A Fine Art Stew by William Dolan


The world is getting so small, it’s going to implode. Communication and economies of globalization are causing a homogenization of cultures. Much attention has been given to the globalization of the art world. Artists are supposed to enlighten the unwashed masses of the problems facing the world, global warming, terrorism, human rights issues, excessive consumption, etc. This has led to a certain sameness in the art world.

A lot of contemporary art addresses philosophical and socialogical constructs in a way that makes the artists seem like experts on these topics. Their art attempts to explain the world to viewers or point out something that no one has thought of yet. It reminds me of the Homer Simpson line, “Rock stars, is there anything they don’t know?” One can say the same thing about artists. While there can be art that address these issues directly or indirectly, it’s all the artists interpretation of something they know third hand; stuff they learned from books or the media. They chew it up and spit it out for us. In many cases, these topics seem better suited for discussions rather than art installations.

But what about our differences? You know, the stuff that makes us unique? This is where a regionalization of the art world can make things interesting. The best art comes from within; the artist’s personal experience, if you will. It’s about telling the artist’s story. There is plenty of art from different cultures that address different and smaller views of the world. There is art that has different aesthetic values than one may be comfortable with. We can learn from it. Within these smaller, more personal stories, the larger issues of humanity may be addressed. It all adds up to one installation piece in itself, a fine art stew.