Article: Art World Price Fixing

BEN LEWIS: Who Put the “Con” in Contemporary Art?

From a few years, but a good description of some of the dubious practices that fuel the contemporary art market. I do not agree with his observation suggesting regulation is needed (why is more statist intervention the solution for everything?), but more transparency would help.

The money quote:  “The art world is dirty, corrupt and immoral, and, if there was a name for such a crime, these people would be charged with perverting the course of art history.”

The art world makes a good microcosm of the real world. A small group of a new aristocracy of the well connected use their influence to line their pockets, their offerings devoid of any real achievement or quality. This is the era of the fall of the “experts.” They’ve squandered their credibility with the terrible results of their schemes and actions.

Remodernism removes power from the hands of corrupt, self-serving elites, and gives it back to the people.

Commentary: Historical Perspective

I recently posted this on Facebook, attached to a video of Stuckism founder Charles Thomson discussing art history (see video here)
Remodernism founder Charles Thomson discusses the changes happening in the art world, which is of course a harbinger for changes happening in society in general. This is a time of the failure of the “experts.”
The self-absorbed post modern/conceptual art bias of the cultural industries has created a contemporary art bubble, where essentially valueless works exist to pander to creative class shibboleths.
Valuelessness doesn’t refer to price-it means there is no intrinsic human worth in the artifice that is passed off as art all around us. It explains why visual art is so marginalized in our current culture-what the “experts” present fail to fulfill the human need for art. They attempt to substitute an intellectual approximation of art. And no one outside of their echo chamber is interested.
But this is why I’m optimistic about the future of art. The monopoly of thought is being broken. Individuals are creating and promoting work that does not cater to the establishment expectations for art, and does not rely on the official channels of distribution. We don’t need or want their approval-they’ve been dead wrong for decades.
The current culture of nihlism, aloofness, and conformity encouraged by elitists cannot endure historical perspective. Remodernism presents the alternative of positive creation.

Video: How Stuckism Got Its Name

Remodernism grew out of a painterly art movement called Stuckism.

Like many art movements, the name of Stuckism grew out of an attempted criticism.

The Stuckists have generated much attention and controversy by their willingness to tackle art world dogma and celebrity worship. Stuckism is a much more recognizable “brand name” in the insular world of art, compared to the more generalized term of Remodernism.

Both movements were founded by Billy Childish and Charles Thomson, artists of great vision and integrity. They were able to precisely articulate the failings of establishment art, and suggest constructive alternatives.

Books: Glittering Images by Camille Paglia

A Journey Through Art indeed.

I’m currently working my way through this. It’s a quick read, just a series of short essays, with some good framing commentary that acknowledges the sorry state of our establishment culture.

It’s written with Paglia’s normal mix of brilliance and BS.  Just from scanning through the pictures and knowing what she’s working up to (spoiler: George Lucas is our greatest artist!) I know the later chapters of the book will be hard to swallow. Arranged chronologically, the feeble conceptual stuff comes at the end, and I expect her tainted academic mindset will take over to glorify some crap that fits her sociological agenda.

No matter, at least she is willing to break from the elitist mindset somewhat. It’s a start, a thin end of a wedge we need to hammer home.

Once I have finished the book I’m going to write a full review.


Commentary: Political Art

There was a point when I was heavily involved on Facebook, skirmishing with the conformist drones of the art world. When someone posted a call for liberal agenda art, this was my response:

Too much of contemporary art tries to use sociology as a short cut to significance. Propaganda is feeble art no matter what cause it supports. Art is about a deeper experience than a debate about public policies. What makes Guernica powerful is not a specific protest but the universal depiction of the human condition. So what I am going to do is go as deep into my art as possible and be true to my vision. Separate from my art is the discussion of how our cultural elites have created a corrupted and doomed system that I am determined to see dismantled.

Propaganda visual art is preaching to the choir. It lets everybody who already agrees with it feel righteous for a moment without really taking any substantive action. It does not work as outreach-a painting will not persuade anyone to change their opinion on a complex issue. Art is ineffective as a tool of debate, because that is not the level it communicates on. Emphasizing politics has been part of the general decline of the art establishment over the last few decades, where context and theory have taken the place of powerful work that succeeds on its own terms. If someone feels passionate on a cause and pours it into their work, then that may be honest, but if politics is all it’s about, it’s limiting and will be ultimately less successful as art. The easier it is to explain what a piece is about the weaker it is as art, and political art is all about delivering simple messages. There is a lot of work to be done out there, but if people really want to make institutional changes art is not the way to make it happen. It takes other kind of work.

Commentary: Cultural Geography vs The Hegemony

These days, why does so much art look the same, no matter where it was created?

The adaption of Postmodernism as an international style has largely erased local cultural influences in institutional art making. When art largely consists of assembling appropriated images from globally available electronic mediums, then it’s hard to identify origins.

Non-objective and abstract art is similarly generic. Smeared paint looks pretty much the same no matter where it comes from.

Rejection of the anonymous, slick styles favored by establishment artists is a characteristic of Remodernism. The art is personal, reflecting the unique quirks and experiences of the artist.

A truly personal art will inevitably communicate the intimacies involved in where an artist lives, works, the environment they experience, the terrain they navigate. Remodernism is a home grown and diverse expression, glowing with  local color.

Video: The Next Big Thing

BLOOMBERG: Contemporary Art Market Sizzling

The theory presented in the video is the art market will continue to thrive, based on the liquidation of great collections build decades ago.

But what about the artists of today? Who are the future super stars of art?

That is the problem with 50 years of agenda based art. Because quality and vision have been sacrificed for ideology and sensationalism, the productions of the current art world offer meager hope for enduring relevance and value.

Remodernism is not part of the elite’s plan. The arts establishment assumes they continue to dictate success in the arts based on cronyism and obedience. The idea of a grass roots movement that not only rejects current cultural institution expectations, but seeks to actively destroy their corrupt system, is inconceivable to them.

The feeble offerings of the contemporary art market can only exist in a monopoly format. If there were true freedom of expression, and a diversity of thought, then the art market would be out of the control of the self-proclaimed taste makers. The good news is this freedom is coming, whether they like it or not.

Remodernism will alter the course of Western civilization by restoring to art the principles that made our culture great.The forces of decadence and decay will be confronted and defeated.

What kind of price can you put on ideas that change the world?