Monday, June 19, 2006

Unload that Apple Cart

We’ve all had a grandmother or elderly aunt say, “Don’t upset the apple cart,” or perhaps you’ve heard the phrase, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Which all boils down to the idea: if change isn’t necessary, then “don’t stir the waters.”

Then there are those elite that consider “stirring up the pot, makes for better soup.” They are those artists out there always looking for a new perspective on something we take for granted every day.

We recognize this “cutting edge” perspective in contemporary art because these artists are challenging the current culture we are familiar with, but it has been going on for centuries now. Art Nouveau, Abstract Expressionism, Symbolism, Romanticism, Post Modernism, Dada and the Avant-Garde movements are just some of the art movements to mention here.

Then within these movements are individual artists, expressing their own personal reality in their own unique way, influenced perhaps by their rebellious predecessors.

Each group tends to build upon the work of the last. This happens in all areas of culture, not just art, and sometimes these changes are for the better, and sometimes for the worse, it’s all in your perspective. Say instead of “upsetting the apple cart,” we unload it instead.

Contemporary art is not so concerned with explaining itself as movements have been in the past. The public seems to be less concerned with motive behind the work, and more involved in what the work says to them. This is probably due to conditioning, and education through the mass media more than anything.

This painting by Ukraine artist Alexey Yesjunin, "Two Figures in the Room," is a fine example of the ordinary becoming visually extraordinary. Have a unique day!—Ruth Mitchell

"Two Figures in the Room" - Oil on Canvas - Alexey Yesjunin

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