Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Is art dying?
Best in Show
Its no secret to anyone that art is taught completely different nowadays than in the past. What was once structured and guided by rules has completely flipped to pushing creativity in search of the "never-been-done" before. I question myself, "Is art dying?"
Maybe its just me. Maybe I don't get it as much as I think I do. I know art is conceptual and so lends itself to many different interpretations. What captures one viewer may not capture another in the least. But it is my understanding that art is emotion. What pours out of an artist onto canvas (or other support) is their emotional response to their subject. A whole range of emotions can find themselves on canvas. Sadness, anger, happiness, love... To me art happens when the artists can actually convey their emotion to the viewer.
I don't believe art is doing something no one has ever done before.
All that is to me is simply, "something that has never been done before... " If I sit my muddy cat on a clean canvas, I don't call this art. If I grind mud into my canvas and drizzle unset strawberry jello over it and wash it down with organic apple juice, I don't call this art. It may very well be things that have never been done before, but to me, that alone doesn't make it qualify as art.
Maybe its just me...
Posted is a painting that took best in show at an association-run gallery. It is Bacon. It's a print made with bargain bacon on Asian paper. The jurors said, “This very powerful print gets its strength from the color and shape of the composition. The scale of the image, the way it is presented and the placement within the frame all add to a very compelling piece. The work finds success between starkness and complexity that makes it intriguing and fun. The unconventional materials used in producing the work inform the piece with a good mix of metaphor and irony. We applaud the artist for their creativity and exploration.” — Robert Lash & Kerstin Gilg
This is a huge juried show in Maine and the gallery can get as many as 300 entries. It is perhaps the biggest fund raiser the gallery has. A few years back, a wide variety of art could be found there. In recent years, some University professors got involved and the whole flavor of the once totally embracing association changed to exhibiting mostly contemporary art. The three big winners were all created in a sepia tone. Is this the new direction of art? Did I miss the memo? Did I waste my money on my recent order of colored paint?
I didn't enter the juried show. This post is not my anger lashing out because I didn't make the cut. I'm saddened that as time goes by, the college professors are young and they too have never been taught the rules that guide us to great art. The rules that the masters of yesteryear have left behind, passed down from generation to generation. Is art dying?
"A very compelling piece," the jurors said.
To whom? Five marks in a typical counting block is anything but compelling to me.
In todays struggling art market, all too often we hear comments like, "I don't like art. I don't understand it." These are from people who rarely expose themselves to art. They must have never been moved by a piece before. Perhaps the only exposure they get are images of winning pieces posted in local newspapers. They see images like this bacon piece. They are not moved. They continue to think they don't like art. Is it a wonder? I fear a growing negative trend in future potential-art-buyer's minds.
I ask again, "Is art dying?"