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Embed code for: Contemporary Art, when is art not really art- commentary research
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Tatiana U. Owens
Dr. Elizabeth M. Beard
Contemporary Art: When is Art not Really Art?
Humanity has used art to express language, creativity, and imagination. Since prehistoric time art has always changed; from the middle Ages through the twentieth century. Modern art is characterized by a change in the attitude of the artists’ works, from the human body, to landscapes. The work depends on the creativity of the artist. The next transformation with contemporary art occurred after the Second World War. Art, not only expresses emotions and feelings, but also functions as entertainment, and catalyst for political change, social Inquiry, and social cause. Art covers a broad range. For example, the performing arts include music, theatre, dance, and film. Likewise, the visual arts encompass architecture, painting, printmaking, sculpting, and photography. Sculpture and Photography are particularly interesting contemporary art forms. A few years ago, an artist caused a social sensation with a photography exhibition “The Eye of The Anus.” In addition, at Brighton Festival in France, a sculpture exhibition entitled “The Great Wall of Vagina” caused a stir. Is this what we call art today? What is considered elegant art versus grotesque displays of absurdity? When is Art not really art?
Art hast always been controversial, especially when it comes to the human body. A good example of controversial art in the past was “Le dejeuner sur l’herbe (1863)” from Edward Mantes. It was controversial not because it depicted a nude female, but because she was seated next to a man fully dressed. Leon Golub’s “Interrogation III (1981)” portrays a female strapped to a chair with open legs that reveal her sexual organs. Salvador Dali’s “The Great Masturbator (1929)” contains nudity and sexual overtones.
In the art of sculpture and photography there is a fine line between artistic nudity and grotesque images. Artistic nudity is a discipline that intends to show the beauty of human body. Some examples of good taste and creativity in nudity is Horst Paul Albert Bohrmam (1906-1999) well known for Horst P. in the world of art. His most famous photograph is a nude female behind a musical instrument “Lisa with Harp, 1939” or a posterior view of a seminude woman with a tulle skirt and panty hose “Round the Clock I, 1987” (Bohrmam, 2013).
Likewise, Edward Weston (1886-1958) was the most important America photographer. He portrays human nudity with an exquisite taste. His most important work is a complete posterior view of a nude woman “Nude, 1927” Another work depicts a naked female sitting on the floor, and covering her face, with her legs crossed “Nude, 1936” and the photograph in black and white of a female breast “Nude, 1920” (Weston, 2013).
Another contemporary artist is Allan I. Teger. His gallery includes a more explicit view of human bodies; a female pubis as a desert garden, the abdomen of the body as a dessert and an airplane flying on top “Desert Biplane” or a female pubis as an island , the abdomen is the ocean, her thorax is the sand and a ship is park there “Cruise ship” (Teger,2013).
In addition, the work of photographer Spencer Tunick; He is known for photos of large masses of naked people arranged in various urban locations “Melbourne 2, 2001”, “Melbourne 3, 2001” (Tunick, 2013). In general, contemporary art has been capturing the beauty of the human body, without explicit vulgarity.
On the other hand, some contemporary artists express feelings that are usually vulgar and offensive; many people consider these woks extremely inappropriate. An example of this is the work of Andres Serrano, photographer from New York, his work are polemic. The most controversial work is the photograph of Jesus Christ submerged in a container with Serrano’s urine “Piss Christ, 1987”, or the photograph of a nun touching her genitals “Triumph of the Flesh, 2000”, or the portrait of this young woman seating on a chair, her legs are open and she shows her panty stain with blood “The Curse, 2001” The Catholic community was very offended with his exhibition (Serrano, 2013). According to Johnson, Serrano’s portfolio included photographs of stabbed murder victims, heroically weathered homeless people, hooded Ku Klux Klan members and exhibitionistic sexual adventurers. (Johnson,par.1).
Another controversial New Yorker was Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989) Mapplethorpe’s censored work included homoerotic images, and self-portrait representing the gay community in the 1970s. The images speak for themselves, and were censored in many galleries. Some galleries in New York and California believed in Mapplethorpe as an artist, and presented his “Censored, 1978” photography work.
Likewise, contemporary artist Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) with her very explicit photograph, “Rape Scene,1973” depicting a posterior view of this woman bender on top a table with blood all over her gluteus and legs. In addition, Jamie McCartney is sculpture artists who depicted in his work the vaginas of 400 women in ten panels. According to the Britannic artist, “Is not Vulgar is Vulva” (qtd.in, Piñeiro, par. 2) and for last, the work of this unknown artists from Portugal who exhibition was exposed in the prestigious museum in Oporto, Portugal. His work was called “The Eye of the Anus” and is a series of photograph of different people’s anuses; it is very explicit and asinine. Perhaps this type of artwork represents a social cause or maybe entertains people who have the same taste as this “artists”.
I consider myself a lover of the arts. Personally as a hobby I like to paint. In general, if I compare myself with those latter artists; I believe my art is not vulgar, and has better quality. There is no doubt that the primary function of the viewer is to interpret the subject matter through which artists are being influenced by, but also art should incorporate creativity and craftsmanship. It is hard to find elegant art, creative, eye pleasing and original nowadays. Contemporary art reflects today’s society and the fact that it is always controversial proves that it really is art, which entirely depends of the viewer’s perception of beauty.
Controversial Art in Time
Le Dejeuner sur l Herber(1863) Interrogation III(1981)
Edouard Manet Leon Golub’s
The Great Masturbator (1929)
Contemporary Art: Examples of Artistic Photography
Lisa with Harp (1939)Round the Clock I (1987)
Horst P. Bohrmam
Nude (1927) Nude (1936) Nude (1920)
Dessert Biplane (2013) Cruise Ship (2013)
Allan I. Teger
Urban, Melbourne 2 (2001) Urban, Melbourne 3(2001)
Contemporary Art: Examples of Vulgar Photography
Piss Christ (1987)Triumph of the Flesh (2000) The Curse (2001)
Robert Mapplethorpe ( censored Photo) 1978
Rape scene (1973) The Great Wall of Vagina (2011)
Ana Mendieta Jamie McCartney
The Eyes of the anus (2006) Unknown Artist
Serralves Foundation, Oporto, Portugal
Student’s Last Name 1ions “Melbourne 2, 2001”, “Melbourne 3, 2001” (Tunick, 2013). In general, contemporary art has been capturing the beauty of the human body, without explicit vulgarity.
On the other hand, some contemporary artists express feelings that are usually vulgar and offensive; many people consider these woks extremely inappropriate. An example of this is the work of Andres Serrano, photographer from New York, his work are polemic. The most controversial work is the photograph of Jesus Christ submerged in a container with Serrano’s urine “Piss Christ, 1987”, or the photograph of a nun touching her genitals “Triumph of the Flesh, 2000”, or the portrait of this young woman seating on a chair, her legs are open and she shows her panty stain with blood “The Curse, 2001” The Catholic community was very o