In Search of Powerful Objects: The Strange Game of Contemporary Art

It’s very rare in a contemporary art exhibition to encounter something as powerful as a great piece of Aztec sculpture or a great painting by Picasso because I think we live in a world of image overload. 

I think the issue of artistic integrity has been difficult ever since certain artists made it part of their shtick not to have integrity.  The 'new integrity' was being superficial and being deliberately banal and being in your face and making lots of money and not being ashamed of it.

So what does integrity mean anymore?  I think it’s really, really hard to say because artists are so clever.  How you are an artist has become so much part of being an artist.  How you play with your own image and play with your own persona and other people’s perception of who you are and what you do has become so much part of this strange game.  

Personally I prefer artists who don’t do all that and who just make really powerful work.  I like Gillian Wearing.  I like Michael Landy, if I look at contemporary artists.  I used to like Damien Hirst very much -- his early work was absolutely brilliant. 

I think what has been lost in contemporary art is any strong sense of how to make an object really powerful.  It’s very rare in a contemporary art exhibition that you encounter something as powerful as a great piece of Aztec sculpture or a great painting by Picasso because I think we live in a world of image overload.  Artists have forgotten how to make compelling objects because they don’t spend enough time with them.  It’s an old-fashioned view, but I do feel it’s true.

It can be overcome.  Someone like Candy Chang is a terrific artist.  She works with video, but she has a very good sense of how to install something so that it compels you.  She has a sense of the object even though she doesn’t deal with objects.  She deals with images.  She sort of traps you in the screen. think it’s that attention to an object, that is what makes a work of art really, really powerful.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Can the keto diet help treat depression? Here’s what the science says so far

A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.

Public Domain
Mind & Brain
  • The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
  • Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
  • Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less