Back in the early days of HV, contributing editor Adam D-F published this in an essay from our series about the state of contemporary art:
From the perspective of an interested observer, so much of the art today – painting, sculpture, video, performance, conceptual, multi-media installation – isn’t technically unsound but spiritually uninspired. Nor is it even wholly superficial; a purely aesthetic pursuit would suggest an underlying philosophy or theory about how to create art that’s absent. The typical piece, instead, conveys a one note message immediately grasped by observers allergic to subtlety or a quick sight gag devoid of irony, kitsch or camp.
In a piece from the same series, we, your humble Gardener, suggested digital art could prove a medium for artists to reclaim the avant-garde of cultural discourse and make bold, provocative statements. Yet in a new year, we’re having new views. Has the rise of NFTs as a booming market already accelerated digital art into a destructive cycle of art consumerism devoid of real ideas? In other words, can we simply copy and paste Adam’s criticism to the art making headlines today? Perhaps the true experimentalists of digital art will continue to create intriguing works outside the crypto-adjacent marketplaces while everyone else cashes in and out. Or perhaps we should already be looking at a new potential medium to liberate art. If so, what would this be? Immersive and experiential art? Virtual and/or augmented reality? Though none of these are really new in a meaningful sense (hippie artists experimented with AR and VR back in the 1960’s).
Of course, there’s another possibility, that we currently exist in a world that is post-art. Or is it poster art? In an update to “Cheap, Disposable, Tacky: The Future of Art” we feel compelled to point out Ikea no longer offers Klimt’s “The Kiss” but does have Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” for sale, along with works by Van Gogh, the Swedish fantasist John Bauer, and more!
Missed our series on the state of contemporary art? Join today and stay tuned for more like this!