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For two millennia, great artists set the standard for beauty. Now those standards are gone. Modern Art is a competition between the ugly and the twisted; the...

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I agree with everything in this video. Modern art disgusts me.

IMO, you should add a tag of philosophy to this as, again IMO, poor philosophy is at the heart of bad art (which he addresses directly in the video - e.g., "how can art be objectively measured?" what are the artistic results as measured by "universal standards versus artistic relativism?" "without aesthetic standards, we have no way to determine quality or inferiority!" "who will determine quality?" how do you determine what is "worthy of value?" what are the "objective standards?").

There's a great quote in the book The Romantic Manifesto by Ayn Rand that sums up this philosophical and artistic tragedy beautifully:

Art (including literature) is the barometer of a culture. It reflects the sum of a society’s deepest philosophical values: not its professed notions and slogans, but its actual view of man and of existence.

I upvoted funny because, in addition to learning about the stupidity of a 340-ton rock as art, the Holy Virgin Mary covered with glitter and elephant dung, and a "prize-winning" police woman squatting while urinating (all of which I looked up to verify they weren't satires from The Onion), and on top of his graduate students thinking the paint drippings on his art studio apron are "good" because they are "bold," "evocative," "unconventional," and "perfectly balanced in its randomness," his last comment about the "white painting" by Robert Rauschenberg is absolutely hysterical as a perfect representation of how ludicrous modern art is.

As a spokeswoman for the Academy of Fine Arts said about the "overwhelmingly positive" public response of the police woman urinating:

"The artist is exploring a taboo zone. 'Petra' is not a provocation," she said. "It is an observation of society."


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Or said another way:

Placing things in context is what contemporary students do best. What they do not do is judge... This refusal to judge or take offense can be taken as a positive sign, suggesting tolerance and broadmindedness.

Though quoting from it, it's hard to agree with some of the Commentary Magazine article as the author's claims aren't always logical, such as:

The fine arts and the performing arts have indeed ceased to matter in Western culture, other than in honorific or pecuniary terms, and they no longer shape in meaningful ways our image of ourselves or define our collective values. This collapse in the prestige and consequence of art is the central cultural phenomenon of our day.


For most of human history, works of visual art were the direct expression of the society that made them. The artist was not an autonomous creator; he worked at the behest of his patron, making objects that expressed in visible form that patron’s beliefs and aspirations.

More factually, here are some other examples of art controversies from it:

The last time that artists were part of the national conversation was a generation ago, in 1990. This was the year of the NEA Four, artists whose grants were withdrawn by the National Endowment for the Arts because of the obscene content of their work. Their names were Tim Miller, John Fleck, Holly Hughes, and Karen Finley—the latter especially famous because her most notable work largely involved smearing her own body with chocolate. As it happened, their work was rather less offensive than that of Andres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe, who had been the subject of NEA-funded exhibitions the year before. Serrano’s photograph of a crucifix immersed in a jar of his own urine was called “Piss Christ.” Mapplethorpe’s notorious self-portrait featured a bullwhip thrust into his fundamental aperture. Even the New York Times, a stalwart champion of Mapplethorpe, could not honestly describe that photograph, let alone publish it, referring to it with coy primness as a “sadomasochistic self-portrait (nearly naked, with bullwhip).”


From time to time, so-called conceptual artists had looked to find new ways to use the human body artistically. Their agenda was by no means to express humanist values or even beautiful suffering—quite the contrary. In 1961, Piero Manzoni offered for sale 90 tin cans purportedly containing the Merda d’artista (to this day it is uncertain whether or not the cans actually contain his excrement, since to open one would cost on the order of $100,000). Manzoni’s foray into scatology was a prophecy of things to come. Ten years later, Vito Acconci became a minor celebrity with his performance of Seedbed, which involved his hiding under a platform in a gallery and speaking to visitors above while masturbating.

I leave you with a picture of Lipstick, "a harbinger of the return of seriousness to the art scene, a seriousness now tinged with fury, indignation, and, increasingly, politics":

Lipstick (Ascending) on Caterpillar Tracks

Afterthought: If you vomit on your screen after viewing Lipstick, you can take a picture of it an mail it to MOMA. I guarantee someone will pay millions for it.

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Though quoting from it, it's hard to agree with some of the Commentary Magazine article as the author's claims aren't always logical

It was an interesting article nonetheless. So I went to the About page to learn more before adding it to my feeds, where I found:

Since its inception in 1945, and increasingly after it emerged as the flagship of neoconservatism in the 1970s...

Never mind. I won't be subscribing. Neocons are all about illogic.

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