Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The beautiful, the sacred and the contemporary art

It is an open secret that contemporary art has lost its connection to beauty and the sacred. Another very important aspect is the craftsmanship. A huge percentage of contemporary art colleges' students and contemporary artists can’t draw or paint. The only thing that they are able to do is to express their own ideas or feelings. There is no beauty in most of the products of art and the sacred element is missing.
Sassetta (Stefano di Giovanni) (Italian, Sienese, active by 1423

Annunciation by Simone Martini and Lippo Memmi, around 1333 - detail

On the other hand XX/XXI century art was/is an act of expression, so perhaps I am wrong. Maybe contemporary art is the expression of contemporary people who have lost any connection with the beautiful and the sacred?! Maybe they may not need these aesthetical and ethical sentiments from the past. Mass culture, popular culture, deception, profit, popularity and selfishness. The flow of information is so overwhelming - we don't have time for deep study or reflection. It is about sloppiness and dullness. That is a good characterisation of XXI century art: asexual and shallow.

Sometimes I think that one of the last bastions of excellent technique, beauty and the sacred are the surreal artists, and of course the practitioners of traditional fine art too.

In the eye of the beholder - acrylic; 2010 by Kasia B. Turajczyk

The Blueberry Fantasy- acrylic by Kasia B. Turajczyk

Deep in my heart I feel as if we are living in the most tragic period for ART, with lack of reflection amongst the people involved with art.
The Arts suffer from some kind of internal burnout. We live in a time of spiritual drought that has not produced great thinkers, writers, composers and artists. Those who are engaged in deep thinking and genuine creativity, should live like medieval monks in their internal hermitages.
*The view of professor Tadusz Gadacz; Polish philosopher, my translation from Polish.

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