September 26, 2007

Spanking young painters at NYC galleries

In The Village Voice, Christian Viveros-Fauné reports that younger artists may be more popular with dealers and collectors, but their work brims with derivative process, lackluster imagery, and cloying self-importance. "In the art world, youth is a prize (price?) commodity. No surprise here. After all, why should the art world be different from the music and the film businesses? As things spiral upward in a bullish economy, collectors, curators, artists, and dealers think they've earned the right to create their own Britneys and Justin Timberlakes....A recent stroll through Chelsea revealed a tepid orthodoxy of youth: dealers of all stripes exhibiting the works (predictably, mostly paintings) of artists just a few years out of art school. A craze merely a year ago, the trend—complete with subcultural winks and slacker nods—is now so derivative it's positively viral. Yet more proof that deviancy, in the words of the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan, is defined downward, and that—surprise—not all youth cultures are created equal." Viveros-Fauné picks fights with Dana Frankfort (b. 1971), Eric Hibit (b. 1976), Jules de Balincourt (b. 1972), Quentin Curry (b. 1972), and Natalie Frank's (b. 1980), but gives Eva Struble (b. 1981) and Michael Cline (b. 1973) a big fat kiss. Read more.