Ex in the City

One casualty of "Collection: MOCA's First Thirty Years" is a whole generation of 1980s New York superstars. Works by Robert Longo (left, Eric, from Men in the City, 1981) and David Salle look like period pieces — barely a rung above Mark Kostabi. Left out entirely are some big names (Eric Fischl, Julian Schnabel) represented in MOCA's collection. That some air has come out of these reputations isn't news, but the Geffen Contemporary's side-by-side comparisons are instructive in understanding why. (Not to privilege our 2010 tastes, especially. Who knows what today's darlings, including the ones at the Geffen, will look like in 2040?)
One 1980s NY painter who still looks good: Jean-Michel Basquiat.


Donald Frazell said…
All the NeoAmerican Neo Ex types are lightweights including Basquiat. Saw his retrospective at MoCA, only at the very end did he start to show some real talent, about teh level of what a MFA SHOULD be. Still a child, but lacking the discipline and understanding of his craft, taht was [probably as far as he would go, and its damning wiht faint praise.

The Germans showed some talent, though we Americans always want to see ourselvs as the best, when its really just bought, usually from other nations. Thye ahd gone thrugh hell, brought on by themselves, and ahd the background, temperament adn motives to excell in Expressionism. Baselitz wsnt bad, though msotly a retread of Kirchner, often hung upside down. but Kiefer is a grat artist, and attacked the three pillars of creative art, defining humanity, through the Germanic experience, exploring nature, in his furrowed fields and glowering suns, and searched for got, his true motif, revealing the burden of guilt, and sadness of the hollowness of being, godless, yet feeling the presence of more, and how that denial ahd led to the horrors of their arrogance and war.

He did it the right and only way, poetically, building a refelction of who we are, using the entire surface and layered meanings as life is, his work has a presence, it is alive in a room, the goal of all true creative artists.

We msut get back to this,k in completely different technique and motifs of course, nothing is worse than trying to be something you are not. But you msut be something beofre you can create something, nothing comes from a vacuum, teh finsihe fetish of contempt art, where cleanliness and brownoisng to ones clientele is all.

Thre is a place for that, its called Fine arts, but that has strangled any Creative art as a threat to its existence, and profit. It is all about marketing and souless product now, framed wllpaper, illustration of academic limited ideas, literary and psycho bable games. Creative art is passion, orit is nothing at all.

And so, art collegia delenda est