Why is it that art for the last 50 years has rationalized away basic fundamentals of drawing and painting? Because shouting in a crowd gets more attention that quietly painting in a corner. There are times in history where anarchy is needed and serves the greater good, fundamental example being our own revolutionary war. In contrast, there are times when a small group of insiders can usurp a country in a bad way; Hitler and the corporations that backed him in his rise to power come to mind. One small minority in charge of what the majority can think and do.
This kind of dictatorship of one way of thinking got its foothold in the art world with the rise of abstraction. I love good abstract art, but what really went wrong was the schools stopped teaching the fundamentals. Why? It’s so hard to understand that to be a good abstract artist you need to learn to draw and paint traditionally first. Most people can’t see the difference when abstraction is good or bad so why not just do bad abstract art and say it’s good? It’s so much easier. The rest of the rise of contemporary art has been a series of artists shouting louder and painting less. The media follows these revolutionaries because extremes excite people and sell papers.
This chest thumping publicity type of artist appeals strongly to the corporate businessman. Why? Because often it’s not the most schooled people that get in power, just the most ruthless. The ones that see craftsmanship as a needless expense, the ones that send our skilled work overseas where it’s cheaper. Of course they are going to be attracted to artwork that can be mass-produced by anyone. It cuts down on operating costs and makes everyone eminently replaceable. That why so much work in galleries is clever deconstructive decoration at best, the most common being found items collaged together in a pleasant or clever way. Anyone can do that. That’s why those collage people dismiss good painters. They are a threat to them because they can’t compete with a high quality aesthetic that makes a good painter unique. The weak artist with the loud voice, good business sense and old school ties runs the parallel with the political and corporate type old boy network. “Street artists” who went to Yale.
The way to tell if art is weak is to try and copy it, if it’s easy to copy, what does that tell you? Why get your hands dirty? You can just get slaves in Asia to do this. It’s would be bad business not to.
What can you do about it? Fight back shine light on stories like the above article. The world will come around, they want good art. Even Mc Donald’s serves salads now.