We are on the threshold of a Golden Age in Fine Art. We are now witnessing its origins; our children will benefit from its treasures. After decades of declining activity in the fine arts, and the catastrophic evaporation of financial and audience support, the very first signs of new life are beginning to emerge. Over the next months, you will be introduced to some brilliant newcomers: choreographers, visual artists, composers, poets, playwrights, and some rare multi-media and performance art creators. To get started with this series, it is important to know what precisely fine art is, and how it differs from art in general.
What is Fine Art?
These days anything and everything has been called art: commercial art, decorative art, interior design, artful language, art therapy, graphic art, fashion art, graphic novels, video, film, music and even an artistic approach, and anything someone finds creative. Fine art is something else entirely.
The Coming Age - by Loron Lavoie 2014; Digital Art; Beacon, New York.
Fine art is vision that leads the world forward, shared with the public in order to turn attention in a specific direction. Fine artists possess a unique perspective, just like we all have, but for a fine artist the unique vision is so compelling that silence is not an option. These artists spend countless hours developing technique, and refining their vision to present it most effectively, with ultimate impact because they care so deeply. Fine artist create because they cannot suppress their voice, and they will do their work no matter the circumstances, because for them silence is death of the soul.
Every era has fine artists because recognizing and caring for others is a fundamental of being human -- just like the way we recognize and care for ourselves, but the fine artist projects this outward for everybody. This caring is so intense that the artist feels an urgent obligation to act. Why else endure thousands of hours developing skills unless truly dedicated to the life those skills ultimately require? For a fine artist it is impossible to rest, or feel fulfilled, in any other way.
Buddha 603 by Wipoosana Supanakorn 2009; Oil on Canvas, Bangkok, Thailand.
Throughout history, every widespread disaster, or long period of suffering, is followed by a Golden Age in Fine Art. The Dark Ages brought Byzantine art. The plague brought the Renaissance. The corruption of church brought the Baroque. Slavery brought us Jazz. The industrial era's subjugation of individuals brought Impressionism and the Ash Can school. The world wars brought both Abstraction and a prominent voice of female fine artists. Colonialism brought the Romantic era. The Great Depression brought Modern Dance, cinema and popular orchestras. And globalism brought Pop, Op, Surrealism and the Sexual Revolution. The cycle is constant.
I Can See the Whole Room...And There's Nobody in It by Roy Lichtenstein, 1961; Oil on Canvas that uses Pop Art reference to comic books, but questions the purpose of art and the function of museums.
Widespread success exposes those who seek greedy gain through abuses to others, and fine art then sounds the clarion call to name the villain, expose the crime, and tell the truth. When the meat packing industry was experiencing huge growth and America enjoyed wondrous availability of meats in the 1920s, Upton Sinclair exposed the truth with his book The Jungle, and he did the same with money markets (The Brass Check). Stravinsky and Ramus created the 1918 dance/drama L'Histoire du Soldat exposing the evils of war. In 1932 choreographer Kurt Jooss created The Green Table to show the futility of negotiations because of power, lust and greed - a stinging truth for when negotiations collapsed, WWII erupted.
The Green Table by Kurt Jooss 1932; Choreography showing the futility of negotiations to avoid war when greed, power and pride eclipse humanity.
Dance Leads the Way
Everyone has reached for something, turned their back, run after or from, hidden and relaxed in comfort. These actions, and billions of others, are immediately understood by every human being and form the basis of fine art choreography. To embrace, support, turn away, be yanked from, be prevented, seduced, angered, assisted and more, form the language of choreography; the choreographer assembles movements and relationships on a stage to tell our universal stories.
Without taking sides or being specific about politics, dance can show hope, encourage one to stand your ground, put your shoulder to the wheel, increase your effort, band together, energize your actions and thousands of other things that form a roadmap forward. The world is beginning to show the origins of a coming Golden Age.
Pillar of Fire by Antony Tudor 1942, Sallie Wilson (above); Choreography that shows the outcome of repression and the devastating effect of social stigma on the heart.
Next Wave of Fine Artists
We will follow this emergence and the brilliant young artists on the horizon, who have taken the benefits of recent decades of exploration of movement and are using this expanded language and broadened technique to speak to the audience, and guide society forward with their vision. And while serious education in the fine arts is rare today, the lucky few young people enrolled or apprenticed will be the stars of the coming Golden Age.
In the coming months you will be introduced, here, to new artists. You will meet choreographers, visual artists, composers, playwrights, poets and conceptual artists from around the world. These are the new breed of fine artist, the ones who mark new trends in authenticity, vision and who recognize that art is a responsibility to speak out and lead culture forward.
Choreographer Joshua Beamish, 2014; brilliant emerging talent to be featured next in this series The Coming Golden Age of Fine Art