When has Art truly shocked you? Is Shock Art Dying?

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posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 04:46 AM
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I will present you with an example of a possible Shock Art image a little further into this post. I hate to say this but I feel no matter what extreme films I see, books I read, news I hear or pieces of shock art I view it seems the only thing recently that truly generated a shocked emotion within me and elements of the sublime were stirred within my soul was the collapse of the Twin Towers (9/11) I have sometimes thought back to 9/11 and wish that I was there amongst the event.

"Shock art is contemporary art that incorporates disturbing imagery, sound or scents to create a shocking experience. It is a way to disturb "smug, complacent and hypocritical people".

With all the current exposure to mass media and being surrounded by and using a large range of technologies which is being shoved down our throats on a daily bases no matter where we turn too, its not surprising that certain disturbing or shocking imagery is starting to lack any powerful reactions.

Its more so this year that I have to started to realise that I feel rather numb. (anyone who wishes to comment “You're just depressed”, “you need to exercise more” blah blah etc etc, you are just wasting your time) So numb sometimes that I really seem to lack any emotions towards a potential shocking piece of art (my son is still bringing me tears/wet eyes of happiness sometimes, so I'm not fully dead inside it seems)

When it comes to viewing Art, no matter how shocking or graphic the image may be towards others, mostly it just makes me laugh or smile if I were to have any form of reaction to it. Shock art has become comedy to me almost. I don't think I'm alone in these thoughts when I say this.
It feels to me that as time passes the sublime in contemporary art is dying. That sublime feeling of being really shocked to the core. A sense of terror within. I will now present you with a piece of art, a canvas. Its a very recent first hand example of what I mean when I say I find certain shock art more comedy than shocking. (my sense of humour can be rather sick and twisted, don't worry it does not contain graphic sexual imagery)




Was this canvas which had been displayed in a pub window meant to be communicating a shock element, or does the artist think it's funny. It does not matter I guess. I don't know what to think other than I know it made me laugh a little to be honest. I could blame the drinks, I'm sick. Just being honest.

I don't need to go into details about who stars in this canvas piece, but everyone knows the current events of the unfolding stories surrounding Jimmy Savile. I admit I was rather drunk and it was kicking out time when myself and a friend noticed the canvas sitting there in the pub _ I knew straight away where the inspiration or imagery was mainly taken from. Cassius Marcellus Coolidge (November 12, 1844 –January 24, 1934) was an American artist, mainly known for his paintings of dogs playing poker. Yet he also painted Dogs Playing Pool/Snooker.

So with the painting myself and a friend witnessed outside the pub; Is it shock art? I don't think it is truly shocking. Yet to some others it may well be the case. The collection of child abusers presented on the canvas is trying to spark a reaction of course, but to me its hardly generated anything other than looking and just naming the faces. Even though I was able to witness the canvas first hand and have no other account of it before hand, this fact should have increased the element of surprise more, but it failed in that sense. Also of course if it wasn't for the mass media I'm probably wouldn't be able to name the people featured in the canvas.

So is shock art dead? Is my soul dead? The latter certainly could be and should be after finding the canvas funny some may say. I could present many examples here of shock art and end up with a full on essay being written up to try and highlight evidence suggesting that shock art is dying. I'm too lazy for that level of effort. But overall Shock Art, is near death as myself and others continue contributing and distributing to the slow death of Shock Art through many levels of reproduction via the mass media/technologies.






edit on 25-2-2013 by zidanelittle because: delete repeated paragraphs
edit on 25-2-2013 by zidanelittle because: delete repeated paragraphs




posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 04:54 AM
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Yeah, I think for most people its hard to be shocked by anything nowdays.

Consider the difference between now and 1797 when a Top Hat was worn outside...

...he had "appeared on the public highway wearing upon his head what he called a silk hat (which was shiny lustre and calculated to frighten timid people)"
and the officers of the Crown stated that "several women fainted at the unusual sight, while children screamed, dogs yelped and a younger son of Cordwainer Thomas was thrown down by the crowd which collected and had his right arm broken"


We've come a long way since then.
edit on 25-2-2013 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 04:58 AM
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reply to post by alfa1
 


ha ha, loving the quote there. i've seen some real awful videos on the internet over time and that also makes alot of things less shocking. but in terms of art work, its a lot harder to achieve an element of real shock.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 05:00 AM
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What shocks me is the absolute rubbish called modern art that gains stupid prices.

I'm shocked at the gullibility of those with more money than sense to buy it and also by those who give awards for such nonsense.

Sad that sometimes they are funded by the taxpayers.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 05:19 AM
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reply to post by nerbot
 


totally, totally agree with you there. i remember one piece years ago won 50,000 for having a room with a light going on and off and that was it.


CX

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 07:26 AM
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Originally posted by nerbot
What shocks me is the absolute rubbish called modern art that gains stupid prices.

I'm shocked at the gullibility of those with more money than sense to buy it and also by those who give awards for such nonsense.

Sad that sometimes they are funded by the taxpayers.


Three words spring to mind at your comment...."Tracy Emin.... Bedroom".

My kids make that every day of the week.


You are so right about the modern art rubbish, it gives to the art world what Harlem Shake does for music.

True talent, i can praise. Something a toddler can do when left for five minutes, and labelled as art, i can't abide.

CX.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 08:45 AM
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Originally posted by CX
Three words spring to mind at your comment...."Tracy Emin.... Bedroom".


Yeah, that's the stuff I'm talking about, add Damien Hurst to the list of talentless money wasting greedmongers. He doesn't even create his work himself, just gets puppies to do the hard work.

We should of course blame all those intellectual snobs who help them get this stuff labelled as art and those who keep giving them the grants to pollute public spaces with it too.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 09:04 AM
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reply to post by zidanelittle
 


Is shock art a label that an artist puts on his/her work merely to serve as a marketing ploy to become more known to the public? Some artists go out of their way to provoke any kind of reaction in order to advance their fame ticket. I'm thinking of the ones spreading body fluids or excrement on their stuff and daring to call it art. It is bad hygienenic practice at its kindest and sociopathic public health practice imo, maybe even endangering the public. To have the kahunas to call that art is not what shocks me. Rather it's the curators who promote the 'work' and call it art.


However I do go along with those who are shocked by the price commanded by supposed art that is something we could all do ourselves such as this one, consisting of a straight line of red on a dark background. Curators have yet to justify why this is better than a kindergarden painting.




How do you like them apples, eh? It caused quite the ruckus in Canada and is still talked about years later. Macleans article here

As for feeling shock, I too feel somewhat numb after 9/11, especially as we are fed an overload of photos and films of the obcenity of violence in war-torn countries.



posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by zidanelittle
 


I think 'shock art' is dead.
As a modern society we're all just too desensitized nowadays, but it did indeed have its time and place.

I remember going to an exhibition in the Royal Academy back in the late 90's called Sensation. It was organized by Charles Saatchi and featured the likes of Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili, Rachel Whitehead and probably most controversially Marcus Harvey's Myra, this was a massive portrait of the killer painted using children's hand prints.


The film director John Waters once said the the best accolade he could receive would be for a member of the audience to throw up during his one of his movies, he likened it to a standing ovation!!

What was called Shock Art is now just simply art. Peoples sensibilities change over time but I think there are still pockets of the world where that shock value could still be used and exploited.

I don't really want to get into the whole good art bad art thing as we all know its highly subjective and personal, and that is the beauty of art


In my opinion as an artist it is always the point of art to communicate with the viewer and make them think, its possible to do that in many ways, for example through sheer artistic talent, where the viewer is wowed by the artistry of the work (think Hyper-realism) or through the story that the artwork tells (Pre-Raphaelite) or through the easiest, quickest (and possibly laziest) way which is to assault the senses and attack the viewer head-on. The simplest way to get a reaction is to shock.

The Coolidge copy in question in the OP doesn't really shock me, I find it kind of funny and tongue in cheek, I like the way the artist has transformed a kitsch iconic piece into something much darker. But its definitely a valid and pertinent commentary of todays world.


CX

posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by nerbot

Originally posted by CX
Three words spring to mind at your comment...."Tracy Emin.... Bedroom".


Yeah, that's the stuff I'm talking about, add Damien Hurst to the list of talentless money wasting greedmongers. He doesn't even create his work himself, just gets puppies to do the hard work.

quote]

That really annoyed me when i found that out a while back. Watched a documentary on him, kind of liked the guy's personality, very dry sense of humour, but it's those with more money than sense that have that have ruined him in my opinion.

My girlfriend was best mates with his sister growing up (school years), and used to go round his house a lot in Leeds. She said his house was strewn with his drawings, many quite macabre as you'd expect, but they were very good. He does have talent, but why he chooses to get others to do work for him and claim the glory, and try and pass big colourful dots off as amazing pieces of art i'll never know.

Bring back the greats who did great work.


CX.



posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 09:55 AM
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I've been shocked a few times by art..

1) Seeing life-sized art in person, vs. online or in books. I've been lucky enough to see actual Rembrandts, Rubens, etc. in various museums, and seeing them in person is way different.

2) Seeing the works of Dali. He was pretty messed up. The main museum of his is pretty local to me, and it's pretty impressive...as was his art.

3) Chuck Close...he does photo-realistic portraits, about 10' tall, all with thumbprints of ink of varying shades based on how hard he presses. From a close distance, it looks like a photo...closer, and you see the thumbprints. Amazing.

4) Marble sculptures fascinate me...that a single mistake could kill hours of work (and likely did). The skill needed to do this just stupifies me.



posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 11:54 AM
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Well maybe you can go read books now instead.

I have no memories of ever being shocked, inspired, or driven to any emotion from viewing 'art', except for the theatrical and musical productions (is it possible not to be moved by music?).

When I traveled through Europe I stopped at too many 'art' museums and galleries for my own good. 99% of the experience I would liken to the video below;



The only things I find interesting about art would be the actual method and technical work involved in its creation. Seriously do not understand the emotional effect it has on most people.

Well I seemed to be veering off topic there but if you are not shocked by 'art' anymore than maybe you need try making some of your own or switch to something else.



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