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Collage

  • by himath2009
  • | Jun 6, 2011
  • | 689 views
  • | 1 comment

Collage

“Besides,

there is this to be said.

If you pretend to be good,

the world takes you very seriously.

If you pretend to be bad, it doesn’t.

Such is the astounding stupidity of optimism.”

 Oscar Wilde, Lady Winderemere’s Fan 

  

 The average intelligent person would agree that, when it comes to food, he can differentiate the good from the bad. He can evaluate nutritional worth, appreciate the ingredients, identify fresh from stale, clarify why one meal is delicious while another leaves the bad aftertaste. He may indulge in junk, but can argue the case of objective quality vs. personal taste.

 

Why shouldn’t the same apply to Art? Is a work of art so inscrutable that only a certain clique can appraise it? Is it built with unquantifiable components; are metaphysical elements involved which defy assessment; do inspirations, and the questionable mystique surrounding them, supersede hard work; or is it, just, that the modern art métier, comfortable in the awe inspiring aura it has fabricated, has a vested interest in ignoring true critical evaluation?

 

They say that Picasso, the cubist painter, invented the collage technique in 1912 with his “Still Life with Chair Caning”, in which he pasted a patch of oilcloth with a chair-cane design to the canvas of the piece.

 

This, of course, is nonsense. Children had quietly employed this technique to their amusement long before Picasso collected the critical acclaim.

 

God works in mysterious ways. There is no clear explanation as to why, but during the last half of the 20th century he chose to abandon modern art to its fate. As soon as he was gone all hell broke loose. The distinction between good and personal taste collapsed. Critics, curators and gallery owners resolved that if they liked something it was good. They informed wealthy collectors accordingly. Normal people were not informed. Being normal, they wouldn’t understand anyway.

 

What's more, they lacked the money and the space.

Noteworthy modern art was expensive and came in mammoth sizes.

The mandate of the era was shock. Modern art had to stun the bourgeoisie out of its complacency. Museums and galleries fell in line. The public got its chance to be awe stricken by goat carcasses hanging from the roofs, empty rooms lit by a bulb and unmade beds.

 

The answer lies in the proportions: it may be 1 part inspiration, a notion vulgarly distorted and traded on, but the remaining 9 relate to hard work.

An artist’s labor can be deciphered and thoroughly assessed.

We still lack the resolve to do it, in a comprehensive and widely accepted manner, but some day this could change.

 

Until then, droves of young artists will agonize to catch the attention of a particular audience who possess a limited attention span and crave to be instantly amazed. This, a bad motivation for any artist, leads to poor workmanship and absurdity but guarantees the superficially startling effects today’s art world demands.

 

Hopefully, fifty years from now most of our era’s coveted art will be forgotten and, thanks to the urgent need for space, will be sent to the junkyard - where it always belonged.


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