Art & Design
What IS going on in art these days? Nothing much has changed over the last half century. It seems the exhibits are stuck in 'content-free', abstract dogma - I invented my own term for it: "Austerity Sensationalism".
Simplicity and ethereal art meditation are immensely enlightening, but after Rothko's chapel signature black-on-black paintings there is not much further to go on that subject. After all, a straight line covers the shortest distance between two points; as much as we would like to revel in the genius of this concept - we should accept that it has been done.
It is a common standby in art history: If you cannot come up with anything new - ornate and add to the old. As happened in architecture after the clean lines of the Renaissance when artist added the odd ornament, pillar, statue and element (hence Rokoko and Barock) so it did with Modernism (to Post-Modernism). As humans we cannot help ourselves but to elaborate.
Art schools, critics and curators seem to be extremely wary of repeating this all-too-human tendency - and have chosen not to change anything at all instead. Motto of the day: If we cannot have anything new, we'll just repeat the tried and true! I found an article in the New Yorker on the 2011 Venice Biennale by Jerry Saltz that was very illuminating, as it seems that more and more art-lovers are lamenting the same empty hollow in the perfection of today's Fine Art.
Escape from the machine
But as an artist, where does one go from here? There have been many new under-the-radar movements over the last decades that I would define as "Escapism". Among those I count Manga, Low Brow art, some Region specific art, Steampunk, etc. (Before anyone jumps to the incensed defense of these various styles I want to point out that, as most other painters that don't strictly define themselves in the 'modern contemporary' strain, I would count my own painting somewhere smack in the schizophrenic middle between Austerity and Escape as well.)
In the information deluge where everybody can start, promote and cultivate art it is difficult to make out a cohesive new contemporary thread in today's art scene. Maybe this IS the new art culture: Fractured network-culture evolving around their respective art focal point. In a world like that, maybe the institutionalized 'Fine Art' movement has lost it's central position as a leader in modern art except as reference material and academic exercise...
Art in Hawaii
Living in Hawaii is an inspiring experience, both artistically and spiritually.