The “Con” in Contemporary Art

Maybe you saw this story last week. According to BBC news, a very expensive (~10,000 euros) art piece was damaged recently due to the inability of an art museum janitor to distinguish between fine art and rubbish. This janitor, who had not taken enough art classes to know the difference between trash and… um… trash avant-garde, caused a museum in southern Italy great embarrassment when she accidentally did her job and swept up an art exhibit—which consisted of newspaper and cardboard and cookie crumbs—along with the dust mites and crumpled-up brochures. Fortunately, the museum has assured the artist that they need not worry, for the museum’s insurance policy will cover any damage done to the “trashed” exhibit. Which makes me wonder who conned this insurance agency into writing that policy.

You can read more on this story here.

Unless a piece of art surpasses that which can be duplicated by any member of the animal kingdom, I don’t think that it belongs in our art museums. I’m with the janitor on this one.

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UPDATE: After a rousing discussion with my good friend Brandt VanRoekel about all things contemporary art in which he offered some helpful post-modern push-back, I think I have boiled down my problem with contemporary art into a singular thought. Art should necessarily be imbued with a noticeable, traceable element of human intelligence and imagination such that to observe it is to experience wonder at the creativity of the only race that bears the image of God.

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