Historically, although this past seems long forgotten, artists were beloved founts of creativity in the eyes of the people. Their works, albeit not to everyone's liking, demonstrated human and natural beauty and were loadedwith accessible and intended symbolism with pride and talent. There was a fairly obvious point in time, perhaps at the turn of the twentieth century when this changed for worse. Art became perceived as elite and snobbish. Public taste for art seemed to sour nigh instantaneously, manifesting itself in declines in museum and gallery attendance along with art's new prestigious place behind the cold shoulder of those who lacked the "special training" necessary to appreciate it. The problem was not that an industrious populace which was becoming more enraveled in material developments had relinquished their "useless" interest in art, but art itself, in a way, simply betrayed the modern man.
Modern art is indeed genuinely awful and it has only recently become that way. Still modern developments in technology and culture do indeed bear important geneses of this occurrence.
Although some would construe art as an entirely magical process of self-expression, art does indeed serve several important utilitarian purposes. For the artist, it highlights his creativity and insight and bolsters his social standing; for the consumers of art, it brings visual or aural pleasure, and it also represents reality in a visual medium. Art has been used through out the ages to adorn the simple tools of daily life, from silverware to weaponry and from baskets and buildings. Contemporary developments in technology have thrown several quite interesting changes into these purposes.
Years before, painters might painstakingly dedicate hours on end to producing a mural or simple portrait which could easily be appreciated for the skill of the craft. A sculptor might as well chisel away for an equivalent time on an idiosyncratic sculpture, or with much tedious concentration, build identical sets of beautiful clay- or glass-works.
Yet the mighty engines of industrial production and technology melted away quite a bit of this novelty. Consumers could then buy cheaper and more esthetically pleasing jars, plates, nick-nacks and decorations which were products of the newly mechanized assembly line. The simple yet decisive invention of the color photograph served as a functional coup de grâce for the niche that the more laborious method of hand painting depictions of scenery had formerly filled.
Thus modern artists, many of which with feelings of effective emasculation, had been outdone by their craft. Ingenious yet soulless machines suddenly seemed to have become superior founts of creativity even with humans' advantage of actually having their hands of the levers and in all the creativeprogramming.
The consequent reaction in the modern schools of art was to rebel against the beauty and meaning which had and remain to be fundamental to artistic production. Instead of gratifying depictions of humankind or natural wonder, art took to depicting nonsensical scenes with objectively ugly and poorly drawn figures. So dawned the much maligned age of the that-painting-looks-like-the-asshole-just-threw-paint-randomly-on-the-canvas models.
Artists seem to be entirely ignorant of this systemic change. They oft recoil with surprise when common people mock art in public and refuse to dole out cash for the "starving artist." There seems to be a general consensus amongart critics that the quality of art has not exacerbated at all, rather people have simply changed their minds without due cause.
At that artists have unfortunately come to embrace their lack of popularity. In their ideas, the public, who inexplicably demands that art be something artistic, simply lacks the capacity to evaluate the new outcomes of the purposefully deficient artistic production of the day. All manner of pretension is famously strewn about the floors of museums as "professional" art critics patter on about the symbolic meanings of deliberately nonsensical work. Beauty, utility, consistency, symmetry, meaning and enjoyment are often construed as undesirables in art as the elite of the art community think of anything shining, blight and beautiful as bourgeois, vulgar and passé. This sentiment has spread out of visual arts awell; in combat with increasingly precise and gorgeous electronically generated music, bands and individual music artists have taken to creating rhythm-less, tone-deaf, or low-fi music which 'ironically' form the basis of contemporary hipster culture.
With the origins of snob art having been noted, (these origins in the perceived "obsolescence" of true fine art due to technological advancement), one might erroneously jump to the conclusion that man-made art is either a thing of the past or the "modern" style of non-art is here to stay. It's nonsense.
If anything, the competition of technology has forced the most talented to produce further outstanding works by jumping greater lengths of creativity and mystery. The area of abstract art, which although has to some degree been marred by the unfortunate revolution against beauty, still supports various artists constantly developing the standard of the field. It indeed may seem like photographs thoroughly excel in landscape shots, but that hasn't prevented many from expanded into space-scapes and scenes which although may never appear in nature, can temper human love of landscape in tremendous ways. Indeed in the days of Bob Ross, the joy of painting is one of the artistic journey and expression, not even of the finished result, regardless of how appealing it may be.