Art History as an Art Medium

These Post-Modern Artists are primarily figurative. When Modernist dogma embraced Duchamp's provocative proclamation that the death of painting was nigh -- especially representational painting, condemning Neo-Classicists like Alma-Tadema as the worst examples of artistic decadence -- it became clear how politicized 20th century art criticism had become, with its' Marx-inspired 'inevitabilities' that now seem dated, ludicrous and close-minded. They were wearing narrow, ill-conceived political philosophies like costumes, wrapping themselves in the flimsiest trappings of revolution, all to present a facade of danger and excitement that sold a fiction: a millionaire could sell himself as an agent of political change by spending $400 000 on a fucking painting.

When Abstract Expressionism joined the nadir of uninspired repetition that relegated much of 'high art' to high-priced decorations for clueless millionaires, the close-minded institutions of Modernism abandoned traditional mediums entirely. Technical skill and talent pretty much guaranteed you had no fucking chance of making it as an artist, as Conceptual Art was pounced on, exploited, and made into a self-parody... an Ourobouros that's been swallowing its own tail for several decades. Beuys had some interesting ideas, and his imitators have been punishing the art world for his success ever since.

Fortunately, painters survived by keeping their talented heads down, or ganging up and cranking out the manifestos that Artforum critics were so fond of. The Symbolists, Romantics and Neo-Classicists were insulted or ignored by many in the mid-20th century Art Establishment playing the role of revolutionaries temporarily burdened with riches and the decadent lifestyle they claimed to despise. They lacked for nothing, poser Beats whose only connection to the poverty of the working class was a desperate paucity of ideas, skills and talent. They did, however, make an art of hypocrisy.

Now that Conceptual art collapsed under the weight of its own bloated, pretentious jargon and bullshit sold as inspiration, Contemporary artists don't have to rely on the Modernist polit-buro and its infrastructure of imposing concrete galleries and carnival barkers in 300$ haircuts trying to sell a formaldehyde-filled jug containing a monkey-torso stitched onto a dead-fish as a fucking mermaid... the internet has slowly been strangling Modernist con-shops, with tiny glowing .jpegs hanging on the pixelated walls of virtual galleries, and periodicals like Elephant, Hi-Fructose, Juxtapoz, Tiny Pencil, Graphite, Hey, Blabworld, MynameiS, and Graphotism exposing an untapped community of people who are passionate about art, high, low, and every point in between.

These artists all share that passion for art, reclaiming forgotten names and reinterpreting the giants of art history...
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31 books · 1 voter · list created November 26th, 2016 by ΕyesNEiN|EisΝinΕ|Víðarr Andlát Fenris Liðster (votes) .
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