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Hating contemporary art

November 13, 2008
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A whirlwind of a day started with my earlier-than-usual weekly Fox 59 segment (if you missed it, you can catch it here later today) and will end with the IBJ Night at the Movies midnight screening of "Quantum of Solace" at Regal Cinemas.

In between, there's Tyler Green's '10 Things I Hate About Contemporary Art" talk at the Central Library. Brought to town by IMOCA, Green is one of the main go-to arts bloggers in the country and I'm looking forward to the talk.

While I don't know anything about his "10 Things I Hate About Contemporary Art" list, I thought I'd try to put together mine. Here goes:

1. I hate the term itself. Contemporary mean current. But work labeled "Contemporary art" thirty years ago differs from "Contemporary art" today. Same problem with "modern."

2. I hate that there is not a clear way to differentiate between art that requires skill to create and art that anyone could create based on the ideas of the artist. I can appreciate both, I just think they are distinct enough that they could use separate terms.

3. I hate, for the most part, artists' statements, which often lessen or cloud the work rather than enhance it.

4. I hate when those who don't appreciate contemporary art say that a monkey, a child, or an elephant swinging a paint brush from his trunk can create work indistinguishable from work that sells for big bucks.

5. I hate that, sometimes, a monkey, a child, or an elephant swinging a paint brush from his trunk can create work indistinguishable from work that sells for big bucks.

6. I hate trying to explain how an artist can still sign his or her name to a work when dozens of other people may be responsible for its actual creation (I'm looking at you, Mr. Chihuly).

7. I hate that perception of quality in contemporary art can be so dependant on price tag and marketing.

8. I hate Aliza Shvarts--although I'll defend your right to like her.

9. I hate Thomas Kincaide--although I'll defend your right to like him.

10. I hate when politicians use the most controversial of contemporary art as a weopon.

Care to add anything to the list?
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