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The New York Times ran an article the last few days celebrating yet another “artist,” whose current exhibition sprawls over some West Village gallery, the Maccarone.   A bit of back-bio reveals this:

Mr. Pruitt, 46, a gleefully tricky purveyor of trash culture who is known for making paintings of pandas and of Paris Hilton, who has fashioned an eternal-flame monument from a bar table and a Bic lighter, and who once held an extremely brief gallery show composed solely of a long floor mirror bisected by a line of real cocaine, which was ingested by visitors.

Ever since Warhol we’ve been treated to a range of graphic illustrator-come-provocateur as “artists” when we might say it is more a case of circus performers. Mr. Pruitt is clearly of this lineage.

Rob PruittAndy WarholJeff  KoonsDamien Hirst

Dan Colen

The art scene seems to reflect in some proper way our times.  One element of it, if not all, celebrates the trivial, the stupid, the “popular,” and pawns it off on the gullible rich.  Decadence, I think it would be called.  It runs on a par with “reality TV,” with our apparent infatuation with celebrity, our 5 second sound-byte politics, and our attention span devolving down to nano-scales.  Our art schools crank out “artists” trained in business not unlike our law and business schools crank out stockbrokers and lawyers trained in scams to get rich quick, whatever the social costs or ethics involved.   In a world as remote from the sublime as one can imagine, rushing quickly to some terminal denouement, is it not appropriate that we surround ourselves with gaudy baubles, devoid of content, the purpose of which is merely to snare a bagful of money and fame in a society oblivious to its own auto-destruction?  The New York (and LA etc.) arts world seems the high-end “liberal” side of our culture’s answer to the Tea Party, whistling past the graveyard with all the wrong answers.

Thomas A. Doyle, art business scammer

Murakami “art”

Recession Raises Poverty Rate to a 15-Year High

The poverty rate climbed to 14.3 percent — the highest level since 1994 — from 13.2 percent in 2008. The rise was steepest for children, with one in five residents under 18 living below the official poverty line, the bureau said.

And that was last year.  Naturally homeless numbers have gone way up too.   “Art” anyone?

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