Thursday, August 21, 2008

Koons = nARTcissism

So I took my class to the Jeff Koons exhibit at the MCA. In general, I'm feeling a bit burnt out on these art stars and major copycat exhibitions we are having in Chicago. (Why can't we tell New York and this globalized market to shove it!??!) Although, I love reading and analyzing art, and discovering new contemporary artists, I'm beginning to take sides with my students when they ask, "and why is this art?" Sort of like your earlier post about the "...Devil" exhibition: "and WHY do we care?"

Maybe there is a reason that the art world and "regular" world are separated by a great divide. One side full of people working on making their lives--and the lives of those they love--a little better, operating within systems and saving up vacation time like treasure. The other side is full of a smaller network of people working to yank their own chain to the delight of an audience of "themselves." I don't know. It just seems so self-serving and...for what? No one's giving you a gold medal. And even if they did, how could you honorably accept? Did you EARN it somehow? Justification is strange.

Somewhat paradoxically--after my internal tirade--I do like Jeff Koons! I think his transparent narcissism sheds more light on the art world than his other themed critiques. I like him for being so open in his jerky-ness! He worked the playground, only without the facade of seemingly significant social commentary and identified authorship. The art world embodies a shifty behavior, championing those who can sell their worth and credibility. The only difference between him and other artists, is the fact that he is completely honest about his creepiness. Someone once told me he didn't know what to think of Koons, because he didn't "get it." I told him (rather righteously), "there's nothing to get really. That's what's so great about it!"

Any thoughts?

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