Contemporary Art - Art and it's time.

Contemporary Art, art being made in it's time. Realising the fact art is being created in it's time only rasing a few questions. The question: what's the use of copying the past? What were they made for then? What kind of effect did they have back then, when they were contemporay?

Copying the old masters only being usefull as a study or just for fun. Copying the old masters and selling it as contemporary art being a swindle. Creating contemporary art meaning creating something new. Creating a piece of art means moving forward. Not backwards.

Frans van Mieris paintig: Scene in a brothel - 1658, being made in a period the Dutch Genrepainting was at it's highest level. Presenting a scene in a brothel in those days was rasing questions. Being in a brothel, being highly immoral. So, did he create it to accuse, or did he want to raise questios? Showing such a scene most certainly created a stir. Defenitly not a painting to be found in a church or townhall. Painting another Maria with child in a churh, in a traditional manner would have ment playing save.

Not meaning that painting in a church can't be contemporary. Massaccio's Trinity, 1425-1428, being a spectacular example. Massaccio becoming one of the most important and influential painters then. And still being one of them today. 

Just trying to imagine. The year 1428. Entering the st. Maria Novella in Florence and seeing the Trinity. 1428, no internet, no television, no photgraphy, no newspaper. Only pictures to be seen: paintings, drawings and etchings...possesed by the rich and famous. Book illustrtions,yes. But what's the use of a book not knowing how to reed. Books being far to expensive anyhow. The only possibility to see a picture: visiting a church.

All the previous artworks being without perspective and real body. Suddenly there's Massaccio. Quoting Albeti: ... like stonemasened out of a sclpture...  people must have been stunned. Massacio using geometry to perfect art. That's new, that's innovating.

Only a centurie ago a guy named Picasso painting: Les demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907, and creating an outrage. Picasso realising the human body is build out of plastic forms. Knowing this he starts reducing the human body and reshapes it. Doing so toke him about a year. Visiting the Spanish country in 1906 he realised how archaic the countylife was. Studying and developing his style into an archaic one, resulting in Les demoiselle d'Avignon in summer 1907.

Never seen such artwork before spectators were flabbergasted and full of disgust. "The most ugly painting ever made, this isn't's rubbish. Picasso did't mind. He allready was moving on. Experimenting and developing the new art. Developing new art more then ones in his lifetime is what makes Picasso a superiour artist.

Artist like Nam June Paik, being one of the first video-artist. Or Olafur Eliasson creating the Sun in the Tate Modern.  Contemporary art is about being ahaed of ones time. Being ahead of ones time means knowing ones history. Knowing your history and still being capable to move on. Knowing tradition but not getting stuck with it.

Nam June Paik didn't copy a video, he created something new out of it. Olafur Eliasson didn't copy the sun. He created a new one, only temporarely but still. 

Contemporary Art not being Modern Art. Contemporay Art being far more pluriform. Insatllation Art, Video Art, Comics, Performans, Media Art etc. Cross-overs taking place all the time. Boarders disappearing and creating new space for Art.

Being human means developing oneself. Studying and trying. Far less easyer then copying, but far more interesting. Being confronted with art one can't stay passive, one has to cope with it, move with it.    

Contemporary art is about moving on.