What is acceptable art? This has been a question asked by every art observer since the time art was first appreciated for aesthetic value. Through the centuries certain artists and their styles have been embraced or rejected by their peers. We will all face this at some point in our art career.
More often than not, an artist who is rejected by his or her generation (Vincent Van Gogh, Egon Schiele, George Grosz) will be widely accepted by a future generation. Think about the controversial artists of our time. Will they be widely accepted tomorrow? Should we, as artists, accept them today?
It seems that many artists are just as guilty as the public in regards to judging the value of certain artists who work in a radical manner. It is an 'at least the finger is pointed at them' mentality' which, in my opinion, has an end result of hurting every artist.
The truth of the matter is that many artists are held back if the general public is adamantly against their work. Their peers, within the context of the art world, rarely show them support out of fear of being 'fingered'. When will we unite to support those who have been thrown out on the edge? When will we start to point back?
It often seems that the controversial artist walks alone as if he or she has the plague. Should we give them support when this breed of censorship occurs? How safe are we in the future if a few are allowed to be persecuted for their art today. As for myself, I would rather not play Russian roulette as to what art is acceptable and what art is not. I know that a hundred years ago my work would have been seen in a negative light by most of the public. Thus, I will be tolerant of all art today.
Remember that at one time Picasso was seen as a disgrace to the popular concept of art, George Grosz was observed as being a 'butcher' rather than a painter, and Vincent Van Gogh was only accepted by a select few within his inner circle. Now these artists are famous the world over. Let us not allow artists of our time to be denied their chance at success due to our own perception of what art should be. After all, the next artist that is held back may be you.
My opinion is that making rash decisions about what is acceptable in the art world is like stomping on the lungs of creation. The advancement of art, no matter how refined or brutal, should be allowed to breathe. Anything less than this will lead to the suffocation of expression as a whole. Think about this the next time you write a fellow artist off as a hack or perverted lunatic.
What is acceptable art?... All art?... Good and bad? Does the process alone give value to the worth of the work? Does the dedication of the artist make the art acceptable no matter what the subject matter or materials used? Would Picasso's "Guernica" not have the same message and fame had he mixed blood in his paints? Would Léonard de Vinci's "Mona Lisa" be so respected had he used traces of feces? Would Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ" been so infamous had he used dye? Think about this and feel free to respond.
Take care, Stay true,