Weird things happen such as a guy coming over to your place of residence to declare art should be about ‘spreading good in the world’. If it were a kid I’d give him a pat on the head and compliment him on having such a noble thought but such a simplistic comment coming from an adult left me scratching my head and not least by the question of what might have caused this sudden and irresistible need to set me straight on what art is.
The temptation would be to simply answer there is no such thing as ‘art’ and even if there were such a thing, it is less than certain it would have any ability to ‘spread good’.
I know some might bulk at the suggestion there is no such thing as art including this person who appears to have concerns about my ‘art’ which I can assure you he has never set eyes upon but whatever and who cares, whether there is art or not is an interesting question. We could say that before mass media, cameras and cheap books there was ‘art’ and that it fulfilled an important social function in providing guidance to the masses in how they shaped their lives. Maybe it is this art this guy meant? I’d hate to wake him up to the reality those days are for the most part gone.
The reality today is and as said by someone from the Frankfurt School of philosophy and social theory, that marketing and advertising have replaced art and religion. The operative word being ‘replaced’, one swapped for the other, and it’s true if we agree that people when seeking meaning and direction in life are by far more likely to be influenced by a lifestyle advertisement appearing on their Facebook page than Chris Ofili’s “Virgin Mary Encrusted with Elephant Dung”.
Should we consider a Facebook advertisement ‘art’? That could be debated as well but what we could say for sure is that the Facebook advertisement would be a by far more effective way of “spreading good” than a pretty drawing of a flower by unknown.
OK – maybe stating there is no art is a bit rough and as Kokoschka replied when asked what he thought of modern art, he said “It’s actually very good art in that it is dehumanized art that perfectly reflects a dehumanized society. I paraphrase sorry, but even if ‘very good art’ the question of its relevance to contemporary society remains. I liked what feminist and academic Camille Paglia had to say on the subject in an interview with Vice magazine.
“ – the fine arts have become very insular and derivative. There is good work being done, but it too often reminds me of ten other sometimes better things over the past 100 years. The main problem is a high-concept mentality. There’s too much gimmickry and irony and not enough intuition and emotion”.
Critic Camille Paglia thinks “Revenge of the Sith” is our generation’s greatest work of art. Vice magazine, November 28, 2012
In other news the ‘good’ is that I finally received part of the kit I need to start printing shirts. Still chasing up the rest but feeling more confident I’ll be up and running in a few weeks.
Haven’t posted any pictures for a while so here is one I snapped this afternoon and decided to call “The Lovers”.
Note to English speakers – I will change the default language to proper English some time soon.