August 27, 2004

Two articles about politics and art.

As I've said before, politics and art usually means bad politics and bad art. A lot of people favor keeping religion separate from politics (with good reason!): I favor keeping that other sublime thing, art, separate from politics. Every once in a while there's a Guernica to provide the counter example. But Guernica is to art and politics, as the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. is to religion and politics.

So these two articles caught my eye this morning:
The High Art of Highbrow Protest: Antiwar hacks invade New York, by Eric Gibson in the Wall Street Journal

Caution: Angry Artists at Work, by Roberta Smith in the New York Times.
Both articles cover artists reacting to the Republican conventioneers coming to New York City. Be sure to click over to the Smith article if only to see the reproduction of the painting of John Kerry that makes me give thanks once again that the English language contains the word "bathetic." But most of Smith's lengthy article is a round-up of the various art shows in town that have snagged a big write-up in the Times by being about the election.

Gibson's much shorter piece refers briefly to a few of these shows and is, to my liking, much more barbed:
There is ... a deadening uniformity of manner and outlook. The same bugbears appear over and over: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, the Patriot Act--even the supposedly hawkish media. The work fairly seethes with dire assessments of our current condition, expressed in trite cliché.

1 comment:

Annie said...

i'd like to know more of your thoughts on this issue. i am an artist myself. none of my work is politically based, but i'm doing some research on art that is. I"m curious to know more about why you are opposed to this kind of work.