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9.6.16

Quoniam Propter Art Stercore

Today's rant is brought to you by some bozo named Martin Creed and the pretentious and overpriced Park Avenue Armory, both of whom/which seem to have failed miserably in Art History class.

It seems these cretins no only fail to understand what art is, but that hours of video of people puking and dumping constitutes a "retrospective" of anything but people's retro functions.  Yes, that's right, this "artist" and the "gallery" which purports to show his "work" are putting up literal crap as "art."

Somewhere in the past 100 years, society appears to have forgotten that art (the real thing) is supposed to bring order to chaos and to elevate the mundane into something we collectively call 'beauty.'

Now, I set the word beauty apart because I, more than many, understand that beauty is a very subjective thing; however, I guarantee that watching people puke and poop does not, in any sense of the word, conform to anyone's idea of beauty.

I understand "modern" art.  I know why and how it developed.  You see, once the camera was invented, there was no longer a need for artists to represent reality.  Photographs could do that in a way that few artists ever achieved.  Thus, the camera freed artists to explore more abstract aesthetics, even to seek beauty IN chaos, rather than OUT of it.

I have no problem with that.  Picasso did nothing new.  Multi-point perspective (showing something from many points of view at once) was not new, only his style was.  The Roman baths at Pompeii had magnificent murals that used the same technique two thousand years before.  By the time we get to Jackson Pollack, though, art is beginning to derail, such that throwing balloons full of paint from second-story balconies at massive canvases, and stacking progressively smaller US flags on top of each other were now considered "art."  Then came talentless hacks like Warhol, and pretty soon, we have "retrospectives" of people's most base functions in photo-realistic full-color video being called "art."

The only thing worse that this literal crap being foisted on the public as "art" are the idiots who buy it and support such fetishist ding-dongs as Mr. Creed.  And let's not forget such shining lights of creativity as Millie Brown, while we're at it.

Real art is NOT repulsive or sick-making.  Real art elevates the spirit and induces feelings of wonder and amazement.  Real art displays the talent to take base materials like paint and canvass, and create works of great beauty, depth and texture as to move the viewer away from the mundane and profane towards the spiritual and ethereal.

The so-called "artists" who wallow in humanity's waste are not lifting anyone, but rather dragging us down into the sewage which they inhabit.  You can call it "documentation" and I can live with that.  You can even call it "self-expression," and I'll agree to go along.  But to call this rubbish "art" and have a bunch of pretentious jack-dillies with more dollars than sense standing around sipping cheap Merlot and hemming and hawing over it, well time for me to get off that out-of-control bus, folks.

Some people wonder how I can appreciate the works of Matisse and Cornell (see top image), and not understand Pollock and Warhol.  I'll tell you why.  Matisse, for instance in his "Backs" series, extrapolated natural forms into their geometric constituents, while Cornell juxtaposed common objects in a way that completed a visual "thought."  The Pointillists and Impressionists played with light and color.  The Bauhaus experimented with architecture as public art.  The Decoists and Nouveauists used furniture to express geometric and natural forms as functional objects.

But there is no way that anyone in their right minds can call puking and pooing "art."  The "pieces" they create do not elevate the subjects, nor do they show us a hidden underlying truth.  They simple play for shock value, which is a cheap and worthless pursuit.

What we see today is a failure of culture and education.  The repeated cuts in art programs to provide more time for wrapping bananas with condoms in schools is now coming back to haunt us.  I would even venture to say that wrapping bananas in condoms is more artistic if it were presented in the proper forum, because it requires the viewers to impose interpretation and imagination.

Sadly, I think it is too late to repair the profound damage to culture.  After a century of this rubbish being presented as art, and uneducated buyers snatching it up, thus encouraging these talentless idiots, there can be no turning back.  It must all come crashing down before it can be rebuilt, I'm afraid.

I will grant one thing to Mr. Creed and Ms. Brown: they have brilliantly pointed out all that is wrong with society.

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