You don't need to be an art expert to know what you like, but do you have to be one to know what art is good and what's not good? That's sort of the subject of this article, in which a group of art world professionals, artists, students, and regular people get together to discuss good and bad art. Personally, I don't think any expertise is necessary. I think that great art is easily recognizable, and expertise can be just an added bonus for one's appreciation or enjoyment. Of course it's subjective, and everyone has their different tastes, but the best art has a quality of expression, a gravity or a prescence (but not necessarily seriousness) that must be acknowledged. Many in the art world don't see it this way, and that's why modern art has so little relevance in our society. Cinema, popular music, literature, and advertising have a huge influence on our society which dwarfs the impact of the visual arts. (There are other reasons for this, especially ease of distribution, but I don't think that explains it all.) This quote goes a long way towards explaining why, and it made my hairs stand on end when I read it:
But David Gordon, the new director of the Milwaukee Art Museum, cautioned those who chose "Overgrown Path" about being seduced by its lushness. "It is simply beautiful in the way that people have traditionally responded to art," he said. "It's an old-fashioned view of what art is."
This of course it not a "regular person" or even an artist, but a MUSEUM DIRECTOR describing a painting which was acknowledged by the group to be beautiful. This is the kind of elitist idea that you really have to live in a bubble to believe. By insisting that you must be an expert to appreciate something, or that you can't even trust your own senses, people like this are denying reality and baldly trying to protect their own careers. Their whole lives are built on a foundation of bad art that no one cares about, and it's only by acting this way that they keep that whole house of cards from falling down. I don't want to sound like one of those reactionaries who say that all modernism or contemporary art is bad (though I'm simpathetic to the Stuckists.) There is plenty of stuff that is powerful by any standard. (For instance, the Bill Viola show currently on view at the Getty, or the Lucian Freud show at MOCA.) But there is a huge disconnect between the art world and the real world. The pendulum seems to be swinging the other way though.
posted by Greg 12:38 PM
Monday, March 17, 2003
Here's a pic of Me and Sean at the Bradley group party on Sunday.
posted by Greg 10:22 PM