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Happy Contemporary Art. Yep, Happy

 Chen Li, Happy, 2010, oil on linen canvas

Chen Li, Happy, 2010, oil on linen canvas

Recently, over a glass of wine, a friend asked that I show him the works of Chen Li, a Chinese contemporary artist whom I represent and whose paintings I collect. Having looked through my catalogue, he remarked "I really like his work but I must have horrible taste because real contemporary art is all about angst and these paintings make me happy." That got me thinking. How did we get to this misperception that seems so prevalent, especially outside the artistic community?

Art gives a voice to the people and, if good, cuts straight to the soul. But since when has this voice become associated exclusively with expressing social and political problems? As many contemporary artists are exploring and expressing the beauty within their hearts, when has expressing happiness become so uncool?

Personally, I love happiness. And I love these works. Enjoy the feeling!

 Chen Li, Happy II, 2010, oil on linen canvas

Chen Li, Happy II, 2010, oil on linen canvas

 Chen Li, The Joyful Universe, 2010, oil on linen canvas, 90cm x 90cm

Chen Li, The Joyful Universe, 2010, oil on linen canvas, 90cm x 90cm