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I never got art until I started doing it myself. The internalization of the creative and technical processes of it are, IMO, crucial to "getting" it.

And like one might expect, I still only really "get" art that has a close enough analog to the work I do. So... sculpture? Right out.

And like others have brought up, art is contextual. One fundamental fallacy I see people make is that all pieces of work need to be conceptually complete and self-contained. A lot of good art can only be appreciated in aggregate.

FWIW, I don't "get" any of the art in the article either, save for the photograph of the woman. It's important to know that for photography geeks, it's often not about the subject, but rather about geometry, tonality, color, and more abstract notions. After all, there's a huge genre of photography dedicated to the everyday and the banal, whose only real claim to anything is beauty in composition and light.

As with all art though, there are territories that are incredibly facile, and therefore tend to be heavy-handed. Pictures of kissing couples, that "ring in a book with the shadow of a heart" thing wedding people use all the time, portraits of the homeless, etc etc. Stuff that's conceptually and technically been done to death, and IMO makes the artist appear more self-absorbed than anything else. Likewise, my gut reaction to the "money against the vagina" shot is "how obvious and ham-fisted", but that's just me. It's a me-too "exploration" of a topic that's been explored to death, without adding anything new to the concept or discourse.

In general, if you want art that you might find personal connection in, look at artists without an ego the size of the moon, and run far, far away from ones that do.

"run far, far away from ones that do."

Like Picasso, Dali, Caravaggio and Michelangelo?

Spot on. As much as I dislike arrogant people, some of them are competent. A huge ego is not a good indicator if someone is competent or not. I can endure someone like Dali, because he made works I find very pleasant to look at.

Well said. One of the first sculptures I was really moved by was by Antony Gormley. You should have a peek at his work if you want to dig some sculpture.

Just googled him, and even though a lot of his stuff seems "modern" or "abstract" or whatever, it doesn't look like totally random crap that anyone could have thrown together. I can appreciate abstract art that is open to interpretation, but a lot of "art" nowadays is not even that. It's just...it's like a bunch of people sitting around trying to one-up one another with weirder and weirder band names, but they never actually form any bands and none of them play any instruments.

"After all, there's a huge genre of photography dedicated to the everyday and the banal, whose only real claim to anything is beauty in composition and light."

Yes, but I think the major difference between this and most modern artists that you'll find in galleries and museums is that photographers are far more likely to admit that their work is nothing but beauty in composition and light, without piling on claims of symbolic meaning or attributing some abstract concept.

I'm mostly indifferent to the work of most modern installation artists; it's the self-importance of it all that I bristle at.

But we also need to understand the struggle of those modern artists. They don't want to do just "composition and light" because they deem that kind of work as designing. And they didn't go to art school to learn to be a designer. I tend to believe that most of them are still failing, but maybe sometime somewhere someone could achieve something beyond just design.

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