July 01, 2007

All About Art

There's an amusing (but potentially fairly ugly) little kerfuffle going on in the New York art world between the established (uhuh…) street artists / graffitiists (think "Banksy" and epigones) and a bunch of so-far mostly faceless defacers and disruptors. As reported by that newspaper-with-its-pulse-on-what's-happening-on-the-street, the NYT, "One manifesto declared street art 'a bourgeois-sponsored rebellion,' politically impotent, facilitiating gentrification". (Michael Kimmleman, "Splashing the Art World With Anger and Questions", NYT 30/6/07).

Well, yes. Maybe. Does anyone really think that the street art that's being talked about there is any sort of rebellion, let alone a bourgeois-sponsored rebellion, nowadays? It's an industry, a cog in the production of the Spectacle (it is a spectacle), a product with a carefully-nurtured market and an associated party set.

Later, ending Kimmelman's article: "Minus the incendiary devices, this latest little flap is proof that art can still matter". But it's not about art, is it?

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