|Crawley, mixed media and beeswax on panel, 9 1/2" X 9 1/2"|
Often as an art student I felt some need to defend art that claimed to be "purely visual", or some sort of isolated phenomena governed only by the laws of form and color. Maybe it's because what I make is usually abstract or perhaps it's because Clement Greenberg is a hot shot. Or maybe it's just because I'm not brave enough to speak up when I encounter things that seem to run against the grain of my gut-instinct.
Whatever the case may be, Alain de Bottom's TEDtalk on Atheism 2.0 had a segment on art (go to minute 10. If you've got 20 minutes the whole thing is super interesting, though I am an ardent believer in God). He argues that although secular society claims to value art, it has handicapped its primary (now historical) function-- to improve society--by propagating the false ideas that 1) Art is for art's sake and 2) Art shouldn't explain itself.
I couldn't agree more.
I'll write more about this soon. But taking attention spans into consideration (my daughter's, not yours) we'll break here.