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Why I Love Ridiculous Art

One of the group conversations I had last weekend required each participant to share something that we think is bullsh*t. My choice was political advertising, which David Ogilvy famously suggested ought to be stopped because “it’s the only really dishonest kind of advertising that’s left.” Someone else in our group nominated modern art … and referenced the banana duct taped to a wall saga as proof.

Feel free to disagree with my perspective (I look forward to your comments!), but in that conversation I surprised myself by defending the ridiculousness of modern art. Yes, a photo of a urinal or a square painted onto a canvas certainly seem like talent-free creations which hardly warrant their exorbitant price tags. This week the story of the smartphone sunglasses was roundly mocked too. The reason I still support them is because they make a statement about our lives that can encourage debate and thought.

HMD models with the Phonecore collection. HMD

Art isn’t just created by the artistic. Or not even by the talented, in all cases. Sometimes it’s just a captured moment of subversion that forces you to stop and think. And whether you love or hate the expression, it would be hard to dismiss it as having no value at all.

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Rohit is the author of 10 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

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