It’s that dead time of the year, news-wise, when nothing much exciting is happening—unless, of course, rising food, gas, and home prices are your idea of excitement. Everyone’s in a summertime mood, and no one wants to worry about the troubles and strife in the world when we can be out swimming and eating ice cream.
Of course, as we’re out there on the beaches, we’re going to see a lot of people, beautiful or otherwise. We’re all beautifully and wonderfully made in God’s Image, and He Cares about each of us. There is Beauty and dignity to be found in every human life.
Naturally, some humans are blessed with more Beauty than others. Nevertheless, I’d like to think that, as a species made in God’s Image, we all instinctively appreciate True Beauty when we see it. That our ruling class actively supports “art” that is anti-Beauty is another sign that they are illegitimate and, quite frankly, Satanic.
Most modern “art” is not worthy of the moniker. We all understand that a great deal of its support comes from wealthy doofuses who want to look cool. Unfortunately, these hipster doofuses—whether intentionally or not—are destroying culture in the process of celebrating “art.” The destruction of Beauty is a crime against God and civilization; the celebration of ugliness is a sure sign of moral and artistic decay.
Fortunately, there’s still a great deal of Beauty in the world. We just have to seek it out—prayerfully and intentionally.
With that, here is 28 July 2021’s “Modern Art and Influence“:
Most readers of this blog will likely agree with the following sentiment: “modern art is terrible.” In my more intellectually generous moments, I’d add “most” as a qualifier to start that phrase, but with age comes orneriness, and orneriness does not lend itself to intellectual generosity.
Perhaps the best treatment of this sentiment in a scholarly—dare I say “intellectually generous”—way is Roger Kimball‘s The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art. The book is a quick read, but even in 200 pages, it’s depressing seeing the increasingly bizarre, flat-out wrong interpretations politically-motivated Leftists bring to classic works of art. The unfortunate trend of comparing everything that ever happened to Harry Potter is no-doubt the watered-down, pop cultural version of this academic shoehorning of the ideology du jour into artistic interpretation.
Of course, there is a corollary to the maxim that “modern art is terrible.” It’s that “modern art is only successful because wealthy dupes want to look cool.” That’s a bit of a mouthful, [but] we all know it’s true.
So it is that two close relatives to the current Pretender’s regime—scandal-ridden, sister-in-law-loving drug addict Hunter Biden, and not-pretty-enough-to-be-a-model model Ella Emhoff (Vice President Kamala Harris‘s stepdaughter) have made good money peddling “art.”
I’m not here to point out the hypocrisy of the Left using political influence to peddle crappy art. For one, it doesn’t do any good—what, is Hunter Biden suddenly going to see the light and repent because some chubby conservative blogger calls him out?—and it’s just a matter of influence. George W. Bush makes mediocre paintings that, if they sell, only do so because he was the President of the United States.
No, the point I want to make is that these kind of nepotistic, corporatist relationships make for bad art. Or, even if the art is okay—Ella Emhoff’s knits aren’t universally terrible—it’s leapfrogging far more deserving creators out there.
Most importantly, it’s an assault on beauty itself.
Aesthetically speaking, Ella Emhoff’s “look” is not appealing. It’s the kind of androgynous, formless fashion that gay men and their sycophants love. But because Emhoff is Kamala Harris’s stepdaughter, her wearing a frumpy coat to the Inauguration makes her a star in the world of fashion. She looks like the dowdy librarian in that outfit, but instead of becoming a salacious 8 when she lets down her hair and takes off her glasses, she basically moves from a 4 to a decent 5. She is, at best, a moderately cute Jewish girl (although, oddly, her Wikipedia entry takes pains to point out she is not Jewish, even though her father is). There’s nothing wrong with that—there are plenty of cute Jewish girls—but it’s like giving the perfectly normal, quiet girl in your class a lucrative modeling contract: everyone kind of knows it’s not deserved.
What makes it worse with Emhoff is that she’s proactively taking points away from her physical beauty score, with weird poses, tattoos, and all other “body positivity” crap. The modeling world has always favored some oddball beauties, but as moderately cute as she is (when unmaimed), Emhoff doesn’t even seem to have that quality.
I don’t mean to dump on some girl’s looks; my point is that we live in an artistic world that cares little for actual Beauty, and instead revels in all sorts of weirdness—and even ugliness. It’s not just aesthetically wrong—it’s morally wrong. Hunter Biden should be in prison right now; instead, he’s involved in scams involving his art because his father is the (alleged) President of the United States.
Look, we all network. I’ve landed gigs before because I’m persistent, reliable, and network well. I’m not the best musician in my area by a long shot, and one of the worse pianists, but I’m not afraid to work my contacts and build up new clientele. I also put on a good show, and genuinely entertain when I perform. Having some connections—and the social skills to make them—are important for artists to develop.
But what does Hunter Biden do? At least Emhoff knits clothes (allegedly). He could sell artwork like my stupid Magic Marker stuff for thousands times more than what I charge (and even I charge too much). That doesn’t make me bitter—it makes me mad! There are legitimate visual artists who make good work, but they’ll never enjoy the kind of success that Biden does because they have the wrong last name.
Well, there is some vindication: Hunter Biden will occupy a special place in Hell (though I sincerely pray he renounces his wreck of a lifestyle and accept Christ), and True Beauty will never die.
3 thoughts on “TBT: Modern Art and Influence”
I agree with you Tyler, much contemporary visual art is execrable along with music and writing. The coarsening, uglification and vulgarising of Western society continues apace along with the moral relativism we are all supposed to subscribe to. How do we change it? I have no idea.
LikeLiked by 1 person
That is the big question, isn’t it? I think as Christians we need to be engaged in creating art and literature that is Beautiful, with a capital “B”—and not just overtly Christian art/literature/media, although that is great. We need to pursue Beauty in a Christian framework, but present it in a package that anyone could appreciate and enjoy.
Easier said than done, though, right? But I do think if we are in a *culture* war, then we need to build up culture. The revival of Beauty in art will flow from that source.
As a writer who is engaged to a very talented artist, I can say that some modern art has its virtues. However, clambering out of bed and calling it art taints much of what modern art is about. Tracey Emin has no right to call herself an artist. Opportunist yes but she’s not creative.