Totally insane, totally a mind-fuck, totally amazing. Classic cars are stretched into hollowed-out boxy forms and shown in fantastical interlocking arrangements in the surreal illustration series “Auto Aerobics” by UK-based artist Chris LaBrooy.
This is just digital right? Whatever, it is awesome.
That’s how you love old art.
A much more accurate “now” image for direct comparison would be a photograph. Abstract art came about as a direct result of the invention of photography, as paintings no longer need to be representative, as photographs are inherently better at that task. Accurately representative paintings were just the photography of the pre-photography era. Portraits of nobility have been replaced by Sears Portrait Studio. Self portraits have been replaced by Instagram selfies. Paintings of historical events have been replaced by photojournalism. Photography is the democratization of art and abstract paintings and sculpture are the most evolved form of art possible. These are not things to complain about.
YES YES IT IS okay i have a whole lot of feelings about abstract and non-representational art
because yeah, once photography became more common and widely available, people who painted started to question what they painted for. They started to wonder what made something art, what distinguished a painting from a photograph - if photographs could depict “objective” reality (insofar as such a thing even exists), then maybe the strength of painting lay in what photography, in that day and age, couldn’t capture, like feelings or impressions or the tricks the eye plays when seeing an object.
and so they asked, well, why does this portrait feel so comfortable and warm and this one feel threatening and stiff? what elements of the picture suggest that? is it the lighting? the way people are posed? can you play up those elements, exaggerate them, make the figures express the feeling instead of the other way around? what would happen if you did?
and for that matter, people continued to ask, why do we find a certain change of lighting comforting? why do we respond to someone wearing a red shirt or a blue dress differently to someone wearing a white one? what is it about red? or black? or green? why does the shape that people are standing in, the way the figures are placed in a frame, change how we feel about it?
art in a way started to become about psychology - it became about thinking and about why we think and how. because photographs (again, at the time) weren’t engaging with that nearly as much, art started to move towards a “why” of photographs. why that pose? why that color?
that’s when you start to get art like the one under “art now”, right, because look at it. REALLY LOOK, okay, don’t just shrug and walk away because “anyone could do it”. look at that exact shade of orange. do you ever see just a big swath of one color in nature? no, you see hints of it. where have you seen it? what does it remind you of? for that matter, what about the little stripes on it? does that make you feel like there’s depth to the painting - something inside it? why? after all, the painting is a flat plane*, so if you do get a sense of depth from it that’s your brain interpreting signals its familiar with. isn’t that incredible, that all it takes is a few little lines on a single color? isn’t it strange how one person will see depth and another won’t?
*and for that matter it ISN’T a flat plane, there are variations in the height of the paint on the canvas and how much it’s built up, and it protrudes slightly from the wall instead of being recessed into it - does that do anything to the sensation of depth? while we’re on that note, do you ever look at a representational painting and think about how you, the viewer, are looking into it and see it as having space and depth when it really doesn’t - only it does, but not the same space and depth as is represented in the picture?
and that’s without even getting into larger cultural shifts like the World Wars - and it’s hard to overestimate the effect that WWI and WWII had on even the “mainstream” art world - and the greater voice of underrepresented and oppressed groups like women, POC, and LGBT artists and the increasing technological sophistication of photography and the advent of video and widely-available audio recording and the increasing use of galleries to display art rather than private residences and it is still art, okay, representative art is art too but that doesn’t mean this isn’t it’s just focusing on something different and if you dismiss non-representational art as lazy or a con i will sit your ass down in the nearest chair and yell at you about marcel duchamp for an hour
I have a lot of feelings about this, so I’m gonna just spew them everywhere.
Most critically! The red piece isn’t art now. It’s art 60 years ago — 1950, they great heyday of abstract expressionism in the USA! All that abstract shit you hate, all that stuff that’s just splatters and giant dots? 1950-1960. The United States. A small, elitist movement shaped by maybe a dozen artists and two or three very influential critics. In a decade abstract expressionism had pretty much said all there was to say about the action of painting and the canvas as an object rather than a representation, and it got stuck in the museum for people to be bewildered at.
The Rembrandt piece above it? Also a snapshot of a very particular time and place. Our view of art 400 years ago is blinkered by what we’ve bothered to preserve and focus on. When people think “old-timey art” they think of bright white marble statues with no limbs and Da Vinci and Dutch still life. Which is such a tiny fraction of things that have happened in art history, you know? That’s like, three things! Most of them done for rich dudes in Western Europe!
I call such bullshit on someone trying to knock down all of contemporary art by comparing something made for the cultural elite in 1650 to something made for the cultural elite in 1950.
Art is huge, poorly defined, and it has always been that way, has always had elements that are democratic and has always had a thick vein of nasty elitism. The carvings on the doors into Notre Dame tell the stories of the saints so that everyone could understand them, whether they had access to books or not. Comic books and photorealism and murals in urban areas and fashion spreads — all this stuff is made to wow everyone, independent of how much time they’ve spent studying the deep philosophical circle-jerk of art criticism.
I love art criticism, I love Frank Stella and Ad Reinhardt and Eva Hesse, and I am still incandescently furious when people try to reduce the evolution of art to simply justifying or condemning their work. Because that means we’ve fallen head-first into the trap of omission and framing that keeps art defined as only for the museum-attending. There’s museum art — cerebral and obtuse and annoying and demanding of effort and education and money to appreciate — and then there’s literally a whole world of more art. It is an appalling disservice to all the other artists making it out there (corporate designers and media hubs and scrappy little collectives and crafters and professional illustrators) to sweep them under the rug in favor of arguing about museum art as if it is the most important art, or, worse, the only art.
Don’t like Barnett Newman? Fuck Barnett Newman. Fuck his arrogance and his inaccessibility and his ego and his concept of the primitive.
But fuck you if you call him “Art now” while you do it. Don’t make one man the measuring stick for a century of modern creative works. That’s a bullshit premise and you know it.
Only reblogging for the commentary, which is all good. The original poster seems to have no imagination or knowledge of art…
Young Frida .
Robo Faber is an autonomous drawing robot that’s programmed to sketch random artworks. Created by LA-based Matthias Dörfelt, the tiny Arduino robot is designed to echo the artist’s current creative aesthetic. It’s an unconventional take on the self portrait: the concept is that Faber will be an offshoot of the artist’s creative thinking that remains frozen in time, replicating his current style long after he has moved onto different things.
Tony Feher (at Bronx Museum of the Arts)
INSTALLATION BY FÉLIX GONZÁLEZ-TORRES
September 16 - November 20, 1988
When I was asked to write a short statement about the work in this space I thought it would be a good opportunity to disclose and, in a certain sense, to demystify my approach. I hope that it will guide the viewer and will allow an active participation in the unravelling of the meaning and the purpose of this work. Many may consider this text redundant; and unnecessary intrusion, or even a handicap. It is assumed that the work must “speak for itself,” as if the divine dogma of modernism were able to deliver a clear and universal message to a uniform “family of man.” Others know this is not true that each of us perceives things according to who and how we are at particular junctures, whose terms are always shifting. Preferably the exhibition gallery will function as an educational device, simple and basic, without the mysteries of the muse, reactivating history to affirm our place in this landscape of 1998.
This work is mostly personal. It is about those very early hours in the morning, while still half asleep, when I tend to visualize information, to see panoramas in which the fictional, the important, the banal, and the historical are collapsed into a single caption. Leaving me anxious and responsible to anchor a logical accompanying image scanning the TV channels trying to sort out and match sound and sight. This work is about my exclusion from the circle of power where social and cultural values are elaborated and about my rejection of the imposed and established order.
It is a fact people are discriminated against for being HIV positive. It is a fact the majority of the Nazi industrialists retained their wealth after war. It is a fact the night belongs to Michelob and Coke is real. It is a fact the color of your skin matters. It is a fact Crazy Eddie’s prices are insane. It is a fact that four colors red, black, green and white placed next to each other in any form are strictly forbidden by the Israeli army in the occupied Palestinian territories. This color combination can cause an arrest, a beating, a curfew, a shooting, or a news photograph. Yet it is a fact that these forbidden colors, presented as a solitary act of consciousness here in SoHo, will not precipitate a similar reaction.
From the first moment of encounter, the four colour canvases in this room will “speak” to everyone. Some will define them as an exercise in color theory, or some sort of abstraction. Some as four boring rectangular canvases hanging on the wall. Now that you’ve read this text, I hope for a different message.
For all the PWAs.
This. We need more contemporary artists like this.