English THCS Reading comprehension


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15 Tháng mười một 2022
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Reading comprehension
Owen Forrest, one of today’s most famous sculptors, talks about work, inspiration and his new book.
Clean Shaven, with shoulder-length hair, the artist Owen Forrest looks younger than 35. Interviewing him is quite hard, not because he’s a difficult person, but because he’s so agreeable. Make a comment about his work and how it challenges ideas about life in the modern city, and he’ll smile and answer, “Yes, I see your point.” Or he’ll cut you off in the middle of a question to offer you some more coffee.
He isn’t trying to be vague; he’s just a shy young man from central England. Perhaps that’s why he seems such a down-to-earth person. Far from having a typical artist’s temperament, he comes across more like a farmer who just happened to wander into a giant studio in London and start working. When I asked him how it felt to represent Britain at the 2007 Paris Biennale Art Show, he replied that it was “very nice” and that he was rather surprised but, of course, pleased to have been chosen. His modesty is rather charming, and highly unusual in an artist.
It’s not often that someone of Forrest’s fame will sit down to answer the ordinary person’s questions on such topics as where his inspiration comes from, what it’s like to sculpt without machines in today’s mechanized world, or simply why he does it. Forrest says he was prompted to write My hands, My Vision by a sense that many people’s interest in his art extended beyond mere everyday conversation. “I was asked very intelligent questions by people who weren’t in the art world, from taxi drivers to people in the supermarket queues. It made me realize that people have an interest in what I do which goes beyond browsing in galleries and museums,” he says.
My Hands, My Vision avoids the biographical and mainly focuses on Forrests inspiration. “The events in my life haven’t had a huge influence on my work,” he says, though he admits his father’s obsession with wood carving and carpentry have played a role. The book aims to open up the process of how he creates his sculptures, how his imagination is sparked by an idea or perhaps something he happens to see on the street. He seeks to replace the sense of false mystery which surrounds many artists with a more realistic window into the kind of physical and mental work it takes to be a sculptor.
“The publicity an artist gets when they show a new series of works in the media is a double-edged sword,” Forrest points out. “You get attention, but you also come in for a lot of criticism from the media. First, they ask you to talk about your work and then they create their own interpretations, regardless of what you tell them your work actually says or means.”
Forrest’s personal working style is to build up each sculpture piece by piece. He says that this process is not widely understood. “There’s no real vocabulary for discussing whether the artist is skillful, or how intelligent his work is.”
There is still something mysterious about the creation of an amazing sculpture. “It’s very personal, very emotional. It’s like building a new friendship,” Owen says. “When you are building a new friendship, you have periods of being very close and times when you are separate. It’s similar with sculpting. You can spend days working non-stop, and then you find you need to take a break for a week or so. Once a sculpture is finished, the process you went through to create it remains with you, like an old friend.”
Owen includes examples of his early work in My Hands, My Vision. “I wanted to make a point about all those who criticized my early work as rubbish. It wasn’t all bad, and it has affected the work I create today, as well as my approach to sculpting. It was an important building block in my desire to create sculptures where people are challenged not only to view the world in a different way, but their own place in that world.” His success seems to prove he has achieved his goals.
28. Why did the writer feel that interviewing Owen Forrest was difficult?
A. He didn’t like to answer questions. B. He talked too much about himself.
C. He wasn’t interested in being interviewed. D. He was too pleasant with his responses.
29. What surprised the writer about Owen Forrest?
A. He had once worked as a farmer. B. His behavior wasn’t typical of artists.
C. He had taken part in a famous art show. D. His studio was too large to work in.
30. Why did Owen Forrest decide to write his book?
A. He was tired of answering questions about his work. B. He knew people were tired of visiting museums.
C. He wanted to entertain people with his writing. D. He realized people were curious about his work.
31. The main purpose of Owen Forrests book was to ..
A. give important details of his own life. B. analyze the difficulties of an art career.
C. explain how he works as an artist. D. encourage others to become artists.
32. How does Owen Forrest fell about media publicity?
A. It isn’t always beneficial. B. It rarely contains the truth
C. It is usually too critical. D. It isn’t good promotion.
33. What does Owen Forrest imply about art critics?
A. They have a limited vocabulary. B. They do not understand sculptors.
C. They fail to address all the issues in art. D. They do not recognize some artists’ work.
34. When Owen Forrest is making one of his sculptures ..
A. he wants to create new friendships. B. he usually takes a week off work.
C. he goes through a variety of feelings. D. he keeps going until it’s finished.
35. Why did Owen Forrest want to include his early work in his book?
A. to show its influence on his later work. B. to challenge people’s views of the world.
C. to prove that it was actually very good. D. to annoy the people who criticize him.
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