Sunday, 28 September 2008

The problem with Modern Art

My lashing tongue of cynicism this week turns to ‘art’. About a week ago now – yes I’m slow, I was going to do this last week but I was busy (read last week’s blog to find out why), Damian Hurst made a record amount of money selling his ‘art’ work at auction. Somehow he managed to raise £111 million by selling his ‘art’ work, now I have no innate dislike of people making money, it seems like a perfectly reasonable way to spend ones time, however it seems all Hurst needs to make money is a good taxidermist and a hell of a lot of formaldehyde.

Hurst’s ‘art’ is essentially a bunch of stuffed animals floating in Formaldehyde. He gives them weird names and sells then for six figure sums. Here is an example of the abominable rubbish he puts on sale. Seriously, I could do this and I have no artistic talents at all. I was under the impression that a piece of art had to require some skill to produce. Not any more apparently; any nutter with a too much spare time and a good sales pitch can sell any old crap for ridiculous sums of money.

Now it may seem that I am being critical of Mr Hurst here, which I am to an extent, however he is not the root of the problem; the root of the problem is all the obnoxiously stuck up progressive types who seem to have forgotten what art is. Art is an expression of value and a celebration of talent. The great art works of the past, the Mona Lisa, the roof of the Sistine Chapel, the Virgin on the Rocks; I could go on and on, while you may not like them, clearly take talent to create. They are and expression of the values on the artist and as such and can clearly be seen to have aesthetic quality. A shark in a tank of Formaldehyde does not and cannot match up to the quality of these pieces.

Unless you have not already guessed, I am criticising so called ‘modern art’. From the weird and wonderfully odd pieces of Picasso to Hurst’s stuffed animals, it seems that we have taken our eyes off the ball in terms of art. We want to try to do something different, do something far out that no one has ever tried before. People who want to seem cultured lap up the abominations that we create and so this dubious and tasteless art form has become accepted.

The worst thing is that people are becoming staggeringly rich off the backs of these morons. People try to create as many new and different ideas as they can and the public lap it up. With each innovation we move further and further from art and closer and closer to complete trash. If this trend continues I could do something original to the arrangement of my bed cover and sell it as art, saying that it represented something or other. If it is that easy to do then it is probably not worth doing.

Hurst’s art is aesthetically bankrupt, it has nothing to contribute to art except to show us were it can all go wrong when we reject objective value for art and embrace a sort of relativism that allows anything to be considered art and sold for an extortionate amount.

Let us just hope that postmodernism is on the way out and a new form of art will emerge which is of more worth than stuffed animals and Formaldehyde. 

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