Sentences to ponder

Contemporary art had taught them [young Iranian artists] that there is always a different way of seeing.

That is from The Dawn of Eurasia, by Bruno Maçães, and it is worth more than the last ten essays you read dumping on contemporary art.


Good for these Iranians. Maybe they'll start seeing the evil in killing homosexuals, or forcing rape victims to marry their rapists?

Maybe America stopped support Zionism, Sunni terrorism and Satanism (Shintoism-Hinduism-Buddhism), Iran could liberalize further. Not that Americans, staunch supporters of Wahhabism actually care about women or homosexuals. It only cares about money, the famous "callous cash payment"!!

Naaaahhh ... we hate Wahabbees. As dubya said, it's about "cheap gas". We love cheap gas.

Not sure how to parse the last clause. It is worth "more" because it dumps or it is worth "more" than the dump? What we have here is a failure to communicate (Steve Martin in Cool Hand Luke, 1967).

Maybe worth more literally, because there's no link provided.

*Strother Martin. (Steven Martin playing the Captain would have made for a very different movie.)

Appreciate the recommendation. The Macaes book is very good.

It exposes TC's priors, as he has a sympathy for modern art. TC also collects paintings from rural Mexican artists. For me, much of modern art is nonsense and driven by fads for rich people, who hope that their favorite artist dies so their art can appreciate in value (no kidding). As for books, I like conservative historian Paul Johnson's massive book on art, which is fair and balanced. The Jensen's (sic) two volume tome on art is also very good.

Bonus trivia: My family, in the 1%, own an original print by Marc Chagall, worth about 100k USD.

Any time spent thinking or reading about contemporary art is absolutely worse than time spent on any other activity, including lots of illegal and pointless ones.

there is always a different way of seeing.

Pretty much what Ortega y Gasset said in The Dehumanization of Art

I received my MFA 15 years ago and I don't think I've read 10 essays dumping on contemporary art in that time. I have no idea what Cowen is talking about. Perhaps he reads these essays in not-art forums, such as the WSJ and such?

In any case, contemporary art can be defined as visually coded ideas. When confronted with a contemporary art work ask yourself, would this idea be better served in essay form? In my experience, the answer is almost always yes.

Take Damien Hirst and Giorgio Morandi. Morandi's paintings can never be truly 'understood' via reproduction or essay. To experience them is to almost have a religious experience. While Hirst's works are rendered for effect, they can be explained away easily. It's 'ah-ha!' art. Simple ideas, splendidly presented, you get it, then move on. Whatever.

That's not to say all contemporary art is bad, just the vast majority.

Oh, and by the way, I'm certain all post-war political art has changes the way Iranians see. Contemporary is merely the most recent. Art school never teaches it in a vacuum.

Comments for this post are closed