Monday, February 2, 2009

Thoughts on Dave Hickey's Orphans

i'm excited about this new piece that Dave Hickey has written for Art in America (Jan. 09, page35). its the first thing that i have read in awhile that has frustrated and inspired me in the same article. i haven't decided if i want to agree with Hickey or not, which is where i am finding my inspiration.  My frustration comes with the notion that Hickey seems exhausted with the current state of the art world. how can you not be? Younger artists no longer seek out a "revolutionary precedents" not because they are not there any longer. they may be, but it's not profitable. the attention span is not there financially for that kind of commitment.

Artists today find their rut and stay in it as long as they can. it is part of the "branding " process. to develop over time means that you may miss your opportunity in the market. i believe most artists working today would probably not be making the work they are making if money were not an issue. That is not to say they are all making money, but they are re-creating art that has a market in an attempt to get a piece of the pie, or at least their 15 minutes.

As an artist working today Ruscha is my Cole, or Church. I mine the fields of modern and contemporary work, stealing, borrowing and cross-pollinating in what are now appropriate ways. I see the art world in it's current state as a reflection of the mess that our world and country is in. We have accepted the fact that we can all do whatever we want, whenever we want to do it, and it is not only perfectly fine, it is our right. The problem isn't really that the art world has gone to hell, it's that everything else has lead the way. The reality that i think Hickey is feeling is that he has been around long enough to watch it all go down. The bitter pill is that permission has been given to these young artists, they have all been given a license to do and say what they want. the truth is that most of it isn't worth paying attention to. 

At the end of the day it was probably free enterprise that shot art in the foot. if you put a Cole or Church on the auction block you could probably strip it of any integrity it has with the drop of a hammer. 


1 comment:

Bill said...

The Hickey column in AiA is really good; it's up there with the Diary column in Modern Painters. As a self-confessed "only look at the pictures because the writing will just bore you" guy when it comes to art mags, those two columns are always worth a read.
Why don't you a link on your website to your blog?