The 8 Greatest Paintings In The World


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8 GREATEST PAINTINGS

By Mena Ganey

This artwork began with a random poll that I conducted. The question was framed this way: What great paintings do you believe the majority of people would recognize?

The paintings thought to be the most important were produced between the years of 1498-1928, which means that the last great painting is at least eighty-five years old. Some have never moved and others have been sold to private collectors. All are heavily guarded. The original works are seen only by those privileged by economic status and cultural awareness. These paintings serve only their own space.

That said, the majority of these paintings have been seen in textbooks, as reproductions on walls, or on coffee mugs. They appear in calendars, posters, films, computer screens and smart phones. Unfortunately, most people will never experience the actual art works.

This interactive piece is an active dialectic on materialism: an example of the visual decay that technologies have fostered with respect to prominent works of art. Decay occurs through endless proliferation of paintings, some attaining icon status in popular culture. Two inherent paradoxes of serial expansion and plurality of proxy are dilution of reverence and loss of contemporary identity. These objects of art have been institutionally or culturally elevated to an extraordinary status, and yet by their extension in number have become less available. Here, the spectator is invited to question the transitory importance and meaning that these paintings may have and reassess these images as part of a contemporary landscape: fragmentary, subjective, and glitched.