Monday, May 25, 2009

Mannerism, the 'Death of Art' Movement, Purity, and Awesomeness

It's hot as Hell.

I feel like this person.

Stupid A/C is broken.

Anyway. This ties into the three recent art posts I have made, and shall be the apex of my floundering.

Art: Once Removed

Art: Twice Removed

Art: Completely Removed


Shortly after the Renaissance Era, a movement began that moved away from the classic talent of Artists before. The importance of transferring reality onto a canvas was left behind. Suddenly warping the image for the sake of symbolism became more important.

Madonna of the Long Neck

This movement allowed more to be said with an image than perfect representation. Symbolism crept into different facets of the image. Here we see the Baby Jesus with extended limbs in a position that looks almost lifeless. This told us about Jesus' destiny. He had to die, and his death was set in stone even before he began life. This drift away from the classic view of Art would change everything.

And technically, centuries down the road, it allowed for this.


Duchamp's Fountain rocked the very foundations of art in a similar way, just much more extreme. People didn't think it was art. Duchamp shook Modernism with this 'practical joke' piece that flirts heavily with the idea of Post-Modernism at the same time. He took a urinal, turned it on its side, signed it with a fake name, and called it a work of Art.

But this was only the beginning of how things could get shaken up.

Now I have mentioned the Death of Art Movement before. And I insinuated that it has already come. This movement will never be featured in a museum because it will never be considered 'real Art'. Hence the death of Art. This movement doesn't really care about critical acclaim, nor does it care if it gets any attention. It also could care less if it has any meaning within itself.

A now famous work of 'Art' in this newest art movement is The Awesome Face.


No one knows who made The Awesome Face, but it has become one of the more famous works in the newest movement of Art. It is not Post-Modern because it doesn't rebel. It doesn't care. It doesn't even really have an artist. It's simply awesome. The Awesome Face gets used everywhere, especially the internet to convey that something is awesome. But, since it is often used sarcastically, the little meaning that it has isn't even consistent.

This makes The Awesome Face the perfect representative for the 'Death of Art' movement. Because the movement itself is Awesome... kinda. Not really... Sometimes. But that's why it's a good representative.

But if The Awesome Face were ever to be recognized by any critic as 'Fine Art' the said critic would be lambasted to death.

Thus, it is up to me.

The Awesome Face rocks the very foundation of civilization

This movement, when recognized as a movement, will shake Art to bits. How can Art with no credited artist be considered art? How can Art with no real meaning except to lampoon be considered Art? How can art that is this easy to make be considered Art?

Truth: All of these things independently have been considered Art before. Many of Duchamp's works fit into the mold. Such as this.

Bottle Rack

No meaning except about the meaning behind a signature. This is basically an autograph. But it's considered a work of Art.

Beyond that, several poems and songs written by 'Unknown' or 'Anonymous' have made their way around the literary and musical art world (which strangely doesn't often enter the 'Fine Art' world) to much critical acclaim (which for some reason is the method of legitimization).

So, a purchased bottle rack with a name written on it is Art. And a great poem with no name written on it is Art. So what the hell is the criteria?

What's awesome about The Awesome Face is that it is under the purest form of art. Much like the writing on bathroom stalls.

Now here's a work of Art that can't even be considered Art in a classical way without being a hypocrite. This isn't even technically the work of Art, it's just a photograph of it. Now, who then, shall go out into the world and find the red bathroom stall on which this was written (guys or girls bathroom?), remove it, and bring it to an art show to be put on display (assuming it hasn't been washed off already)? Certainly not the artist. So whoever brings this Art out of hiding in the world would be a fraud. So the photograph that someone took of it floats across the internet for the sake of appreciation, and the provocation of thought.

The Awesome Face, and the art pieces that it inspires all over the internet, are pure in that no one makes money off of them (except when they do), no one cares about critical acclaim (except when they do), and no one even takes credit for them (except when they do). They simply find their way around. And even when there are exceptions to this rule, the exception is embraced. If the modified works are 'good' they survive. If they're not... well... no one uses them and they fade into the dark recesses of the intertubes.

and on your desktop, they are the center of the universe,
your universe.

Those that survive will make people laugh, make people think, or make people facepalm at the stupidity, and still survive. Thus the internet has become the ultimate judge of what is Art and what isn't. And also the collective judge of what is worth keeping around.

Can we consider The Awesome Face (and the subsequent inspirations?) a legitimate work of Art? Probably not. But if it isn't, then it highlights the hypocrisy in the legitimized art world in a way that might suddenly legitimize it. But, at that point, if it were to be legitimized, that part of the meaning would be immediately lost (such happened with Fountain when it was legitimized. Legitimization caused it to lose it's meaning in a strange way). Thus becoming a perpetual flipping statement of Art.

Since Mannerism was the first dissenter (or among them, probably the most famous) from the conventions of Art. I credit Mannerism ultimately for allowing the following movements. Including Modernism, Post-Modernism, and the Death of Art. This means, of course, that the Mannerism movement is, indeed, awesome.

Thanks Mannerism


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