From cryptic art to social commentary.

We often hear that art should not be something too easy to understand, or too quick to surrender to any explanation. That it should remain on the border of the unexplainable, of the mysterious, by putting the art viewer into a state of questioning, of never really being sure of its meaning or purpose.

As a matter of fact, it feels magical when you're never sure of the meaning of a work of art, when you come back to it and never stop asking questions or finding new ways of understanding it, this kind of relation that you have with things that you can never fully grasp.

This mystery around many works of art is something carefully maintained and used by a lot of successful artists, and that's what makes it so attractive : their magic, their mystery, their never-surrendering. As soon as you think you get it, then a new meaning comes to your mind. And another one. And so on, ever breeding in us new topics and new conversations, not only about the nature of art but also questions of deep philosophical nature.

This art that is a kind of magic, that elevates us and makes us think, has actually become quite a standard - and so should it probably be in a very square world where everything is explained, evaluated, controlled and simplified ?
It is the contemporary art that you see on most exhibitions, in private galleries as much as public museums. It is the contemporary art around which a whole bunch of professionals, cultural operators, agents, curators and critics has made its existence.

But then, this is where the boat rocks. This idea of art is basically the only one ruling since art is called "contemporary", and since then, this great bunch of professionals and cultural operators has installed themselves and made a living around it. A whole intricate system, with its hierarchies, its codes and its powers that be. Artists and curators also gained money, fame and power through this art that is today a massive standard in art schools, auction courts, galleries and museums.

Up to the point that almost all recent art in museums, galleries and art schools seems contrived to respond to this standard, with works that are similar to each other in their intentions, and not so pertinent. It feels like the "magic" effect is forced upon it, that it is more about making it look mysterious through various standard processes (conceptuality, simplicity, nonsensicality...), and that it really contains nothing upsettingly new or devastatingly groundbreaking. Actually, it has become very rare for me (but, you know, I am very demanding) to be really surprised or touched by contemporary art.

And when it becomes a standard, a "way of doing it", when it becomes a response to a specific demand, this is when "mystery" becomes "cryptic", and "unexplainable" becomes "pretentious". Most of contemporary art today is cryptic, because it feels more like the artist and his public belong to a cult by adopting its symbols and by using its language. Art institutions become churches, and curators priests. I think this is the actual and main reason of the deep gap between the world of art and the rest of the world. Most people loathes contemporary art because they feel rejected by its use of a cryptic and very specific language.

If you are, like me, looking for something risky, something dangerous and important, something that will make you remember how much art is essential to this world, you will have to look outside of any well-trodden path : street art of course, performance art, and other practices that question the boundaries between art and the world, between art and life. These practices are found outside the art world (even though they are trying very hard to recuperate it and make it fit into their tiny white walls), and are accessible to everyone (materially as well as spiritually). It is most of the time not cryptic at all, without being poorer - it actually can be very rich, with multi-layered meanings and interpretations, and it engages every viewer, wherever they come from and whatever intellectual baggage they have.

This art that goes outside institutions, that is accessible and clever, that confronts the world that we all live in together, is an art of social commentary. It is an art that questions society, that adresses everyone, that escapes to the exclusive and the cryptic, that goes beyond this phase of contemporary art in which we are stuck - thanks to the intricate and professional world that builded itself around it - and get us back to a more primordial and direct relation to each other and to the world. It is the art that I chose to do.