The art of defacement

I sometimes start things and then don’t finish them.  I’ve a few drafts sitting in my blog files and this one, I’m sure, was in reaction to another blogger’s comments on the defacement of nature. I started it in March and then I don’t know if I incorporated it into another post or not.

I thought it might be worth just letting these thoughts go; so now, here they are, out of context from that which I’d been reacting to:

I too think that the defacement of park reserves and forests is wrong. My biggest peeve in this area is Mount Rushmore. Who in their right mind would think they had the right to carve up a whole mountain!
Changing subject only slightly, the desire to leave one’s mark (on trees, on abandoned train tunnels, on hard to access rock faces, graffiti, etc ) seems to be a human trait.
It just takes us longer to accept some of these “Art” forms. We rave over the Lascaux caves (I’ve not seen them in real life, but have seen plenty of pictures and the drawings are stunning). We go looking for native and aboriginal pictograms in many parts of the world; we treasure and protect them. Native sand drawings are another early form of “environmental” art.
The Innuit inukshuk – the standing stones – are another.
So it begs the question: Will the people of this era eventually come to terms with the underlying meaning that is inherent in the new works, just as the people of this era have come to accept the beauty in a van Gogh painting from a previous era?
I think that it takes time to understand, and whether I like something or not, I try to leave the door open so that I can learn, if learning is there to be had. I admire craft as part of a work of art and can accept some works on their level of craft even if I don’t like the concept or the final image.
And a final word in this rambling:
There are thousands, nay, perhaps millions of self-proclaimed artists out there in the world today. Some of them are noteworthy enough to be proclaimed on Wikipedia while still alive and working. Some will never be noted, never be seen until they are dead. Some are selling like hotcakes in the commercial galleries and aren’t worth the canvas they are painted on. These latter are decorative wallpaper for living room; go-with-my-couch enhancers. In a century from now, that whole jig may have changed: The unknown discovered and brought to the fore. The expensive above-couch paintings assigned to the thrift stores. Who knows what will be considered eternally, essentially worthy and lasting? Or fashionable? It’s a moving target and only time will tell.

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