image by bill watterson
Artist’s Statements of the Old Masters
This article is good for a laugh for anyone who has spent time in university art classes or establishmentarian networked galleries.
Key quote, before the mockery begins: “To be ‘contemporary’ your work needs to be explained and justified in the language of postmodern theory. As works of art have evolved to require less skill in their making, artists have been become increasingly reliant on intellectual pedigrees substantiated by theory.”
There is much truth in that statement… if any thoughtful person could consider the ridiculous jargon of artspeak to represent an intellectual pedigree. Postmodernism doesn’t participate in the discernment and accuracy that are the hallmarks of real intellect; it mimics the behavior of insightful analysis without partaking in its substance. It takes a special type of ignorance to accept this blather as an acceptable substitute for actual accomplishment.
This kingdom of sophistry, the rarified atmosphere created by the elites to protect their status, is crumbling across the board. Art needs to lead the way to its final destruction. A great way to defeat the con game is to make art that doesn’t need a list of talking points to justify its existence. And apart from the art, there is a great need to speak plainly and bluntly on the current state of the arts.
Most of our cultural institutions are so corrupted by ideology, influence peddling and status games they are failing in their missions to show what our American culture is really like. I can almost hear the knee jerk thoughts a statement like that causes in the art world: “But our culture is awful! Dumb backwards knuckle dragging yahoos out there!” That is the voice of the establishment, right there: a tiny clique sneering at everyone who is not like them.
Want to be part of the beautiful people? All you have to do is show hatred and disrespect for anyone who doesn’t conform to the priorities of the elitist mindset, and then you get to vicariously be one of the jetset too-only without the money, power, etc. You get the privilege of basking in their reflected glory. A bunch of willing serfs worshipping their presumptuous Ruling Class.
To speak plainly, enough of that. I am dedicating my life to kicking the misappropriated props out from under the sycophantic system they are trying to impose as the means for advancement. It’s not who you know that matters, and it’s especially not what you say that makes a difference. All the artist statements in the world can’t make inferior work good. It’s what you do that matters. It’s time for art to participate in reality again.