Monday, August 23, 2010

What is Man Versus Art?

So what is Man Versus Art? Who creates a blog and calls it Man Versus Art? Guilty as charged I guess.

So I had this crazy idea recently while driving to work and trying to be the "cool, artsy NPR-listening guy" that I would take a year-long challenge of immersing myself in the Memphis arts scene. It's not that much of a challenge, I guess, since my wife and I attend the occassional arts event in town.

But I'm more of a sports guy. As soon as I finish this post I'll be diving into the all-too-important research of who should be my fifth wide receiver on my fantasy football team. So this won't be my comfort zone.

Man Versus Art will be one Memphian's view on experiencing the arts scene in the Bluff City over the next year. I'm not an artist but I'm married to one; I'm not a musician but I was one as a kid and love the beautiful sounds musicians create; I'm not into theater but I did write a couple of plays as a child and even participated in some acting programs; and to be honest I'm not the best representation of a cultured, artsy person.

But I do enjoy the arts. Maybe I'm more of the "wine and cheese" art gallery guy, but I do enjoy attending art showings and openings. I don't get excited about every Broadway musical that comes to town, but I have had fun attending my fair share. And I certainly can't imagine being awed by every note played by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, but I am excited my wife and I are Pops season ticket holders this year.

As a Bravo Memphis member, MSO Pops season ticket holder and occasional art gallery visitor, I will over the next year blog about my experiences at those events. But I will also attempt to attend theatrical performances at the city's many venues, attend a ballet or opera performance, check in on the latest offering at The Orpheum Theatre, attend a concer or two at the city's universities and just in general soak in the arts scene that is Memphis.

There are too many offerings to even pretend to imagine I can check out a fraction of what's going on. Plus, the bank account -- not to mention time thanks to other commitments, not to mention being the father of a soon-to-be 4-year-old son -- will allow me to visit everything that is going on. But I hope to get out there as much as possible and experience the arts scene.

I don't expect to be awe-inspiring with my writing; I don't have the proper eye to critique the works I'm seeing or hearing. I will never pretend to be able to come close to someone who has the proper knowledge of the arts to tell you if the performer was good, if the painting told the story I felt it should tell or how flawless the dancer was during a particular performance.

But maybe that's what will set me apart. I hope to give readers an account of the Memphis arts scene from a very amateur eye. I hope to have some fun with this while opening my eyes -- and maybe yours -- to all the fabulous offerings the Memphis arts community provides.

And next August we'll see who wins, man or art.


  1. Cool idea! I like it ;) I will definitely be following your blog and will be attending some of these events too YAY! Glad you are in Bravo this year!!

  2. Cool! I'll follow too. :) Don't forget about Theater Memphis and Playhouse on the Square. Tickets aren't very expensive for those plays and I've seen some great plays there. We've been going to see A Christmas Carol at Theater Memphis with my family every year at Christmas for the past several years and I think tickets are somewhere around $15. And you get a cup of wassail during intermission!!