It has been said that the appreciation of modern art is akin to gazing into the interior of your garbage bin. Often, they are similarly strewn with the cultural packaging of our times. The general public, over millennia, have not immediately warmed to the novel, when it comes to art appreciation. It seems that community conceptions of good taste trail behind the cutting edge, as defined by the latest and greatest in the art scene. It makes sense, when you take into consideration the desperate pressure artists are under to forge fresh ideas writ large on the cultural stages of our galleries and museums.

How To Appreciate Modern Art

The very word ‘museum’ is derived from the ancient Greek, meaning temple of the Muses. Artists must dally with these unreliable entities, who are often, it seems, hell bent on encouraging excessive behaviour and drug taking. Modern Art has all the crazed energy of rock stars running amok and vomiting in technicolour upon whatever medium is close at hand. Every iota of our lives is mixed up, shook up, snorted, penetrated, ejaculated, shat upon, and divined in unequal measures to form installations of every possible kind. Representation of reality has shifted to an unknown location, in strictly legal terms.

Appreciating modern art, is not so much about liking it, or even, dare I say, respecting it, but, rather, surviving it, like some holocaust or personal travesty. I remember a Chinese contemporary artist’s work of thousands of used tampons, sent in from women around the globe, and preserved under glass on display. These browned bullet like missives, hardly fresh from female orifices unknown, lay in a collection of turd like droppings on a white surface. This memory sums up my take on much modern art in the twenty first century. Click here if you wish to take the trash out, rather than laud it on public display.

Whether you, the reader of this article, like modern art or not, is beside the point really, because contemporary art is no popularity contest. It is, in many ways, anti-celebrity, and a force or backlash against the adolescent consumption of ‘I wanna be a star’ stuff on TV everywhere. Modern art is a vomit from a pop star’s arse. It is the inside of a skip bin. It is the pus inside the pimple of the teenager serving you in the fast food store. Appreciation of those things are, perhaps, an acquired taste, or not something to be tasted for long at all.