Art, regardless of the era that its in, is always reflective of the collective consciousness in that era. For instance, during the war-torn years, you’ll see drawings of violent images. When the steam engine was invented, many artists were drawn to this great invention and they started drawing trains.
Artists have a way of capturing what they see and think in their art. So appreciation of art is always two-fold: (1) on a competence level (the discipline) and (2) on a spiritual level (what is the artist thinking?)
Appreciating art, modern or not, on the competence level can sometimes be problematic. That’s because there are just too many artists in this world who are extremely skilled. After years of practice, many have hone their skills almost to perfection. To the point where there’s very little between these highly skilled artists.
So we turn to appreciating art on the spiritual level. That’s where the differences start to show. From observations, almost all great artists are well-known for their way of thinking, and not their drawing skills.
Great masters are admired and respected because they are thought leaders. They’re able to lead the way on a spiritual level with their creations. Many others turn to their artwork for direction and inspiration. Pablo Picasso, Michael Angelo, Da Vinci, and many other great masters know this.
So when they draw, their drawings always reflect what’s within them. That’s why we don’t see them “photocopying” images, like what so many modern artists are doing.
When appreciating modern art, it’s wise to appreciate them on a spiritual level as well. Spiritual artwork may not make sense to those who are not seeking. For example, an artist can draw a three dimensional wire globe and call it “LIFE”. But what has a globe got to do with life? The observer is left to draw his or her own conclusions.
The conclusions will depend on the spiritual level of the observer. Different people will naturally draw different conclusions but the spiritual modern artist knows the true meaning. He puts it forward as a message so others can see, yet many see but fail to understand the message.
The next time you visit an art gallery to view some modern art, don’t forget to appreciate art on the spiritual level. You’ll find it most refreshing, a little amusing, and sometimes enlightening.