Since the bulk of the establishment of art criticism — save for a very few exceptions — has abdicated its responsibility to call out quality from imposture, it would seem that it is left to a few bloggers in the wilderness to point out the blatant nakedness of the new art emperors.
The New Republic unearths the source of the disease in the curse of Warholism, and quite rightly so. While Duchamp attacked the idea of “Artiste” and his unquestioning adulation by the philistine collector with his readymades — and did so with humor and panache that earned him a place among those very same Artistes with good prices paid by the collectors for
their own satirizing — the Pop Artist adherents preferred to simply wallow in the swamps of the lowest common denominator. Their output (one hesitates to call it “work”), far from being art, despite their prominence in the museums curated by today’s establishment, is the negation of the very concept of art, which by its fundamental nature the opposite of the mass-produced, banal, quotidian. Their worthy heirs, the Postmodernists, doubled down on purveying of the schlock, seasoned as they made it with cheap irony. The present crop does not even pretend to not be charlatans, selling as they do overpriced kitsch to over-moneyed philistines.
It is a truism that each generation of academic art engenders a rebellion among the not-yet-accepted artists, who would seek to negate the academic art’s aesthetic. Let us then hope that there is real movement, subterranean as it may be, that will return us to the realm of art that is not ashamed of its own existence.