After reading some negative comments in another forum concerning some very worthy and wonderful artists, it again called to my attention something I have felt for some time now. It is big issue today in the art world. What follows is my own opinion and meant merely as such, they are not meant as blanket statements. It concerns the current mindset among very many indeed that traditional or classic art are dirty words.
Most major city galleries are solely devoted to modern/contemporary art. These art circles are inclusive to themselves. Modern art has become quite mainstream, defining what art is for much of the most public and popular art. Yet it is the attitude itself from there that comes across so strongly. It seems that all the negative energy and defiance from artists we so often hear in the media, or of those in the art world, is actually needed for much of modern art, as most art speaks for itself. I know of so many artists who create beautiful work. When you view the work, you are inspired and have that wonderful feeling inside that art can give. A great piece speaks for itself on many levels. It has been that way for centuries.
As you tour a major city art museum you see a timeline of centuries of beautiful art of every kind - until you come to the 50’s and 60’s, at which point art becomes dark, muddy, bare, purposely ugly, and purposely devoid of any meaning. Yet at the same time the artist and his or her voice becomes louder, defiant, self-important, and looking to fight every moral and aesthetic convention in society. This can feed an inclusive art society of itself for a time, yet do not we as artists want to reach everyone - not just artists among artists?
I do think all kinds of art belong in the public arena. I am not by any means against modern or contemporary art – though I personally value modern art that upholds aesthetic ideal in its portrayal. It really becomes the voices so loudly clamoring there is exclusion that ends up the ones who are mainstream and excluding, while traditional/classic art goes on quietly speaking to art lovers universally. Real people like you and me. People who find joy in creating, or in that which is created by others.