I just finished watching a documentary about Michelangelo, a master painter/sculptor/architect who’s work is still seen in the Sistine Chapel and elsewhere. It seems that his patrons often took a chance on him, giving him the freedom to create great works of art that were a little shocking at the time.
What got me thinking was how we still regard his works. They, along with works from other great masters, still have pride of place around the world. And rightly so. But I wonder how many modern masters we may be missing out on because we focus to much on the past. I read an article the other day (which I can’t find now) about how there are factories in China full of art students who paint fake masterpieces to be sold as reproductions. What great works could they be making if they weren’t wasting their time painting yet another Picasso destined to hang in our living rooms?
I wonder if our desire to have great works of art from the past is actually making it impossible to have great works of art in the present. How sad it would be if that was the case.