Painting of the Day

15 Dec


Kiss of the Sea. by Octavio Ocampo (born 1943). 2007(?). Currently in Private Collection

My comments:

I don’t think this artist is famous enough to be in a museum, because I couldn’t find any information on the artist other than his name, birthyear, and the possible date of this painting. But I happened to come across it on, and I loved it and wanted to post it here. Judging from the artist’s other paintings, his surrealist style seems to involve using different, disparate forms to create an altogether new and unrelated form entirely. 

Now I had an interesting reaction to this painting. My initial opinion of it was one of approval; I thought it was a beautiful, creative painting. But then when I tried to research it and found that the artist hasn’t really been recognized in the esoteric art world, I automatically began to doubt its quality-I almost felt guilty that I liked it because to like it now seemed to be an admission of poor, pedestrian taste. And this is all because the artist’s work isn’t hanging in MoMA nor any prestigious galleries. 

This brings me to a question that I am constantly wondering about and really have never find a satisfying answer. What makes artworks museum-worthy? With something as subjective as aesthetic quality, what is it that can cause one artist to be unanimously considered a genius by so many art historians and members of the art world? I don’t doubt that Edward Hopper, for example, was an artistic genius, which is what the art world also thinks. But Octavio Ocampo isn’t that bad either. I certainly like his work better than Mary Cassatt’s, but for some reason she is the one who has works hanging in museums and Ocampo is the one who does not. Why is this? I really don’t understand it. I wonder if, as I slowly gain access to the art world through my life (I hope to at least), this mystery will be solved for me. But right now, it really mystifies me, and anyone who might have an idea (such as my college art history professor) that I’ve asked can’t really tell me either. 

One Response to “Painting of the Day”

  1. tara December 16, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. what does Barnes say about this subject? his entire collection wa panned when he first displayed it and now it is world reknown. Thomas Kinkade is commercially famous and wealthy , but is he a great artist? isnt that the eternal question on selling out on your art?

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