Where are the masters?

I often think about the artists (painters, sculptors, etc.) that changed the way we see the world. I enjoy reading about the people who stood out in the history of art and wonder why there aren’t any more left. People may argue there are some artistic masters alive, but I’d have to disagree.

I remember Georgia O’Keefe and Salvador Dali passing away in the 80s. Though I don’t think of Warhol as an artist master, he surely was a cultural icon… I remember his passing as well. Jean Michel Basquait, who I oddly enough met when I first moved to NYC, was a rising star when he died at the age of 27 in 1988.

The late 19th Century saw the rise of modern art and there were a few people that the world saw as visionaries; Francis Bacon, Franz Kline, Willem DeKooning, to name a few. That period in time saw a huge shift in what was perceived as visual art and many new genres and directions were born.

But what about now?

But when we think of true giants of the art world, I think we are missing them sorely. David Byrne wrote a wonderful blog about the state of modern art and I think he has truly hit the nail on the head.

Amazingly enough, there was a time when Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael lived at the same time and often crossed paths. Michelangelo and Leonardo lived fairly long lives, Raphael died tragically at the age of 37 and was considered to be an equal to the two older masters. Between Florence, Italy being the cultural hub of Italy and the Vatican being the major patron of the arts, the three men crossed paths many times. Raphael was employed by the Pope while Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel.

The city of Florence commissioned Leonardo and Michelangelo to paint to two competing masterpieces… which I’ve already mentioned here.

My hope is that art becomes more important. I’ve spoken often about the beauty in the world and that we all should stop and take a look more often. Let’s find the masters of today. Maybe it’s a few of the people I’ve mentioned; Barry Jazz Finnegan, CJ Hendry or Cicero d’Avila.

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