On transgression in art

December, 05; 2022. By
On this occasion we come to talk about a very "typical topic" today, it is transgression in art, that is, the tendency, inserted within what is known as "avant-garde art", of trying to break an existing convention in the art world. A recent example could be throwing fried tomato on the glass that protects a Van Gogh painting, as has happened recently in some museums and with various works. In general, and to keep it short, although this publication is not prone to promoting the specific prohibition of anything in particular, transgression in the art world is considered something indifferent by this magazine, that is, it is neither an artistic merit nor is it worth noting either.

And we expand: art has its rules, some can be broken, others cannot. To give an extreme example, we could, if we wanted to, take the figure of a Catholic saint and put him in an unseemly situation and wow! There we would have a transgressive work. This is potentially so easy to do that, as we say, it has no merit, in the eyes of this publication, nor any interest.

However, for centuries there have been artists who have joined this trend, be they painters, writers, film directors, or performers, as they are now called. Thus, Manet, in the mid-nineteenth century, saw fit -or ill, or simply indifferently for this magazine- to paint the painting known as "The lucheon on the grass", which can be considered the first example of this transgressive current. In it, two "gentlemen", two men, dressed, were shown having lunch with a naked "lady", almost in the center of the painting. As we have already said on another occasion in this medium, Oh! Let's tear our clothes! What audacity! Anyway. Seen in the current era, some time after it was painted (approximately 170 years), we appreciate this effort as anachronistic, since the pendulum of morality has swung and in the eyes of the current prevailing feminism, this painting represents an offense to the women. Gee! That is to say, what was transgressive, becomes outdated, seen that effort from the perspective of the present (which will later become the past and start again).

So to speak, the rules of art are very classic, and everything that is not within them is transgressive or outside of tradition and art itself tends to expel it naturally over time. In this medium we prefer, as the reader is surely intuiting, to use the available resources to create a good work of art, that is, to write a good script, make a beautiful song, a beautiful painting... And work to offer the best point of view within these parameters, because although they seem limited to us, from a bird's eye view we can see and appreciate that as the course of history progresses, new and very interesting points of view appear within the integrating artistic trend, that is, that place of art where certain rules apply and do not try to transgress.

As we have previously commented at the beginning of the text, the objective of this publication is not to prohibit transgression in art, knowing that by itself it cannot prohibit it, but doesn't want to promote said prohibition either. In other words, art is free, as the reader already knows, and any artist can do whatever he wants, knowing that if he transgresses too much, it is possible that he may put his personal integrity at risk, as has sometimes happened. We live in a world where second chances exist, and that is desirable, but we cannot avoid that each one is responsible for his actions and that each action has a certain reaction, they are forces of nature and so it happens and it will happen. But for the purposes of this publication, the transgression is not an artistic merit, it is rather an action that falls within the indifferent.

Now we are going to mention, and may those mentioned forgive me if they ever read this article for naming them without asking for too much permission, the opposite of transgression, that is, art, in this case cinematographic, well done, such as the Indiana Jones movies created by George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and John Williams in the musical section. All the ingredients that come together in this cinematographic work are within what is allowed, and yet, the artistic experience is outstanding, excellent, one of the best. Therefore, I would like to send a message to future artists that they better dedicate themselves to writing a good script than to throw tomato sauce on a Van Gogh painting.

Other film directors have tried -successfully- to transgress, such as the Spanish Luis Buñuel, who with his characters of nuns mixed with prostitutes left his mark on the art world that for some will be sublime but that in the eyes of this publication, and already falling too much into repetition, it is indifferent.

So, summarizing, we end the article, as is customary, just as we started it: for this medium, transgression in art does not suppose a merit, it is rather indifferent, but we do not want to prohibit it either, everyone do whatever they can.
Mentioned links in works