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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Is Modern Art Rubbish?

I suspect many people would say yes. That would be becuase many of us have wandered around our local National Trust property or Museum seen great pictures by the likes of Turner, Rembrandt, Breughel etc and then compared them to Tracy Emin's bed or Damien Hurst's latest "thing" in Formaldahyde.

Whenever the latest god awful picture of the queen is shown to us my dad asks "why people can't draw anymore".

The problem is we have no way of knowing if the portrait we look at in a gallery is particularly life like (I am prepared to say that the great masters could inject a personaility into a portrait that I've yet to see in a modern work. Holbeins the Ambassadors anyone?). Not all paintings are portraits but I hope you get my logic.

Of course I spend a lot of time in National Trust houses and I can tell you that Modern Bird Art is much much better than it was. Modern optics help but Sir Peter Scott didn't have dSLR's, telescopes etc.

Probably the best bird artist currently working is the Swede Lars Jonsson. He has produced a classic field guide and some lovely paintings. Others may get more detail but no one gets the feel of a bird better.

To see a master at work check out the DVD Ten Days to Paint the forest. Watching him work is a privilege.

So is modern art rubbish? Probably not, is there anyone who in a 100 years time we'll remember? Only time will tell. But I'm prepared to bet that Jonsson will be remembered in his particular field as being as good as anyone.

3 comments:

Mary said...

I guess there are two sorts of modern art.There is the sort that you may not understand or like, but at leas some work went into it and there is the gimmicky stuff that the tate pay s millions for such as a brick wall or an unmade bed which to me is a big con!

Attila The Mom said...

Gak---I haven't been to an art museum in eons. You're giving me a hankering!

Diddums said...

That's an interesting thought, that the true value of this work or that (or this artist or that) will become more apparent with the years. Though fame is a funny thing, and a lot of good works and books go unrecognized. Sometimes for a period of time only, but some are never particularly noticed.