Monday, July 26, 2010

Original or Important?

There are only a few things in life that are important. These tropes and archetypes recur and recur.

This presents the artist with a dilemma--focus on the important things, and risk seeming derivative, or focus on being original at the risk of spending one's efforts on the trivial.

To me, much of modern art smacks of the latter, to its detriment.

Focus on what's important to you. The important things always bear repeating.

(posted in response to this post by my old classmate Lindsey, in which she notes, "I feel frustrated, sometimes, by the fact that I seem to write the same thing over and over.")


Lindsey said...

Thank you for this, Chris - I had never thought of this tension this way, but I completely agree with the duality you set up. And share your view re: some modern art! :)
And, finally, yes, yes, yes to meaningful.

alice said...

A lot of modern art isn't really about what's truly important so much as what truly sells. But I confidently predict a return to old aesthetic and human values, as people realise what a bad investment meaningless show-off art will actually turn out to be (judging from, like, history) ;-)

Foobarista said...

Just once, I want to see modern art without being clubbed in the head by the political pretensions of the artist. The problem is "meaning" turns into "advocacy", and what's being advocated is always the standard leftie litany. How boring.

You can see the smug cloud following the artist everywhere he goes.

Frankly, I find Communist propaganda more aesthetically interesting. At least it knows what it is. Similarly for commercial art; it's not trying so hard to be Important.

Also, many modern artists simply don't have a lot of good ol' fashioned craft.