ARTICLE: Can You Get Away With It? Then It Was Probably Art This Year


The art world is Spaced out

GIVING CON ARTISTS A BAD NAME: Article on Can You Get Away With It? Then It Was Probably Art This Year

Lots of what’s wrong with the art world is touched on in the article linked above, albeit somewhat unwittingly.

The assumption that art isn’t something worth being passionate and committed about: “Can you imagine anyone in today’s art world getting that worked up?”

The emphasis on marketing: “If there are trends, they appear to be more about the presentation of the art and how it’s consumed than about content”

Cloying elitism: “Everyone who is anyone – meaning collectors and curators – is always jetting off somewhere else to see and buy.”

Attempted accountability dodging by artists: “…new artists are sidling up to their own buzzword: provisional.”

Sycophantic emphasis on insider power games: “Koons is in a position…to demand whatever he wants from the art-world infrastructure.”

A jaded attitude towards towards the irrelevant train wreck the visual arts have become in our culture: “These days, diffidence is the default aesthetic response…”

What the author is describing is the decadent behavior of a tiny clique that has declared itself “the art world.” They presume to speak for us all, and this arrogance, weakness, hedging, brown nosing, and posing is what they have to offer?

Pathetic. We can do much better than this.

The author, James Adams, begins the article with a little anecdote about painter Willem De Kooning angrily confronting Andy Warhol about the evil banality of Pop Art. The author’s intent was to illustrate how out of touch De Kooning was.

I see in this vapid little puff piece of establishment flattery as the equivalent of De Kooning’s tirade. The cultural momentum in the 1960s was shifting from Modernism to Postmodernism, and the old guard were trying to shore up their status against the newcomers, to no avail.

The same dynamic is unfolding now, as the delusions of Postmodernism fail and fade, reduced to a mere conceptual trinket for cloistered, pretentious intellectuals. The rise of Remodernism engages art with the mass audience again, celebrating creativity as an expression of spiritual connection and communion. The empty mind games of Postmodernism don’t stand a chance in comparison to the return of art as a means joyous universal communication.

So the author, part of the contemporary old guard, does his best beta male version of an attack: a passive aggressive paean to how ironic and cool he and his cronies are.

He might sneer about De Kooning rolling over in his grave, but James Adams and Postmodern apologists of his ilk are the ones whistling past the graveyard now.

8 thoughts on “ARTICLE: Can You Get Away With It? Then It Was Probably Art This Year

  1. Reblogged this on The Arts Mechanical and commented:
    Killer line about how dead art has become. “Can you imagine anyone in today’s art world getting that worked up.” Art is supped to be about being worked up, being inspired. These people have just become soulless nothings.

  2. recently in seattle, 20,000 dollars USD$ was given for a mural to two guys that do not have a history collectively of painting murals, or even painting. the criteria to be considered for a mural was to have a back story of this type of work, and ostensibly a history. neither of them had this, i am speaking of claude zervas and joseph park, and two of the jurors of this slap in the face to muralists everywhere, were barbara leudke the head of sound transits art program, and greg lundgren, the bon vivant art celebrity, you is heard on youtube as describing painting as an ‘antiquated artform’……mind you these are judges and jurors selecting and disrespecting, even the hipster art critic jen graves went along for the ride. as many art personalities do, without any criteria or respect, so why? would any self-respecting artist even consider involving themselves in the programs offered up to a snide elitist set of values in practice so deeply in seattle. it’s shameful and truly despicable, the rewrite of culture and history and the damage which can be done by a few callow judgements.

  3. Sad to hear, but not surprising. The official arts institutions are so corrupted I wouldn’t expect any good results from them. Look up the Dunning-Kruger Effect-it’s where someone is so incompetent that they can’t even recognize actual competence in action-that is the establishment art world in a nutshell.

  4. The tainted system is currently powerful, passionless cronies doing favors for passionless cronies who kiss up well. There will be a reckoning for these failures of vision and integrity.

  5. I think the key determinant in how worthless todays art has become is the artists spiel, basically what they and the art world elite say about the meaning of their work, has become more important than the work itself. That reached its peak when an artist would present a pile of dung as some great work. The actual art was nothing, his spiel about it was all that mattered. With real great art, the artist or the elite commentators did not have to say anything, the beauty and statement of the art spoke for itself, and average people could see their own beauty or statements in it, without commentary.

  6. It’s part of the post modern plague, indoctrinated to believe that reality and human nature are just social constructs that can be usurped if enough words are used. Silly magical thinking that is past parody at this point. It needs to be torn down for good.

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