Friday, January 23, 2009

My Present Problem With Art

I love art. I love appreciating it. I love making it. But I have a problem when taking a class on it.

There's a period of history in art around and after the Renaissance that all the artists in the world decided to get religious and start making Christian pieces about random aspects of the Bible.

This is all well and good until you realize how fucking much of it there is. Some of it is cool, and as a period it deserves to be recognized because it happened. It was also around the time that individual artists started painting for themselves rather than in places like the Hagia Sophia. Suddenly, everything has an artist's name attached to it.

It's all respectable art, but it's the point of art that I'm really not that interested at all in except when looking at some of the subject matters. But after a while of looking at the subject matter, it starts to get redundant because literally EVERYONE painted stuff about Christianity.

Now I have an assignment to reflect upon art in class and how it affects me, and it started on the day that we got into this period. A lot of them have aesthetically pretty pictures, some of them advanced in art a little bit. Duccio and Masaccio (Jan Van Eyck is fucking amazing) are particularly cool, but I'm so jaded to the subject that I don't care about them.

Fucking Masterpiece

And this is all well and good, but art doesn't get any better after this. Before Christianity declared a monopoly on art, it was pretty awesome. The pagan arts are amazing to me. And I could sit down and respond to each of those pieces with a lot of insight and emotion. But after Christianity moves in on art and practically takes over completely... things get boring.

The Muslims didn't bother making any religious art because it's against the rules to make a likeness of Muhammad. Makes me think that he was ugly or something. And no one cares what kind of art was being made south of the Sahara, East of the Ural, or West of the Iberian, so Christian art takes the cake.

AFTER this period, we get into the kind of over ostentatious art that is made about the same time that Louis XVI built the Palace of Versailles. Ugh. And some people LOVE that stuff with everyone dressed up in all fancied.

But back to the world at hand. There's good art in this period. But in some periods, EVERYONE did the same damn thing. And we see it still today. No one makes intricately designed sculptures anymore the way the Greeks did. No one makes detailed symbolic alter pieces anymore (a lot of artists are atheist now, and Christian artists don't really monopolize any corner of the artistic world anymore). Contemporary art is also mostly the same depending on style. Everyone's copying one another in the now rather than drawing form the deep past.

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