Two colleagues sat down for drinks and to solve the world’s problems as they had so many times before. It was a rich mahogany surrounded room with dark colorings, the sort of room that reeks of cigars and higher learning. The conversation abounded with small pleasantries and jabs until the final epitaph to art was given by a venerable grey muzzled sociology professor. The art professor sighed and rolled his eyes putting his hand to his temple tilting his head in anticipation of the exclamation he had heard for a life time from his lifelong friend. It would seem the solution to world hunger would have to wait.
“I have to say I really do loathe modern art”
“Wow, tell me how you really feel about my discipline. Why do you hate art now? Besides your one to talk, as if sociology isn’t dead.”
“I didn’t say art I said modern art. Its abstract and relies on the consumer of the art to create the meaning rather than assigning meaning itself. It’s lazy. Also, as long as there are people there will be sociologists.”
“Well that’s debatable on both fronts. It’s definitely not for everyone but lazy is maybe too harsh of a word choice. While it isn’t my favorite style, a lot of people enjoy it.”
“I think a lot of people pretend to enjoy it. They are told this is art, so they see it as some holy relic. I mean look at Jackson pollock. If you were to take a canvass and drip paint on it, show it on display at a gallery, no one would dispute it if you just said Jackson pollock painted it”.
“Pollocks work is about emotion, about an idea-”
“see that’s it! It’s an idea not about the skill. I see the main dividing line between fine art and modern garbage is Norman Rockwell, and Andy Warhol. Normal Rockwell illustrated life’s cherished moments with skill and heart while Andy Warhol painted amateurish vague soup cans. That man killed art.”
“Art became less about capturing moments and more about looking at them differently. It was a renaissance of the impressionist era thinking. I agree Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol were the roughish dividing line, however Andy Warhol was not the death of fine art. Art became less about the art and more about the idea of art. I think the change followed accessibility to art and society. So I guess you could say it’s a transition from traditional to modern, but society changes. For better or worse, it changes. Part of that change was art was no longer for the elites of society, everyone could have art. Art used to be a status symbol, as it became more accessible, it essentially devalued it and lead to a natural change away from the real and more towards the abstract. Andy Warhol called it the factory for a reason. He also wasn’t an artist for the common man, that was Rockwell. Warhol was a cult of personality, and became more than just his art. Since there was more focus on scarcity, people began instead to look more at the artist as a brand, a type of art. No longer was skill alone the determining factor.”