Dear Art Nerd,
Why do artists feel like art doesn’t need to be pretty anymore?
Okay, what the hell kind of artist told you that? If I felt like my art didn’t need to be pretty anymore, I would have stopped trying to improve myself a long time ago!
But I’m gonna assume that what you mean is in terms of Dada or minimalism or the quote-on-quote “Modern Art” pretentiousness that leaks into so many art academies. Seriously, if I wanted to avoid this crap, I’ve entered the wrong damn field.
But srslor. When it comes to art, there’s more than just technical skill involved…strange as that sounds. There is also a matter of composition. Composition means that art needs to follow a set of rules. Work needs to be balanced, elements need to follow the “rule of thirds,” rules can be broken occasionally, rules exist to be shattered rules can help carry a message these rules of composition are a damned disaster.
To summarize, they can all be used. Except when they’re not.
Minimalism seeks to adhere to these rules and usually does so very well, with appealing colors, fine shapes and balance. For example, something along the lines of this abstract photograph that I took for one of my classes.
Now, this fills in that one requirement of balance. The thingy in the center of the image is just that; centered. It’s the only dark thing in a very light background, and thus stands out thanks to its value. It works as a minimalist composition, though I’m assuming that my professor told me that just to make me feel better about myself.
Also, that thing is the top of a scanner. I kid ye not.
But really it seems that technical skill when it comes to art has been supplanted in favor of composition. Granted, composition does help but technical skill requires a lot more work and is generally much more satisfying to improve. Because, you know, it looks prettier.
Not all artists think that art should stop being pretty. It’s just that what some artists think is “pretty” doesn’t take quite as much effort.
Despite all my rage, thank Christ I’m not David Cage.
-The Art Nerd
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