Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Obama Art: entry 2

J. Rice

"...The problem is that the way Lewis uses them, art and artist are misnomers. What has cheapened all art of today is that so-called artists have covered up their lack of artistic talent with polemic. The only person I know with the integrity to come clean about this was Norman Rockwell, who insisted that he was an illustrator, not an artist.

Art must be grounded in ├Žsthetic. Piss Christ may send a message as illustration or a photograph, but it's not art.

Lewis errs when he says there's not enough of the political in Obama "art". The problem with Obama "art" is that it's not art.

Example: Artifacts from the Soviet era, such as the propaganda posters or the wrist watches, became art when they lost political significance.

Example: Jackson Pollock couldn't draw, but he was an artist.

This doesn't mean that there's no such thing as polemical art. There's Goya and, yes, David. There were Rembrandts's bible drawings and Van Gogh's Potato Eaters. There's Diego Rivera and WPA art and the Post Office mural artists of the New Deal.

The degree to which a work's subject can be laid beside the point is the degree to which it is art. If the subject is the point, then it's not art...."

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