COMMENTARY: In The Art World, They Think They Are Better Than You

BarrAlfred Barr’s infamous 1936 chart of Artistic Development

ARTICLE: When Modern and Contemporary Art Broke Up

There’s nothing new under the sun. The Boston Manifesto, a statement from concerned members of that city’s Institute of Contemporary Art in 1948, provided an accurate prophecy of the bubble of exclusion, irrelevance and big money hypocrisy that today’s establishment art world encourages:
“Modern art, the manifesto declared, had become ‘a cult of bewilderment’; the gap between critics and artists and the public had produced ‘a…playground for double-talk, opportunism, and chicanery at the public expense.’ Modern art had ‘come to signify for millions something unintelligible, even meaningless…'”

The writers later backed off from some of their sentiments-not because they were wrong, but because they prioritized staying in ideological lockstep with their fellow travelers. The educated class bought completely into  the utopian delusion that the slate of society needed to be wiped clean to bring about heaven on earth-their version of heaven being one where they got to pick winners and losers based on the whims of cronyism.

Because of their grip on academia, administration, the media and the cultural institutions, buying into this establishment worldview became the only game in town. They fancied themselves the New Aristocracy of the Well Connected. These incestuous New Class snobs were content to retreat into the cloister of like-minded elitists, where art, both the objects and ideas, became just other forms of status symbols.

It’s fun to imagine what possibilities await us once we break the stranglehold these reverse King Midases of the Ivy League hold on our culture. For generations everything they’ve touched they’ve turned to shit, but still they kept up their tight networking, jealously guarding their privileges, working to exclude and undermine anything or anyone that would challenge their dominance. Since the results they produce themselves are often so poor, they’ve skewed the whole of society to assume credentials mean worthiness and achievement. Among the officially sanctioned creative classes, they’ve chosen a stance of entitled abuses of power instead of truly cultivating art that could connect with and inspire society at large.

But that voice from the outside won’t shut up. We’re not bewildered by the art world anymore, because in retrospect it’s all so clear how the culture went off the tracks, and just who was responsible for it. The exciting part is how we’re going to advance when we’re freed from the presumptions of the current power brokers. Their time is running out.

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15 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: In The Art World, They Think They Are Better Than You

  1. Sadly, academia and the art world are dominated by Cultural Marxists who have spawned a weaponized style of art designed to subvert Western civilization. The “culture went off the tracks” because it was forced off by a top-down movement that despises tradition.

  2. Snow day here, so finally had a chance to sit down and read some blogs of people who have followed me. Am really liking what I’m seeing here. As an artist, one has to struggle with how to get work seen, and traditionally the way to do that was through galleries that hype exactly the bullshit you’re talking about on your blog. But we’re in a new age thanks to the internet. It allows us to put our work out there and bypass many of the old institutions that could not or would not support an artist who isn’t already “established.” The problem is that everyone thinks they’re an artist and can throw their work up online, and weeding through schlock art to get to the gifted work takes dedication. People would rather be told what is good by the establishment. So they either go to galleries, or they fear the gallery atmosphere and go online to the likes of places like fineartamerica.com where there is no quality control at all. I think we have a long way to go in establishing new avenues for promoting good art.

    Thanks for starting these conversations.

  3. Thanks! It’s actions like your blogging and painting that will help change the direction of the culture. Too many people have been made to feel art is somehow above them, based on the bad attitudes of the establishment art world. My motto is art is for everyone, and my experience is everyone finds good art fascinating when they are exposed to it. Keep up your good work!

  4. Greetings from Italy!
    Thank you very much for your like on my “Tudo é sonhar” oil on canvas, shown on my blog dispenza.wordpress.com.
    Many compliments to you for your interesting website, paintings.
    I’m interested in everything that is art; I will get back, read more of the articles of your blog. And sorry for my broken English. With best wishes.

  5. Thank you very much for your like on my “Reportage urbano a colori” , “Qui o là, immensa città muta” oils, shown on my blog dispenza.wordpress.com, and for your interest in my art works. I appreciate the dissemination of reflections on the art you are making through your blog.

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