El académico de la Escuela de Sociología UDP, Modesto Gayo, fue mencionado en The Sydney Morning Herald de Australia en el marco de su investigación presentada en dicho país. Su trabajo, realizado en conjunto con el Profesor Tony Bennett (Western Sydney University’s Institute for Culture and Society), se titula “For the Love (or Not) of Art in Australia”, el cual analizó las respuestas de 1.200 personas sobre sus gustos artísticos y sus conocimientos acerca de artistas y museos de arte australianos.
A continuación la nota completa:
One-quarter of Australians never visit art museums, and young people and those with lower educational and income levels are less likely to recognise artists whose work is collected by publicly funded galleries.
A survey of 1200 people also suggests age, social class and race have a profound influence on artistic tastes.
However, men and women with similar levels of education and social class tend to have the same preferences, according to Professor Tony Bennett of Western Sydney University’s Institute for Culture and Society.
“The significance consists mainly in the link between home background and the education system in selectively transmitting the kinds of familiarity with the world of art required to be able to take an active interest in it,” he said.
Some of the greats of Australian art, such as Tom Roberts, whose works were described by former arts minister George Brandis last year as “some of Australia’s best known and best loved”, have relatively little appeal to Aboriginal and migrant Australians.
“While the impressionists played a key role in the lead up to and aftermath of Federation in establishing an Australian canon for the newly independent nation, their work was also shaped by the agendas of White Australia,” Bennett said. “And it shows. So, much less for Aboriginal and migrant groups to relate positively to.”
Bennett’s For the Love (or Not) of Art in Australia, co-written with Professor Modesto Gayo, analyses the answers of 1200 people who were asked about their artistic tastes, knowledge of Australian and overseas artists and visits to art museums.
The research reveals a country of sharply divided tastes, where younger Australians prefer pop and abstract art, while older Australians enjoy landscapes and Renaissance works.
The favourite artists of regular gallery visitors include Jackson Pollock, Francis Bacon, Caravaggio and Vincent van Gogh as well as Australians Ben Quilty and Brett Whiteley.
However, a quarter of people surveyed never set foot inside an art gallery and did not identify any favourite artists.
“Those who visited but relatively infrequently, and coming from more intermediate levels of education and class position, had a reverse set of genre tastes,” Bennett said. “They liked landscapes and colonial art most, and modern, pop and abstract art least.”
Infrequent gallery visitors favoured Rembrandt and Ken Done, Bennett said. “They didn’t like van Gogh, [Albert] Namatjira, [Claude] Monet, Pollock or [Sidney] Nolan.”
Bennett said the survey reinforced the strong connection between middle-class home backgrounds and educational advantage that led to higher-paid careers.
“Involvement in the visual arts follows on from this as part of a set of shared interests with those who have similar backgrounds,” he said.
“This doesn’t, of course, detract from the important role that our art institutions play in many ways, in promoting debates about national identity, in challenging conventional perceptions, and so on. But it should matter a lot that so many Australian are not involved.”
The findings also suggest taxpayer-funded art galleries and festivals do not attract a large sections of the population.
Free admission to public galleries also confers a benefit on wealthier people. “Other types of museums usually have admission charges and appeal to broader publics,” Bennett said, “so there’s a surprising policy imbalance here.”
Bennett said artistic tastes were linked across different art forms, which in turn signified class background and education levels.
“Liking impressionism tends to go hand in hand with liking classical music, literary classics and contemporary Australian novels, all associated with higher class and levels of education positions,” he said.
“A fondness for landscapes and portraits is linked more closely, for example, to liking easy listening music and family heritage, all connected to intermediate class and education positions.
“The younger members of the sample – many of them still students – who liked abstract and pop art also liked urban music and hard rock and comedy on TV.”