Why don't normal people like contemporary art?

When I started creating my collages, my friends loved them. It was at their request did I start selling them. But when they asked about my art, their hesitation in even asking the question made me sad. Why are perfectly intelligent people intimidated by art? Even by bad art? I suppose all the brouhaha started in the mid 1800's when artists like Édouard Manet and Paul Cézanne started to paint whatever the hell they wanted instead of what the rich and the royalty wanted. It was supposed to be giving art back to the common people. And art became more personal instead of political or religious.

Then Marcel Duchamp's "R Mutt" introduced the idea that art is what you make of it. That you can find aesthetic beautiful in a vacuum cleaner, or a urinal. Art no longer is limited to art. But all this freedom and the idea that post modern art is mostly conceptual art, or the idea that the idea is more important than the physical part of art, can be alienating. No longer can a normal person walk into a gallery, look at something and know what the hell is going on. No one likes to feel stupid, even when they're obviously placed in a situation where insufficient information is given. Conceptual art cannot be understood without explanations, without the use of words. There are even art movements who celebrate this codependency, i.e. the Art and Letter group. 

The reality of this evolution of art is if you want to understand the art you're looking at, you have to attend the opening of an art show in hopes of meeting the artists. Then go up to various artists and ask what the hell are you trying to say through your art. If you have balls that big than good for you. But for the rest of us mortals, it's intimidating.

Why do you have to go to the openings and get the info from the horses' mouths? Because galleries lack materials that enhance and educate the viewers about the works in their galleries. Have you ever entered an art gallery? The reception you get varies, but overall, the curator or the receptionist can be unfriendly once they size up your clothes and decide you can't afford their art. This is not the way it is in Vegas but it sure is in the bigger cities.

I don't have solutions for the normal people other than to go to the openings and enjoy the cheeses. I do have solutions for the galleries though. Have more educational materials on the artists you're featuring. Even rich people need to know what the hell they're buying. Art isn't inaccessible. It's the surrounding culture (galleries, the market place that dispenses art) that has nothing to do with the substantive art that's preventing the public from enjoying the aesthetic riches available to us in our towns.

I've been obsessing about Louise Bourgeois' mother

Louise Bourgeois had based her art works on her personal life. She had problems with her philandering father and her mother provided the love and support she needed. Her most famous works are of these giant spiders that Bourgeois explained depicted her mother, how she protected and supported Bourgeois.

I understand that spiders play a far more beneficial role in our ecosystem than us humans. But the size, material and style of the spiders Bourgeois chose seem to show a darker side to maternal love. Protection is a fine line from sequestration. When you protect, you can keep out as well as keep in. Further, nurture can be a fine line from suffocation. Feeding and giving have nuances depending upon quantity. Too little feeding and giving is to be cruel, too much makes the recipient fight for air, also cruel.

If Bourgeois really wanted to show maternal love, which is comforting and warm, she could've turned to fabric, which she had used to great success. For "Spider" at Modern Museum of Art, she used something as heavy and impenetrable as bronze. And she chose to make the spider large. The spider has thin legs like bars on a jail cell and they surround the center, where a beautiful bird cage like structure sits, housing a chair. Many a great and campy horror film have been made over a mother's love, because it is primeval and raw. I have no doubt Bourgeois' mother loved her and sustained her. But I'm not sure I would've wanted to meet her.

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