Our world, according to popular Indian mythology, popped into existence when ‘Narayan’ came out of his eternal slumber, resting on his coil-bed of Vasuki. All the Abrahamic religions believe that the universe was created by God when he said, “Let there be light.” The plausible interpretation of these and other myths like Greek, Nordic, Roman etc. leads to the conclusion that initially, there was a dark age when human consciousness was eclipsed. The creation of the world out of nowhere indicates the development of human reason, inquisitiveness and the realization of self.
It is said that curiosity killed the cat. But, in our case, sticking our nose into the convoluted mysteries of nature around us gave birth to the first discipline—Philosophy. Aesthetics is the philosophy of art, which appreciates the creation and beauty in it. This exquisite relation between artist, art and philosophy is elucidated in the most discreet way in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’. This tale portrays the life of Dorian Gray, who is ensnared by the vices of extreme Hedonism. His conscience is locked in his portrait which bears lashes of his misdeeds and time while he enjoys his eternal youth, unlike his picture. Fortunately, I shall say, his confrontation with his rotten painting breaks the enchantment and he meets his Karma. Eventually, his painting is seen to have been restored to his captivating countenance in its prime. He suffers his judgment and airs away like vapor, leaving no trail of his existence.
In the celebrated preface of this work, the author says, “It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.” Art is the medium through which the artist and the admirer or critic starts the journey of introspection and enlightenment. The more complicated art becomes, the more it becomes vulnerable to be judged. The contemporary paintings of Pablo Picasso glare into the eyes of one’s soul and forces one to ask a simple question i.e. Are we ready to pass on this world full of agony and melancholy to our generations. Modern artists have mixed all the styles. There exists no style, one can say. Minimalism, Expressionism, Abstract paintings have proved that there is no limit of manner or school to a creative mind.
Scientifically, the realization of one’s surroundings was a result of the application of grey cells, which evolved over the years by the development of favored surroundings. With time, the depiction of one’s sub-conscious on the canvas became the subject matter of psychology.
The vivid Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh illustrates the distortion in pre-conceived perceptions of thought against the definitions of beauty established in Romanticism. Similarly, Monograms facilitate and take the liberty to take this idea to a whole new level. The creation of the mind and the universe is the same. Both are mysterious, and hence, dangerous. These works have an effect on the mind like a valiant gladiator pierces through the depths of dark spaces of the subconscious where people seldom visit. In this course, they often shoulder the disturbance which comes with it. An artist is left alone with his thoughts and his demons to devour him, and we cherish the intricacies of his expression with awe.
Contemporary paintings invoke the spectator to find the beauty and the beast in the life which he has created for himself and for others. Therefore, art can’t be weighed on the scales of morality. There is nothing ethical or unethical in the depiction of wretched or wreathed. They row the same boat for an artist. Modern artists have made art accessible and identifiable to the masses. The simple yet complex paintings hinting at cubism and surrealism can only be epitomised as:-
With the stroke of a brush, having a hairless
A furious red beneath a calm blue caress
Modern Art and Paintings have opened vistas for new debates and dialogues. They give us the feeling of a rebel trying to gain attention and applause for the efforts s/he has been doing in making opinions of ‘nobodies’ count. It gives us the scope to introspect and interpret ourselves and other animate or inanimate things. The world is witnessing a change both internally and externally. Contemporary paintings have shattered the pre-existing dogmas of styles and pedagogy in paintings. All the styles are yours, and you belong to all the styles.