The Ego-Centric Art World is Killing Art
JJ Charlesworth, Artnews, Tuesday, December 30, 2014
The year 2014 offers many contenders for its most significant art world issue/theme/phenomenon. Record-busting auction results? Check. Artists getting caught up in pretty messed up free-speech controversies? That’s a good one. Political activism taking over the visual memesphere? I’m not complaining. The increasingly desperate attempts of blue-chip galleries to maintain the credibility of their over-hyped young art star painters? I like a good laugh.
But sometimes, it’s the more marginal developments that start to bug you. And one of the least appealing, and, yet, for me, most significant trends of 2014 was the rise of the noisy, empty celebration of the artist-as-ego. Or maybe that should be ego-as-artist. I’m not sure. Of course, the art world has always been full of pretty massive egos, so what’s new, right? Yet 2014 seemed to be the year in which the obsession with the most narcissistic expression of the individual started to take center stage. It points to the apparently unstoppable merging of art with a new form of celebrity culture, one in which individual self-expression has become an obsession above all other considerations…..
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