Fear and loathing of Modern "Art". -

Positron

Ready to explain photosynthesis to Bill Nye
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
This is the thread where we post and discuss examples of Modern "Art" that we think, for one reason or another, do not deserve to be labelled art, why such "Art pieces" are giving modern art a bad name, and hopefully explore the essence of what count as "Art".

Please only include works that are generally recognized as Capital-A Art -- by which I mean artists and works who have won international prizes, featured in art magazines (or even textbooks), sold in auction houses, or collected in museums. No Steven's Universe screenshots, Marvel comics, or anything from DeviantArt please.

I can think of three types of "art" that get my blood pressure rising:

1. Low-effort "conceptual art":

The grand-daddy of this type is Duchamp's urinal. Given it has been discussed to death and back, you'd have guessed artists have long been tired of "found objects". Not so: the following picture shows a "sculpture" by Carl Andre called Equivalent VIII. Trust your eyes: it is exactly just a bunch of bricks placed on the ground.

T01534_10.jpg


When Tate Museum bought this shit for £2,297 in 1972 ($34400 in today's dollar), there was a public uproar about misappropriation of funds -- and who can blame the people?


2. Political propaganda masquerading as art:

9_Ai-Weiwei.jpg

Ai Weiwei – Study of Perspective, Tiananmen, 1995-2010.

Ai Weiwei has been capitalizing on Chinese Communist Party's animosity towards him -- and the West's animosity towards the Chinese government -- to earn truckloads of foreign dollars. Also included in this category are "art" that are primarily focused on feminism or other forms of identity politics, such as the following "sculpture" by some dindu called Kara Walker:

14-karen-walker-8.nocrop.w1024.h2147483647.jpg

3. Pop culture bullshit

Postmodernism has a lot to answer for. By supposedly demolishing the boundary between "high-art" and "pop culture", it has allowed a host of "artists" to take advantage of a shallow, thrill-seeking audience. The most notorious may be Takashi Murakami and his "Superflat" cohort:

a8986d52eab888b7d716dabd8f9ae034--postmodern-art-takashi-murakami.jpg


Doubtless some people find this cute and pleasant to look at, but can you call this "Art"?

In the West, the most notable examples are Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst, but I grant that Koons works at least show a modicum of craftsmanship.
 
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Autopsy

kiwifarms.net
Doris Salcedo is pretty hit-or-miss, but rather than being acclaimed especially for Istanbul (which is neat to look at, ignoring its brain-dead politic) or Flor de Piel (which is technically impressive if not visually interesting) she got her rep with Shibboleth, AKA "muhfuggin borders R bad, gimme grant monee" or "a crack in the floor".
Behold:
 
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Squealer the Animalist

Can turn black into white
kiwifarms.net
The way I see it, the only reason why modern art could ever grow into the phenomenon it has despite the bewilderment and distaste it gives its audience is due to the threefold psychology of its body of enthusiasts.

First, we have the rat kings themselves, whom are people whose only concept of beauty lies within concepts that they have already familiarized, yet who do not have the ingenuity or the artistic expertise to transform that concept or feeling into a proper scene or representation that can clearly yet cleverly transfer that concept to its audience. Thus, they either go for abstract art that only vaguely represents the concept, or they use symbolism to artificially express the ideas where their own artistry could not. In both cases, they trust that their audience will find the concept within the art if they are given the concept externally. This class includes both charlatans and the delusional artists who are too vain and two attached and familiar to the concept itself to see the true value of their art in its ability to convey that concept. Thus modern art does not give, it takes.

Secondly, we have the snobs, the "progressives”, and the hipsters who dread the thought of appearing reactionary, close-minded, or unintelligent to their peers. As a result, they either paste politics or some other familiar concept of beauty onto the art to give it some meaning to them, or else they stifle their instinctive repugnance and feign the admiration that their hipster peers and critics show for this art.

Lastly, we have the modest and less knowledgable people who may initially disapprove of such works, but they hear the merits of such works trumpeted by gangs of critics and fellow peers whom they assume have more knowledge and taste. As a result, they assume that they are the ones who are tasteless and thus follow the opinions of the snobs so as to appear less tasteless. Many people are a mixture of the above three parties. Due to the fact that the critics themselves have no criteria for what constitutes modern art or how to interpret its effectiveness in communicating its concept, modern art criticism usually just judges the concept itself with little more than meaningless words and vague terminologies resting on no accepted rules and principles, forcing the public to grudgingly accept one unwelcome "innovation" after another.

Yet, if the modest folk would just trust their feelings and instinct to the point when their lack of confidence would be overcome, and if the snobs would only be more sincere with their own knowledge and taste, both parties would be amazed to find how right their formerly suppressed misgivings about this new art have been all along, and, united, would join in a chorus of glib condemnation, leaving the first class of corrupt and delusional “artists” to metaphorically run for the hills and to constrain their "innovations" to a small, unseen circle. But I do not see this happening anytime in the near future.
 

Positron

Ready to explain photosynthesis to Bill Nye
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
Doris Salcedo is pretty hit-or-miss, but rather than being acclaimed especially for Istanbul (which is neat to look at, ignoring its brain-dead politic) or Flor de Piel (which is technically impressive if not visually interesting) she got her rep with Shibboleth, AKA "muhfuggin borders R bad, gimme grant monee" or "a crack in the floor".
Behold:

When I first learn of Shibboleth I just thought: hey it's a cool way to think about space. But I do agree that Unilever (who funded this project) has been had.

The most interesting entry in Unilever Series in Tate Modern was Olafur Eliasson's The Weather Project (aka "The Sun"). And I'd give Ai Weiwei's field of porcelain seeds a pass too considering much of the money had gone to needy craftsmen (and craftswomen) in China.
 
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Autopsy

kiwifarms.net
I originally made this an edit, but since this thread is pretty high velocity, I'll toss it in as a new post.
On the topic of the Guggenheim Fellowship and South-American winners, Enrique Castro-Cid was a fairly old award, from all the way back in the 60s. He did some pretty neat art with early mechanical baubles (for which he is mostly known) but he moonlit as a "Fine Artist" with outstanding works like this:
which earned him a Fellowship.
 
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REGENDarySumanai

Man of excellent taste
kiwifarms.net
Anyone can make modern "art." You can shit in a toilet, take a picture of it, and it will be "art."

This post is "art."
 
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