Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Art History: Art with a capital A: My Inspiration.

I'm going to take a break from the failure that is American politics for a moment and talk about 'Art' again.

I was asked recently what inspires me visually as an artist. Honestly I don't create much visual 'art' so it's difficult to really answer that. But I'll go for it.

I had a conversation recently with my friend Shannon who said that her college class was going to take a trip to the SF MoMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) and that she was reading this book on the definition of Art.

The book discredited ancient art as being 'art' because it doesn't fit with 'our' concept of art. It cited that the Mayans didn't create their art to be looked at, but for religious reasons. I call bullshit on this...

Now, I've never been to SF MoMA, but I have been to NY MoMA (same shit, New York) and I think it's safe to assume that they show the same type of bull. I saw everything from a canvas featuring the color green to a kinda cool looking chair. Can this really be considered art that is worthy of a place in a museum?


The above chair is featured at NY MoMA. Why?

This is the kind of stuff that doesn't inspire me at all. In fact it does quite the opposite. People will pay to go to a museum to see this stuff while the real art in the world is deprived of the valuable space taken up by this crap.

I see that there is artist value in some of this stuff, but that doesn't mean that it needs to be showcased in a museum as if it represents our times or something. My hatred of Modern Art doesn't mean I don't understand it. I understand it fine. I just think it's worthless.

Art in my opinion should have a purpose. One color on a canvas has no purpose unless you bullshit one. I can appreciate the color green somewhere else, get this canvas out of the museum and put up a work of art please.

Art that was made 400 plus years ago had meaning and purpose. Otherwise it wasn't bothered with. Michelangelo and Leonardo created with purpose and meaning. The purpose and meaning can be debatable, but we know it's there. Each work says something.

Modern art does something rather strange. Instead of trying to recapture any meaning or purpose, it decides to abandon it and have none. Instead, Modern Art creates that which looks good or just interesting and sits there.

This does not inspire me.

Behold, Art that is inspiring to me.

New Grange.
No one quite knows what those spirals mean.

Godzilla, representative of the nuclear bomb.

Tyrael, the angel from Diablo 2.
Representative of Heaven's hope for mankind.

Cowboy Bebop. Anime series. Watch it.

Amazing church windows.

Celtic High Cross. Covered in hieroglyphs representative of Bible stories.

The Monastery of St. Kevin.

Now this is just kind of a handful of visuals that mean something to me and therefore inspire. I'm inspired by a lot of different things (especially ancient art). I'm not impressed by things that simply are. I'm impressed by things that are there for something. Art, to me, represents life, or some aspect of it. Art that is meaningless represents the meaningless life and therefore does not appeal to me.

Surrealist, religious, written, even anime... it all means something to me, and is created to mean something. The reason why the 'art critics' have a different definition of Art than most people have isn't because they have taste and we don't. It's because they have lost sight of what art is supposed to be and has been for years. Art is the celebration of life in any form. Art that is meaningless cannot celebrate life because life has meaning.

1 comment:

GingerJ said...

I definitely agree with you on modern art; we just covered it in my humanities class. I really don't see the Art/art in a chair that I'm pretty sure I saw selling for way too much at Ikea. There's no meaning in it, at least to me.
*Side note: Cowboy Bebop = awesome. (Well, the movie, anyway... haven't seen the TV show).