The second part of the article will resume questions and thoughts of the first one, mainly the one layed in the very beginning – Where is art today?
The vivid and mostly very rich intellectualization of art that rapidly evolved in the beginning of 20th century in abundance of new forms, styles, platforms, motions and associations infused an enormous boost into productivity and quality of art and artistic forms.
This period gave life to the greatest production of quality art in our history. Other, auxiliary processes have helped to accelerate this cultural boom – rapid evolvement of industrialization was the most prominent one, it brought scepticism but also opened myriad of horizons, it transformed our lives into a truly modern period.
All in all, the greatness of the early 20th century was extremely fruitful in intellectual and emotional completion of a modern world.
However, reaching such great heights usually means there will be a downfall nearby. The flourishing, immersive and essential boom of intellectualization in art continued – but began to transform from explaining rich content full of ideas to explaining void.
When did this happen? There is not a precise moment in the history, but it began when ideas and tension of the early 20th century started evaporating and mass media began to take over.
Now – I am not saying the media was ever the reason for the "void" starting to fill in, it was merely a symptom of a certain cultural weariness that came down after the exhaustive start of the century. After all the cultural and technological advancement, It was a calming blanket of an understandable language.
This is the era where the shift of creative masterminds will be happening. It starts in the early 50's – precisely when the media begins to take reigns over many aspects of our decision creating process.
Advertising – How to sell an idea.
The shift begins with "idea" as a qualitative constant migrating from art to product. We are no longer trying to "sell" an abstract idea, we are trying to sell an idea embedded to a functional value – a product.
This is the birth of advertising age. Product and all that is connected with it through its cycles is now a very distinctive part of our life. Necessarily, such extensive and demanding production area requires a lot of combined creative talent. We are probably all acquainted to Mad Men, a show that sheds more light on this period of our history. We can see what kind of intent and will was and is necessary to push out a potentially successful product.
In reality, it started with prominent figures such as David Ogilvy, who was a man with multi-faceted past and a complex personality enhanced by an undoubtedly exceptional wit and intelligence. Ogilvy was able – with his clarity and intellect – build one of the greatest ad agencies. He was the modern prototype of a a creative thinker, who was no longer an artist, but an opened, creative mind ready to process any kind of creative task. I would recommend anyone having any interest in product or design – to read his books – 1, 2.
A considerable number of creatives and artists were no longer considering art as their journey, either because they were interested in a more stable life or they were tired / dissapointed of the beginning decline of artistic quality and values (this was not the case in the eastern europe, that was more closed and paradoxically, art was supported by law as a "must" inclusive feature to any new architectural building – a topic for a whole, different article).
Other areas, such as film industry were also attracting creatives, but advertising was the most complex mechanism that employed a wide range of creatives.
What has changed?
So what is different from the era of 50's, 60's and so on when art began its period of decline (with exceptions of course)? World has become far more faceted, layered and complex. You can undoubtedly find good art, but probably not presented by any large or widely known platform – for the reasons described in the first part of the article. However, if you dig deep or are simply lucky, you really can find or buy good art, but this does present a certain kind of stretch and labour, usually only very passionate and educated collectors adhere to such difficult routes (I would go as far when saying this is only 2 - 5 % of "serious art collectors", yes, that low of a percentage).
The shift of creative force meanwhile completed itself with 99,99 % creatives working in areas connected to product or design. Is this good or bad? I would say – good. The reason for saying this, is that the today's world is so incredibly polluted with information (most of it is junk), that starting a path in art and continuing it with utmost quality standards in ideation of form or execution is – almost impossible for any beginner.
The thing is – art can not be measured, it can't be even compared with same ease and standards as design, because there is a value of function in any given design – function in some extent helps to guide the quality of design. However, there is no similar guidance in art and if one does not have an absolutely "clean" and "nutritious" environment in terms of information he's getting, he will fail, simply because the world is so extremelly poluted with "bad" information.
This is why I would invite anybody with creative tendencies and mindset – do not be an arstist, be simply a creative person – which means – learn to think first. Learn to ask the right questions and most importantly – think critically.
Creativity has lost its original context and boundaries in art, but we should be grateful to see it in its true contemporary forms – in creative disciplines that bring us excellent products, designs, movies and other stunning examples of the marriage of emotion and intellect.