The first and most sweeping swindle perpetrated upon the West by its enemies was the obfuscation of the definition of Art.
Starting with Kandinsky’s ‘Expressionism’ and bolstered by Clement Greenburg’s ‘Artspeak’ criticism, this new abstract creativity overwhelmed all tradition in art. Swept away in this nihilist flood were traditional art tutelage, inherited skills dating back to prehistory, high culture, good taste, standards or hierarchy, naturalism, symmetry, decoration, technical merit, self-determination and ‘becoming’ in art. Styles in painting, sculpture, architecture that had evolved from European antiquity came to a crashing halt on the pages of ‘art theory’ criticism - a ridiculous construct of universalism that tried (successfully!) to embrace pure abstraction as progressivism in art.
Irony became the vogue. Random splatters of paint, intentionally awkward, ugly forms, and childish primitivism became the preferred modes of intellectual culture, via reams of this irrational wordsmithing. True progress was hijacked and perverted by cultural Marxism. This later would be the same brand of relativism they found could be successfully applied to all aspects of western tradition and taste, beyond just the false edifying of abstraction as intellectualism, but as a means of attacking every aspect of European culture. The self-eating snake, wracked with guilt, wallowing in weakness and trembling with pity. Their success in art criticism and art theory not only paved the way for total degradation, but the ongoing artlessness of our western world remains and enormous obstacle in allowing us to rediscover our true self-becoming.
Today we have ‘conceptualism’ and ‘abstract expressionism’ ruling our art academies - one may take a lazy preamble into any ‘modern art’ gallery to see what kind of mindless, indefinable childishness this results in. Literal piles of garbage, arranged sex dolls, people standing in animal suits, you may find pretty much anything other than, ironically, actual art. Many voluminous rants about the imagined merits of this perpetual stream of anti-art are printed and spoken of in modern art academies and critical literature. But not a word of it amounts to anything more than liberal guilt, juvenile self-hate, and profuse obsession with human failings and perversions. Nothing that smacks of beauty of positivity or self-affirmation can fall under this new modernist art definition. All serves to remind us that grandeur is an illusion, human affairs are nihilistically limited, and we are not worth saving.
Indeed, we deserve ugly, lascivious paintings rendered childishly - they are an attack against elitism! But this view is itself a construct, relying upon egalitarian tropes, as evil and false as a lie can be. True art is not the all-encompassing cloud of pure creativity where permissiveness enshrines the freedom to announce anything you desire as art. Modernity exists upon a platform of hating true art, or all art before modernism, which they couch in snide blanket terms like ‘realism’. There is no foundation for modern art abstraction other than proving that the public will accept whatever you tell them to accept. After all the long years of Pollock’s and Picasso’s and Duchamp’s, a cursory Googling of contemporary art definitions lays bare this bizarre and poisonous foundation.
A definition of abstract expressionism reveals that its basis is ‘A school of painting that flourished after World War II until the early 1960’s, characterized by the view that art is nonrepresentational and chiefly improvisational.’ If this revelation about art is true, that means that Michelangelo, Raphael, Phidias, Singer Sargent, Turner, Rubens, Titian, DaVinci, and every artist before this movement were completely wasting their time actually learning the craft of painting or sculpture or architecture. They should have been practising random improvisation, freeing themselves of talent and technical prowess. They should have been splashing paint about like the moronic Pollock, or painting three stripes endlessly like the con Rothko. The average person assumes that public art comes to them courtesy of respected, talented academics and institutions devoted to furthering and bettering society. They can not fathom or assume that our art ethos is an enormous lie eroding western civilization with hubris and hatred.
Modern art cannot exist in the same world as traditional art. Modern art can exist only as a hate-filled backlash against the superiority of that which came before it. Neolithic cave painters could not decide their time would be better spent refusing to paint anything as a statement of conceptual anarchy, or creating abstract ‘installations’ of arranged animal hides and straw. If something appears to have no point should one dig deeper until a point manifests? Does it not remain ultimately pointless?
Modern art criticism from the likes of Clement Greenburg is the only truly creative aspect of modern art. He pioneered the style of criticism that found praise in the wilfully ‘unrepresentational’. This opened the floodgates to endless reams of eloquent bloviate about ‘redefining art preconceptions’ and all the typical modernist buzzwords we have come to associate with generic attacks on western values. Vagaries about progressiveness and old ways that are tired and ready for the dustbin of history. Thus, over time, the idea of craftsmanship becomes denigrated - as the painter becomes the illustrator, the true architect becomes a restorer, a traditional fashionista a set designer, and naturalism pastiche. There is a reason that during the Renaissance you didn’t have celebrated artists making random splatters of paint on a canvas in the Uffizi - that is because it is stupid. It is patently on it’s face idiotic. Because a child really could do it. Turner or Rembrandt did not have to compete in the creative arena with a Tracy Emin type character who traipses around confidently arranging mannequins or unmade beds and touting it as art because it is ‘pushing boundaries’. That is because it takes a society existing, as we do, at a sustained level of luxurious stupidity to even imagine philosophizing such obvious lies. This confusion, this morass of universalism, was the cultural Bolshevik victory that opened the door to all the others, and right up to the present remains their strongest stranglehold upon the mass mind. Very few people care about art any more because it is so nonsensical, generations come and go just flippantly saying they don’t ‘get it’. And all because the concept of moving art is difficult to define, and therefore easy to hijack. The day Marcel Duchamp succeeded in bringing a urinal into an art gallery was the day up became down. What seems an innocent trifle morphs into a tremendous evil: Modern Art. All of modern art, and thus modernism (including post-modernism), is based upon the flimsy concept of being wilfully bad, to prove ‘anything is art’. Even now, it persists, when we have grown accustomed and actually expect art galleries to be awful and pointless.
Today not just our galleries but every aspect of western society has been poisoned with this relativist dogma. A wilful anti-æstheticism is the furtherance of ugliness for its own sake. From music, to fashion, to furniture and architecture, we have been tricked into making our world unseemly. Our cityscapes (save for a few untouched historic city centres such as Paris) are a ruinous, mocking tribute to a lack of defining style They are purposefully disjointed and asymmetric, or woefully boring tower blocks: testimonies of straight lines, undecorated concrete, and plastics. Occasionally where decorative, stylish historic buildings exist they insist upon ruining them with modernist growths (such as the Toronto art gallery). These monolithic monstrosities serve to remind us of the inescapable horror of modernism, as a entity encompassing those values of ugliness and vapidity. No beauty can prevail in the vacuum. No organic shapes, no natural materials, classical motifs, no traditional sculpture, relief, or Euclidian perfection are permitted to exist. Misshapen and exploitative, we scurry about this landscape of misery feeling deep down we are part of something that has gone wrong, which does not deserve to be survive. We escape the confines of drab office cubicles to walk in a courtyard of pointless and garish corporate sculpture. Under the shadow of cheaply made buildings of cyclopean drabness. Unnatural, uninspiring. If in our hearts we come close to the realisation that modernism at it’s core is a trick or a joke, we are pushed back into complacency by the all-powerful tyranny of the modern art definition, which hides behind a supposed inclusiveness, where everything is potentially art and every one an artist. Except, again, real art or artists.
And where modern architecture fails to dissuade, we have modern fashion. This incredible bulwark of stupidity and laziness seems to endlessly combine themes of leisure wear and graphic-designed sweat shop fabrics. Gone are the mens suit, leather boots, fine tailored hats and coats, detailed dresses for women, or sartorial standards of any kind. The youth are half naked and in a perpetual cycle of hippy revolution against an unseen sexually conservative oppressor that does not exist. Prevailing cyclical modern themes are garish colours, sweat pants, t-shirts, oft inspired by an endlessly repeating phenomenon of slutty pop stars based upon the model of the careless, free-wheeling whore perpetually giving the finger to a patriarchal history.
All of modernism is a pit, into which beauty must be eradicated. Tragedy must not exist. Art is a kind of self-mocking joke. Judgementalism is the only true crime and is not permitted. The moderns are incapable of seeing that to like something is to pass judgement, and requires the disliking of something else. Perfect egalitarianism does not exist in the universe, and is impossible in the art world, in nature, or in human affairs. The galleries will never again discover genius like Leonardo or Breker so long as they contain trouts nailed to walls and televisions playing static. They exist within that vacuum of intellectual nihilism, from which there is no escape. Perpetually pushing invisible boundaries like hamsters on a wheel. If, as I believe, we are not actually doomed to this abstraction as part of a long-suffering demise, as Spengler would have us believe, then a revision of style is possible. There are still those that might break through this obscurity, rediscover beauty and the perfection of idea that comes from the mind of a single man, acting on instinct. Cut away the useless fat of a hundred years and start again from where Art Nouveau and to some degree Art Deco left off. But at this late stage it involves a courageous negation of hubris. Those lone warriors must strive for those ideas that can be retrieved from the perpetual wellspring of true creativity, that flowed about the great minds of antiquity like a raging river. Ideas and work that is not abstract or indefinable, but natural, primordial, and the product of intense labour and a devotion to an orderly æsthetic.