Post-Modern Art and Artists

This paper discusses the philosophy of art, especially post-modern art, and reviews the works of contemporary artists John Currin, Lucas Samaras, and others whose photographs are included in the “Only Skin Deep” exhibit.

This paper explains that artists of the postmodern tradition, including John Currin, Lucas Samaras, and the contributors to “Only Skin Deep”, utilize the presentation of beauty, the process of identity, the heritage of earlier eras in their representations of reality, and the label of postmodern through the auspices of critical questioning. The author points out that Lucas Samaras is a modern artist, utilizing the technology of the age in his art to produce a chaotic effect reminiscent of the surrealists and Dadaists. The paper relates that the paintings of John Currin are satire, seeing something from another perspective, sometimes inside-out and cynically, sometimes through the looking glass of humor, which often mocks social conventions, beliefs, and traditions.

Table of Contents
The Role of “Beauty”
Modern and Postmodern
John Currin
Lucas Samaras
“Only Skin Deep”
“Samaras also incorporates the use of fetishes, or aesthetic objects as props. Because the aesthetic object is defined through the shared social definition, the importance of the fetish increases as the scope of its communicability widens. He incorporates mixed media box constructions and the discards of normal life such as a carving set to present his images of self. He adds to these boxes the accouterments of embellishment – yarn, pins, paint, fake jewels, mirrors and rocks. The audience is compelled to ask, “What it all means and what, if anything, does it say about the modern self?”. He dwells not so much in the postmodern state of criticism as the modern presentation of questioning the future.”