Sunday, June 24, 2007

Speaking Truth to Art

From the American Thinker:

Looking out across our society and its recent development, one can no longer pretend that we are not in a state of severe decline. On virtually all fronts, Western civilization has arrived at its most dismal cultural and intellectual output. One need only compare the accomplishments of a mere century ago with our latter-day creations to see the enormity of the change. At art galleries and museums, one sees old masters alongside monstrosities that resemble elaborate displays of childish anger.


There is yet another problem with our "artists." They believe that all prior rules can be tossed into the dustheap. What they do not realize is that no area of human endeavor, be it medical research, fine art, or football, can exist without a foundation of rules. These rules are the result of characteristics inherent in the material, and of the interaction between the material and man. For instance, in the visual arts, certain proportions are more pleasing to the eye than others. If the rules are rejected, the domain ceases to be what it was. A person submerging a cross into a beaker of urine is no longer an artist, just as a group of people running aimlessly around a field is not a football team.

Of course, this line of argument presupposes that the artist wants to produce something that is gratifying, that contributes to humanity, that enriches people's lives. But when the goal is to devastate, the whole scene shifts.