Thursday, January 20, 2011

The emperor's new clothes

From a deep admiration for the great artists of other times, without knowing exactly what will follow, children and adolescents considered talented by relatives and friends, decide to follow the path of art. Most often they follow an art school and later a college of art, and they always keep in mind the image of a great artist, which also started slow, but conquered the world of art, became known, and his works are now bought for millions of euros. Art history books are filled with promising examples and there are not a few of those who believe in miracles. If they don't get contact with contemporary art in high school because art history textbooks are somehow older, they come to discover in college, that the reason they followed the path of art for years, their talent (many consider that individual talent is the ability to mimic reality through different materials) will not help them do anything in the artistic statement. They learn in college about forms of expression that would never have thought it could be pure art. They learn how the human eye, being daily overwhelmed with news, simply won't react to simple talent. People do not give a damn about mimicking reality. Shock is becoming now the new art. Certainly it is hard to shock. But it's incredibly hard to shock and be appreciated. Therefore, in this process of becoming popular artists they need, some "art experts". They are those who will take care that the artist will not be misunderstood, of course for a sum of money.
We've all heard of "artistic prostitution". In this case, artists use their practical skills and talent to make comercial work with the only purpos of making a profit.
How should then be called the phenomenon of creation against any good taste, without having a starting idea, with no talent or practical skills involved during implementation, filled with substrates and connotations by the "art experts", gaining claims of pure art? - I would call this "artistic hypocrisy". The viewers, the average men with a sense of beauty in their blood, get to feel overwhelmed, frightened by the notion of art, increasingly more often reinvented concept by these "art experts".
The artist became hypocritical, with no concrete ideas, waiting for the "experts" to overrate him, to find the explanation of his insipid work. He's looking like a senile waiting for someone to remind him what he actually meant to say through his work.
The viewer also becomes hypocritical, considering himself a new art consumer, who says that he likes it and finds it very interesting, although he thinks that he doesn't understand it, because there are rare cases when there really is something subtle to understand. Until recently, ordinary people, rich and poor had decided for themselves, simply by eye filter, whether appreciated art or not... But the theoreticians and aestheticians decided that is time to invade these land, virgin in rambling of speech or writeing.
When did the change occured? - When the art didn't spoke for itself anymore. When other people than the artists have decided to make money from artistic values at the beginning, and later, from the non-values. Like some traders or merchants who buy goods to sell them overpriced, the"experts" often rised colossal prices on trifles, only by talking about new art similarities and repeating the same speach for every new artist, changing the same terms and slang expressions.
They observed that they can make money talking about art, then writing about art, and ultimately "making art". When I say "making art" I mean taking the right to decide what is art, for artists, producers of art and the public, the consumers of art.
So these people, "art experts" as I named them, are like judges who get to decide whether or not the defendant is making art, and if he does, what's the quality of it.
Like the legal system, they take decisions, based on the existence of a precedent... "Other judges have decided that is art the exposing of a a rotting cow's head, dissecting the human body, parodying the Bible and the Church, or masturbatin under the floor of a gallery while talking to visitors... Consequently if you kill a dog by tying it and starving it to death in a gallery, we will declare your action as art!". It is certainly a fictional monologue I imagined trying to explain myself why a meaningless art is filled with special significance.
Who are these "art experts"? They do their job worlwide intervening between artist and audience and presenting the art as they want it to be known, in aesthetics and art history books written in an almost scientific language, hard to read, filled with super-documented theories, long twisted, just for making art "easy" to understand.
The "Experts" are very smart people who can make something out of nothing, and turn nothing into a fortune. They can give colossal proportions to some "hypocrite artists" impoverished ideas, or they can decrease to zero the work of a gifted artist. They manage to find the artistic inspiration, its source, they can turn it on all sides, trying to compare it to cases of other artists looking for similarities and differences.
Listening to the explanations of the "expert" who deciphers the messages of the artwork, you become a little amazed, a little frustrated because you realize that you would not have thought abot any of those meanings, nor those amazing association ... But start wondering: "Did the creator of those stattered works really thought about so many things?" Ask yourself: "Was the artist so marked by the death of his cat? Did he really mean to make that fine hint, that the "expert" is talking about? Did the artist experienced such an intense inner conflict that he felt an urgent need to paint the black spots in the middle? ... " We listen to what the "expert" has to say. He knows much better what the artist meant to say than the artist himself! It seems that his role is to decipher the divine message hidden in the works of the artist ... Really?
Maybe, in the depths of your soul, you don't even like the works... But the "fact" they are art changes everything. You think you're uneducated, you never heard of those great artists who did similar work style until today. But then you notice the author sitting next to the "specialist" with a dumb expression, perhaps as dumb as yours, because he didn't realised what he accomplished either. The "Expert" deserves the applause at the end of the speach, because he had a difficult task ... He "made art".
And yet, perhaps we should look at art through the light of our own senses. And seeing it as it is now, we probably should cry out in our innocence: "The emperor is naked!"

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