13 April 2009

Voting on Modern Art

Kitty Hawk, 1983 ~ Richard Serra

In the sidebar, pretty far down, you will find this remark attributed to Richard Serra: “I don’t think it is the function of art to be pleasing. ... Art is not democratic.” This is a view that, as I explained here, raises a set of interesting, if complicated, questions. I won't explore those issues further here except to say that I find myself sympathetic to Serra even if - perhaps especially because - we now are being asked by The Times (London) to vote for our "favourite modern artist." That sort of enterprise seems silly. I think it makes as little sense to evaluate art by voting as it does to evaluate it in terms of market performance. Sheer aggregation surely is too coarse a criterion. What is called for is reasons, explanations, interpretations not the counting of heads or pennies. By the way, I voted for Serra.



Blogger Mike said...

I share your view on voting for art, but we're probably whistling in the wind. Whole on line empires such as photo.net and flickr are built around the idea, and it doesn't look like it will go away any time soon. In the face of that, a useful undertaking is to find ways to discover real talent within the avalanche of mediocrity. Intelligent aggregator sites like yours are helpful.

14 April, 2009 07:30  

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