Does Art Die?

I just read a post on an aesthetics discussion list in which the writer says, "works of art die."

He continues to explain that at some point (my paraphrazing here), works of art are extremely relevant and inspiring. Once, "decoded" or analyzed to death, we might lose interest in them.

Then again, do truly great works of art ever die? Don’t they continue to occupy our interest because of their complexity? In other words, we keep returning to them because we haven’t yet figured them out. We’re still intrigued, still digging up new questions and interpretations.

What does this mean for the contemporary artist? What criteria need to be used?

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1 comment to Does Art Die?

  • In thinking of works of art and their death, I just don’t think they can “die”. They may have a limited “art spirit” whereby the novelty wears off or interest in it withers, but if a true life force moves through the work, that will always become apparant in the piece. Also, if the spirit of the work has the power to intrigue but not deliver, then that is what becomes apparent at some point, and may be viewed as a death of sorts, because the interest of viewers dies down. Like flirtations of pop stars, and the fame of celebrities, there may only be a flash of something to offer in the first place. Flowers bloom and die, but art is not moving through its own life in a cycle. It can only preserve the impulse that manifested it in the first place, a kind of trace record, or memory record. So good for us all that artists have lots of great memories and imagery to share.