by Gary Powell
Historically, humans have preferred institutions for interpreting life. Between wars and inquisitions, we all know how well that turned out. I have always considered artists better interpreters than governments or religions. (Read “The Boys in Red” to better understand the role of institutions in the arts and sciences.)
Strolling through Austin’s new Blanton Museum of Art confirmed to me yet again that art is not the answer to existence, but it is the absolute question.
The ABSOLUTE ANSWER is always going to win a bigger audience
than the ABSOLUTE QUESTION. – Gary Powell
Add in celebrity-driven drivel masquerading as art and it’s pretty easy to understand the smaller audiences for any art which actually asks something from its audience. The new millenium has birthed “shock art” as the new compelling art. Setting yourself on fire is pretty shocking too, but not very effectual in continuing the relationship with your audience after the smoke clears.
So, mush forward bravely with all your work. (The word work has been carefully chosen here.) Your discipline and insight will hopefully enrich both you and your audiences regardless of size.
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