I’ll interject with a little background since I happen to know something to contribute.
I once heard a thought experiment from a nouveau realist artist. They’re trying to bring back form.
If you were walking around a scrapyard, and you found this work of “art”, a little distressed and muddy, would you know what it was? Would you recognise it? Furthermore, would you feel compelled to ‘save’ it?
I’ve yet to find a better test.
AC has touched on this profound schism between the ancient standard of art (K-selected amygdala) and the postmodern ….excuse.
Historically, the turnaround point could have been at two places. The backlash against The Academy in Victorian times (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’s sexualisation onward) or, it laid the groundwork for the likelier of the two. A backlash against Nazi Germany, itself in contrast to “Degenerate Art” aka what we now laud as Modern, almost a century later. When the Nazis lost, it became a show of Allies’ patriotism to oppose the Nazi standards and anything symbolically on a tangent with them (Hugo Boss suits included) and to fill the vacuum with whatever was disgusting, depraved or shocking (cough Holocaust porn cough), and call that “beautiful” to mirror the implied equality of humans (with mud) versus the racial hierarchy. What a lot of people don’t know is that the Nazis did showcase an exhibit of this inferior artwork…. next to ideal Nazi examples with perfect lighting. The contrast was apparent. Hence, when the Jews opened their own art galleries after the war, which style of art do you think they bought? Art is a market after all, a lot of money in it, and even today, the market is overvalued thanks to billionaire tax breaks. When those stop, the market will collapse, and the New Money from China will be left holding its dick.
Naturally, there are those who disagree with the analysis but the timings and statements about the only true art being ‘political art’ are persuasive ipso facto;
We can easily dismiss demonising talk of the Jews who destroy art in order to break Aryan spirit.
…Photography is to painting as pornography to real women. Both create an illusion of real thing, but leave a lingering emptiness. In the long run, the real thing suffers. Pornography undid many happy unions. Reproduction of art conditioned us to view uninspiring beauty. It is difficult to view a painting of Mona Lisa without instinctively comparing it to its endless reproductions. In a way, the modern art was a botched response to reproductions, for an artist needs to attract attention of blasé viewers. unz
Yet, if you dare suggest there is an objective standard of beauty, and that art must depict both beauty and technical expertise hard-won from thousands of hours in studio, the sudden shuffling of feet to disassociate with you would create another, firmer impression.
The current line? Personal ‘expression’. Lauding the Self and all it makes (cough period art cough) as God.
Think: Is the issue with the artist or the viewer?
A culture can be readily judged by the superiority or inferiority of their artwork.