it should not be surprising that after meeting ten contemporary artists they all look same. they all like the same stuff, know the same people, go to same places, talk in the same way, dress in same clothes…
one would think that contemporary art is a creative activity so they have to be creative.
problem is they all make money from selling contemporary art or whatever it is they try to sell while they mingle within contemporary art. no one really wants to make money selling hamburgers while they produce art.
so since they have to sell contemporary art they have to do what buyers want. first time they sell something, like get some little cash for it, they think this is good and they will keep on doing it will cash comes in.
its basic psychology:
1) if you are rewarded for something you must be doing something right, and
2) do not fix what is not broken – if it gets you rewards and no punishment then keep on doing it.
one of least creative contemporary art scenes i have seen in south africa. they just pretty much copy what they see in media like magazines or tv, mostly european stuff or whatever, or they do whatever europeans might expect them to do. and they sell very early.
by selling very early, before the age of 30-35, they get rewarded for something which is still in experimental stage. unfortunately reward makes them think they figured it out and then they stick to it so they can keep making money.
usually what they sell is a trend based art. if it follows a trend it means its quite late actually. the whole point is to set a trend, not to follow it.
luckily almost no one really has an idea what good art is, or what art is in the first place.
most people just go for whatever is in traditional mass media or expensive.
and contemporary artists can get away with making really shit stuff.
how to choose recognize good art? it has to offer something new. to push a limit.
of course its hard to enjoy old art cause its usually very boring, it is about pushing outdated and to us bizarre limits. like why is van gogh so interesting now when pretty much everybody can pain like that. he offers nothing new but historical benefit, that mind switch.
there is also art which is just so above everything, just pure beauty. which does not change anything but has absolute value.
thats hard to find.
most contemporary artists are not able to get to any of these. they have to be liked by the buyers and most buyers do not know much.
in short – contemporary art is an extremely corrupt system.
it is always funny to me to talk about socialist or african governments as corrupt when there are these extremely corrupt systems with enormous turnovers (art was, by some estimate, most profitable investment of 20th century). there is no quality control in art, it just bullshit, 0,001% has any real value.
imagine if other economies / industries were based on same quality standards (or lack of) – the world would explode after 24 hours.
im a contemporary artist as well :)