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Can "Shock Art" And Its Development In Time Still Be Considered As Art? Can There Be An Answer?

1485 words - 6 pages

Shock art is any type of artwork that employs shock to make a point, ask a question, orpurely to capture the audience's attention. These days everything has changed. The very meaning of the word 'Art' has become compromised. It is a common opinion within the public today that art is only valued for its ability to shock. And if it isn't shocking - it isn't art! In art, taboo images are no longer taboo. That means artists have to push further. Therefore art becomes even more shocking as time goes on. Throughout time, artists have been attempting to do one thing and that is to make us think differently.Art has always shocked the society in which it is created. Even the likes of Manet, Van Gogh ...view middle of the document...

Damien Hirst presents us with animal corpses suspended in formaldehyde. This inevitably enraged the opposing animal rights activists. This subsequently caused a large degree of shock amongst most art critics and also the public. The most renowned person to jump on the bandwagon was Tracey Emin. One of her contributions to the "Shock Art" world was her exhibition of her stained, unmade bed. There is a lot of depth and beauty in Emin's work for those who can get past the initial shock. Through expressing her emotional state, she is revealing her most intimate emotions and experiences. She uses her own life as subject-matter, touching on issues which are common to all. This allows people to view her work in an alternative manner as opposed to just dismissing it as "Shock Art." However, disregarding the status of these artists, all were met with a degree of controversy as their ideas were seen as distasteful and disagreeable by the public, rather than interesting or inspirational.Many people are cynical about artists today. They believe that they are only seeking to gain publicity for their own purposes. For example an exhibit as unconventional as a soiled, unmade bed, was always going to attract a media attention. Contemporary art seems to be about the artist becoming a celebrity, and this is helped along by the media today as the media pounce on anything even remotely shocking. However, Tracey Emin did say that true art is to be found in the "depth of personal expression rather than in the drive for fame and press cuttings"Many people believe the likes of the Chapman Brothers whose work is centered around "Shock Art" should be placed at the other end of the spectrum compared to artist such as Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. They argue that an artist should be judged by their own skill in painting and drawing and that an Art Gallery should reflect artistic skill and talent. This was true Art. It required artistic flair and technical skill. However, Damien Hirst seems to believe that his ideas and assembling is more important than assuring people that you can draw well. Art serves as a vehicle of free speech, it is a form of communication via visual means. Many think art should still be oil on canvas and watercolours etc but what meaning does this send to people?Art is an image that evokes an emotion, even if the emotion is disgust which is sometimes the case in some pieces of "Shock Art". The purpose of art is to inspire a response or to provoke a reaction. "Shock Art" does exactly what it aims to do, encourage debate.The Turner Prize which is the highest profile art award in the UK is at the heart of this on-going debate. Even though many of the modern artists I have mentioned have won international acclaim and fame, some critics say their brand of "shock art" fails to reach the creative heights achieved by older artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Monet, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso who were all controversial in their time.Some...

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