Saturday, November 2, 2013

dogma increases woof woof

ink and acrylic on paper
sumi ink on paper

Two pages from a series of 20 Bookoids, each measuring 4 x 6 inches... I watched a video about art the other night. At first it was entertaining, but then it quickly got into dualistic dogma, the old ancients versus moderns debate, which has been going on for centuries. The video host took the viewer into various art museums and discussed the beauty of pre-20ieth century art, as opposed to the destruction of beauty in art which, in his opinion, marks post-20th century art.

Ten minutes into the program, the host began to gurgle with moralistic fervour about what constitutes beauty in art. Ballet music played in the background. The whole thing was quite dogmatic, almost to the point of lamentation about how modern artists are ruining it for everyone, the kind of talk that has been going on since even before the days when Mozart challenged musical conventions.  

The non-dogmatic approach to art recommends keeping an open mind. There's enough room in the universe for all types of art, from cave painting, to the warm glow of Renoir pictures right up to the monumental mixed media paintings of Anselm Kiefer. Why does it have to be an either or situation? Must it always be this as opposed to that? Is art supposed to exist within agreed upon boundaries or limitations? I have a feeling that some people feel frustrated and threatened each time a creative person explores new ground.

1 comment:

  1. The thing that struck me about that video - - is that the guy absolutely insists that the only beautiful painting is painting that accurately reproduces images of things that he considers beautiful in the outer world -- pretty girls, flowers, sunsets, etc. Anything else is a dirty malicious deception. Such an alien frame.