I didn't know where to post this: Art, PC&E, General... A friend of mine on facebook, pretty cool guy, usually pretty liberal politically, posted this video: https://www.prageru.com/courses/history/why-modern-art-so-bad I was pretty surprised that he agreed with the video. I will offer a disclaimer that "Prager U" is basically a political organisation whose goal is to bring folks to the radical right. But context of the host site aside, let's discuss the content of the video. My summary of it is: Robert Florczak is pissed off that "modern art" is getting too much attention and too much funding. He praises the composition, style, and attention to detail of the classic, romantic, and baroque masters. He says that the impressionists were pretty great, but created a monster by accepting the ideal of aesthetic relativism, and then subsequent generations glammed on to aesthetic relativism and abandoned realism and objectivism. Then, next thing you know, Jackson Pollack is flinging globs of random coloured paint onto a canvas and fetching hundred of thousands of dollars per piece. I've seen some of Florczak's work, and, I have to say, that it's pretty good. There are some notes of what he's saying that make me think "yeah, that's not right!" But, overall, I think he's severely missing the point. Just my opinion. Art is not photorealism, it's not the act of creating something that is difficult to create - it's an object appreciated for it's imaginative aesthetic. We can define it in a number of ways, but I think that the imaginative aesthetic part of it is pretty firm. 1. Note that artists shifted, not gradually, but pretty suddenly, from valuing realism to valuing imagination, exactly during the period when photography became an accessible technology. It's no stretch of the imagination to think that people desiring highly detailed realism would direct their attention toward photography, leaving a vacuum in the art community for something a little different. 2. Whilst I don't particularly care for Pollack's work, personally, I don't see the point in trying to talk the people who do out of enjoying those works. I also don't see how arguing with such people would be productive for me, in any case. Furthermore, his anecdote about the smudge paint on his apron smelled funny to me right away. Even though I'm not a fanatic of Pollacks, I'm familiar enough with his techniques to have guessed that what he had shown was not a Pollack piece. 3. I agree that someone vomiting on canvas and calling it a masterpiece is pretty silly. I understand that this happens. I don't pretend to know enough about art to understand why some people get blown away by something like that. But man, I don't see much modern art like that. I see stuff like Dali's surrealism and think "Hey, that's pretty cool! It looks cool and it says something." I've been to a few museums that had two or three pieces that I thought "I don't get it...", pondered for a few moments, then moved on. I'm not going to boycott the Dali museum just because I don't "get" a blank canvas with a piece of woolen yarn glued to it. 4. The whole things seems a little like complaining to me. I get that, and I understand why. If I spent 1000 man hours making a nuanced painting of a turtle, with lots of little fish far off in the background, and made certain every last pigment was mixed just so, and sold my turtle painting for $400, then saw a guy take a canvas, and draw a large monochrome x on it and sell it for $200000, I'd feel pretty marginalized. And...I can see why, in a world where that hypothetical situation is not terribly unlikely, not many artists would bother learning intricate composition methods. But isn't that just life? And wouldn't the best way to prove to everyone that your paintings are worth more than $400 to be to keep painting, and make something nuanced to your style, with also some deeper meaning to grab a wider audience.