Stack by Tony Cragg, 1975, wood, concrete, brick, metal, plastic, textile, cardboard and paper. This inspired me to pose the age old question of what is art and if this “sculpture” qualifies. What do you think? There’s no right or wrong answer as it’s much more a matter of opinion. I certainly know what I think but, the problem is that arguments can be made both for and against the argument of whether or not it qualifies. Considering the fact that it is prominently displayed in Tate Britain means that someone sure thought so.
Nowadays it almost feels like anything can be passed off as art or design without any requirement for skill, creativity or true imagination. A prestigious name is no longer a requirement either as this can be built up with the help of marketing, branding and deep pockets. For me, the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes often comes to mind when dealing with modern and conceptual art.
Here is some hilarious art related dialogue from the ridiculous but very entertaining Parks and Recreations TV-series season 2, episode 9 that I’m sure we can all relate to having felt at some point or another.
Tom: “Dude, what the hell kinda art is this? Looks like a lizard puking up skittles!”
Artist: “I’m an abstract expressionist.”
Tom: “No you’re a con artist.”
April: “Ok so this is a multimedia project. First a bunch of rat snag garbage and this is a tv screen it’ll be like a big flat screen tv and it’ll play looped video of knee surgeries and then this is a human sized hamster wheel that will be next to the mural if we can get one and it’ll be spinning and there will be like a fat guy in it all the time screaming and eating raw beef and bleeding, blood will like come out of his mouth and stuff and that will be like right next to the mural.”
Leslie: “I have one question, WHY…?”