Look closely. You may see the full picture.
By CAOIMHE CLEMENTS: ARTS Columnist
Contemporary Art is the act of personal expression created by artists of today. Beginning, in the later part of the 20th Century, 1960s onwards. Contemporary Art provides an opportunity to experience freedom when expressing oneself. To reflect on today’s society, Emotional Wellbeing, World Poverty, and Climate Change, to personal approaches, Identity and Self Reflection.
Imagine you are in The Tate gallery space, witnessing ‘My Bed’ (1998) by Tracey Emin you will probably hear someone say ‘Anyone could exhibit a bed’ ‘I could do that’. This question being raised is, Is Contemporary Art bad? Is it really genius and brilliant if anyone could do it?
The individuals asking these questions may lack knowledge on what Contemporary Art actually is compared to an someone who has studied art of today in-depth. You may just see a bed while someone else will see a bed that represents, an experience of when Emin was at a low point of stress and anxieties, where alcohol became her coping mechanism.
As a viewer you have the right to dislike or like work in a gallery exhibit. However how can oneself judge something without fully understanding it? To make a fair judgement, the need to understand why the artist is doing what they are doing.
What your eyes witness is simply not the full story. Many people can relate in some form to this work, as according to the independent newspaper 60% of adults use alcohol as a coping mechanism to help manage stress.
What is Contemporary Art?
Contemporary Art is art of the present day. A period of art which can be heavily based on Conceptual Art. Conceptualism is when the idea or concept behind the work is more important than the finished art object or art piece.
MACKAYAN: CONTEMPORARY ART. gOOD OR bAD?Tweet
Cover art courtesy of RF..Gallery. Other by Alexander.
When someone raises the statement ‘A child could do that’ or ‘Anyone could do that’ they simply are missing the point of conceptualism and what is entails. In Playing to the Gallery by Grayson Perry he says ‘for someone to walk into a contemporary art gallery for the first time and expect to understand it straight away would be like me walking into a classical music concert, known nothing about classical music, and saying ‘oh it’s all just noise’.’
The beauty of art of today is the power to consistently ask questions, pushing the boundaries of art like never before. Realistically art would be extremely boring if the ‘rules’ of art was never broken. We would not be able to witness Andy Scott’s ‘The Kelpies’ or ‘Maman’ by Louise Bourgeois, or enjoy Photography as a medium to use light to construct a visual language.
Good or Bad?
Whether is it good or bad, is simply up to you as the viewer. Your opinion is constructed on how you see the work and the facts provided. Next time you are in a contemporary exhibit, will you see an object or an experience by the artist?