Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Jessica off the mark... again

In this article, the Washington Post's freelance galleries' critic Jessica Dawson writes that an artist's "highest calling" is "creating work that challenges social and political norms."

Really, did I miss that in Janson's?

OK, OK, I know that this is simply Jessica's own opinion being passed as some sort of highest calling agreement that we've all signed up to before receiving our art degrees.

Because Jessica Dawson is an art critic and not an artist, she views what "real art" should be from a postmodern theoretical viewpoint in which a lot of art critics and writers, and some artists, may see art's highest calling as indeed creating work that challenges social and political norms.

That artwork and those artists are just members of a much larger set of artists and art which has an equally important "higher calling" in their art that has zip to do with social or political norms, such as 98% of contemporary abstract painters with the other 2% just claiming that their work does challenge some social or political norm. For some of those, their higher calling may just be the beauty of what can be achieved by a talented hand and brush with the nuances of color and form and shape.

But Dawson's comment is an eye-opening inside view at the mind of this Washington Post freelancer, and somewhat sad in that her viewpoint excludes the vast majority of other highest callings that artists may have.

Philippa over at the Pink Line Project drives a good historical stake through the heart of Dawson's silly segregationist viewpoint. Read that here.


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