May 14, 2015


Art has ceased to be beautiful or interesting -- but we are more obsequious than ever to artists (Stephen Bayley 16 May 2015, The Spectator)

Artists once served, in turn, the religions of God, of beauty, of sex and political or social subversion. In all of these categories very great masterpieces were realised. A dead Christ, a Venetian hooker, a Dutch townscape, a cathedral in a meadow, and a gas station, all became things of thrilling beauty. But at some point in the last 50 years, art ceased, on the whole, to be either beautiful or interesting. Rem Koolhaas, a Dutch architect who, black-clad in Prada, bestrides the 'art world', enjoys discussing EU administration in his interview with Obrist.

Who can say why artists are now so boring? Maybe in a global culture European painting and sculpture seem provincial. Certainly, Obrist's manic dealings with artists depend very much on the easy availability of international flights. Or perhaps when consumers receive aesthetic gratification from so many sources, 'fine' art becomes redundant. Today, art has long since left the studio or atelier and is out on the street, yet there are still 'artists', many of whom are forced up dead ends of performance and conceptualism. 

No one can even name a current artist and none of their work appears in our homes.  They have no interest in beauty; we have no interest in them.

Posted by at May 14, 2015 8:35 PM

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