When Art Defies Criticism

Art experts aren’t really in a better position to evaluate the aesthetic merit of a particular work of art than anybody else, especially when it comes to modern art, where technical virtuosity and craftsmanship don’t count anywhere near as much as they used to.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s often a con and a case of the emperor’s new clothes. When they try to make out that a dead sheep immersed in a tank of formaldehyde is an original work of genius or an unmade bed is worthy of being kept behind a glass screen for the public to queue up and admire it (it would be put to better use if they tidied it up and slept in it).

Most of us are now familiar with the analogy used in AI to define infinity, namely, the group of monkeys who, by hitting typewriter keys at random, eventually produce Shakespeare’s King Lear or Hamlet. But it would now seem that it only takes ONE monkey two minutes to produce an authentic piece of contemporary art through a series of random brushstrokes. Jackson Pollock would be turning in his grave.

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