Art in 2017

There now seems to be an art world consensus that Donald Trump’s reign as POTUS will not bode well for art. Evidence the ‘general art-strike’ petition circulating online calling for all artists, art professionals and art spaces to stop work on inauguration day, “Towards an anti-fascist cultural front”. Here is the link… https://news.artnet.com/art-world/call-for-action-inauguration-day-808625 . This begs the question of where art activism has been for the past few decades while the art world transformed into a global industry dominated by appropriation frauds and art factory CEO’s supplying shiny commodities and mindless entertainment to the 1% looking only for appreciation of their investment. There is an interesting article on Artspace.com summarizing the passivity by artists and six questions they should be asking themselves: http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/the_big_idea/heading-into-2017-here-are-6-questions-the-art-world-should-be-asking-itself-54516 . BTW it was announced today that a large part of their editorial staff was dismissed by parent company Phaidon – another global capitalist corporate tactic adopted without regard for human cost now assimilated by art institutions and generally referred to as ‘downsizing’ in servitude to almighty profits. There has been a gradual and widening disconnect of the art world from communicating with the general public and limiting art audiences to the elite few. This trend has been perpetuated by the elitist attitude of the art world in general and the isolation of fine art in high cost and snobby museums. Long gone is the image of the artist as a poor and insulated bohemian personally creating a limited number of unique images for a few knowledgeable collectors. Today this standard is replaced by an immaculate corporate artist in a tailored suit, well-connected and wildly successful at managing popular icons, media, and his peon hordes.  Getting from the present to an ideal of fine art that communicates with the masses and is shared by the general public seems like a long upward climb. For starters, artists would need to quickly pursue more common, political, and socially responsible images to confront any ‘fascist cultural front’ before it gets established. That is the artist as messenger of a higher cultural ideal. And you thought you could quietly produce in isolation with less stress? Happy New Year!

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