Saw a frightening 60 Minutes special a few months ago on the “art” of Thomas Kinkade:
Who is the artist who has sold more canvases than any other painter in history? More than Picasso, Rembrandt, Gaughin, Monet, Manet, Renoir and Van Gogh combined? If you didn’t say Thomas Kinkade, then you’ve been shopping in the wrong places. He is the most collected living artist in the U.S. and worldwide. He produces paintings by the container load. And he is to art what Henry Ford was to automobiles.
At Strata Lucida, Chris draws out connections between uncritical Kinkade fans (not that it’s wrong to want to be soothed every now and then, but some of these folks are adamant that art which challenges is pointless) and uncritical rock fans (those who can’t brook any challenge to their fave band’s greatness, or who suffer from the “[my pet band] can do no wrong, all Zep moments are equally good” syndrome).
I do tend to agree with most of Zeppelin fans in the Trickster thread than not (I don’t think big hair or Tolkein quotes are marks against Zeppelin — dude, that’s what they’re about!) But we have been hearing more backlash against “fine art” lately.
Full circle to 60 Minutes: Andy Rooney launched a tirade against the majority of publicly funded art installations the other night. Rooney’s piece smacked of “I just want to be soothed by public art — where are the good old statues?” But yes, I know there’s a hell of a lot of bad public art out there.