Askia Asks

Askia asked me in a comment on my Tracy Emin, Tory post:

“On what basis do you make the assertion that if these 80s New York artists were transported back in time they would exist on a rung below the village idiot?”

It’s hard to know what to make of the question. I think it’s glaringly obvious to anybody bothering to look with their own two eyes rather than buying into the delusional claptrap written about clearly artistically infantile work and the amount of dollars stacked mile high next to it.

Here’s a painting by the kind of Renaissance genius I’m referring to that an 80s New York artist is transported back in time to meet:


Here’s a painting by the 80s New York painting genius:

rothenberg crap

Do you notice a difference between the two painters? What would you imagine Uccello’s reaction would have been if the painter above were to a have taken a few of her masterpieces over to the studio of Uccello. Then upon, exhibiting them to Ucello she were to inquire whether he could use her help completing the Battle of San Romano? Do you think he’d take her seriously?

So why are paintings like the above exhibiting no more than  stupendous incompetence considered to be works of towering genius….

Or take the “painting” below, work that’s so banal and witless it’s hard to even look at without getting a headache. Naturally it’s adored by the crowd that are delighted to have Kim Kardashian on the cover of Rolling Stone. But how have so-called “fine artists” sunk so low that they don’t say a word about what a pile of total crap art has turned into  and that paintings so inept as the two pictured here are housed in museums that also house the work of the Rembrandts, Courbets, and Titians?


The charlatan Duchamp was fond of saying that he wanted to take art out of the hands of the stupid painters and return it to the service of the mind. Deep thinkers like himself with his profound insights into art, such as painting a moustache on a reproduction of the Mona Lisa. The entire latter part of the 20th century has been devoted to turning painting into some kind of lamentable junk of the Haring-Rothenberg-Schnabel variety. These are exactly the stupid painters that Duchamp was presumably rescuing art from?

On the one hand we have painting so inept (see above) that it barely qualifies for the level of a Hallmark Greeting card. On the other we have whatever kind of crack-brained nonsense the art world wants to proclaim as a brilliant conceptual installation, lifting us all toward art enlightenment if we follow the the zen-like spiritual attainments as we reach satori reading some piece of art speak nonsense.

At this point the art world has become so stupefyingly mindless and dishonest about it that it makes the Church of Scientology a far more interesting and justifiable intellectual and aesthetic achievement.

And yet there is little to no criticism whatsoever within the art world itself of just how vapid American Art of the 80s actually was. Let’s recall this was the disco era.. Well, sad to say, but Haring Basquiat Rothenberg would most legitimately be called Disco Art. It has all the characteristics of Disco. Trendy and now. No depth. A superficial upbeat quality. Lots of “pop” energy saying nothing whatsoever beyond a kind of “Have a Nice Day!” I think the phrase could adequately sum up the collective artistic ouevre of Haring and Scharf laid end to end, don’t you.

It’s all so positive, really. That’s the most important thing. Like Mr. Positive, Bob Rauschenberg and loveable Andy who loved everything he ever saw. It’s all about LOVE…..

Spread the love, people! It’s all gonna work out great!

About trueoutsider

I'm an artist.
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4 Responses to Askia Asks

  1. goetzkluge says:

    In arts, seemingly only few speak out to make clear that the emperor has no clothes 😉
    But the emperor’s art is *marketing*.

  2. trueoutsider says:

    You got it right there, Goetz. Marketing and Showbiz R Us.

    And speaking of markets I’ll leave a note here for posterity about the current panic spreading from China to the US last Friday. Perhaps a decade or two from now cyberspace cadet with a microprocessor implanted in his skull can access my blog writing. I’m quite certain no artists are paying any attention to it as it’s totally irrelevant to the cutting edge “dialogue” but so I’ll just put a brief quote from Mike Whitney and hopefully not lose the 5 readers that might have stumbled over here wanting to read about art

    “Last Friday’s stock market bloodbath was the worst one-day crash since 2008. The Dow Jones dropped 531 points, while the S&P 500 fell 64, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq slid 171. The Dow lost more than 1,000 points on the week dipping back into the red for the year. At the same time, commodities continued to get hammered with oil prices briefly dropping below the critical $40 per barrel mark. More tellingly, the market’s so called “fear gauge” (VIX) skyrocketed to a 2015 high indicating more volatility to come. The VIX has remained at unusually low levels for a number of years as investors have grown more complacent figuring the Fed will intervene whenever stocks fall too far. But last week’s massacre cast doubts on the Central Bank’s intentions. Will the Fed ride to the rescue again or not? ”

    Pretty exciting stuff for enthusiasts of financial apocalypse like those playing the financial casino game I imagine.

    Of course exactly like the 2008 crash we’re reassured by our financial experts and leading economists reading whatever scripts they’ve been handed that there’s nothing whatsoever to worry about as the fundamentals are completely sound… I’ll be sure to pass that along to all the homeless people I see on every other street corner in Denver.

    And cities like Detroit and Newark can relax and celebrate that all is well in the Capitalist miracle, and all of our wars are well under control we have it all on lockdown from the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli. Sure the occasional four year old blows away his parents while fiddling with the loaded gun they left lying around in the living room while in a crack stupor.. But that’s the kind of price one has to pay from freedom and democracy and a rich cultural heritage.

    With Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of Vanity Fair and Kim Kardashian gracing Rolling Stone we also know that our culture is perfectly sound… so don’t panic and start selling off those Koons Balloon dogs and Hirst spot paintings as the sky’s the limit on their value and all those investments will certainly not only hold up but continue to increase into the stratosphere just like our national debt. We’ll just keep on printing money and passing it around to the bankers as they know how to best pass it around to the corporations that keep the economy running creating great sweatshop jobs working for enlightened capitalists like Jeff Bezos. So some uneducated high school kid has to break some sweat making sure I get my coffee beans delivered an hour ofter I order it on Amazon? You think that keeps me up at night? Crack that whip, Jeff!

    Life is good, Goetz. I tell ya. Every morning I wake up to the smoke from the wildfires in California that have drifted over the Rockies and imagine it’s from the marijuana fields that supply our local legalized pot industry. It gives me that appetite and I head over to my convenient Recreational Marijuana dispensary to pick up some Pot Brownies and get right on to making another bona fide artistic masterpiece to stick in my flat files that I’m hoping to have buried next to me when I pass… I’m constructing my pyramid now and secret chamber… When the archaeologists dig me and my work up a couple hundred years from now everything should be perfectly intact if things go according to plan.
    As the Eagles sang back in the good ol’ days: “Take it easy, take it easy… Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy. We may lose and we may win but we’ll never be here again. So open up I’m climbin’ in. So take it easy.”

    And since we’ll never be here again, why not wreck the place grabbing as much excitement as we possibly can? Makes perfect sense to me. In exciting times like these all you gotta do is take it easy. Kick back with with some legalized pot and groove on the profound cosmic truths contained in your Helen Frankenthaler poster. Empty the mind. Follow the breath as you inhale the smoke and everything is gonna be allright… In the US we’re all doin’ just fine … on Cloud 9.

  3. goetzkluge says:

    “… We’ll just keep on printing money …”
    Money and art have a lot in common: The big owners know too well about the futility of its value and fear the moment when a sufficiently large amount of people start to understand that too. Thus, bankers and gallerists manage the futility by permanently maintaining the belief in the value of their currency. In my country (Germany), there are many gallerists, but probably only three of these determine the prizes in the market. They not only “create” value, they also shape the rules of the market and create the artists required for that market. In a way, the job of these art-bankers is to “stabilize” art as just another currency for those, who do not want to rely on official currencies only.

  4. trueoutsider says:

    Thanks for that description of the German art market. I would have suspected the same thing as both the American (NYC) and Brit (London) art world are similarly structured… a few big fish (the branded galleries) with the various art models/styles that all the other mid-level galleries clone… Don Thompson lays this out clearly in the $12 Million Dollar Stuffed Shark… or you can get the 10 minute version.

    No artists will talk about any of this incidentally. At least any that I’m aware of. They run for the hills whenever I mention it. I wonder why…

    They won’t refute it or challenge it. They won’t acknowledge it. They simply won’t listen to or hear anything that’s written or said about what a total fraud it’s become on the blue chip level as they labor mightily to follow the values and imitate the styles of what ever shows up there and this has been going on at warp speed since the American go-go 80s.

    I love the very last lines where Thompson says he buys the kind of art that deeply touches his soul…. I can only imagine… Hirst? Haring? A Jeff Koons basketball in aquarium piece? Peter Halley? John Currin’s porno paintings? Lisa Yuksavage and Ms. Balloon Bosom art?…. so many deep souled artists at the top of the art contemporary art world to choose from.

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