Are all artists evil? No, not all of them. But some are, and it’s a good bet that they are among those touted by prize committees such as the cultural Marxists at the Turner Prize.
Proof? How’s this:
Anthea Hamilton is nominated for work focusing on fetishism including an enormous sculpture of a man’s buttocks.
That sentence is true. The “sculpture” is of a man’s enormous bootocks (using my old colleague Seargeant Gatewood’s preferred pronunciation) prised apart by giant disembodied hands. Since this is a family blog, and since I cannot advocate the radial dieting the image provokes, I will not show it.
The Turner Prize is given to image-makers (let’s not call them artists) under 50 years old. The prize itself is handed out by celebrities, who are defined as people above us all. Wikipedia says Yoko Ono, who is famous for being famous, gave away the forty-thousand British smackers in 2006, and in 2016 the dishonor went to actor Jude Law, who has (Wiki says) been in films.
Other nominees for this year’s money is a person who stacked yard rubbish into a not-so-neat pile with the title “aesthetically-overlooked materials” (pictured above), a person who evidently went to a Hobby Lobby dumpster and glued the remains together to create “poetic, pictorial puzzles”, and a person who displayed a store-bought choo-choo train.
Now it is a cliché, but still a truth, to say Hamilton and the other image-makers are talentless immature tiresome frauds with no sense of propriety, proportion, or prudence. The real question is whether they are also lost souls bamboozled into thinking they have contributed something positive to society, instead of ushering it closer to its doom. Or are they brazen hacks looking to become minor celebrities and make a buck out of slimy speculators who buy their works hoping to resell them to dumber dupes down the line?
If the answer is that these intellectually challenged image makers have been duped, then we should have nothing but pity for them. Pity does not mean that these sad people should be encouraged, though. Obviously, they should be discouraged by all means short of physical restraint. Go ahead and hurt their feelings by telling them their work is sad crap that looks worse than an open, suppurating sore.
If it is the latter, if in fact these image-makers know what they are doing, and there is sufficient evidence to assume it is true of at least some of the image-makers, then since their toddler-like tinkerings do positive harm to any that see them, these image-makers are evil.
Evil too are those that do nothing more than purchase autographs hoping thereby to gain a profit. For the creations by these image-makers are little more than a form of pornography, a pornography of corruption, hate, and ugliness, and making a profit from pornography is evil.
There are, of course, grades of evil. Not everything is evil to equal degree. The oil paintings of sad clowns and fuzzy flowers put up for sale in gas stations and flea markets are the mildest form of artistic evil, akin to wearing t-shirts with goofy messages in public. Both inflict faint ugliness on unwary citizens.
The images described above, and those like them, are far worse. Why? Because they are touted as good and worthy by self-appointed elites. The money awash in the system commands respect, too. That is unfortunate, because money has the weakest correlation with the good. But in a culture which has such a strong grip on materialism, money has undue weight
One elite is Will Gompertz at the BBC. Knowing that the works peddled by the prize are being called out, Gompertz had to defend them in “What defines a good work of art?” Gompertz correctly—I say correctly—identifies the central flaw in modern art:
You can appreciate pretty much anything if you intellectualise it – even those really dire videos you try to sit through in galleries. But not every work touches your emotions and makes you feel something.
Gompertz had “fun” looking at the bootocks, which he could not (or did not) “intellectualise”. Yet I felt the desire to smack some sense into Hamilton. According to Gompertz’s theory, my emotional response turned the bootocks into art.
Though it pains me to type this conclusion, which ought to be clear to the meanest intellect, if emotions define art, then because everything causes some reaction, everything is art—and therefore nothing is art.