I do not hate modern art, in fact I really love it. But I am a sceptic, and to show you why I’m going to draw on the experience of America’s favourite family.
Remember episode of ‘The Simpsons’ where Homer fails to build a barbeque, and as he’s throwing out the concrete mess a woman tries to buy it, claiming it as‘art’?
And then, later on, when the buzz around him dies down he’s left with nothing? This is the distasteful heart at the centre of the art world. The art that we are expected to like is dictated to us by wealthy art critics. The art critic who ‘discovers’ Homer praises him on how quaint his work is, a ‘code word’ that allows her cash in on another’s life experience.
She is then allowed to take credit for his work, because she rescued Homer’s art from suburbia and is therefore some kind of noble saviour. The people of Springfield, and other art critics, lap it up, because she says it is modern art, and therefore it is. And, because of the abstractness of a pile of junk, nobody speaks out and says that it’s rubbish, because to do so makes it seem like you don’t ‘get’ it- and nobody wants that.
Modern art has been hijacked by people who have money, and want to prove that they’re cool, at the same time as excluding the very people they claim to champion. This stupid elitism makes it hard to get behind a lot of modern art. The only way to fight it is to like what we like, unapologetically and not care if it’s labelled as ‘modern art’ or not. Labels are toxic, and modern art is one of them.