There’s this phenomenon on our society which makes relevant people get glorified in weird ways. A big chunk of current humanity sees these people almost as gods in their craft, and I think it’s pretty weird.
A lot of times, this people get glorified just because we as humanity agree that they’re glorified. It’s a process that can be reversed when talking about modern-day people, but probably won’t for an already dead person.
In the case someone gets glorified as a demigod in their craft, any criticism of that person will result in result on assumptions of ignorance in that craft. This can also happen to individual pieces of art like the Mona Lisa.
Is it the most complex, best conserved, most illustrative or abstract, piece of artwork from the time? No, it isn’t. It’s famous because it was stolen once. Is it fair to call Da Vinci a genius, but relegate other artists like Titian to a corner?
“The Tribute Money” by him is such a banger.
Setting a single person as the best (a tag which can never be applied in any field with even an ounce of art or creativity) is easy. Now, instead of judging a piece by how it causes emotions (remember that one of the few objective qualities of any art is how well it transmits the original meaning), it is judged by how much different from this subjective gold-standard it is.
As the gold standard was set in the Renaissance era, every painting that doesn’t try to mimic that artistic flow, will inevitably be too different from the perceived as best is deemed worse. To judge art by how similar it is to thing cataloged as best is easy, and that’s the reason this flawed method is so popular.
You know how art has been inherently classist for about a thousand years? Art wasn’t for intellectual realization of the artist, but for the pride of the one who demanded that piece be produced.
There were so many still life paintings (fruits being depicted in beautiful formations) produced not because the artist wanted to send a message about anything, but because the commissioner wanted to show off all their exotic and expensive items in a single image. Having one of those paintings was a way to show everyone your economic power.
This inherently classist use of art has been dead for about 200 years, thankfully. Now almost no art pieces are produced to be extravagant about the commissioner’s economic status, but this mentality that some art is made for / by rich people (which isn’t anymore) was never really lost.
And the typical relation between classiness and money comes into play. And some people really want to be classy, but they transform into these snob monsters.
Mixing the thought that some art is the best art that there is, and the thought that this art is meant for classy people, we have our perfect storm to create people with a severe high-horse attitude.
Not everyone wants to be seen as classy, intelligent and rich. Punk and generally rebellious cultures have been growing since the ~1960s. So these actively not-mainstream cultures are naturally opposed to the snob culture inside traditional arts.
The desire to break with tradition in the second half of the 20th century also caused a big growth in the number of pieces of art that are abstract.
As you can probably see, this piece is pretty far in every aspect from the one I mentioned earlier. Does that make it worse? No, I’d even say that it’s better in other ways.
Abstract art communicates in ways that are far too subjective to be judged with a simple “how much similar is it to Da Vinci” scale.
Please, don’t glorify authors, they’re just people. Also, don’t discard any kind of abstraction as trash, you’re showing yourself as a pretty big ignorant 🐱