Thought for the Day: The Death of Art

February 20, 2005
As an artist, I find it hard to admit this, but I think art as we know it is dead.

In the thousands of years of human history, art has always existed alongside such things as violence, sex, religion, consumption, etc. As we’ve evolved, art has become increasingly more important to us but the scale has tipped too far now. In the past where art was splendid, beautiful, and amazing, people have lost their appreciation for art. No longer will people see a painting by da Vinci and think of how wonderful it is. Instead, they’ll focus on everything that the artist probably never intended on the viewer paying attention to. Gone are the days of admiring the artist’s skill with a brush, or how we captured the ambiance of nature perfectly. We’ve turned into the world’s largest art critics in human history.

Now-a-days, we humans can’t walk past anything without passing judgment, whether they me animate or inanimate objects. With art, we analyze anything and everything. We don’t look at the subtleties of what lies in the art, but question what everything means, why the artist did something, what the artist stands for, and so on. We’ve made simple art more complicated than ever. Children’s art is being analyzed for future criminals or disturbed individuals, instead of encouraging them to continue drawing. The criticism is endless and exists in every artform that is practiced currently.

We have lost contact with the grandeur of the world as it exists. While a lot of people would be overwhelmed with the beauty of places like the Grand Canyon or New York City, most will shrug their shoulders and pass on the judgment of it. We’ve become jaded and can’t see how amazing the construction of buildings are. In an ironic twist, it is not the creation of something that amazes us, but the destruction of something that causes awe. We don’t care what the tallest building in the world is, but when the Twin Towers fell the world froze to watch. I’m not praising the efforts of the terrorists in what they did, but they hit the nail on the head to mark the end of art. Las Vegas almost always blows up a hotel or a casino for New Year’s Eve now, people are enthralled by the hot-dog eating contests on Coney Island and the world, people watch extreme sports for the hope of seeing crashes, and people watch WWE and boxing for the destruction of man in front of them.

We don’t love the creation of something anymore, and that’s deeply saddening for me, and when people do create something, we ignore it and tear it apart to find its true meaning. Humans have turned from creation to destruction, and it’s a path that will probably never end until we’re all dead.

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