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View Diary: Why are our recent art tributes so poorly done? (48 comments)

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  •  There are a couple of issues to consider (6+ / 0-)

    (putting on my art historian's hat here)

    First, many contemporary artists do not work in a naturalistic or classical mode, preferring other modes of representation.  It doesn't mean that they're bad or lack talent.  Their form of expression responds to a contemporary mode of thinking.

    Second, "official" art such as the portrait of the Supreme Court Justices is often caught between two different worlds:  the desire on the part of the artist to respond to contemporary modes of painting (in this case) and the demands of the patron to produce something that looks naturalistic, like a photograph.

    It's true that many modern artists (from the 20th century on) were not as concerned with the longevity of their works and often experiment/ed with materials, making it a nightmare for restorers.

    In general, the issue of public art in democracies is always fraught with problems.  Just look at the debates surrounding how to redesign the World Trade Center--an architect's nightmare, with so many different interests coming into play in a space so deeply and personally invested in a national tragedy.

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