Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Beauty is the New Ugly"

An article written by my esteemed colleague Zachary Franzen.

Zach works at Portland Studios as blog administrator, writer, and art production assistant.

Behold, an excerpt:

There’s an Albanian story about a guy who comes to New York City. His friends enthusiastically guide him to the Empire State Building. “The Americans constructed it in the 1930s” they say, “It is 1,454 feet tall and it cost over 24 million dollars to build. They built the whole thing in one year and 45 days.” The Albanian looks the building up and down for a moment. He is unimpressed. He puts his hand to his chin, then shrugs his shoulders and says, “We could tear it down in a day.”

Destruction as a creative act is the unimpressive center of contemporary art. When ordinary middle class people look at a modern exhibition and say, “my kid could do that,” they say it in a lowered voice–the voice reserved for secrets. You wacky bourgeoisie, it’s no secret! If you were to tell one of these exhibitors, “I don’t see any beauty in your work,” they would look at you and say, “I don’t see your point.”

Most folks perceive Beauty and art to be intertwined–Shakespeare, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s ninth, and all that. However, the aristocracy of contemporary art (read: NYC gallery curators) sees art and beauty as completely opposite, if not opposing, elements.

Here's is the article in its entirety.

The above bird man is completely unrelated. Never mind him, please.


Loren Eaton said...

Destruction as a creative act is the unimpressive center of contemporary art.

This is so very true. People seem to stop caring when art becomes more about social critique instead of creativity and beauty.

kev said...

True how true