Thursday Thoughts: Why is there so much bad art?

There is a lot of bad art out there and the internet just proliferates those images creating the impression that we’re in a time when no one is making good art. It would be easy to assume that our “standards” for good art have declined since the golden days of classical art. There are many who blame modern art, and particularly movements like abstract expressionism, for this decline in contemporary arts’ quality. The real culprit for the perceived lack of standards is the internet. Art has not gotten worse, it has changed and the areas of quality are often found in subtle less obvious ways than virtuosic representation. The real reason we see so much bad art is simply because we’re exposed to more art. There has been bad art in every generation. The art that has stood the test of time represents the pinnacle of artistic achievement in each epoch. Every age has had it’s own hacks and hobbyists looking for a quick buck, we can just see more of ours because everyone has a self publishing platform through the internet.

Also, because of our obsession with entertainment, our media consumption is geared towards the exciting, the shocking, and the flashy. All the blame for shock-value art does not rest solely with the artists creating such work. It also rests with us. We are part of a world with so many clamoring voices that if one wants to be heard, if even for second, they must shout. Not only that, volume isn’t enough any more. Our shouts must be shocking, offensive, or confrontational to get even the most passive of responses from the numb consumer. Artists have something they want to say and today’s world only seems to respond to the controversial. They didn’t create that system, they’re adapting to it.

What are your thoughts?

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2 Comments

Filed under Art, Jacob Rowan Studios, Thursday Thoughts

2 responses to “Thursday Thoughts: Why is there so much bad art?

  1. This is an interesting issue you bring up, as many other areas (such as what gets reported in journalism and the quality of writing on sites like Wattpad) are affected by the Internet boom as well. Should artists modify their message since viewers have less time to contemplate or understand a piece’s significance? I suppose the big question is this: for whom is art created- for others or ourselves?

  2. Good point. I think artists of every age have had to meet the specific challenges and weaknesses of their generation. The best artists are the ones who find a way to reach their audience while holding true to their artistic vision. Art is both for the viewer and the creator; it’s a symbiotic relationship with the meaning of a work lying somewhere between the artist’s intentions and the viewer’s experience. Thanks for your thought provoking comment!

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