According to one view, what makes modern art so different from classical art is the intention of the artists on the one hand and the way in which the viewers perceive the work of art on the other.
The art market : figures that make your head spin
The ancient artists would have focused on the aesthetic aspect of their activity with the sole intention of drawing the spectators into the contemplation of beauty.
Modern artists, on the other hand, would like to break away from this approach and create emotions in the viewer, no longer through beauty but by seeking to provoke and shock the public.
It seems to us, however, that this is a shortcut and above all an easy excuse for mediocrity.
Indeed, this point of view does not take into account the innumerable scenes of violence contained in works of art since the first human artistic representations: hunting in prehistoric times, high and low reliefs of antiquity representing fights, scenes of war or torture in the Middle Ages, The Raft of the Medusa by Théodore GERICAULT, Liberty guiding the people by Eugène DELACROIX, …
In a completely different register, we can see that the quality of a film like “Titanic”, which can be considered both a technical and aesthetic success and a polemical work, has largely won the favour of the public. On the other hand, it is clear that there are many more B-movies containing ultra-violent and shocking scenes that are still considered to be “crap” and are shunned by the majority of viewers.
These few examples seem to be more than enough to demonstrate that the denunciation of societal drifts and the intention to shock in no way implies the lack of artistic talent and the poverty of know-how that can be observed in certain pseudo-artists who are brought to the pinnacle by intellectuals in search of recognition and elites eager for social and financial success.
In addition, what seems to be the highest quality of modern art for this circle of ‘insiders’ is largely counterbalanced, in fact if not in fame/notoriety and financial success, by a large number of works by truly talented contemporary artists.
Nowadays, there are many artists who, without necessarily omitting to denounce the shortcomings of our society, also try to do more “serious” work. Unfortunately, most of them are still unknown because of a lack of access to the public.
We thus submit to the intelligence of this public, and not to the blindness of certain intellectuals, some comparisons:
White square on white background (1918)
60 millions $
2,5 millions $
Orange, yellow,red (1960)
86,9 millions $
What do you think? Leave us a comment.
Sources : Journal Le Monde, Artprice, Wikipédia