Has art gotten too weird?

ANTIGONISH (CUP) — The age old question of what defines art will never have a black and white answer; it’s subjective and can literally be any expression of skill or imagination. Some artists take their expression and intent for emotional reaction to a whole new level. This movement of weird art can evoke feelings of appalling to brilliant, and everything in between.

Is there a point where its just not art anymore? When a piece by an artist crosses the line into disturbing the message can be lost behind the grotesque image or action. For example, a woman named Millie Brown created her “art” by drinking coloured milk and barfing upon a canvas. Brown – also known as The Vomit Artist—has mastered the art of regurgitation. By the way, her spewed-on canvases have sold for thousands of dollars. In case you were asking if it could get any weirder, one of her works, titled “Nexus Vomitus,” was accompanied by acoustic music and the voices of opera singers.

A freelance artist named Missmonster makes fetus sculptures you can buy as gifts for the friend with everything. Nothing says happy birthday like a pig fetus. Her other work includes jewelry, figurines and skulls. Some of her figures are cute looking little monsters; others are what nightmares are made—and, worst of all, some are a mix of the two.

Japanese artist Ai Hasegawa was inspired by the looming fear that the world is becoming overpopulated and soon there will not be enough food for everyone. Hasegawa came up with a foolproof solution to this problem—women should give birth to various animal species for eating. From this idea, her artistic representation was born. In one of her pieces, she poses with a shark between her legs as if it was just birthed by her. Hasegawa explains this idea as revolutionary because women will satisfy their desires for giving life while satisfying their nutritional needs. She also thinks if women gave birth to endangered species that it would save another population while we save our own human population.

Maybe this is just my opinion, but allowing any women to birth a creature just to have others eat it is completely appalling. I could also see this taking a turn for the worst. This sounds like a futuristic sci-fi horror. Imagine the feeling of having a shark grow inside of you, or—even more terrifying—if people were forced against their will to have these creatures grow inside of them.

Do these creations equal art? They are expressions, and they are creative. They usually draw a crowd, evoking emotions and reactions. Sure, by definition, I would say this is art. Its hard to imagine anything created not to be art. Just because something isn’t visually pleasing or causes feelings that aren’t happy and content doesn’t make it less than art.

In a way, I get it—any press is good press. Surely these artists are receiving quite a lot of press. Pretty art barely makes the cut these days and is found from book covers to hotel bathrooms. If you went to a gallery filled with scenes of flowers and gardens if would be visually satisfying, but I doubt you would run home and tell all your friends about it. The shock value makes it more alive, and brings viewers through the door. People watch horror movies for the same reason. It creates a feeling of being alive.

Editor’s note: This article was originally and erroneously credited to Rachel Pagdin. It was written by Rachel Revoy of The Xavieran. The Argosy offers its apologies to both for the error.

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