Art we don't like

© Werner Hammerstingl, 1998

Outline of topic:

Art, generally speaking, can be said to be expected to operate (function) as an object of knowledge. This in turn requires an art that can be "understood". Every generation encounters a new set of relationships between itself and the art of its own and previous periods. Every generation "discovers" it's set of artists which it values above others.

We define our individuality by the differences between us, the individual and our interpretation of the social norm. Art and Mass culture have a relationship. This relationship can never be clearly defined, as the relative positions are in constant flux.

It can however be said that these two areas usually, yet not necessarily , cater for different cultural needs.

Art and Ideology I am presenting the assumption that art and ideology are linked and are the determining factor in the general public's attitudes about art's quality and value. To examine the topic from the perspective of "Art we like" may reveal what causes us to reject certain works.

Put simply, the philistines* like: academic painting, political (propagandist) art, kitsch, camp and other, easily understood styles. (* I use the term here to mean; a person deficient in liberal culture,one whose interests are material and commonplace).

Categories of Art we don't like:


Even today, there are individuals that would rather silence creativity and expression than allow freedom of speech and of the media to flourish. They hide behind the pretense that our "children" need to be protected against exposure to "indecent material"; this entitles them to censor anything that they find inappropriate.

Just as in Nazi Germany, there are now those in various governments around the world even the supposed custodian of free speech, the United States Government (see article 1 of the 'Bill of Rights") that would pervert and twist the law to erode personal liberties, and through "official" means, would prosecute and persecute anyone who refuses to conform.

Artists have the great ability and responsibility to feel, sense, intuit and speculate about issues that are often too vague, too much in flux to be perceived clearly and empirically. Some of these issues are intensly personal, others global. Only time will tell ...