Challenging Competence: Quality for this Century

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“The adventure of modern art is over. Contemporary art is only contemporary of itself… Nothing differentiates it from technical, advertising, media and digital operations. There is no more transcendence, no more divergence, nothing from another scene…”(Baudrillard, 89.) ________________________________________________________________________ The apples from the last tree standing in the orchard of the art world have grown toxic with the sewage of the art market landfill in which it is planted. High art at the dawn of the 21st century is confined, controlled and contrived by the fiscal pursuits inherent in free marketeering. Contemporary capitalism has transformed the way art is assigned value within our society. By radically shifting the emphasis from the finest crafted idea or object to the artist of most status, capitalism has moved us further away from an art world where competence of craft is respected and rewarded. The affects of the free market takeover of art have created an air where even mastery of technique is shunned. If all of this wasn’t already bad enough, some of the worst craftsmen are today praised as the best artists. This leads us to the question, what defines and constitutes bad art? Is there even such a thing? If there is bad art then one must also question what then constitutes good art. Questions of this sort, seem to now have little relevance at all, for the time when artists were defined solely by what they made passed with the guilds and craftsmen of many centuries ago. Today, artists are valued within the market by the sale price of their last piece at auction, and this demarcation of worth has sent waves and ripples through the sea of artist that splash and writhe to gain passage aboard the golden... ... middle of paper ... ... WORKS CITED Gayford, Martin. “Selling Candy to the Masses.”(Interview). Apollo Mar. 2008: 140+ Academic One File. Web. 02 Mar.2010. Rimanelli, David. “Jeff Koons : a studio visit: it’s my party.” Artforum International 35.10 (1997): 112+ Academic Onefile. Web.02 Mar. 2010. Schnieder, Eckhard. Jeff Koons. 1st. Hong Kong, Koln, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Tokyo: Taschen, 2009. 10. Print Traub, James. Selective Reasoning 5th ed. Stamford, Cn. Champion International Corporation. 1992. Print

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