Classic art is out and new media aesthetics are in – Coyote Chronicle CSUSB

By Breana Owens

Over the past century, the art has moved from the classical art style to more interactive pieces of abstract craftsmanship.

Cecilia Vicuña, Quipu Womb stands over 25 feet tall and towers over guests. The interactive artwork is admired by customers who reflect on its deeper meaning. Photo by Breana Owens

Some of the most famous pieces of the past 20 years are abstract sculptures, such as those by Cecilia Vicuña, Quipu’s uterus. He is revered for his size and boldness. Unlike classic art which can be clear and precise, this art makes people think deeply about what the artist may have been trying to convey. This is not to say that classical art cannot be analyzed in greater depth. However, when it comes to modern pieces, the meaning behind them is not so transparent. The interactive works of art are also very popular with the public.

As Dr. Robert Glass has stated, “Artists turned away from the classical tradition, embracing new media and aesthetic ideals, and art historians shifted their focus from analyzing the formal beauty of art towards the interpretation of its cultural meaning”. People seem to be more interested in interpretations of art than blatant meaning.

Despite the common artistic style shifting from classical to abstract, the value placed on these pieces is very different. Works of art made centuries ago by artists like Van Gogh or Michelangelo command a much higher price, while pieces by modern artists are not as expensive. Although fame is one aspect, time and interest must be taken into consideration. Abstract art may be the common interest these days. However, its value does not replace that of classical art.

Michael Findlay says, “Once art leaves the hands of the first buyer, its commercial value is largely determined by the principle of supply and demand, but can be managed by the artist’s primary dealer. Since there is so much abstract and modern art these days, this reduces the demand for it.

Much of the reason why the value of art has changed is largely down to the fact that interest in art has declined. According to Matthew Aquino “Our attention spans have likely decreased significantly overall over the past decade due to our technological advancements and our expectations have increased exponentially.” With the introduction of new technologies, people no longer have the time or interest to view art in the same way as before. Art has become a niche hobby and because of this the value of modern art has plummeted.

Whether it is a work made five years ago or five hundred years ago, there is a place for art in every space. It’s easy to overlook the interactive works of art we pass by on a daily basis. These works of art only have value when people give them attention and a price. Perhaps the modern art world is just waiting for the next Leonardo da Vinci to spark global interest again. Until then, it’s important to appreciate what we have right now.

Photo by Twitter account @guidelondon

Christopher S. Washington