Minimalism: So Little to See. So Much to Mock

My most popular post from my old blog -another I thought was worth updating and transferring. Since I don’t simply wish to alienate and make enemies within the world of art, let me say I do appreciate a minimalist aesthetic when well executed. Simplicity can be very beautiful. The following crap? Nah…

If you’ve ever seen a “painting” that was a few ink blots on something the size of a football field, read a “story” that was half a paragraph, or listened to a “song” with one note, then you have been assaulted by the post-modern travesty known as minimalism.  Now don’t get me wrong, I love those old Chinese paintings with three ink strokes for bamboo and a couple shapes for a bird, but when someone asks me to take this seriously, I draw the line:

This “masterpiece” called Black Square, somehow wound up in some famous Moscow art museum.  It seems when Lenin and Stalin flushed classical Russian culture down the toilet, this was spared–I’m guessing because it was hidden with a bunch of “Learn Your Shapes” flash cards.   Call me asinine, but unless Tom and Jane are seeing this at their first day of pre-school, what’s the point?

Take a look to the right and you’ll see a variation on “Black Square.” I really have to hand it to the guy that made these.  This is a powerful artistic statement: Not one black square, but three colored squares. I don’t know how he pulled it off, but the man who made these has somehow crammed every ounce of the human experience into 1/4 of the color wheel. It’s ironic that if your ten year old kid brought this stuff home you might be ok hanging it on the fridge… for like three days, but when an adult man does this people fall over themselves and offer their bodies and souls for the chance to put it in the front window of their mansion in Aspen or New York penthouse.

If you find yourself distracted by what would seem to be no more than a 2nd grader’s fist .gif save file, minimalists want you to know you are an uncultured ignoramus for thinking so.  Apparently this is a very famous minimalist painting called “Voice of Fire.” Never mind what fire would sound like if it had a voice, this is what that voice would look like. What a compelling visual.  Who needs snobs like Michaelangelo and Da Vinci when we can have this. “Voice of Fire,” is apparently a symbol of “American progress.” Don’t take my word for it, because that’s the selection of symbols it was included with in some national gallery before it sold for $1.8 million.  Yep, nothing is more American and Progressive than some rectangles–independence, liberty, industry, human rights, McDonalds… I can’t even begin to list everything, but I don’t have to do I? It’s all summed up right there.

See below right: Is this a brilliant work of art, or have you been duped by a close up of an eraser sitting on top of the silvery part of a chalk board?

Don’t be fooled by the apparent lack of variety in Minimalism.  As I understand it, an endless variety of compositions can and do exist: Lines, splotches, dots, circles, hexagons, octagons, blank fields, stains, rhombuses, the Cars Greatest Hits album cover… Minimalism is allowed to get pretty crazy so long as it isn’t really pretty crazy: A tetrahedron or a sphere would just be decadent.

I bet you’re wondering how and why all of this started happening. Even though I know, I’m experiencing still wondering how and why. Apparently the “artists” were trying not to create work that looked like “Fine Art Objects,” and which contained no trace of symbolism or metaphor.  So in other words, they intentionally sought to make stuff even more hideous as your great aunt’s wallpaper. In other-other words, early minimalists were the first hipsters.

If you’ll now direct your attention to the right, you will be joining these two wretches in an existential crisis: “Despair ye mortals, for this emblem of divinity was made in 5 minutes and is worth more money than your house, your car, and your life insurance policy combined, multiplied by 37.”

Finally, in “celebration” of this dynamic and valuable movement in art, I have created my own minimalist painting which is now available for purchase or gallery representation.

“Minimalism Can Kiss My $$$”
Pixels On Some More Pixels
X x Y


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s