Damian Hirst’s in the news again. I’m listening to Radio Gloucestershire’s ensuing discussion about Art as I type this. Their guest is stating his opinion that Conceptual Art is really Con-Art: not real Art and conning the general public.
How times change! For the past thirty years everything conceptual had been lauded and traditional art has been the villain.
My own view is, why does one have to be good and one bad? For far too long the Art world has pitted one against the other, but we don’t compare other forms of the arts so why do so with visual art? No one tries to validate one form of dance over another or praise poetry above prose – why should only one type of art be “right”?
My own art is firmly rooted in the traditional camp but I quite accept it’s possible to find both good and bad examples of traditional art. At worst, I’ve seen conceptual art when my overriding impression was that the artist was trying to see what they could get away with. At best, conceptual art has given me the “wow-factor” and made me totally re-evaluate my opinions on that subject. Neither genre is all good or all bad, so lets celebrate the best examples of both.
Art is about the artist communicating their own individual vision to others. If the artist has done that I don’t mind which method they’ve used to achieve it.
Oh, and back to Damian Hirst. I once went to an art group meeting when the speaker’s first image was by DH. As one the audience derided it. The last image was cooed over as wonderful by the audience. Then they were told the name of the artist…. Damian Hirst.
What’s your opinion?