In praise of
I donít know
art, but I know what I like. That wry phrase applies to modern art
as appropriately as it did when it was first coined. For
traditionalists, modern art forms are often a bit off-putting.
Performance art, mobile art, installations; the list of terms and
the forms that modern artistic expression takes go on forever.
Rather than being critical of the diversity (and often oddness) of
modern art, we should celebrate it.
Since the first cave dwellers began extracting colors from plants,
animals and minerals to make pictures on the walls to celebrate
their hunting exploits, man has used art to express his inner
feelings, desires and aspirations. Each era has spawned a new and
often reviled form of artistic expression. Cubism and expressionist
painting were at first rejected by those who were brought up on
traditional realistic painting. Cartoons and posters were considered
Ďminorí art forms, as if somehow it didnít take the same degree of
talent to create them that went into an oil painting or water color
Perhaps an old
fashioned subject: but we all need insurance! Check here for
temporary car insurance or
public liability insurance
Over time, the reviled art forms were seen for what they were;
reflections of the times. Art continues to move along as society
moves; sometimes far out in front of our understanding of that
society. Viewed carefully, they can sometimes help us to understand
the social and cultural changes that are going on around us. This
explains, perhaps, why new art forms are at first rejected. They
represent change, and they are often at first unknown and obscure.
Our mundane minds resist change, and resent being made to exert the
effort needed to see behind the new and different.
Modern art forms are a reflection of the pace and scale of change of
the 21st century; an era that could very well be called the Ďkinetic
age.í We live in an age of transience, and the new art reflects that
transience. Whether itís performance art, or slam poetry, the art
forms of today reflect and interpret the cultural changes that swirl
around us, and in doing so, make those changes less threatening.
Modern art is also a reflection of the diversity that is inevitably
a part of our lives. As recently as the 1950s, it was possible to
live in a community that was inhabited almost entirely by people
just like you. In todayís world, in order to find such a community,
one would have to penetrate deep into the Amazon or Philippine rain
forests; and it is quite likely that you would find some sign of the
outside world even there; whether it be cell phone or a greasy bag
from one of the fast food outlets that can now be found in most
You donít have to know modern art in order to appreciate it; but if
you take the time to look behind the curtain of the performance art,
you just might be surprised at how it will affect you.
all rights reserved, Paul Carrol 2010