|The Counterfeiter's Knife|
A Nero Wolf Mystery by Rex Stout 1961
With the advent of film, photography and, now, computer graphics, the days of the traditional museum artist are largely over. Watch Exit Through the Gift Shop and see exactly how embarrassingly laughable the art world has become (and after than, watch My Kid Could Paint That). It's so erudite, exclusive and removed from the world that contemporary gallery art has become insignificant at best. It seems, also, that the only way an arteest can get noticed these days is by resorting to cheap tactics like sensationalism (i.e. Virgin Mary in a bottle of urine) or gimmicks (i.e. Bansky style urban art). Warhol recognized it for what it was and milked it for everything it was worth.
IMHO, if you want to see true examples of art of the last handful of decades, you don't need to be looking in private art galleries. As Robert Williams will tell you, those guys have no artistic skill, only an ability to turn-on art snobs. If you want to find the art that will be kept alive through the generations, it wont be the feces smeared on canvas hanging in an exclusive Chelsea gallery, but rather on the covers of books, movie posters, comic books and record covers.
Need proof? Look no further than the screen in front of you. What images are people sharing on Tumblr and Facebook? What types of art are people constructing thousands upon thousands of websites dedicated to? Call it lowbrow. Curse the "dumbing down" of society all you want, but it is what it is.
I can guarantee you that in 100 years no one will give two shits about any contemporary gallery artists work, from "Mr. Brainwash" to Jeff Koons. However, it is impossible that the Jaws movie poster will ever go out of our collective consciousness.
So, I'll leave you with this thought. I'd be interested to read your take on the subject.