I dunno. I'm not convinced that he likes or dislikes the movie, or contemporary art, for any of the right reasons.Portraying this as a liberal/conservative trope is difficult to swallow. Saying that non-realism is liberal while realism is conservative is utterly laughable, not to mention a genuinely made-up fabrication that has nothing to do with anything. In fact, Abstract Expressionism was radical, but it was never particularly liberal. In fact, the thread of Modernist realism (Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper) in the 20th C. was never remotely conservative, but in its own way utterly radical. I've spent a lot of time with Wyeth's work in the past couple of years, for example, and I don't think he would ever have liked being called a conservative simply because he painted with apparent realism.This is, therefore, about the shallowest form of art criticism one can find these days: everything interpreted through the a priori ideology of the reviewer, and most of the nuance completely left out. Even Wolfe's "The Painted Word," which I read with glee when it was first published, is not so easily politically categorized, because Wolfe at least knew what he was writing about, had done his research, etc., and was trying to write a an interpretative history, not just a hatchet job. One of the main theses of "The Painted Word" was that the galleries and the viewing public were (and are) utterly (fiscally) conservative forces that were in fact one factor that the "radical artists" rebelled against. MOst galleries are not adventuresome: they are as conservative as most big businesses, as little likely to innovate or take risks. Most of the artists couldn't give away their paintings for many years, much less sell them. The art world is a slow-moving force, despite what any artists think, and takes a long time to change its mind about something.That postmodernism has done some inherently silly things, especially with conceptual art, is undeniable. Yet conceptual art was phase many artists had to go through: call it a learning period. Artists, unless they're commercial hacks, are explorers, not conservators. Nobody is more aware of the tension between doing what you want to do and doing what you have to do to pay the bills than artists, or other creatives.This reviewer reveals his true colors, and true bias, by not even apparently being able to understand that artists are not political animals, they're not driven by ideology (although many critics are), and they often don't know themselves what they're doing. An artist who isn't confused herself, at least some of the time, about what the hell she's doing, is probably a sign-painter.
I tend to agree with all that you say, Art, especially the attempt to correlate art and politics. Once upon a time I was a gallery director and the business side of the art world is at least as corrupt as anything you might find on Wall Street or in the halls of government.What rankles is that there are so many "artists" who know how to play the game better than most genuine artists.
Exactly! Exactly! All very true.