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Word Count: 985
If we are looking for a general level of art of serious purpose today art with profound content supported by significant aesthetics we will not find it Contemporary art has failed If we are satisfied with superficial artificial art that manipulates aesthetics for empty abstract decorative effects then we truly live in a golden artistic age because this kind of art is everywhere The degree of present-day artistic collapse compared to the height of past artistic achievement can be seen in the velocity and extent of precipitous decline during the 20th Century increasing since World War II In the 19th Century Van Gogh made stirring color statements of landscape and human destiny In our time artists mechanically scribe lines on museum walls and make metal video robots that may wonderfully tell us how dehumanized we have become but offer no suggestions on how to reverse the process Van Gogh and Cezanne will last as great artists as will Monet Renoir Degas Lautrec and others of the relatively recent past because they had something serious and important to say and said it extremely well Most contemporary artists will not last because they express the superficiality and artifice of the age unable to tap deeper reservoirs of human feeling and experience To look at the stars always makes me dream as simply as I dream over the black dots on a map representing towns and villages Why I ask myself should the shining dots of the sky not be as accessible as the black dots on the map of France If we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen we take death to reach a star Vincent Van Gogh states in his memory book Van Goghs Starry Night is one of the great modern paintings the passionate spiritual testament painted one year before his death of an isolated master-artist bypassed by his generation Like all great art Starry Night 1889 29
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