Friday, August 27, 2010

“Art 21 - Art in the Twenty-First Century” the PBS Series

I love this series. You can watch 214 trailers and samplings of the series on You Tube, and you can subscribe and / or donate to Peabody and PBS the sponsors of the series through links on You Tube. I am working my way through it. Lacking a photographic memory I replay some parts over and over because the series is pretty encyclopedic. As I watch, I think that “Art 21” is about Art at the turn of the century because it is a bit presumptuous to assume that the 21st Century can be labeled, described and defined during the first decade of said century. However, I do enjoy listening to the famous artists talk about their art as they work. I know that the working interviews must be staged to an extent though the series has a feeling of actual intimacy often lacking in “Reality TV” staging. I notice that most of the artist’s artwork involves global issues and/or ideas and concepts. None of them are terribly interested in depicting the pretty stream in a nearby park, or, even the grandeur of Niagara Falls, unless the latter could be shown as a Brobdingnagian hole in the center of main street USA. All of the lesser artists interested in such things are left to the sidelines. Never the less, Art at the beginning of the Twenty-first Century is not about the artist’s interaction with any definition of “beauty as some form of truth," unless beauty is understood as ancillary to another concern, such as communication). Having said that, “Art 21” does a wonderful job of summarizing the concerns of the International Art World at the beginning of this century.

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