The Diminishing Relevance of the Art World

In WaPo, Tom Rachman, who himself despises Trump, asks “How can the art world resist Trump? Probably not very well.

What is the problem? Political correctness and conformity of thought within the world of elite artists:

Right-wing commentators have spent years sniping at liberals in the arts, with notable success. A generation ago, “politicized artist” might have conjured, say, the Soviet dissident author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Today, “politicized artist” is as likely to evoke a whiny, entitled, bobble-headed creative.

The irrelevance of art owes partly to the ascendant populist mood, and partly to protest art being so reliably liberal, so soothingly safe. Artists may claim they’re nailing “redneck racists,” but how many of those attended the gallery opening? Politics in the arts often looks more like group bonding than anything that might effect change.

Not that artists aren’t trying. Efforts to avoid a Trump presidency ranged from slapping down cash to sketching in bodily fluid. Jeff Koons, Marina Abramovic, Ed Ruscha and Chuck Close are among those who made contributions to try to help elect Hillary Clinton. One young artist drew an imagined nude of Trump with a notably small penis; another portrayed Trump in the medium of her own menstrual blood.

Somehow, none of this — no degree of scorn, no foe — could stop The Donald.

There is a corollary here, of course, with Hollywood, where that town’s elites are diminishing returns on their activism, due to metro blue-berry bubbles.

Yet another corollary is protests on college campuses, the biggest of which tend to exist in already-quite-blue metropolitan areas.

In other words, there’s a lot of preachin’-to-the-choir going on.

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