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.