Let's Hate Artists Today

Picking up a certain "I hate artists" zeitgeist surfing the web today. Encountered the following within a matter of hours:

1. The "artist or ape" quiz. Yours truly scored 100% but then I've been painting for years.
2. David Townes' trenchant question: "Why does modern art keep ending up in expensive galleries, then? Because popular curator wisdom suggests that art patrons are more interested in original experiences than in pleasurable ones." David, it sounds strange but "modern art" describes a period style. It's customary to refer to the current stuff as "contemporary art" (or postmodern if you feel adventurous).
3. There are two threads debating whether Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty should be protected from damage from oil drilling in the Great Salt Lake. The Paddy Johnson thread refers to the earthwork as art and the boingboing thread refers to it as "art." (To weigh in on the Smithson: it was underwater for 24 years so preserving it now feels like saving a ghost. Sol LeWitts get painted over and no one squawks.)

In view of this hostility to folks who are trying to bring a modicum of joy and challenge to our lives, please enjoy a little spittle back in your face, modern art hater, with some quotes from the Abstract Expressionist painter Adolph Gottlieb:

"Abstraction enrages (the average man) because it makes him feel inferior. And he is inferior."


"I'd like more status than I have now, but not at the cost of closing the gap between artist and public. I'd like to widen it!"

Those quotes came from Donald Kuspit, who, for the record, thought they were adolescent.