Thursday, January 6, 2011
Fanatical Devotion: Where Have All the Passionate Artists Gone?
Amongst the weaponry of the Spanish Inquisition were such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope, or at least that’s how the Monty Python sketch put it. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition’s level of fanaticism when it comes to art today, but Andrew Baker in a recent issue of The Atlantic thinks it should. After taking a stroll through The Cloisters in New York City with a friend, Baker came away thinking that what today’s art needs is some of that old time religion—a passionate devotion “[n]ot to God, but to the work itself,” Baker writes. Baker raises a good question about the seeming indifferent cool of contemporary art, but I think his inquisition of all contemporary art is just as misguided as the one the Pythons spoofed. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Fanatical Devotion."