Exposing the Art World’s Critical Race Theory Problem

It seems like it’s in the news every day now. An establishment ploy to divide and distract Americans is finally getting the attention and pushback it deserves in some of the fields where it is occurring.

However, there is a vital area where this toxic plot is still going unchallenged.

The destructive ideology of Critical Race Theory (CRT) has operated like a stealth bomber up until recently. No one realized it was there, until it started dropping its payload of hatred, bitterness, and manipulation on unsuspecting targets across society.

CRT is a top-down effort to persuade us into accepting the cognitive dissonance that behaving like bigots is the solution to bigotry. Of course, what the New Aristocracy of the Well Connected really wants to do isn’t what they claim they are doing. The establishment doesn’t want solutions. They deliberately invent problems where there are none, and make existing problems worse. The point of bigotry is bigotry, as Orwell might have informed us; an officially cultivated and sanctioned policy of intolerance against those who don’t conform. Ultimately, the elites don’t care whether the people are persuaded or not, as long as we obey.

The establishment has played a long game, slowly imposing a totalitarian state on a free people. The two electoral victories of President Donald Trump (one of them currently stolen) shocked globalists into accelerating their timeline. To accomplish the undermining of America’s strength, our would-be ruling class needs their divide-and-conquer propaganda to become the only recognized model of our society. They distribute CRT indoctrination through the institutions they control: academia, the media, Big Tech, and corporate boardrooms. It’s one big PsyOp directed at the American populace.

But the elitist urgency to force race hatred onto goodhearted and proud American citizens has backfired. Even the censorship imposed here in life behind the Silicon Curtain can’t stop the information from spreading. Patriots are confronting schoolboards, shutting off the fake news, and boycotting woke businesses. This is just the beginning.

But an important aspect of our culture is still suffering from unchecked CRT distortions: the arts. Establishment art has been in a crisis of relevance for decades now, so it’s not surprising most people are oblivious to these latest examples of extremist rot. The cultural consequences of this unacknowledged festering could be immense. 

I didn’t have to look far to find examples. Just about every art site I visit in my ongoing research is riddled with leftist ideology. As the art world is a place dominated by virtue signaling and trend following, CRT is hot right now. I could go on and on with all the artists, museums, schools, and foundations hyping CRT. These samples of CRT proselyting come from three of the major art publications operating today.

Each article comes with a preposterous (and self-serving) assertion treated as if it were a factual statement. Simultaneously, there is a contemptuous and condescending attitude towards the abilities of those they claim to be advocating for. It’s what Thomas Sowell describes as the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

ARTnews: As Atlanta’s Art Scene Evolves, Historic Injustices and Hopes for New Futures Come into Focus

But for all its giving over the years, the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta had a problem with who was getting that funding—until [social justice activist Heather] Infantry took up the cause. After finding that 87 percent of foundation funds had historically gone to white-led organizations, Infantry went public with the news while pointing out that certain rules for eligibility (related to budget and staff size, for example) effectively shut out many small and struggling arts organizations that needed support the most. “When you get down to it, the Community Foundation is an incredibly racist institution when it creates guidelines and criteria that disqualify Black arts organizations that are so prolific and abundant,” said Infantry, whose advocacy efforts helped change things for the better. [emphasis mine]

Assertion: Objective, consistent performance standards are racist! Implied: minorities are poor and disorganized.

Art In America: How Dionne Lee Combines Darkroom Techniques with Wilderness Survival Tactics

Lee began interrogating the racialized histories of the American landscape by means of photography in 2016, while an MFA student at the California College of the Arts… The works bespeak Lee’s interest in exploring the body’s relationship to the land, and in tools that facilitate survival in the wilderness, an ability relevant to both social history and climate change. Motivated by fear of impending ecological disaster, Lee has been learning a number of outdoor skills: how to navigate, make fires, and forage for food. During a lecture at the Rhode Island School of Design last fall, Lee noted, “My ancestors, who were enslaved, had to be survivalists, and I’m attempting to reclaim that heritage.” In response to nearly drowning in a public pool as a child, she made her gelatin silver print A place to drown (2019) by scanning an image of a desolate swimming hole. Lee slowly dragged a found photograph across a digital flatbed, and the resulting image is a distorted view of what seems like a gaping hole, perhaps a portal for escape. Swimming is yet another survival skill that reflects histories of racial oppression. The work brings up questions of access: historically, who had the right to swim? Who had access to water? Who had the privilege to perfect the survival skill of swimming? [emphasis mine]

Assertion: Swimming is racist! Implied: This teacher from Stanford University, who is taking part in an exhibit sponsored by the New York Museum of Modern Art, is marginalized and oppressed. Bonus climate change alarmism in this one! I’m sure college art activist is a fine set of skills to bring to the pending weather apocalypse she anticipates.

ARTFORUM: School Spirit – Jessica Lynne on art and Historically Black Colleges and Universities [HBCUs]

In an era framed by the political fervor of the Movement for Black Lives, “mainstream” (read: white) museums, galleries, cinemas, and other cultural organizations are frantic to reckon with the oppressions that have structured their existences, hiring more Black leadership and curatorial staff, increasing acquisitions of work by Black artists and other artists of color, and investing in infrastructure that supports the education of Black students and scholars. [emphasis mine] But if you were to ask your average art-world denizen to discuss the position of HBCUs in relation to these ongoing structural negotiations, you would most likely be met with blank stares.

Assertion: Scrambling to accommodate affirmative action is racist! (Well, it actually is, but not in the way the author of the article thinks). Implied: Minorities can’t be accomplished artists and scholars in their own right, so they need to be promoted on the basis of skin color.

The CRT sickness is spread by a combination of would-be authoritarians, useful idiots, and fearful followers. It’s an emotional, and ultimately a spiritual, disease.

Critical Race Theory is a product of Postmodernism, the corrupt operating system of elitists around the world. Postmodernism is a clumsy Cultural Marxist power grab disguised with sophistry and misdirection.

In 1999, two English artists, Charles Thomson and Billy Childish, first codified Remodernism, a cultural shift destined to displace the failed tyranny of Postmodernism. They wrote, ” Why do we need a new spirituality in art? Because connecting in a meaningful way is what makes people happy. Being understood and understanding each other makes life enjoyable and worth living.”

CRT is not about this kind of connection; it aims to shame and dominate.

At the time of Remodernism’s founding, Thomson and Childish used the absurdity and excesses of the Conceptual art movement to define their opposition. But even those seemingly silly offerings were political; harbingers of cultural suicide camouflaged as kitschy sculptures, rotting animals, and dirty beds in museums.

When Art Was Just Stupid: Jeff Koons “Michael Jackson and Bubbles”

Now the pretense is gone, and we see art being openly used as a weapon for bullying.

CRT is a set of lies about the essence of the United States, claiming the greatest nation in history was founded by racism in order to enable even more racism. The CRT assault is aimed directly at all those who took the inspiring words of Dr. Martin Luther King to heart: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

CRT betrays Dr. King’s dream, his example, his legacy, and indeed the premise of America, as stated in our national motto: E Pluribus Unum, “Out of many, One.”

We can say this because American is not a race, or an ethnicity, or a class. American is a set of principles, and appreciation for the opportunities those principles provide. That’s why the United States was called a melting pot for so long: despite all of our varied origins and circumstances, America gives a fresh start. We were forming a new civilization together, making many into that new dynamic Unum, the likes of which the world had never seen.

The world didn’t like this.

They attacked us by inserting a kind of disease into what should be the United States. Critical Race Theory is a virus, an infection unleashed by an anti-American globalist cabal to weaken our nation.

There’s a lot of that going around lately.

It’s sad to see CRT being utilized anywhere, but it’s especially galling to see it applied to the arts. Art is one of the things that brings us together, throughout all times, and all cultures. The art world can be as big as all of humankind, if we do it right. That is why it’s worth speaking out against these cynical attempts to use art as a wedge. We can defeat this impulse by making art great again, and using it as an expression of the unity and brotherhood of our better natures. It’s the American way, after all.

Critical Race Theory is incompatible with art, and by extension, with civilization.

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RICHARD BLEDSOE is a visual story teller; a painter of fables and parables. He received his BFA in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University. Richard has been an exhibiting artist for over 25 years, in both the United States and internationally. He lives and paints happily in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Michele and cat Motorhead. He is the author of Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

Remodernism is not a style of art, it is a form of motivation. We express the universal language of inspired humanity.

We do not imitate what came before. We find in ourselves the same divine essence of love and excitement which has inspired masterpieces throughout history. We are strengthened by drawing on traditions thousands of years old.

We integrate the bold, visionary efforts of the Modern era into a holistic, meaningful expression of contemporary life. Remodernism seeks a humble maturity which heals the fragmentation and contradictions of Modernism, and obliterates the narcissistic lies of Postmodernism.

Remodernism is the return of art as a revelation.

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I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

12 thoughts on “Exposing the Art World’s Critical Race Theory Problem

  1. […] It seems like it’s in the news every day now. An establishment ploy to divide and distract Americans is finally getting the attention and pushback it deserves in some of the fields where it is occurring. However, there is a vital area where this toxic plot is still going unchallenged. The destructive ideology of Critical… — Weiterlesen remodernreview.wordpress.com/2021/07/07/exposing-the-art-worlds-critical-race-theory-problem/ […]

  2. When the Taliban blew up Buddhist statues, the art world condemned it. When ISIS destroyed ancient monuments, the art world condemned it. The BLM and CRT hit, and Westerners were ripping down statues all over the place and smashing them with sledge hammers. They’ve even been attacking museums.

    Without pushback, the only move is to go further, perhaps shouting “Well, as someone whose Neanderthal ancestors were wiped out by H. sapiens sapiens, I demand that all depictions of h. sapiens sapiens be destroyed!!!!” It’s like we’re living with the Khmer Rouge and starting again at year zero.

  3. Much appreciated. I am currently heading towards an entrenched sense of defeatism, a defeatism that must be vanquished. A battle for what I know to be true, which is , the simple reality that to address injustice isn’t to impose more injustice. The aim is for all to be welcome at the table, not simply turning the table. Much of the work at FAIR (Foundation Against Intolerance and Racism) is addressing this noble aim from the perspectives of diverse opinions united against this tyranny of thought.

    Much of what you examine I agree with heartily , there is an abundance of virtue signaling code-wording out and about in the unabashedly elitist art world ,whenever one applies to an exhibition, victimhood mandates apply; attend an exhibition; prepare for chastisement or re-education; even a trip to the art supply shop is an opportunity to be reprimanded . It is exhausting, infuriating and joyless. Art , its making, and its pondering has always been heretofore universal, open to all regardless of status/”identity”; now it is simply joyless. I cannot accept that reality and feel encouraged by the community you are building.

    Sincerely,
    Leonard Greco

    Post Script, one note of disagreement , Koons’ monumental Michael & Bubbles, while celebrating kitsch is in fact I believe quite spectacular , given the accomplishments of porcelain decorative arts (such as Meissen) and the absurdity of contemporary society , I find it amusing, observant and in perverse ways, beautiful. But simply my two cents. Looking forward to further conversation. Pax

  4. Indeed. Visit any museum these days and observe how people flock to the galleries of classical art and really view the art with wonder. Compare that to how few people bother with the modern galleries, and how they quickly skim over the work without much concern.

    Photography, too, has become a complete joke. The Yale MFA program — once the home of Walker Evans, and Todd Papageorge, some of America’s greatest photographers — has now descended into the abyss, where every student’s work looks like a bad Instagram feed. SAD!

    BTW: anyone who says that an artist’s work “interrogates” a topic needs a swift kick in the nuts.

  5. Hi Leonard, there’s a lot of powerful observations in here. I want to respond more in depth, when I have time, within the next day or 2. Keep up your excellent work!

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