Thursday, December 02, 2010


Yale Brozen used the economic cycle description of 'invention, innovation, and imitation' to describe how economic systems rise and fall, but the same cycle can easily applied to art. We live in an age of imitation par excellence. Over imitation in the market causes economic failure. Over imitation in the arts also leads to a failed art scene. During the time of the Impressionist, the truly desired works of art were the highly imitation art of the Academic School. The critics, dealers, collectors, and museums were very supportive of the Academic School and very hostile to the Impressionist with a few exceptions. Hostility is an often reaction to invention in the arts. Innovation like many other Modernist movements also had slow acceptance. In the Post-Modern era, all the art is being easily consumed, because the vast majority of the art being created is imitation of Modern tropes. I was listening to Scott McCloud about the crisis of falling interest of comic books in the US market. He said that the industry had invested so much into hero fantasies that the market was not able to adapt or reinvent itself. If you look at any amount of concept art, you will notice a pattern of mainly imitation. Now when so many things are in imitation mode when are we going to have invention?


Caio Fern said...

good question , i don't know .
I think that WE are supposed to invent .
We live in a age of too many information and references . It is good. But it is hard to create something really authentic. You must to gat "naked" of all the references to be able to do further . I think the biggest chalenge today is to not forget the references and information but get independent of it, when you are going to develop you work .
It is really hard as everybody is educated sinse small children to follow tendences and standards.
When is going to appear something really authentic and real ? i don't know . Sometimes economic crises make art with quality appear . Let's see.

Troy Camplin said...

After the crash, of course. Actually, the crash clears out all the deadwood hiding the living tree -- the innovations that were already there, but were overwhelmed by the imitators of art past.

Sounds to me that you have accepted Fred Turner's definition of postmodernism as the postscript to modernism. :-)

Troy Camplin said...

Can't know what's new if you don't know what's out there. What is new fills in the gaps left by what is known.

Anonymous said...

You know I invented a new printmaking technique that had never been seen before. Since then I have seen other artists copy bits of what I did and other artists copy from them. Unfortunately, I was using the technique to make fun of the Dallas art scene that appreciates "beauty and pop" over content. The work went over everybodies head, no one knows enough to know what is new and what is old. It was a learning experience.

I hope this isn't always true but most people who buy art know nothing about art and since the gallery is marketing to the art collector, I understand why some artists sell out and just make pretty things for the sake of being able to feed themselves. That is why Dallas is full of color-field paintings and Andy Warhol imitations.

The truth is that people don't know what art is anymore. Everything is art to them. A bowl of soup is art if it is well made. They can appreciate the art that goes into parking a car. The word ART itself has been bastardized and now real art is mixed in with a whole ton of nothing that is going to mean nothing in the future and that really means nothing now and people are so stupid that it doesn't seem to matter to them whether there is real art or real poetry anymore. In fact, I think that most people would prefer if real art and real poetry were dead and they could exchange them for decorative wallpaper and rap.

So, someday, academians will sort through some of this excrement and find some real art though most of it will be lost in the tide of DESIGN and pretentious bird-droppings that comprises the contemporary art world.

Anonymous said...

Dallas is full of imitations. Look at the gallery scene. Collectors just typically want stuff that looks good over a couch. Stuff that is easily accessible and so the gallery director has to fill up his or her gallery with couch art they know they can sell to folks who want stuff thats easy to access and accept. Its couch art over innovative art. Thats not healthy.

Troy Camplin said...

The critics of every age make exactly the same complaints.

Troy Camplin said...

The art has to go somewhere. And that's typically the big wall.

The customer is always right. Make what they want for the space they want to put it in, and they buy it. Don't, and they won't.

If you put on a play, and the audience falls asleep, the play is a failure, no matter how brilliant you thought it was.

Anonymous said...

what's your point?