Modern Art Theme Park

   Guggenheim Bilbao with Jeff Koons'  Puppy

Guggenheim Bilbao with Jeff Koons' Puppy

The MOMA, Tate Modern, Guggenheims, Pompidou, etc, have become theme parks for tourists to demonstrate that they "get" Modern / Contemporary art.  

A friend and I visited the Bilbao Guggenheim today, and the visit caused me to accept that Modern Art is finally over. 

Louise Bourgeois was the last straw, because her "art" has no value. And that valuelessness is not ironic or poignant - it is simply pointless. I suspect that some committee in London chose her from a list of candidates in order to push her as a new token female "art star" on the world. Her posthumous persona won the contest like contestants win American Idol.

The most telling sights at the Bilbao Guggenheim were the swarms of tourists holding audio guides up to their ears in an attempt to understand what exactly it was that they were looking at. They must experience great cognitive dissonance - because they know they are looking at rubbish, but what they perceive to be the establishment authority presents that rubbish as art.

When you view a da Vinci painting at the Louvre, a Bernini at the Villa Borghese, or a Botticelli at the Uffizi, you don't need a contextual explanation to appreciate its beauty and quality. An audio guide might enrich your experience of beautiful, important art because it may inform you of contextual elements - such as historical or anecdotal information which furthers your understanding of the artistry involved in the work - but such works of art rarely require paragraphs of justification. 

Conceptual art necessitates what is effectively divination in order to validate itself. I may have a unique, powerful idea, but it is just an idea, and probably doesn't have much value unless I implement it to completion. You may tell me a glass of water is an oak tree, and that's all fun and clever -- but it's still a glass of water. Your imagination is valuable, but there's nothing wrong with attempting to manifest its creations physically -- that's precisely where the art lies. 

Judging from the large number of bad internet reviews on Google, and on websites like TripAdvisor and Yelp, written by visitors to the MOMA - who scoff at the poor selection of "art" on display there, I'm not the only one who is calling out the emperor on his nudity. Scores and scores of people are seeing Modern and Contemporary / Postmodern art for what it tends to be: Bullshit. Is there beauty or value in any Modern art? Yes - but it is the exception.

Luckily, as popular as Modern art museums have become in the last decade or two, the real art world - and by real I mean the actual street-level art exhibition and sales market - is moving online, and is becoming healthily democratized in a way that threatens the monopoly "Art World" - which tries to pawn off ridiculous hacks like Ai Weiwei as important.

Beneath the surface of this floundering monopoly the "Art World" is attempting to maintain, is the cess pool of tax evasion and money laundering which did its best to reduce art to pure liquid commodity suitable for moving large sums of money across borders unnoticed. True Art and Beauty were nearly extinguished in that process, but their kernels have sprouted anew, and will bring forth a new age of legitimate art which will show Modern and Contemporary art for what it is: mostly garbage. The rubbish Picasso produced may retain name value, but the market is destined to correct for most everything else, which will plummet in price or simply fade away and disappear as a commodity. And I say BRING IT ON.

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Jesse Waugh