Blog: The Seduction of Art

Christine Alfery

Posted on September 30 2019

Sisyphus-On-The-Beach-Sarasota by Christine Alfery

Featured image: Sisyphus At the Museum – Sarasota Circus Museum

Should art re-imagine or imagine an idea? As an artist, viewer  or lover of art, should art seduce you? As an artist, what seduces you to the extent that you want to recreate/re-imagine it and use it? Is that what art is all about? Seduction? If an object can be used and reused over and over should it be called art? When does the idea get old and lose traction in the art environment?

If art is thought of as a precious gem, a diamond in the rough,  glitter in the sand, or a golden vein in the earth, then the idea/ concept of art should never be old and should never lose traction. Both seduction and idea are primary elements in art. Idea is individualized and  seduction is definitely part of a collective.

Re-imagined ideas that are seductive have to be examined for their power structures because they are, for the most part, filled with collective ideas and are not unique, one of a kind, and  original art object. A re-imagined idea is like taking a diamond in the rough and cutting and polishing it. While there is beauty in both, the difference is that one is created to seduce the other. It’s in its natural glory.

Seduction has many forms, but two prominent ones of discourse are the social and the economical. Once you realize that you are being seduced, your antenna should go up and you should be asking questions about this form. If it is an art object and represents a creator’s social and political passions and concerns, then the question needs to be asked,  “Is this art or is this visual commentary?”

Art today is more visual commentary, a visual history so to speak, rather than an idea. This shift represents the loss of uniqueness and originality in a work of art. We have lost the diamond in the rough and gained a stone polished and set in a jeweler’s case that has become a commodity.

Art as a commodity, can art survive as commodity? Artnet Magazine believes so. To follow: a review of the recent issue of Artnet Magazine and “Art As Industry.” 

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