Art & Conviction

I confess, when I visit a contemporary art gallery I often leave so disappointed. I find much of what contemporary venues represent as art insulting. There is no soul, no conviction, all too often. Despite my frequent visits to art galleries and museums ending in disappoint I continue to visit them in hope of witnessing at least one other artist who strives to capture conviction in his/her work.

Granted, work like like this is out there but I imagine it is much easier for some reason for galleries to display work with little to no existential purpose. Maybe one of those reasons is when artwork is declarative in any manner, from the gallery’s perspective is becomes divisive and so to them it is not worth the heat so to speak.

But I find it a shame when even the visual arts & galleries cannot be open-minded enough to objective representations of a diversity of worldviews. It is commonly said among some academic circles that “art is dead,” and I wouldn’t be able to argue otherwise if it were not for artist such as Anish Kapoor, whose work I was able to see in person in Seoul, South Korea a few weeks ago during a short trip.

I find his work to be about in some degree the passage of time we all experience in our own ways. For instance in the work seen below a large steel box is being slowly rotated through red micro-crystalline wax by melting its way through, but because it is moving so slowly you would not even recognize it is actually rotating unless you yourself slowed down to pay attention. So in this way Kapoor is thinking about the viewer experience in ways not commonly considered by many artists these days, but those of us who are participating in the visual arts world could learn a thing or two by artists like Kapoor when it comes to creating work that has purpose beyond itself.

-Robert Alsobrook

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