Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Mall versus the Salon

I am part of an online Facebook-based photography group, called Flak Photo Network (FPN).  Discussion recently turned to questions about the future of delivering art through means other than the established gallery route. Gallery representation is seen by many as the prime legitimating gatekeeper to this world that describes itself as "fine art."

During the discussion, someone pointed to 20 x 200, a project by Jen Bekman, the goal of which is to provide great art at affordable prices.  At that point, some person (who is on the staff of a museum on the east coast) chimed in with "20 x 200 brought the mall experience to collecting." I invited this individual to elaborate what he meant, but he declined.

This kind of statement is emblematic of the world view that real art is somehow reserved for people of a certain educational/professional/financial accomplishment, whose tastes have been rarified to the point to where they know what is good and bad with regard to art. This world view scoffs at attempts to bring art to those who are not part of this true art elite.  To these people, art is something that can be discussed, dissected, commodified, and evaluated on something other than completely subjective basis.  This myopia leaves them both blind and self-congratulatory.

Why does this attitude bother me?  Art is for everyone.


michael pontieri said...

well said

michael pontieri said...
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