We’ve had many years of shock art getting all the attention. You know what I mean by shock art – just look at what’s been canonized in major international art magazines, and elitist Biennales. Shock Art is work that uses shocking imagery (usually sexual in nature) or bodily fluids combined with religious icons (sound familiar?) Now this trend is finally losing steam and allowing a deeper art to shine through. In fact, I believe the entire era of shocking, mysterious, incomprehensible, and elite art is coming to an end. Let’s get real. How many decades can something that was once shocking still have the power to create any emotional response except boredom? There has always been throughout history a human need to make art, to share it, and to experience it. Art has always been important while trends come and go, circle around.
Great art for me, is work that offers an experience – an experience that goes deeper than intellect, deeper than a surface shock, evoking emotions that connect to the human experience. When I look at an artwork, my immediate response usually tells all. The work, if successful, will draw me into it deeply, invite me to peruse its elements, enjoy it on many levels, and keep me rooted in my viewing spot. I hesitate to leave it, like a new lover. Work that has these qualities is usually work created un-self-consciously, with no agenda to report, with joy and a certain ease – not trying so hard. Great art is hard to find, and takes guts to make.
At recent artist gatherings, this topic seemed to come up quite frequently. One of my friends recently wrote about this phenomena in her blog: http://www.destinyallison.com/art-blog/index.htm
Then only days later, a curator friend wrote something very similar on her blog: