London is contemporary art


The 10 best exhibitions at London’s galleries in February show artworks by contemporary artists from all different parts of the world, according to Paul Cary-Kent, the editor of Saatchi Online Magazine. The French, English, German and Brazilian artists could not be any more different from each other; each artist exhibits his own style, technique and method of producing fine art.

Three Trees by David Hepher 2010/11 (Oil, acrylic, inkjet and concrete on canvas)

The ten artists are creating contemporary art in a way which makes it difficult to understand and interpret its purpose and its significance. The most obvious difference between their artworks is the medium they are using which ranges from normal canvases, paintings of buildings, paintings on photographs of buildings, drawings up to PVC mats used by the Polish-born Canadian artist Jarek Piotrowski. But this is what contemporary art is, or not? Do we have to accept the tangle of questions that the artworks provoke?

They leave us puzzled and indignant because they their artworks cast the lives the artists live into a new light. Are we accepting, and do we value, these artists as representatives of our time?

This is, of course, up to everyone to decide individually, but given that contemporary art is so widely revered, why do some people still stick to classics and to the more traditional form of fine arts? Who judges what intellectual fine art is?

For instance, when Andy Warhol opened his Factory (one of his invention) and had started to produce art on an assembly line he had to deal with a lot of critique for his artworks. However, he did not change his style and uniqueness. Nowadays, his individual form of fine art in the 1960s represents, alongside others artists the upcoming of the integration of television into fine arts. He produced several recordings of the length of precisely 15 minutes. In these videotapes he interviewed models, wannabes in the arts world and designers for exactly 15 minutes. The outcome of the videos is pretty disillusioning in regards to one’s opinion about models and party people because it shows that they were not able to talk about anything of importance as they were mainly occupied with looking perfect and get the message across how “cool” they were.

Many art critics have questioned his way of producing “art” in the Factory especially because of what else was going on the factory, such as drug-taking, smoking and sex. One the other hand, it can be argued that this way of showing “useless art” to the public has shed light on the personalities of those who worked in the arts, music and fashion worlds and in doing so depictured Warhol’s closer environment and people with who he was working with.

Whether we like contemporary art or not might not require us to understand its purpose. Do their artworks shock us to such an extent that they remain in our memory for longer or is it the fact that they uncover the artists’ deepest desires to the whole world?

Today’s tip:

Visit David Hepher’s exhibition (see his artwork above):
Lace, Concrete and Glass – an Elegy for the Aylesbury Estate
(for free)

Tuesday, 21 February 10:00 – 18:00

Flowers (East) E2, 82 Kingsland Road, Hoxton and Shoreditch, E2 8DP
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