BBC Radio 4 - A Point of View
Here I reflect on the difference between original art that is genuine, sincere and truthful, but hard to achieve, and the easier but fake art that appeals to many critics today. Original artists, from Beethoven and Baudelaire to Picasso and Pound tower above those contemporary artists whose pieces push fake emotion - and who, by focusing on avoiding cliche, end up cliches themselves.
Kitsch, creates the fantasy of an emotion without the real cost of feeling it. Some try being outrageously avant-garde, which can lead to a different kind of fake: cliche. So a new genre emerged: pre-emptive kitsch. Artists embraced kitsch and produce it deliberately to present it as a sophisticated parody. But is it art?
Real art has to have lasting appeal, and for that it needs three things: beauty, form and redemption. The production of such art, takes immense hard work and attention to detail, but it can give meaning to our modern lives and show love in the midst of doubt and desolation.