John O'Flynn - Artist

John O'Flynn - Artist

The Art Of The Consumer Age!

Now I understand! A few weeks ago I commented on how our age doesn't seem to celebrate in art its stupendous technical achievements (like mass air travel). At a FEASTA gathering in April on sustainability & culture:a contributor opined that Western society has been reconfigured into a consumer society in order to cope with the vast amount of mechanical power unleashed by the Industrial Revolution. Not just organizationally - but right down into our personnal philosophy and psychology. No wonder our Art then celebrates/promotes consumption - rather than the means of production (machines etc)! When I posed this question a while back I featured a sketch of a Jumbo jet at Gatwick airport , but Gatwick currently features artwork by Peter Blake whose oeuvre I suggest is consumption focused - featuring lifestyles etc - almost akin to the "lifestyle" section of a newspaper (left & centre images, above)!

Perhaps its just as well that our art has avoided dealing with technological achievements of our age. It could be a double edged sword! In April I visited the Manet exhibition at the RA in London. Far more impressive was the George Bellows exhibition upstairs! One painting featured the excavations for Penn Station in NY 1908 – While not quite in the Dante’s "Inferno" league, it’s an awesome if not forbidding sight – where the human figures are mere pawns in a great mechanical enterprise. (image, top, right)


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