Art is Dead

How’s that for a catchy, sensationalist headline? No? Well, apparently, here’s how it goes:

  • Figurative, representational art = illustration
  • Abstract art = decoration

which leaves conceptual art, but unfortunately…

  • Conceptual art = gimmickry

The above would possibly represent the received wisdom, as modernism has embraced & then rejected most forms of art in its search for the eternally new. For example, the Impressionists, once reviled as avant-garde ne’er-do-wells, are now considered extremely safe & conservative choices, ideal for posters & note cards. The Abstract Expressionists & their descendents are now a safe interior design option. Conceptual art is now shown in expensive, exclusive galleries for astronomical prices, so it can’t really be considered avant-garde any more…the avant-garde is traditionally about semi-crazies working in obscurity for years with no recognition…this is fashionable bric-a-brac for the super-rich…

So where does that leave us? Actually, I’m just fine. All art has a tendency to be in some way representational, abstract, &/or conceptual, in differing ratios, of course. Most art has something recognizable in it, some arrangement of colors or lines or tones or forms that are in some way aesthetically pleasing in themselves. Just about all art has some kind of idea or ideas in it. So, I think we should just carry on where our needs & desires take us, & not worry too much about it. Or, let the critics & theorists worry about it. It’s up to you…

OK, I’ll get off of my little soapbox now.

La Petite Mort, 1993, brush & ink on paper, 16.5" x 12" approx.

La Petite Mort, 1993, brush & ink on paper, 16.5" x 12" approx.

I did the above drawing in Paris, so I think it’s OK to give it a French title.


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