Fifth Column – Art For Art’s Sake – Issue 7

As if it isn’t bad enough that our ethics and morals are becoming commodified and reduced to economic expediency, art is being appropriated by the art equivalent of a ‘self-made-man’. I’m not going to name names but I’d be surprised if you, dear (as opposed to cheap) reader, failed to recognise the art insinuated in this outburst.
I do not know your preference in art – it is extremely subjective – but I for one have never been moved, intellectually and/or emotionally, by looking at money. There is slight amusement in seeing Bobby Charlton’s female counterpart on notes and coinage but that’s the extent to which money as a display is moderately ‘entertaining’. Diamonds might be a ‘girl’s best friend’, although this is a sad admission, especially with so many dogs and cats in need of some loving home, and overblown emotional projection, but they are quite uninspiring in any quantity. The repetitive lustre and twinkle wears off very quickly as an aesthetic for all those over the age of five. No disrespect to any person five years old and less. For an array of diamonds as a means of displaying the obscene fixation of our culture with such opulence being touted as a work of art by a so-called revolutionary of art, is just ridiculous.
Even accounting for the possibility of extreme irony, to produce a work of art that depends so much on the base human ‘impulse’ for wealth and extreme inequality, shows a gross poverty of ideas: I suppose there lies any residual irony. Any tired idea of representing wealth as symbolic of suffering and achievement simultaneously, could have been put together at a snip of the price, by any innovative bystander.
It seems that instead of this subversive symbolism, the display of diamonds on a skull merely entrenches the paucity of imagination that passes for conceptual art. There’s a deeply juvenile impressionable element to such art; impressed as it is by its own opulence that in itself reaffirms any elitism such proponents might have been attributed with so as to establish their place firmly in the elite group of artists with a capital A. The deliberate attachment of a growing recognisable nomenclature confirms a mere revolution rather than a rebellion in art. Different faces with bought opportunism wherein they produce drab, blandly sensational ‘works of Art’ achieves nothing in terms of radicalising art; the Artist and its reduced onlookers as customer, admiring opulence perpetuates the contemptible elitist values of ‘old Art’.
Such a piece as this latest offering depends on Artistic recognition of Self-indulgence on the part of the, by now rich Artist who is no longer dependent on any aesthetic value in the work for its popularity or its notoriety. Rather than ‘audacious’ I would suggest such an object is salacious and cowed to the empty-skulled subjugation to pieces of officially printed paper and hard-to-mine glass.
A case of enfant terrible becoming ego terrible and it is art that suffers rather than the Artist.

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