Guy Tal • Shock And Awe

For many centuries, art’s primary role was to enrich the human experience and to help to answer the most profound of human concerns: how to properly live. So, what is art’s role today? Guy Tal has the story

The topic of purpose in art has been a contentious one in recent decades. Much like philosophy, for many centuries art’s primary role was to enrich the human experience and help to answer the most profound of human concerns: how to properly live. In those times the issue was not so much art’s purpose, but rather who got to decide what a worthwhile human experience was, resulting in long, dark periods where art (and philosophy) focused on religious iconography and stories from various scriptures. Things began to change during the Renaissance, when artists were afforded greater freedoms, though still focused on religious themes. In that sense, some consider the Renaissance not so much a period of important art, but as starting the trend for artists’ claim of yet greater freedoms to come, leading up to what we now term Modern Art.

Marked by increasing levels of abstraction and a no-holds-barred attitude towards the choice of subject matter, the advent of modern art not only liberated artists from constraints of style and subject, but also marked numerous important philosophical shifts. Among these is the concept that ...

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I am a full-time photographer, writer, and naturalist living and working in the Colorado Plateau – a scenic and diverse desert region of the western United States spanning an area larger than most countries and states.

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