ALL IS VANITY: Conceptual Artists Vs. Sensory Artists

World's Greatest Artist


From Conception to Sensation

Contemporary conceptual artists want to think… and want to make you think. (Especially, to think, and make you think, they are great.)

Traditional sensory artists want to feel… and want to make you feel. (Especially, to feel, and make you feel, they are great.)


Artists are both (conceptual and sensory), do both (think and feel and make you think and feel). For many, the lines between the conceptual and the sensory are blurred or nonexistent.


Sensation Conception


“Art is a method of opening up areas of feeling rather than merely an illustration of an object.” —Francis Bacon


Take the painter Francis Bacon. Bacon made concrete a radical conception of the creative process that positioned The Accidental as the most important ingredient in art, in the act of creation, or at least as important as the artist’s conscious role in selecting and building upon accidents to produce art.


“In my case all painting… is an accident. I foresee it and yet I hardly ever carry it out as I foresee it. It transforms itself by the actual paint. I don’t in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things which are very much better than I could make it do.” (Francis Bacon)


The sensation of perceiving and experiencing each successive esthetic accident Bacon created or initiated on the canvas took precedence over any preconception or premeditation of the final painterly image. Bacon was a contemporary conceptual artist in conceiving a radical approach to making art and a traditional sensory artist in his actual execution of this novel idea of how to paint and make art by using the accidental to create visual sensations that unlock feelings.




ORIGIN STORIES: A Modern Evolution

Bacon successfully moved the focus of art from the Finished Product to the Initial Accident. He moved the focus of art’s origin stories from The Creator to The Accident.

Which came first, the concept of creating The Accident or the sensation of experiencing The Accident? That chicken-or-egg…


“The ‘value’ of particular artists after Duchamp can be weighed according to how much they questioned the nature of art.” ~ Joseph Kosuth, Art After Philosophy


Jjenny Holzer money creates taste spoon


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