How do you feel about contemporary art? And places to visit in St Petersburg.

Updated: Jan 30

In recent years, contemporary art has increasingly raised questions why? and what is it? If you look at the path of art the first task was to copy reality perfectly. With the popularization of photography it becomes clear that the new purpose of art is to provoke a reaction. And today, many people will say - is this art? Illustrative examples:

Ciro / Ropi / ZUMA Press / Scanpix / LETA

At the international contemporary art exhibition Art Basel in Miami artist David Datuna ate a banana glued to the wall. A banana taped to the wall is the work "Comedian" by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. While the exhibition was going on, his bananas were bought by two collectors - for 120 thousand dollars. The buyer receives a certificate confirming that this is an art object, not just a banana with tape — and recommendations on how properly to attach the banana to the wall. The number of comments on the Internet is estimated in millions! This is a real art performance: one artist does not know why but made art from a banana, another artist felt that it was necessary to give even more emotions and worked on it.

In my opinion, an imperishable page of art history was written. Like 100 years ago, Marcel Duchamp, who declared that a urinal can also be a work of art. Or like Damien Hirst in the early ' 90s, when he trapped a dead tiger shark in a formalin tank.

If you are planning St Petersburg tours, I strongly advise you to leave time for Erarta. This is a Museum of modern art that has a very interesting permanent exhibition of Russian artists, sculptors and others, as well as about 5 temporary exhibitions at any time of the year. I looked at Lamborghini cars, Ducati motorcycles, hair (!), the costumes of insects etc. If you are traveling with children or are interested in contemporary art then Erarta should be on the list of your St Petersburg Russia tours.

What do you say about graffiti? Is this real art, or is it just disfiguring the walls of cities? In St. Petersburg we have a Museum of street art, you heard right, this is a Museum. I strongly advise you to book one of St Petersburg guided tours to visit this space, though it is located far from the city center. Here in St Petersburg and Moscow it doesn't matter if graffiti looks like a masterpiece, painted for example on the transformer booths, it disappears in a couple days, overpainted. This is city policy.

And what about Banksy painting that self-destructed and was sold at Sotheby's auction for 1.04 million pounds ($1.4 million). Pierre Kukjian, an artist and creative Director of the Geneva-based watchmaker deLaCour, who was at the auction, said that the buyer of the painting was "very lucky" with this incident. He called Banksy's action "a turning point in the history of modern conceptual art".

Here's another example. Damien Hirst's works are sold because it is a good investment , it is expensive ... and it is expensive because it is sold .... And we heard a scandalous story about his diamond skull, which was so expensive that no one wanted to buy it .... and then Hirst, bought it from himself ... only in order to prove to everyone his works are in great demand and in order not to reduce the price of it.

I think that modern art is very often associated with a good sense of humor. How else to look at all these art events?

Another bright example: "Royston Museum makes 'art' out of nothing."

"Museum staff were amazed when a picture of an empty display case sign and full description of its emptiness went viral on social media.

Amy Judd, assistant at Royston Museum in Hertfordshire, was asked to put up a sign of apology while display cases were refurbished.

Instead she labelled it "empty case... containing wood, cloth, air... representing the time between taking objects out and putting new ones back".

More than 6,000 people liked the Tweet." This very recent story was described on BBC website on January 27, 2020.

And let art to be without barriers. And if you are a fan of old art or Impressionists then I will be happy to be your private guide in St Petersburg and show you the Hermitage Museum.

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