“Frank” – Chuck Close, acrylic on canvas

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Why does this post get so many downvotes? Art is open for debate, right?
Anyway

> I don’t like a lot of the art of the renaissance because it’s just aesthetically pretty without having any deeper significance than showing a picture of Jesus and Mary.

There IS a deeper significance to it, but you have to see it in context. Understanding the Renaissance, considering the new philosophy of ‘man = centre of the universe’, it’s understandable why they painted so realistically. God wasn’t a punisher anymore, it was the Founder, and man was given the great, magnificent task to lead the world. Painting biblical scenes realistically in a theatrical fashion, thanks to the development of technical improvement at the time (even more during the Baroque), was a good way to compromise the love of god, and at the same time celebrating the ‘greatness of mankind’.
The great compositions and use of color result in beautiful pieces of art. (but again, understandable in context)

> I typically dislike landscapes for the same reason

aw c’mon. Check out van Goghs or Monets landscapes for example. They’re symphonies of color. The ‘deeper meaning’ you’re looking for in many landscapes is the atmosphere the artist creates. Every painting creates an atmosphere, and landscapes (a depiction of what we ‘see’ when we literally look at the world, and the feeling it makes us get) are very effective in doing so.

> If you want to make a claim like, “Let’s go back to making pretty stuff,” in my opinion, you should have an opinion why.

I agree. For me, personally, painting a hyperrealistic portrait anno 2013, is the same as a musician showing of his amazing technical skills. He’s being a virtuoso for the sake of being a virtuoso. He’s not making ‘music’ but merely showing off. He’s therefore putting himself as an artist above the art itself, which to me seems extremely pretentious and tasteless. I see fans going ‘omg, this guitarplayer is so sick, look at how he plays it’s awesome’.

Don’t get me wrong though, highly developed technical skills can be impressive, but if there’s no context, but merely a glorification of ones human capacities that are the consequence of *”the accomplishment of an artisan’s skill”* (hence that Cézanne quote), it’s dead to me.

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