Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sabotage for Art's Sake

Dave Hickey, a well-known Las Vegas-based art critic, MacArthur Fellow, and author of Air Guitar, a very entertaining book of art criticism, had some interesting things to say in Art in America's May "Group Crit" about the state of art schools (which I wrote about in an earlier post called Art and the Q-Word).

He was particularly candid about talented young artists and the potential for conflict with art teachers, especially if they be artists themselves:
Only saints can nurture real talent. I am a writer, not even an artist, and even I can't avoid feeling a twinge of resentment when a pimple-faced twerp with a skateboard under his arm shows me a mature and persuasive work of art. I can see, much more clearly than the twerp, the road opening before him, the obstacles falling away, and it's all I can do not to stick out my foot and trip him. I f I were an artist, with a stake in the game, I would probably trip him, and tell myself that it was for his own good. It wouldn't be. Better to buy the damned art and take your profit on the back end

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