Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Does Art Still Shock?

What is shock art? According to Wikipedia it is "...contemporary art ...disturbing imagery, sound or scents to create a shocking experience." However, I contend that art has been shocking the viewers for much longer. After all, being contemporary can mean contemporary to the times.

Consider Daumier's "Rue Transnonain" (1834)

Then there was Manet.  For example, consider the effect in 1863 of  his "Luncheon on the Grass." 

In the early 20th Century, there was Duchamp's "Fountain." (1917)

  Today, these works created a hundred years ago or so, do not carry the same effect on the public.

So, what shocks today? Journalists have written that maybe we've reached the end of what can be described as shock art. What do you think? Are artists no longer able to shock us?



  1. I can understand that with photography and TV we are probably less apt to be shocked, but there are images that have shocked me. Len

  2. Thanks for the News letter always very interesting
    Rave on - Peter

  3. I can still be shocked by Mother Nature--the intensity of light in the most recent full moon for instance--and I certainly hope that I am still capable of being shocked by art--


    1. I wasn't shocked. I was enraptured. What a glorious Harvest moon!

  4. actually there is an article in the NYT this morning, same title... interesting...they say it's done. Yona

  5. Yes, I think there is still some art that can be shocking but not as much as once was MAR