Why is Modern Art so Bad?

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Why is Modern Art so Bad?

For two millennia, great artists set the standard for beauty. Now those standards are gone. Modern art is a competition between the ugly and the twisted; the most shocking wins. What happened? How did the beautiful come to be reviled and bad taste come to be celebrated? Renowned artist Robert Florczak explains the history and the mystery behind this change and how it can be stopped and even reversed. Donate today to PragerU! Joining PragerU is free! Sign up now to get all our videos as soon as they're released. Download Pragerpedia on your iPhone or Android! Thousands of sources and facts at your fingertips. iPhone: Android: Join Prager United to get new swag every quarter, exclusive early access to our videos, and an annual TownHall phone call with Dennis Prager! Join PragerU's text list to have these videos, free merchandise giveaways and breaking announcements sent directly to your phone! Do you shop on Amazon? Click and a percentage of every Amazon purchase will be donated to PragerU. Same great products. Same low price. Shopping made meaningful. VISIT PragerU! FOLLOW us! Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: PragerU is on Snapchat! JOIN PragerFORCE! For Students: JOIN our Educators Network! Script: The Mona Lisa. The Pieta. The Girl with a Pearl Earring. For a score of centuries, artists enriched Western society with their works of astonishing beauty. The Night Watch. The Thinker. The Rocky Mountains. Master after master, from Leonardo, to Rembrandt, to Bierstadt, produced works that inspired, uplifted, and deepened us. And they did this by demanding of themselves the highest standards of excellence, improving upon the work of each previous generation of masters, and continuing to aspire to the highest quality attainable. But something happened on the way to the 20th Century. The profound, the inspiring and the beautiful were replaced by the new, the different, and the ugly. Today the silly, the pointless, and the purely offensive are held up as the best of modern art. Michelangelo carved his David out of a rock. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art just offers us a rock, -- a rock -- all 340 tons of it. That's how far standards have fallen. How did this happen? How did the thousand-year ascent towards artistic perfection and excellence die out? It didn't. It was pushed out. Beginning in the late 19th century, a group dubbed The Impressionists rebelled against the French Academie des Beaux Arts and its demand for classical standards. Whatever their intentions, the new modernists sowed the seeds of aesthetic relativism -- the beauty is in the eye of the beholder mentality. Today everybody loves the Impressionists. And, as with most revolutions, the first generation or so produced work of genuine merit. Monet, Renoir, and Degas still maintained elements of disciplined design and execution, but with each new generation standards declined until there were no standards. All that was left was personal expression. The great art historian Jacob Rosenberg wrote that quality in art is not merely a matter of personal opinion but to a high degree.. objectively traceable. But the idea of a universal standard of quality in art is now usually met with strong resistance if not open ridicule. How can art be objectively measured? I'm challenged. In responding, I simply point to the artistic results produced by universal standards compared to what is produced by relativism. The former gave the world The Birth of Venus and The Dying Gaul, while the latter has given us The Holy Virgin Mary, fashioned with cow dung and pornographic images, and Petra, the prize-winning sculpture of a policewoman squatting and urinating -- complete with a puddle of synthetic urine. Without aesthetic standards we have no way to determine quality or inferiority. Here's a test I give my graduate students, all talented and well educated. Please analyze this Jackson Pollock painting and explain why it is good. It is only after they give very eloquent answers that I inform them that the painting is actually a close up of my studio apron. I don't blame them; I would probably have done the same since it's nearly impossible to differentiate between the two. For the complete script, visit

Comments to the video: Why is Modern Art so Bad?

kankurou1010 4 hours ago
This is so stupid. I'm a moral objectivist, I believe in objective truth, and I'm conservative. Also, I like modern art. Quality of art is NOT objective. Art speaks to people, and people are too different to set an objective standard. That is like claiming that chocolate is objectively the best ice cream flavor. It's not! You enjoy ice cream based on your subjective taste, and it makes no sense to say You're wrong for liking vanilla more than chocolate.
thrillaspirit 6 hours ago
Just watch the eternal Jew and you get the plain answer - no joke
yohan cruyff 7 hours ago
if youre uncomfortable with being dumb and not understanding art you can just read and catch up, you dont have to make a video where you expose your insecurities
CrazySteTV 7 hours ago
FYI: when Leonardo first made his Paintings on tge Cappella Sistina, he was heavily criticised because the People were naked. Eventually someone else added Pants later on. What you call Great Art of the Past, back then was as controversial and judged with grudgy critic like you do with Modern Art
TheHarlequinHatter 11 hours ago
I don't understand something the second I look at it, so that must mean it's bad!
Aline Castro 12 hours ago
I always hated modern art!
Marc Goodman 13 hours ago
Obviously missing the point that art once existed because photography didn't. Just because you don't understand or appreciate something doesn't make it rubbish. Have you ever tried to read Chinese writing?
A.n. A. 16 hours ago
whats with your hair ?
Sprongo 17 hours ago
Philistines.
Merry Mary 17 hours ago
EXCELLENT POINT, I RESPECT YOUR OPINION. GOD HELP US ALL.
aditya zahran 18 hours ago
Memes are modern art
Stone Wolves 22 hours ago
When I think of how to determine what art is 'good', and which is 'bad', I think about the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and then I think about the work of Jackson Pollock. Could Michelangelo have painted in the style of Jackson Pollock? Of course he could have. Could Jackson Pollock paint in the style of Michelangelo?.. I seriously doubt it.
Bob Vick 1 day ago
All modern art delusions coincide with times of monetary debasement, thus a reflexion of fast & loose in all aspects of societies.
Junjun 1 day ago
Nice prank, man. Ahahahaha.
Qethics 1 day ago
Sad.
Clamp Cut Tie 1 day ago
This is a GREAT video Prager U! Thank you!
Max Falto 2 days ago
I am so sure the reason utter trash paintings etc get sold for multiple millions is because it's a money laundering operation. Someone needs to look into it, how else can you explain complete shit being sold for millions?
Salvador Gutierrez 2 days ago
LMFAO this guy knows nothing about art history literally
Karen Ellis 2 days ago
it was the franfurt school. they have succeeded so far in ruining art and philosophy and it is now barreling down on the wider stream of society.
Karen Ellis 2 days ago
crap cant type with thumb Frankfurt school although school there= takes on most ominous feel
Ines Jeffre 2 days ago
I like Jackson Pollock. but it still means modern art can be awful. However to try to manifest emotion on canvas etc is a worthy goal and will be some form of abstraction. What I observe in today's art community is not about universal emotions or existential questions or social themes but pretentious insulting esoteric (only the artist 'understand') crap. The artist seems far removed from the daily anguish and joy of the human condition.they speak to themselves and each other in a language of their own making devoid of reality of mind and heart
Thomas Wiesner 2 days ago
Degenerate '' Art '' Exhibition
Mac Clift 3 days ago
Civilised countries have been hi-jacked by people whose only talent seems to be: the silly, the pointless, and the purely offensive!
HailAnts 3 days ago
Modern art is the same as fashion. It’s a self-contained circle-jerk of pretentious people. When they’re asked if they like something they all look at each other, waiting to guess other’s reactions before stating their own. They’re a community of ‘yes men’ who’s lack of actual thought or standards has made modern art impotent and meaningless.
Chocolate Wine 3 days ago
celebrate what is good
45-70 Henry 3 days ago
I like both arts.
constantinos schinas 3 days ago
as with all modern, because it can.
Michael Hinck 3 days ago
You are absolutely right!
Euphoric Atheist 3 days ago
18,000 people are shitty artists.
Lao tze 3 days ago
Art is bad just like the state of society it is in!
Michael Jensen 3 days ago
In Munster, Germany, they hold a sculpture project contest every 10 years. I staying in the city on my LDS Church mission during the one held in 2007. The winner is placed somewhere in the city for permanent decoration, and the others have miniatures made of them and are placed in a large lawn space in a park. There's a lot of modern art style in the contest, like a door frame with red and white vertical lines, a line of bricks played along the side of a building, and a blank tan wall section with a metal frame connected to it holding two blank canvases. Anyway, there were some people who placed a toilet out on the lawn mixed in with the miniatures. People were talking pictures of it, believing it was an actual art project. It was there for like 3 days before it was realized it didn't belong there. My missionary companion told me about just before I arrived how he and his old companion were taking a look into a hole in a the sidewalk from construction. A guy came up beside them looking into the hole as well, and asked them, What is it? They looked at each other and grinned, then answered, It's art! The guy was like, Really!? Cool! Took pictures of the hole like it was an art piece and left. When people can't tell the difference between a construction site, toilet, and an art piece, there is a big problem with our society's idea of art!
Alvin Prettyman 3 days ago
thanks for posting. I renounce modern art in the name of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
Woken One 4 days ago
But that's why it is so good! Art must always mutate and explore new dimensions. You are clearly missing the point of art by putting in a scale of good or bad. The scale is more of the effectiveness.
Heyward Shepherd 4 days ago
If that last “Masterpiece” is art then I can hook you up with any number of dry wallers that are geniuses.
be kimbal 4 days ago
A lot of the decline in art also has to do with the fact that gifted people no longer gravitate towards art. During the renaissance, there were more talented people working as artists, then there are today. Talented people today tend to become inventors and engineers or doctors, or who make impacts on society in other areas. Modern art is just like modern architecture. In the past, people designed and built mind blowing, complex buildings that were works of art. Today, most buildings are boring mixtures of glass, steel and concrete.
Jim Alexander 4 days ago
That a significant number of viewers have responded negatively toward this video and defend the display (even prominence) of literal crap in museums only shows how far our culture has fallen.
Jim Alexander 4 days ago
The only people who would defend crap as art (and there are many as evidenced in the comments below) are those who clearly couldn't produce a genuine, truly talented work of art themselves. Hence, their incessant efforts to lower the bar until there is no bar and the garbage they produce is accepted by people who couldn't recognize talent if their lives depended upon it.
Jim Alexander 4 days ago
If the product doesn't sell, it won't be made. Very true. Sadly, however, there is an overabundance of persons with no taste who purchase crap: The Leftist (and usually very rich) elite -- those who arrogantly look down upon everyone else as too ignorant and uncivilized to recognize art , genius or whatever else they're calling it as of this moment. (They also like to change the definition of words with alarming frequency, so who knows what it will be called before I click the comment button at the end of this post.)
Sarah Trachtenberg 4 days ago
I agree with one part at least: isn't the quality of bad art kind of the fault of the audience/consumers? If people weren't accepting or lauding bad art, it wouldn't make it.
Real Heel Ryan 4 days ago
10 million for a rock? Screw law school, whose up for some digging?
Marady Mon 4 days ago
Nowadays, people refer to anything as art. Even acting immodest is art to some people. When I think of art, I think of the bas reliefs on Cambodia's Angkor Wat, street art & graffiti murals.
Nick Blank 4 days ago
i love it when ancient faggots like this try to derive quality from expressionism when usually there really isn't. All it sounds like is your against any form of art that isn't realism
Pink Lady 4 days ago
I am a traditional artist here. Thanks for sharing.
JustMeNoOther 4 days ago
Personal expression = Mediocrity
Jack G 4 days ago
Most of Piccaso are just pure bad, and in no ways pretty or anything if i were to critique it, and no one can tell me other wise because beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. I dont want to learn about ur cubism.
de hash 4 days ago
You have to pay ME for visit any modern art museum.
YouTube Guy 5 days ago
I fully agree with the points made. But there's one largely ignored section of art that has nurtured truly incredible art: video games. Look up the concept arts for most games. You are bound to come across numerous wonderful works of art. Look at the art inspired by video games. Again, you will see some breathtaking fan art there. Same goes for music. Some of the best music I have ever heard in my life is made for games.
Blake Hale 5 days ago
I can never see why a painting that is LITERALLY WHITE be sold for something like a million dollars, that is not art, that is the lack of motivation or creativity, I am an artist at heart.
Srinivas Pakalapati 5 days ago
Modern art is self loathing on canvass.
yohei72 5 days ago
I gave up when the speaker did the old ew, poopoo and lady parts! routine about Chris Ofili's Holy Virgin Mary, at about 2:50. Ofili's art is quite beautiful by most common aesthetic standards, as a quick Google image search will show you. But he's anathema to people of a certain political and religious bent because of the 20-year-old controversy over this single work.
Johnny K 5 days ago
Cause some of today's artist think they have talent - basically wiping their arses and calling it a masterpiece
MidNightStudios 6 days ago
18k people still thinks the emperor has clothes on.
Jackson Elmore 6 days ago
I hate works on both extremes. I hate virtuosic work but I also hate extremely ‘lazy’ work too. My favorite art is something I know the creator loves, and clearly has a passionate effort in it, it doesn’t have to be a great technical feat, but it can be. I just want something that moves me. Some atonal noises masturabtory music moves me, but so does Bach’s mass in B minor, but overall I like the in betweens such as Bob Dylan or the Stooges or Kanye West or John Coltrane
Isaiah Stewart 6 days ago
Gov funded Jackson Pollock to show our Avant gaurde in the global spectrum. If you think of it artist were the one who spoke truth and if the institutions celebrate rubbish it keeps the people asleep.
CatsRCool 6 days ago
Seems like video games and cartoons are the only pure form of art left!
DaB34st //TV\\ 6 days ago
Modern art takes more talent. Classic artists just look and copy. modern artists use art to express emotion and create their own art, but conservatives are too ancient and to accept anything different. And no, art is personal expression. period. also there is bad modern art. and good modern art.
Dogs Sing 6 days ago
Because modern art is just a way to launder millions of drug money dollars.
Massimo Gigante 7 days ago
Modern art is the essence of human stupidity
Stew F 7 days ago
Not the complete story. You missed the previous drop, from pre-christian art and post christian (for about 1000 years). This has been covered in depth by many documentaries. (It also existed in muslim and other faiths)
sid98geek 7 days ago
Skillful art survives in the comic book and animation industry.
Petty white 7 days ago
I mean. art is subjective. I can agree with this somewhat bc whenever I go to an art museum, even if I can't understand the meaning of a piece, I can still appreciate it. I am missing that with some more modern works. HOWEVER, I do think that art itself has evolved and has the power to continue to evolve. I don't think we can always put a label on what is art and what is not art. NOT saying a dog licking it's own ass is art, but to say that something isn't art just because one cant identify what it is trying to say is not fair. Sure, art has been a certain way for a very long time, but times have changed, and so has the capacity for what can become art, which makes a lot of these so called ugly pieces actually quite beautiful. Painters like Basquiat and Pollock push boundaries of art. they add excitement and are just cool. New mediums of art are created every day nobody has the right to say what is and is not art.
Forte3645 7 days ago
Modern art is a disease, a virus, a cancer that has destroyed real art.
Cesar Cardenas 7 days ago
Modern art is about symbolism and interpretation no matter how elaborate or simple could be, but actually there is an Art Mafia who raise the price of crappy art just for business
George R 7 days ago
the left is nuts
George R 7 days ago
true
James Wentz 7 days ago
Jews!
Nick Altvater 7 days ago
modern art is just shitposting on canvases
Francesco Bergonzini 7 days ago
Art reflect the word that we are living. We don't live every more in a word that need to encourage beauty of perfection trough art. Today art have became a lot of about the idea and the think behind the creation. Art today make you think and take position with or against it. Art today want you to think and open eyes, because we live in a word that we don't really see. I study art and i think that modern is very difficult to understand and not for everyone. I hope to work for classical and antique museum or gallery, to explain art to everyone.I hope word will give me that opportunity.it's very hard.
Zombie Returns 7 days ago
Never liked Jackson Pollock's work. Can't understand those who do.
bricology 8 days ago
It's pretty well accepted amongst art historians that what really killed off high representational art was the invention of the camera. Before then, artists could make a good living with portraiture, landscapes, still lifes, etc., but once a camera could capture a likeness or a scene for a fraction of the cost to the consumer, the financial value of painting took a nosedive, and artists had to either get on-board with modernism and its endless quest for novelty, or fade away. And the second part of that new reality was that when cameras were pressed into service in depicting things that were horrible (say, photojournalists' pictures of soldiers who had been gassed in WWI), these images had such a riveting impact on viewers that artists felt the pressure to compete with the camera by attempting to produce work that was ever more visually arresting, topical, and socially relevant. One way they did so was to reinvent the artist as a shaman with special insight.
bricology 8 days ago
01:26 -- the academy duh BOW-ARTS ? This guy's an artist and he teaches painting, but he doesn't know that the most famous academy in art history is pronounced academy deh BOZE-ART ?!
Ivona Cvitic 8 days ago
Stupid! If this video was about science it would be equal to those videos about flat Earth. Full of mistakes, and if this guy was an actual professor he would understand the difference between Modern and Contemporary art!! Please do your own research and don't trust this video! Art is not meant to be pretty, that is so superficial, art is supposed to MEAN something and these pieces that you are talking about have a CONTEXT that you didn't even mention!! If you think art is about being beautiful, I am sorry but you are then such a shallow person.
Alfred Christanto 8 days ago
I think a good grafitti is art.
Yuan Tronz 8 days ago
Because of the self appointed (((critics))) perverting the West just like they did in Germany.
BlueJayTay Pokemon 9 days ago
Your delusional
B- Rand 9 days ago
Well graffiti is actually very stunning, there are artists making beautiful murals but I think when you mean grade you mean people writing their gang name or something like that
Vasily Krushev 9 days ago
I think modern “art” is just a pretentious circle jerk. The same people who run around asking for imaginary rights from the society but never once contribute any responsibility to that society they’re feeding of.
tombstone5860 9 days ago
I agree with most of his statements, but I seen plenty of graffiti style art that's tasteful and actually required skill. I don't endorse vandalism, but I believe graffiti is more than writing your name on a wall.
Buddy hirshfield 9 days ago
Art is a judgment but you know what when you see it
Jamie Thunder 9 days ago
18.381 people are Post Modern Art douches who can't draw, paint or sculpt so they over compensate by creating shit, taking pictures and call themselves Artists
James Livingstone 9 days ago
As far as I’m concerned, if a piece of artwork doesn’t impress you immediately and you have to spend a lot of time convincing yourself that it’s good then it’s not good art. It doesn’t deserve to be called art.
John Fuller 9 days ago
also. rauchenberg is a genius. just throwing that out there.
John Fuller 9 days ago
lol graffiti can be genius. look at David Cho. his work has as much artistic value (i.e. realism) as the old masters.
Παύλος Νάστος 9 days ago
Finally someone said it!
wong 10 days ago
Basically, because you are an uncultured =yob, with pretensions.
Hubert Lerch 10 days ago
When juice turn to culture.
m A 10 days ago
as an art gallery owner', i think exactly like you. i am working with real artists. i dont fall for one dot on a page kind of art . but i can honesly say that the new generation of artists have a lot of respect to clasic art and they are doing great mix.
petre Tepner 10 days ago
People were asking the same question in the 14th century, in virtually every century, come to think of it.
priyeshxkb 10 days ago
This is such a nonsense. Today, there are literally hundreds and thousands of people who paint stuff like that he is talking about, only that they don't work with oil paints but with and on computers. If art only counts when it is done with a specific set of tools, rules and subjects, then it hardly qualifies as it, as art is something inherently free of any limitations. What this guy shockingly doesn't see is that art offers the freedom to be as accurate as reality, but also as abstract as your heart's content wishes. We already have reality and each and everyone of us has the capability through digital cameras to capture the banal nature of it. Those people he is citing, to a large extent, lived in times where the camera wasn't invented. If it was, then the Mona Lisa maybe would have been a photograph of some woman today nobody cares about.
Tyler Harris 10 days ago
It's so sad and troubling we live in a society where an artist can make a single dot on a canvas and it's praised and sold for millions of dollars. And the argument of the difference is you haven't done it or if it's so easy why aren't you doing it and selling it for millions? is the most pretentious and stupid argument I've ever freaking heard. Art used to be about both skill AND meaning. Now with the idea of no standards in the art world, skill is thrown out the window, and something like taking a photo of a pile of trash gets praise for being about the dangers of pollution or some rubbish and displayed prominently in fancy pants museums. Hopefully art goes through another phase and swings back to actually requiring skill.
diego herrera 10 days ago
art's purpose for early human life was about capturing a scene. now that art is outdone by the camera so to speak, art is now the most ineffective way to capture an image. art now is subjective and is expressive. this video in my opinion is as saying that music from back in the day was so much more better than it is now even though this man obviously has not dug that far into our culture. i'll tell you there are a great many sum of artist out there really impacting art locally and even nationally. thou are cherry picking and quite honestly bitching about a medium which i feel as if you have not contributed if you really quite dislike it so.
Sam Matous 10 days ago
If modern art was as easy as it is made out to be in this video, then why doesn't everyone just splatter paint on a canvas and become a millionaire? It's because modern art does require skill, and genuinely has meaning and substance. While it may not require skill to simply slap on paint, it does to give such a painting or other art form meaning and expression. If you read interviews with modern artists where they explain their pieces, you start to get a better understanding of how not only is the painting the art, but the process of making the painting is too. To simply dismiss it based on how difficult it looks to make seems ignorant. If its not for you, its not for you, but to dismiss all modern art, or point out the extremely bad and incredible pointless works, simply because it doesn't look technically proficient is insulting to artists who dedicate their time and effort to creating something that hold tremendous value to them and others.
alex droogy 10 days ago
Art is humanities first Entertainment Industry. Like music, acting, and sports, it provides no contribution of worth or value. It's over-rated and like the drug trade, makes rich, influential, and powerful people out of weak and dysfunctional riff-raff.
STC 10 days ago
Because artists can draw like pictures much easier now. You can only stand out by being creative !
Dank Hill 10 days ago
Look, I would never argue that Jackson Pollock is more talented than Michelangelo, but their works are both capable of making the viewer feel something. I look at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and see a beautiful and vivid depiction of the story of creation from the Bible, and I look at Number 1 1949 and see a colorful and visceral display of human passion and emotion. It's not as objective as looking at Adam touching the hand of God and saying, yup that's Adam alright, but that's what I like about it; everyone can see something different. Sure, the Sistine Chapel alone took truckloads more talent and effort to create than Pollock's entire oeuvre, but that doesn't make Pollock's work bad.
Carol Wood 10 days ago
Thank you!
Studyio 10 days ago
people in the comment section? ok, they do not spend their time reading, but literally, who let this guy be a university professor?
Bathtub Barracuda 10 days ago
SNAP! This is going into my cringe compilation.
Julie Cho 11 days ago
Im an oil painting artist and struggled with same issue. Can't agree more! Some modern art products are even witchcraft.
Priteesh Hanumante 11 days ago
What if in the future today's shitty art is viewed the same way we view pre XX century art?
Keadin Stayer 11 days ago
Wahhh, some people don't agree with my opinion