The « Woaw” Art or « Wha’”Art is the art of showing off, the grand gesture, the « eyeful » performance, art as an end for itself. The easy subjugation, at the expense of consistency or history, even sincerity.
I read 100 times the words « the artist reclaims space » or « re-direct our perception » that does not mean much except from describing the process of expression and reception by cheap verbiage which seems reproduced from exhibition to exhibition.
Many art-pieces today are intended with immediate impact that leave us a feeling of frustration, waiting for more, like a theoretical significance, even modest. It burns without smoke, it is majestic without scope, shiny without sparkle, intrusive for air, not for the mind. Take for example the famous dog of Jeff Koons at Versailles or the gigantic installation of Boltanski at the Paris Grand Palais in tribute to the Auschwitz’s victims. I do not reject the principle in itself, but the media and conceptual fallout are totally exaggerated to me.
Did anyone gave the idea to the creators that every man is a messenger and that everything has a meaning? Did Art drowned itself in his own infinite? A BMX track installed at the Grand Palais < See photos and videos here > is just as presumptuous and grandiose as a Boltanski installation. Does it has less right to be seen as a meaning prism? An grounded transcendence? A matter of delight? This is what is wanted: delight without a cause. I therefore propose to classify this type of art as « Woaw Art » which may illustrate the instant-surprise with no future in both French and English. As a bonus the term « Wha’” as the shortened « What » can replace “Woaw” to indicate the visitor’s surprise, in search of meaning and remaining unsatisfied. It avoids the locution “WTF” Art which might have beeen (un)appropriate. The “Woawart” will then bring delight to easy audiences, cocktail-riders rather than gold diggers, captive souls and money makers.
Freedom of action, feeling and thought is precious, everyone should be able to create and appreciate art without the weight of censorship, mocking criticism and respect for renowned painters. But when you see that hysteria becoming mainstream, the bad faith becoming a reference and the artificiality being celebrated, it makes you want to launch an alarm shoutout, which would otherwise turn into bitterness and undertones, resentment and circumvention. There are all levels of income, there are all levels of consciousness, it would be nice if they met more often.
As in other fields (television, construction…) funding support aberrations. The infernal machine is launched and tongues get bind to fate. « So be it ». Decisions become definitive. Time erase brave things or thoughts, forget heroes, geniuses, some other times, it promote scammers or aesthetic horrors. This may be what brang someday the “master of emptyness” Andy Warhol. It seems that a schoolboy prank of presenting soup cans and laundry packs as Art has become an authentic institution nowadays. He denounced a wrong-doing, it became a pose, then a process, now a full-time job (providing concepts out of thin-air). The idea as the action has become an end in itself, set in the stone of Art history. Everywhere you turn in American art publications, arises soon or later the name of Andy Warhol. What I do myself here today, continuing a downward spiral that he himself might not have denied.
For that matter, I suggest, with a pretentious malice and a fatalistic lucidity, the creation of a think tank named Sick of Andy Warhol (S.A.W.), a move to Resist Andy Warhol (R.A.W.), break the Joy Andy Warhol (J.A.W.) and the Love Andy Warhol (L.A.W.). All those who were, at least once, upset by the importance of artificiality in Art, recycled protests, celebration of intellectual scams and pompous verbiage, please join this group, without hate but resolved to clear the way.
PS: Next time I’ll tell you about my Woody Allen Rant (W.A.R.)
Does a work of Art must have a story, a start and an end? A justification? A goal? Or the right to create is an no limit absolute? If there are limits, these are the viewer’s, those he fixes to himself (as much as he can… some forms of art such as graphiti literally storm the eyes) it runs out what repels him or what he does not seem justified. Well we can’t deny that the aesthetic world has its share of influencers, whistleblowers, investors who sculpt the market offer and therefore the « collective feeling ». And then pictorial trends and financial value of the artworks. Are the fluctuations of supply and demand due to intention or conformity? Eternal question without an answer. However, we can clearly identify breaches of trust, intentionnal excesses and potential provocations. What we can expect from an artwork, from an artist is a certain thickness, a truth (raw or not) who lives the work, not the speech that comes with it, which is sometimes an invention or a blatant delirium. Storytelling is not enough. It works if it’s serving an authenticity. This is perhaps what distinguishes Art of decoration?