Modern “Art”?

Roger Scruton on the subject of beauty and art:

Reminds me of Al Capp’s (of the Dagwood comics) quote on “abstract art”, as it’s called:

Abstract art is made by those who have no talent, sold by those who have no scruples, and bought by those who have no taste.

I remember the story of the woman in the “art gallery” who puzzled for a long time awed at a “piece of art”, a rectangular piece of plastic with an apparent lever on it. She finally asked the security man in the room, what was the name of this piece of art? He replied, surely with a serious face, “It’s the light switch, Ma’m”.

I read somewhere that Yoko Ono had placed her work in the Modern Art Museum in New York. A big wooden board, with a base at the bottom where there were placed a hammer and nails. People were expected to hammer nails into the board at random places. She called it “participatory art”. I hope nobody confuses this with theater, or an artistically-made movie. And by artistically, I’m not talking about the one where the writer or producer is makng a point of how artistic or dramatic he’s making it, long-drawn out stares into the sky, purportedly dramatic.

I remember one of my first realizations of how much these hustlers had taken over “polite society”. I came back to the States from the mission field. The local “public” television channel, I now call them government media, put on a half-hour show about an abstract artist. The guy did a piece for the show. He rolled out his giant canvas, which almost filled the room, and then one after another, grabbed a gallon can of regular house paint, and just threw the paint onto the canvas, all along explaining his technique, as if it were brilliant. He meant to pitch it just so, and get the light reflecting on it just so, blah blah blah. More vain babble.

One more. Once upon a time in the late 20th century, a news report told about the anguish that owners of art galleries in New York were going through. They were groaning about a new trend among the purchasers of art in the market, called “realism”, meaning people wanted art that reflected the real world. I suspect that part of the realism they expected was appreciation for the beauty that exists in the world. The complaint of the gallery owners was that some artists were starving, because “a lot of them just can’t draw!”

What a racket!

I think it was Buckminster Fuller who said, When I design something, I design it for functionality. Then I look at it, and if it isn’t beautiful, I start over”.

The truth shall make you free, amigo. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. God plus one is a majority.


One Response to “Modern “Art”?”

  1. trutherator Says:

    One more thing. In David’s Psalms, he often expressed awe when contemplating God’s creation. In Roger Scruton’s video about beauty, he mentions the trend of earlier times of architects building things and making a priority of functionality over beauty.

    He made the point that those buildings became useless because nobody they were so ugly nobody wanted to live in them.

    That was what sparked the reminder in me that it is not easy to make man’s creations into a work of beauty, and the most beautiful of man’s works capture the idea of the most beautiful things in God’s creation.

    One historian once said, “Cities are a sore upon the body politic”. And they are.

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