Dirty socks, inflatable footballs, sharks in formaldehyde, stuffed donkeys, stones scattered on the ground, and a lot of pornography and scat. Irreverence, nonsense and senseless amusement appear to be the new categories of contemporary art, where the market alone defines a work’s value and no aesthetic judgement is allowed. Today, the only thing that has a meaning is the artist’s brand which, aside from the end result, churns out art like rabbits produce their young, obeying the command of blind production and profit, while contemporary art museums, empty shells without content, authenticate the prices of these new “pieces of junk”. The only problem is that this new art aspires to being compared with traditional art, to engaging with the greats of the past. A new name would have to be found for it, a new category for a new taxonomy in which to place all those ugly, senseless and often badly made things that call themselves art.
Angelo Crespi has a name for these new works: sgunz As a disenchanted but competent viewer, he plunges the knife into today’s rotten system: critics, curators, gallerists, famous artists young and old, all victims and promoters of a self-perpetuating mechanism. Following the tried and tested school of thought extending from Robert Hughes to Jean Clair, he gives us a manual for survival in an ever-more intricate jungle; a lifeboat for anyone who has lost their bearings, for those who go against the current and still believe in art.
Real art, that is.