624. After completion (XII)
Modern art, eh? My five-year-old could that—do that in his sleep. Bloody ridiculous. Did you see that? Do you know what the council spent on it? £245M. For that. I mean what is that, anyway? Wires and metal and things? Ridiculous. Modern art looks primitive and barbaric—and that is the point: the very point its critics fix upon is the point. There is a division between culture and civilisation: the culture is young, naïve, and vital—it is also tribal, parochial, and brutal. The civilisation is old, cynical, and static—it is also universal, scientific, and refined. Artists in about 1895 did not suddenly lose the ability to draw and sculpt “properly”, as right-wing columnists often put it—rather they were aware that they were at the West’s civilised high point and that what came next was decadence and decline. The civility and politeness begat by civilisation leads to decadence—failure to repel perversion within and repulse threats from without.
The solution was to re-introduce a barbarian strain to stave off the decline—much as rich parents send their children to austere boarding schools to stop their children from being spoilt; lots of cold showers, beatings, and 5 AM runs—and the facilites, if you walk round these places, are austere and not luxurious. Modern art attempted the same treatment on a society-level scale; and this is why modern artists utilised African imagery—it was barbaric and primitive. They hoped to use this brutal culture to revitalise prim Victorian civilisation before it became decadent.
Whether this worked or not remains a more open question, but conservatives who moan about modern art—about its primitive nature—just show they are pseuds who know nothing about art. Similarly, nationalists devote entire Twitter accounts to pictures of cows crossing some Dutch river tended by a woman in a headdress with windmills in the background. There, proper art that is. Yet it is pointless in a way, when the camera was invented representational art became superfluous—much as nobody made Roman murals when the Renaissance developed perspective. Proper art…with people who are people…none of this three-dimensional rubbish…
At its worst, this attitude lauds photo-realistic paintings—this trite fad where some autist paints so well he emulates a camera picture. This is novelty, not art—though the public loves it, the public is retarded. Go to a council house and you will find the working class enjoys paintings similar to this, a photo-realistic tropical beach or New York skyline shot as if through an Instagram filter. The late Roger Scruton fell for this too—for fussy historical re-enactments by an unreal boy called Theophile Wycliffe-Brown who teaches “traditional” Victorian painting. Why bother? This is fussy and pedantic; it is decadent, ossified art forms produced to please snobby middle-class muppets. That’s proper art that is.
Why is contemporary art so bad? Because its patron is the bureaucratic-democratic state—and, unlike a Renaissance prince, this state type has lousy taste. Individual dictators do a little better, even their idiosyncrasies beat the bureaucratic-democratic committee; hence Trump has better aesthetic sense than all the committees in existence—they hate him because he shows them up. Hitler? Not a painter, his paintings are sickly and sentimental—ironically, decadent. He was an architect, as with Trump, and his art teachers told him to go into architectural drawing. As Aristotle observed, architecture and state-building are synonymous—a great architect builds the state, hence why Trump’s interventions on classical architecture were significant.
As for art, if necessary it can be the great destroyer—hence Marinetti and many modern artists welcomed the Great War. REBARBARISATION. Destroy everything that exists, creative destruction—chaos, great mother of serendipity. Well, that didn’t do much good…look at how much worse things have got…Really? How do you know it failed? Perhaps we are still in a process whereby barbaric rebirth takes place. We have had the blood sacrifice, a million here or there in WWI or WWII—now we wait for the birth.