Aesthetic relativism is known by its “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” mentality, in which art is reduced to ‘personal expression’. “With each new generation, standards declined… until there were no standards,” notes artist Robert Florczak. “Without aesthetic standards, we have no way to determine quality or inferiority. Here’s a test I give my graduate students, all talented and well-educated. Please analyze this Jackson Pollack painting, and explain why it is good…”

Watch the video to see the results of the test.

Florczak continues (excerpted remarks included below):

“Not only has the quality of art diminished, but also the subject matter has gone from the transcendent to the trashy. Where once artists supplied their talents to scenes of substance and integrity, from history, literature, religion, mythology, et cetera, many of today’s artists merely use their art to make ‘statements’, often for nothing more than shock value.

Artists of the past also made statements at times. But never at the expense of the visual excellence of their work.

It’s not only artists who are at fault. It is equally the fault of the so-called ‘art community’: the museum heads, gallery owners, and the critics… It is they who champion graffiti and call it ‘genius’; promote the scatological and call it ‘meaningful’. It is they who, in reality, are the naked emperors of art. For who else would spend ten million dollars on a rock, and think it is art?

An art gallery, after all, is a business… if the product doesn’t sell, it won’t be made.

Let’s celebrate what we know is good, and ignore what we know is not.”