Updated: Sep 19, 2022
Anarchy in art started during the DADA period in the early 1900s. The shock and horror of the brutality of war left scars on the subconscious minds of all humans. During the DADA period 'anti-art' (as it was called) was created to express these mental attitudes. The underlying theme was to destroy the beauty of art because it was such a contradiction to the horrors of the war. It was a time of soul searching and a time of confusion about artistic expression. DADA has since influenced artistic evolution. First we make it 'anti-art' then out of this social pain and confusion, we unsuccessfully try to give art a new meaning. The effects of the DADA movement are still with us today exemplified by [for one example] the banana.
First let me clarify that the banana is not art. It is also not 'anti-art.' It is just a banana; a naturally occurring object found in nature. It is an 'object' of nature. Objects of nature are used as subjects to create art only in the context of using some artistic medium to reinvent the object (in this case, the banana). Again the banana in its original natural form from nature is not art. The banana reinvented using some form of artistic medium, is art. The banana in its original form from nature can be defined as 'artistic' because it has shape, form, lines, color (the elements of art and principles of design) that can be seen in the object, but it is still a naturally occurring object in nature. If we tape a piece of fruit to the wall, then we should rightfully so, designate the true artist as 'Mother Nature.' By the same principle, we could also tape all objects that an artist uses in his or her still life composition display to the wall prior to painting the still life. The process of actually creating the art is missing. Using tape to tape objects found in nature (or other) to a wall, is not an authentic artistic skill. Simply defined, the object is the subject of the art, not the art. Human beings love to admire beauty in nature and to use the authentic skills of making art to reproduce and improve upon what mother nature has created in search of the perfection of one's own soul. This is true artistic expression. This art philosophy originates from ancient times and is specifically discussed by Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472, Italy) in his works, On Painting and On Sculpting where he emphasizes rationality and order (something that was lost during the DADA period). It is through rationality and order in artistic principle that we discover how to create, through artistic medium, the beauty of our souls; i.e. the true purpose of art.