Art and its Reaction

History is witness that whenever a change happens, it takes time for the public to adjust to it. Sae reaction is attributed to change in art as well. Initially a new school is frowned upon, no matter how good it may be. It is only letter that it is embraced by the world.

A prime example of this is ‘impressionism’ which struggled to make an impression at first and later reached the pinnacle of popularity. Another more recent example is of Sensation, an exhibition held in December 1997 at the Royal Academy or Art in London in which a group of young British artists had exhibited their works. The exhibition faced a lot of criticism, but slowly acceptance followed. The famous work, The Physical Impossibility of death in the mind of someone living about a dead shark artist Damien Steven Hirst, was also part of this exhibition.


This rejection and acceptance has happened time and again and continues to do. The only difference we see in the now as compared to before. In this jet age, it comes as no surprise that with every blink of an eye, a new dimension is added to visual arts.

So, it would be too much to ask form the common people to adjust to these new changes so quickly. It takes time to appreciate art and it should be given that much time.

It is alright to give time for appreciation, but, people seldom take show their disagreement and intolerance when they come across art that they see as a threat or disagree with. During a recent lecture, a prominent contemporary art writer, while justifying art today as a personal exercise, had made a point that with the emergence of still photography and video documentation, the purpose of art as medium of propagation and documentation has diminished. So, giving some kind of social message in art is no more required.

Now, should we assume that art is no more aimed at the public enlightenment; it should not have any kind reaction, good or bad, coming from them? But, unfortunately, the above statement does not fall true. Art even today instigates strong reactions from common people and sometime the reactions that an art work is capable of enticing could be quite impactful. Had this not been the case, we would not keep hearing about the attack that art and artists about the attack that art and artists face form various groups at different times. The appreciation of pubic in all this is lost and seldom hyped about. Quite unlike the negative reactions!

Art has now become more secular as the subjects that artists choose is of their own understanding and not dependent on any state or organisation’s sponsorship. While this makes art more free, it also makes it more venerable to strong reaction instigated by body of people who disagree with its theme or projection. This leads to conflict within the art world as well as outside it. However, this conflict or intolerance could be resolved by educating the public about art, and we could start with children. So, they minded when looking at art. But this is an idealistic solution and we do not live in a perfect world. But, there is hope, always.

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