Bailey... ehr... being Bailey
Congrats to James W. Bailey, whose photograph Man on a Crutch has been published in the current issue of 3rd Floor Magazine, a terrific art/literary publication out of Baltimore. And below Bailey with a guest piece:
"All Ya’ll Yankees Are Warmly Invited to Come on Down South Anytime and See Ya’ Kin and ‘Kindred Spirits’!"
By James W. Bailey
Well, if there were any doubts, rest assured that American culture is up to its ass in alligators now, according to two recent Washington Post articles, "Upscale Tastes Invade Wal-Mart’s Hometown," and "Durand’s ‘Kindred Spirits’ Debuts at National Gallery."
It seems as though little ole Bentonville, Arkansas, the womb of all commercial things trash de blanc, is shedding its redder than redneck-trailer-park-gigantic-satellite-disc-in-the-front-yard-next-to-the-broke-down-pick-up-truck-on-cinder-blocks flyover state reputation as a shopping paradise for NASCAR worshipping Southern Baptist families with 2.1 children and 3.9 Rottweilers in favor of a more impressionable tourist destination as being the Rodeo Drive of the South that caters to upscale diamond-drenched gold-laced hot-springs-spa-relaxed divinely cultured Southerners whose parrot-head mullet-topped men have jettisoned their Jimmy Buffett “Margaritaville” muscle shirts designed for Budweiser induced pot-bellies and whose pregnant-before-13 women have abandoned their starched buffon hairdos and glued-on painted fingernails of Christ on the Cross for the more elevated continental experiences of dining on foreign owned exotic chain restaurant cuisine, buying pimped-out Confederate-glory-themed painted Hummers and, this is the really funny one, perusing and collecting real art in a gin-u-wine brand new “Painter of Light ™” inspired art gallery district!
And what’s inspiring this radical post-TVA electricity modernized hillbilly make-over of a place in the middle of nowhere named Bentonville, Arkansas? It may be the favorite American artists and art-museum-for-American-artists-only-dream of an Arkansan billionaire woman named Alice Walton.
As we have for generations said in Mississippi: “Thank God for Arkansas!”
A lot of strange, weird and funny things have been known to happen in the incestuous isolated coves of the Ozarks, but nothing is funnier in the pretentious liberal world of New York City ivory tower high art than watching the painfully serious inside art players like Michael Kimmelmann of the New York Times spin in a mesmerized panic when they’re facing a cultural crises that involves the collapse of civilization – the fall of the American high art empire in this case being the chance that some of the meaningless jobs and puffed-up reputations of New York City’s finest art elites may have to be exported across the Mississippi River to the gravel dirt road hinterlands of the Razorback State; and, man, are the Artfanistas spinning like a bunch of psychotic tops now that Alice Walton has “stolen” their precious “Kindred Spirits” from right out under their noses as a seed for future planting in the fertile American museum gumbo moonshine soil of Bentonville.
How in the world did this “travesty” happen?
Well, many of us cutting-edge right wing conservative artists (I know, you’re snickering in a foul mood about that phrase because you didn’t know we existed, right? Well, don’t blame us for your ignorance. Try directing that dismayed anger toward ArtForum, Flash Art and Art in America for keeping you in the dark!) have been arguing for quite some time that the next pivotal art movement in the continued hemorrhaging of the cultural divide in America will be the unstoppable rise of the right wing conservative contemporary artist and their concomitant support through a intricate sympathetic web of mega-rich Republican personalities and conservative foundations far removed from the debauched east coast urban liberal cultural mecca of New York City – and not to gloat and rub it in your face, but with the recent wonderful announcement from the Walton Family Foundation that a treasured piece of American art is going to be moved to the founding hometown of Wal-Mart, we finally get to tell you we told you so!
For far too long right wing conservative artists have been virtually ignored, or worse, violently marginalized, by the postmodern art establishment whose ground zero is in Manhattan. We took our hits and we patiently waited for our moment and we studiously drew our inspiration for future success by watching a lot of reality themed television shows like the “Survivor” and listening to far too much AM talk radio. The right wing political and cultural punditry, as exemplified by such good folk as Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, etc., showed us the righteous path to our glorious victory by demonstrating an amazing level of skill and success at the mass-media level of entertainment.
These people are funny as hell and they're truly entertaining. The left can ridicule them all they want, but we all know that the left WATCHES and LISTENS to them.
Of course, we were as well - and we were also taking great notes.
But the dirty little secret in the world of leftist high art, however, was that for a very long time nobody was watching or listening to the celebrated corral of the usual suspect leftist artists but leftists; and as far as note taking went, it was mostly confined to the shallow recording the pretensions of the vapid.
Some of us out there in the heartland have been predicting the ascendancy of a group of critically reviewed right wing artists that will literally blow the roof off the art world with some high energy C-5 explosive art and draw Americans by the tens of millions into a new cultural mainstream of right wing avant-garde art.
The future is now and forget about stupid rotting sharks in tanks, people!
The Museum of Modern Art will have to change its name, undertake another capital campaign and maybe increase its size by eighty fold this time to accommodate the wild Daytona Beach-spring-break-party-style crowds that will turn out to see great conservative works of art, such as an installation performance piece jointly sponsored by the NRA (National Rifle Association) and the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) in which Ted Nuggent blows the heads off live wild deer with a .357 Smith & Wesson revolver with a laser scope in the Red, White and Blue Gallery of the Neo-Right Wing Conservative Museum of No More Bullshit Postmodern Art for Americans Only!
Although New York City (because it let its liberal arrogance induce its failure to see the bright future of American artists who are registered voting Republicans taking the art world by storm) will continue in its rapid decline as being a hot bed for creative artistic energy, at least the red flyover state of Arkansas got the message about where art in America is destined to head and will soon be rivaling the Left Bank of Paris in the early 20th Century as the place for all real artists to be to be seen, heard and discovered.
Hopefully, the Walton Family Foundation sponsored Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will stimulate the fast-track ascendancy of right wing conservative artists into the mainstream of high art experiences; and, prayerfully, that new movement will quickly force disgruntled burned-out visionless leftist artists into underground caverns located among those mysterious coves of the Ozarks where they and their incestuous sycophant postmodern cheerleaders will be compelled to rethink their projects and approaches – similar to what’s happening at the political level in this country right now with the Democratic party.
Eventually, these left wing artists and their obliging art philosophers might return to the real world with a new energy and commitment to engaging a wider spectrum of thought and to delivering it to an earned audience that doesn’t jump up and down in masturbatory celebration of every dumb thing they create – but, honestly, I wouldn’t hold my breath too long hoping for that to happen because the peculiar disease of postmodern leftism in contemporary American art is a terminal condition that devours the minds of its deconstructed creators, as well as ravages the pretentious pedantic thoughts of its hyper-ventilating critical promoters, reductive therapy obsessed approving critics and Xanax zoned-out head-bobbing spiritually zapped ritually depressed fans.
But in the meantime, as a rock solid born-again hard-core right wing conservative artist from Mississippi who’s been empowered by the Holy Spirit to see the aesthetic future light of America, and who’s also extremely jealous and somewhat begrudgingly proud of this aggressive aesthetic action by my déclassé Arkansas brothers and sisters in Christ, I want to let all ya’ll Yankees in New York City know that you’re warmly invited to come on down South anytime to see your kin and “Kindred Spirits”. I’ll have my kin folk in Arkansas leave the front porch light on for you in case you get into town late.
"How ya’ll been doin’, darlin’? Welcome to Wal-Mart’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art! Ya’ll don’t forget now to stop by our two-hundred thousand square foot gift shop on the way out."
"‘Mam, we’ve runnin’ a three for one special on ‘Kindred Spirit’ Martex bath towels that ends today! And sir, the Automotive Department of the gift shop just got in yesterday some of those brand new NASCAR Thomas Hart Benton signature series seat covers for the Ford F-350. And ya’ll are especially blessed to be with us this mornin’ ‘cause in just thirty minutes the Reverend Jerry Falwell, one of America’s leading Christian art critics, will be presentin’ a lecture in the St. Ronald Reagan Conference Room #1 entitled, 'Modern Art Paintings That Jesus Would Hate and the Devil Would Love'."
"And please remember in the South we usually close down early in the evening during week days and we’re open till 6:00 pm on Saturdays, so plan your trip accordingly; of course, we’re closed all day on the Lord’s Day, except for Wal-Mart."
James W. Bailey