This article originally appeared on medium.com. See the article in it’s entirety here.
Anyone can revolt. It is more difficult silently to obey our own inner promptings, and to spend our lives finding sincere and fitting means of expression for our temperament and our gifts. ~ Georges Rouault
A couple of my friends recently went to the acclaimed Art Basel show in Miami, FL. Ever the social media virtuosos that they are, they posted photos of some of the most shocking and bizarre artworks that they witnessed there on their Facebook pages. I wanted to hurl. Perhaps that was the reaction the artists wanted.
I am happy to see my non-artist friends exploring the arts. I have to wonder, though, if it really enhances their cultural awareness to be exposed to the most banal aspects of human expression marketed as the “ Modern and contemporary art world’s premier platform for bringing together artists and their patrons in a way that is both engaging and personal.”
I went to art school in the 1980’s and was taught to be open to a variety of expressive forms and methods. I learned to excoriate Victorian attitudes that stifled artistic freedom, and I heralded groundbreaking artists who “broke the rules.” I was taught to appreciate anything that broke with tradition and was “non-representational”.
But lately, I find myself wondering, have we gone too far?