Sunday, May 31, 2009

Read this

Tom Wolfe, author, man-in-white, and social observer, has always had a keen and clear insight into the social undertows of contemporary society.

Wolfe's 1975 book The Painted Word, is the one that I consider the one of the most influential book on art, nepotism, networking, manipulation and 20th century art history (OK, OK art observations), that I have ever read.

If you want to understand the true historical beginnings (from someone on the scene at the time) of what we now call "contemporary art" and the seminal birth of the elitist attitudes of many intelligent members of the high art apparatnik, then read this book.

"The painter," Wolfe writes, "had to dedicate himself to the quirky god Avant-Garde. He had to keep one devout eye peeled for the new edge on the blade of the wedge of the head on the latest pick thrust of the newest exploratory probe of this fall's avant-garde Breakthrough of the Century.... At the same time he had to keep his other eye cocked to see if anyone in le monde was watching."
I read it when I first started Art School and it saved my Art Life and it cemented the foundations of what has become my opinions, judgements and attitudes towards art.

After you read the book, then and only then, you will understand why "traditional" art critics, desperately seeking approval from their colleagues, hate such an egalitarian art show such as Artomatic, when and if it takes place in our own backyard, but would love it in another location outside the US.