Monday, February 25, 2019

Why is contemporary art disliked?
Modern and contemporary art is often ugly, hideous, vulgar, repulsive, trivial, unsophisticated, badly executed, crude and even foul smelling. Modern and contemporary art often show no or little artisanship and skill. Simply put: much of the modern and contemporary art tends to lack the attributes we tend to identify with ‘art’.
Understandably, people feel cheated when they face modern and contemporary art; many feel deceived. They feel like the little boy in Emperor’s New Clothes: they see the emperor is naked.
Everything boils down to the three basic values: truth, goodness, and beauty. What is beauty? What do we consider beautiful? Contrary to most people’s beliefs, beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder. The basic laws of beauty were discovered already in the Antiquity: the concepts of what is beautiful are pretty much universal. Try asking any girl what is beauty and being beautiful, and you get a downright dead honest answer - and that answer is not relative nor a social structure. It is the same in all cultures all around the world. Beauty is objective.
Why modern art is hideous? Because modern art is basically the break-off from Classical ideas and challenging the natural concept of beauty. The Classical and Medieval periods equated beauty with goodness and Godhead; the art was to reach for the divine and the capture the God’s image within us. It had to have harmony. (See Leonardo’s La Gioconda, better known as Mona Lisa.)
In contemporary art, the new theme is: Art must be a quest for truth, however brutal, and not a quest for beauty. So, the question became: What is the truth of art?
The first argument of contemporary art is a demand for the recognition that the world is not a beautiful harmonious place. The world is fractured, decaying, horrifying, depressing, empty, and very unpredictable. Artists are demanding a way to express this ugliness of the world through perspective and color. Although this is common in contemporary art, it’s not entirely new. (See Rembrandt’s Flayed Ox)
Another argument is the intrinsic value of Novelty in contemporary art. Most contemporary art is easy to duplicate by any artisan- classical art is not easy to copy. The real value of contemporary art is in the fact that nobody has done it before. Yves Klein’s Monochrome(see bottom) square is easy to duplicate but no one before him had done it before. But would it be art if hung a white canvas on the wall, dipped my cat in blue paint, and had him roll over it? Certainly, it would be a novelty, and maybe contemporary art or not.
Why I prefer contemporary art?
Classical art is beauty and harmony. But beauty without honesty is deceit and not all beauty is art. True beauty should incorporate goodness within and if contemporary art can depict goodness through its less harmonious avenues, then I’d prefer that over beautiful Realism Soviet-era art.

Rembrandt’s Flayed Ox 

No comments:

Post a Comment