Art and Politics

Fashion For Erudition

THERE WAS A TIME, NOT LONG AGO, when fashion began in the fingers of individuals gifted with a sense of style and the moxie to make something of it. Not any more. Now, aspiring fashionistas have to draw on their parents’ retirement income, take out loans and subject themselves to degree programs in fashion studies. The old Parsons School of Design, now a division of The New School, has extended its name. In the 1970s it became Parsons The New School for Design. Continue Reading
Art As Social Practice

AN ATTENTIVE READER SENT ALONG notice of a new grad course offering at Portland State University in Oregon. The PSU link came with a wry: “Figured you’d like this.” Well, yes, I guess you could say I like it. But only because it confirms my contention that art is increasingly not about art at all. It is fast becoming a variant of community organizing by soi-disant promoters of their own notions of the common good. Thanks to the reader, here is more to testify that distaste for that word practice, spreading like a cancer through curriculum lists, is fitting. Continue Reading
CAA & The Death of Art

INFLATION IN THE ARTS IS OF A PIECE WITH INFLATION IN ACADEMIA. The upcoming College Art Association, in New York this year, has just mailed out its conference information. Scheduled for the first day of the conference are workshops on the important things: finding a job, keeping it, and getting grants. One of them aims at all the newly minted MFA’s: Job Hunt 101: Essential Steps in Securing a Job in the Arts. As night follows day, the next morning brings: Grant Writing for Artists. Continue Reading
A Tea Party in the Arts?

‘WHAT MIGHT A TEA PARTY IN ART LOOK LIKE?” That was the question asked by a reader in his response to yesterday’s aprés-election post. It is a delicious question. Poignantly quixotic, to be sure, but no less delightful for that. It deserves quoting in full for those of you who do not click through to comments:
Today we face the wasteland of a nihilistic official art world, daily on display at such sites as Art Forum or vernissage.tv, ruled by an Academy far more oppressive than any of the past owing to its belief in nothing more than the recitation of Soros/Code Pink politics and the exercise of its own arbitrary power.
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Art & The Morning After

WITH THE ELECTION RETURNS LARGELY IN, this seems a good time to revisit “The Art of Obama Worship,” by Michael J. Lewis. Published in Commentary, September, 2009, the essay took off from Shepard Fairey’s iconic, Warhol-like poster of Obama in red, white and blue:
From the beginning, the Obama campaign invested much thought in its visual strategy. To portray him as a radically transformative deliverer, a figure of redemptive promise, was a natural course of action, his appearance comfortably matching his rhetoric.
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