Tracey Emin was considered an artist,” he said. “So why aren’t I?”
I had no response except to point him in the direction of that Manchester gallery.
I’m sure they’d love to exhibit his work.