Simon Doonan at Slate explains why the massive annual Art Basel Miami gallery convention epitomizes “Why the Art World Is So Loathsome.”
Among Doonan’s complaints: Everything’s become “cool” and distanced to the point of emotional irrelevance; big-money collectors have ruined art as a creative endeavor; pride in craft and skill have disappeared; visual puns and fashion-industry tie ins are overabundant; and “blood, poo, sacrilege, and porn” ceased being shocking ages ago.
And the latter isn’t just a gripe about passé fads. Doonan quotes Camille Paglia’s complaint that deliberately confrontative art simply plays into the hands of right-wing wannabe censors; to the point where…
…art has “allowed itself to be defined in the public eye as an arrogant, insular fraternity with frivolous tastes and debased standards.” As a result, the funding of school and civic arts programs has screeched to a halt and “American schoolchildren are paying the price for the art world’s delusional sense of entitlement.”
Guess what: UK ad exec Charles Saatchi, one of the biggest big-money collectors out there, agrees with most of Doonan’s rant!
This all makes me glad Seattle’s got Roq La Rue as its premier commercial contemporary-art gallery. Owner-curator Kirsten Anderson picks works made with exquisite precision, that express sincere emotions even in their “pop surrealist” tropes. And Anderson not only displays a lot of works by female artists, but works by men and women that display a thoroughly yin sensibility.