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Showing posts from November, 2014

The Picture Of Dorian Gray

One of my favourite tales is The Picture Of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde.  Through a fictional story, Wilde poses the question of the nature of modern art, and the notion that its conceit is that all art is autobiographic. Dorian's character is the metaphor for the idea, a beautifui, young man who wishes that his portrait could carry the weight of his soul, leaving him free to experience all manner of depraved and decadent indulgences, to break all the rules without consequence to himself. And the wish is granted - the portrait becomes a twisted image of age and deterioration, bloated and sick with corruption, while Dorian remains young and beautiful.  In the end, Dorian is confronted by his portrait's soul, and tries to destroy it, reversing the magic, and killing himself, winding up as the evil old man lying dead on the floor, while the portrait is unharmed, and beautiful again. It's a fanciful notion, but in retrospect, I can view the modern world of Wilde's future, and …

The Mythos of Fine Art

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Pop culture has redefined the terms of art as far as the mainstream is concerned - the "people's artist" has become something of a centralised theme, with the majority of the audience recognising this as the height of art. What is not widely recognised is how that came to be.  Beginning with Andy Warhol, a man who was trained as a commercial artist and designer, who reinvented himself as a blank canvas, without identity, so that others could write their own interpretations of who he was in their own minds and reviews. The idea was that the more of himself that he removed from the art, the more he was celebrated for being an amazing artist, because that's who people wanted him to be. They created their own icon, because he allowed them to dictate who he was as an artist.  Banksy, another pop culture artist, who is for the most part completely anonymous to the people, and also a commercial artist, is another individual who allows the audience to design their own art hero…