I don’t appreciate modern art. Seriously, have you seen one piece of public art that didn’t look like evidence of public drunkenness? I saw some metallic structure the other day in Philadelphia and I couldn’t decide if it was a bear signaling a rescue plane or a hobo with antlers.
I sometimes fear that our art will somehow be the most durable thing we create and 25th century archaeologists will conclude that we either lost a terrible battle with antlered hobos who left their statues all over the planet as a sign of planetary domination or we were so artistically puerile that an antlered hobo invasion would’ve been preferable. To ensure that doesn’t happen I’ve been considering running around affixing notes to works of modern art saying “We didn’t really know what was going on here either. Art in our time essentially became welfare for liberal art majors. Sorry.”
But as tough as it is appreciating modern art, let’s face it, it’s probably a lot tougher actually being a modern day struggling artist. Unless you’re the really fortunate heir to some eccentric uncle, you’re probably living in Mom and Steve’s basement. And while you’re crafting your masterpiece out of macaroni you know that throughout history, success typically comes to artists 1) like never 2) after they’re dead.
But somewhere during the 20th century a few enterprising artists figured out a way to achieve some quick and cheapo notoriety without a whole lot of thought or skill. They just plopped a crucifix in urine or threw elephant dung at a picture of a saint. And voila, instant artist-celebrity. Hey don’t make fun. Many chose that path and they got federal grants and their faces in free newspapers and they were called “edgy” on self important dimly lit cable access shows.
But I’ve got some bad news for artists….