Modern Art

Modern “Contemporary” Art

Modern Art has increasingly aimed to provoke. That provocation is often followed by marketing and delighted consumption by snobs. Provocation loses its bite, as the viewer increasingly becomes anethetised to shock tactics, and such art degenerates quickly into self abased glorification. The issue supposedly represented becomes no more than a lame excuse. The worst culprits I have found to be practicing performace and installation art.

What is performance art? Why it is theatre under another name, as installation art is sculpture. These are efforts to be percieved as producing something new. The phenomenon is not limited to these artforms, nor even art itself. The commercial world being the greatest perpetrators. We have been conditioned to expect instant gratification, a myriad of changing images, and fashions. Hence, something must be of the latest fad to be of any worth.

In the ever changing fads of “Modern” life, the artist feels pressured to market their ideas and concepts. Unlike the sphere of day to day consumerism, the artist must contend with an “elite” who are the mitigators of artistic official success. The institution trained artist expends much time and thought in attempts to do battle with the art critic or pander to the art “elite”.

The visual artist is especially prone to this. They have forgotten the real focus of their practice. I suggest that if the artist seeks to engage in parly with the art critics and intellectuals, they should change their practice to writing. I have have often met “educated” artists who lament that they know nothing of technique or the mediums they engage, as their educational institutions have failed them.

They also feel lost, when faced with a “real” world in which an artist is required to make a living. Art practice as taught in the institutions is focused, on sustaining one’s art through grants and funding programs. Fine, if you can make it into that clique, but there is only limited places and funding.

Leo Plaw

Posts on Modern Contemporary Art

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