The Emperor Has No Clothes – Art Today


Welcome to The Emperor Has No Clothes, the art blog of Lauran Childs. Please feel free to comment! Here’s why I chose the ‘The Emperor Has No Clothes’ as my title –

My feeling about art is that it should aspire to truth and beauty.

My experience of a lot of art today is that it’s just plain miserable/repulsive/boring/wierd, but some of the best selling art fits that paradigm. Dark art is bad for the soul, and you should not need to have a wierd education to ‘appreciate’ some of the art lauded today – like Tracey Emin’s dirty bed.

‘The Emperor Has No Clothes’ is a good metaphor for the art business today – a lot of more expensive art is bought by people whom, you have to assume, think they have no appreciation for art. So they have money and get told by ‘experts’ what to buy.

But actually many forms of beauty are universally recognisable – it’s said for example that there is a mathematically precise analysis of the proportions of a beautiful face. And images of Marilyn Monroe are enduring and incredibly popular. (Yesterday I read something surprising – at the time of her death, Monroe was unhappy about the fact that she was getting $100,000 a movie and Elizabeth Taylor was getting $1,000,000 (Cleopatra). Look who endured and influenced, and how.)

So if things like images of Marilyn Monroe, images of the sea/animals/sunsets etc are so universally recognisable as beautiful, why the emphasis on miserable art? Beats me. But people are paying huge sums for miserable, uninspiring, tortured art. I guess everyone could think of examples of this.

‘The Emperor Has No Clothes’ is a good metaphor – the Emperor is The Man, the one with real money – and anyone with common sense can easily see that a lot of the art that the Emperor now buys is pretty lousy.

Art expresses our consciousness and influences it – greatly. We owe it to ourselves to surround ourselves with art that has classical values such as beauty and consciousness, and that we instinctively lean toward – not away.