Its my understanding that numerous readers were upset by my statement about art is a negative side note of the ‘hippie’ mindset I am so adamantly bashing throughout my article. So, let us begin…
Art: It can be defined as anything found to beautiful or moving (in a certain state of being). Period. Defined more intensively, it can be a masterpiece, true innovation, something deserving of admiration. Taking a brief stroll through ones collective memory of artists, the years will show only a few of the great minds that walked the earth and did something worth remembering and holding onto. Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein. Freddy Mercury and so on. These people were pioneers of their artistic trade and utilized their gift for the betterment of the times they lived in.
In earlier years of our existence, artists were thought highly of and held a trade that the affluent and entitled people in society needed. Paintings of themselves, etc… They were put into a notable situation, where they would network and more times than not they would be held with great respect within the castes. For example, Da Vinci painted and studied everything under the sun. There are more paintings and sketches of the human body, birth, botany, architecture, machinery and inventions of all kinds than are even recorded in the study of art history.
As time went on we witnessed a drastic shift in the entitled mindset for artists and the idea of the ‘starving artists’ began to take hold. In my opinion, it was a fairly direct idea of no longer being original , as much as it was being overtly shocking or taboo with the chosen outlook artists presumed. Corrupt music, art, and ego, fully presented. Irony and emotion crept into the artistic picture and started a shift in the cultural outlook the artist adopted.
Today everyone I know calls themselves an artist. They hold their head high, way too high, and stand proudly behind some pretty awful art, music or spirit they are presenting. Today, why do we stand for a bucket of human shit to be something admired or applicable to art? And when exactly did we callously subject ourselves to the idea of art being something to enrich or enlighten the human spirit?
True skill can be argued. Some people can see a landscape, take a complete mental picture and then duplicate it in a colorful or abstract way. There is no denying that God given gift to the human soul. And expressionism. Who said expressing yourself was overtly wrong or abominable? I’m certainly not trying to (if I have). However, throughout my research and my jaded very of hippies, it goes back to the defilement and death of simple (sometimes looked at as religious) ways of perceiving and living life. That defilement starting with the largest ‘hippie’ movement in our history. The 1960’s.
The 1950’s aren’t completely exempt from my criticism. The angst provided from the oppressed black population that concluded into the jazz, blues, and beat-poet underground evolution gave way to this cultural conversion. As well as futile wars in the decades prior.
A deep rumbling shift within the spirit massed that we had possibly gotten it all wrong, and there was nothing more to do than express ourselves carelessly and crudely; Rather than rise up and be something worth calling yourself an artist for.
The nations situational coercion in that time and the increase of drug-usage to expand our minds (whether that was intended use by the adamantly as control, or simply by ‘the masses’ were generally weak with self-control) did in fact lead to just a bunch of shit in a bucket with fake intentions and people to stand behind it. That being said, history did not see an overt and widespread counter-culture until the 1960’s.
I used to be with the movement and the potential growth that could be viewed from elevated thinking and change in the ‘norm’. We unfortunately become dishonest with ourselves and unfocused from the message of art, peace and love.
In the words of David Forster Wallace, “Dishonesty undermines a work’s internal integrity — the only standard by which a work can succeed. If the work becomes a vehicle for one’s ego, personal or political agenda, self-image, desire for fame, adulation, fortune — human as these inclinations may be — the work will be limited accordingly. Even a desire to affirm human dignity and elevate the human spirit can be corrupted by dishonesty in the form of sentimentality.”
Stop calling bad art ‘art’ and let’s force artist to be a title worth something again. Original.