« lomo-fi | Main | painting as visual metaphor »

Comments

Not so tired anymore but still pretty grumpy

Come on, guys:

(A) It's possible for a charlatan's work to be "enduring, influential, and seminal". I don't think Andy Warhol's will prove to be enduring, but it's definitely the other things. Still, he was a charlatan.

(B) Art is not a "cultural mechanism" for anything. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but it's not that. Museums, art schools, and art history departments are cultural mecahisms; art is art.

(C) That curators make some ridiculous judgments (e.g. believing that Warhol, Koons, and Bansky are good artists) doesn't mean that all or even most of their judgments are ridiculous. Everybody makes mistakes. However, it's certainly plausible to think that people whose tastes have been forged in an environment where poor aesthetic judgments are falsely taken to be good ones will have bad taste, and hence will be incapable of distinguishing good art from bad art.

(D) Dude. Cy Twombly is a motherfucking genius.

the vienna secession

Although in some ways I agree with you, Tired and Grumpy, not only because Lost in Translation WAS a highly overrated movie, but because Museums and Cultural elite do sometimes use superficial and inadequate criteria to evaluate art, I do think that some artists have shown themselves through time to be enduring, influential, and seminal, in changing perceptions of the art world and the larger cultural community. This I would hold to be true regardless of whether or not I find a particular artist personally appealing. And to say that Andy Warhol is not in this aforementioned category seems willfully ignorant.

devil's advocate

Warhol is much better than that no-talent-finger-painter, Cy Twombly.

devil's advocate

I think Tired and Grumpy's evidence points to the opposite conclusion. The widespread success of Lost in Translation, like any widespread success, proves that people are eminently capable of deciding what they like and what they don't like. 'Art' is just a cultural mechanism to artificially assign the attributes of correctness or incorrectness to someone's judgement. I'm not advocating relativism, but it seems to me that art has to be defined according to its own terms, which does not mean that there is no bad art. It might be helpful to think of art as successful or unsuccessful, rather than good or bad, and certainly not 'Art' or 'Not Art'. So I agree that high-culture gatekeepers may promote art as 'good' for reasons other than the success of the art as art, and are therefore morally, if not intellectually, bankrupt. But that doesn't make ALL of their choices ridiculous. Besides, I like Andy Warhol.

Tired and grumpy

Most people ARE incapable of judging art. As evidence, I cite the fact that Lost In Translation was widely and incorrectly believed to be a good -- even a great -- movie. But "Museums and the cultural elite" are no better on this score; witness the status of such charlatans as Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons among that crowd. Maybe what makes the Bansky stunt so appealing is that it exposes the superficial and inadequate criteria the "Museums and cultural elite" appeal to in making their poor but influential aesthetic judgments -- his silly little pictures are made aesthetically valuable just by being surreptitiously mounted in museums. It's ridiculous, but now they're art, just like the rest of the silly little pictures in the gallery. And this lays bare the intellectually bankrupt aesthetic standards of the high-culture gatekeepers.

The comments to this entry are closed.