Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Truth about The truth about Modern Art.

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Degenerate art (German: Entartete Kunst) was a term adopted by the Nazi regime in Germany to describe virtually all modern art. Such art was banned on the grounds that it was un-German, Jewish, or Communist in nature, and those identified as degenerate artists were subjected to sanctions.
This video on Alex Jones' Infowars echoes the Nazi's contempt for Modernist Art, except for current Post- and Neo Modern current work. The author, Paul Joseph Watson, is an editor at large of Infowars and Prison Planet, both reactionary, ultra-right, Neo-Nazi propaganda organizations.
This would be easily dismissable except for the fact that many artists have fallen for it. Mostly people whose work relies on extreme realist skills. I have now had this exchange with two of St. Petersburg's better artists, a sculptor and a painter, both of whom I love and respect. These are artists that are not at the crest of art at the moment. The divisionary tone of Watson's screed appeals to their being left behind the curve, outside the Golden Wall, exacerbated by their being in the prime of their lives. 
There are grotesque misunderstandings (or purposeful attacks) on Modernists from a century ago, particularly Marcel DuChamp, though few of the greats are spared. As with most reactionary thinkers, Watson is unable to deal with change over time. Curiously, he pegs the Golden Age of Art (a ridiculous term) ending with Modernism, which 'coincides' with the McKinley era, which Karl Rove always posited as Conservatism's Golden Age. He also sells the idea that art has standards, objective qualia, which it did during the heyday of The Academy, but times have changed.

That change made a splash among the Modernists with the consequences of French Colonialism, when cultural items began making their way back into France, with alien styles and aesthetics - to what the French artists had been taught. The dumbasses rejected all of it. The visionaries soon realized that skill is also content, and in this case a cultural signifier defining and limiting what could be art. It was a form of imperial dominance.
 Picasso and others saw this, and freed from its fetters, moved on from their honed realist skills into other forms. The world followed. These Neo Nazis come very close to calling this "degenerate art". Their arbitrary lines of demarcation deliberately pit artists against artists to do their dirty work for them, under the excuse (and this may sound familiar) that Art can be great again. 
Talk about Art, but don't fall for this lowbrow propaganda, or worse, resent your fellow younger artists or institutions of higher learning, which the Infowars bunch would close in an instant. 
                                                                                                        --- Luis
But art doesn't have an objective aesthetic, it never has and never will. Even the old masters had varying styles, all of which manipulate reality in some way to appeal to their personal ideals. That's what duchamp's fountain was about, it's a statement about art existing in the individual and being subjective. To provide some context, Duchamp submitted his piece to an American art exhibit of which he was a panel member, the exhibit promised that all who paid the entrance fee would be accepted, yet his work was rejected. The urinal is not suppose to be a beautful work, rather it represents the debate on what art is, a statement about the concept of art and about the political nature of art. That debate continues today and many people enjoy the work and the ideas it represents.
In the face of dramatic and rapid change, modern artists no longer felt that naturalistic painting was interesting and the rise of film made sure that people weren't buying portraits, so artists were forced to try new things, not only to fill the market but to satisfy their own growing concerns about the world. For the renaissance artists, they were hired to create works that represented the power of god and the perfection of man, ideals which enhanced the power of their patrons. Modern artists created work for themselves because the patrons had dissapeared, they made work in the face of world war, epidemics, growing industrialization and the massive disruptions those things caused. Chiseling an ideal, timeless man from stone just doesn't say anything about the confusion of the time, the growing secularism, the struggle between idealogies and growing fascination with machinery and utopian dreams.
Your opinion on art is yours to keep, however uneducated it is, and that is the message of modernity, because art is a personal thing, something that happens in you and in the artist. you can call something shit if you want, but don't tell me that you're narrow-minded and ignorant views are greater than mine, or that you somehow understand art more when your only source is a YouTube video which is obviously playing to the cheap seats.


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