Musings for August, 2015

“Carole, if the market is made up of art ‘pollution’, then why worry if it becomes worthless?
It is not the art that matters, anyway. I have a question though: could you please give examples of contemporary art that you consider worthy?”

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We could say the same about music…If music hurts our ears, we can turn it off. If art pollution hurts our eyes, how can we snuff it out? I guess we can choose not to look at it, but It is still there!  Mediocre art in our face, over and over again. Does this not lower standards, for everyone?
I agree that the act of creativity, “making”, is for the artist, as important as the end result–for the artist. But if not evaluated, and carefully scrutinized by the artist, and maybe his dealer?, the resulting “facile” glut of art that clogs the market is pollution that lowers standards of the entire art world. The art that rises to the “top” is a tiny bit, of the top 1%, made by artists who actually attain important art careers. We must be careful to separate, here, the great artists from the “popular” artists that have risen to the top, driven by clever businessmen art dealers, etc. who were able to advertise the artists in their stables, and create a market that over the past decades, has become ever more expensive.
In my mind, examples of contemporary art that is “worthy” of greatness, have yet to be decided. We will only know this, as the history of art progresses through time. The geniuses will rise to the top over time. Those who last, will be those who have something important to “say”, and those who have changed the direction of Art History.

Meanwhile, we in the art world, can work on developing our “taste”.  Separate the mediocre, from the art that has the ability to make you see the world in a new way. Challenge your students to go beyond the facile, and the easy. Dig deep inside your souls and express the tough, and the best ideas of which you are capable. Do not accept average, for your clients, or your students. Keep striving for your greatest and most authentic expressions. Art is more than nice technique. Art is more than the ability to copy a beautiful landscape. Art needs to move us to feel deeply, it should move our minds to think differently, in expanded ways.

In my humble opinion, a Great work of Art, imprints on our brain, and stays, so that we can bring up the image of in whenever we think about it. In my case, I still remember the space, and the place I was in, when I stood in front of Picasso’s “Guernica”, for the first time. I was 21.  I still remember the museum in Holland, where I walked down a long corridor of Rembrandt paintings, with the giant Night Watch, at the end of the space. I stood in front of the beautiful glazes on the smaller Rembrandt paintings, and at 26, I was so moved that I cried. Experiencing these great works, were memorable life experiences, for me.  When did you stand in front of an art work, and become so moved, that it made you cry?

As for CONTEMPORARY ART,  I need to go back to the last century.  In the whole art realm, the 20th century is still contemporary.   I was educated during the era of Abstract Expressionism.  It was so difficult for me to understand abstraction, then, and to know why it had merit.  It took years and years of imbedding myself in this art style, to really understand and appreciate why it was great.  Art is subjective.  Art is personal.  Art speaks to each of us in a different way.  If I speak for myself, I fell in love with the works of Willam De Kooning.  He seemed to be the expressionist who went the deepest into this movement.  His works were luscious and painterly, and his color was alluring. The surfaces of his works were so inviting.  You felt like you wanted to touch them, and feel the sensuality he created by his troweled on swaths of paint.   It captivated my interest by its uniqueness, in those years.  His compositions were uninhibited, and not contrived.  They were open honest expressions coming from his soul, and not edited by his brain.  This was, for me, the epitome of abstract expression.

All art is about expression in some way.  Those artists who can reach deeply into their subconscious minds, and express without editing with their brains, are the best creators, in my humble opinion.

 

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