Does art have a future? Performance genres like opera, theater, music and dance are thriving all over the world, but the visual arts have been in slow decline for nearly 40 years. No major figure of profound influence has emerged in painting or sculpture since the waning of Pop Art and the birth of Minimalism in the early 1970s.
It's high time for the art world to admit that the avant-garde is dead. It was killed by my hero, Andy Warhol, who incorporated into his art all the gaudy commercial imagery of capitalism (like Campbell's soup cans) that most artists had stubbornly scorned.
As a longtime fan of talk radio, I'm very worried about the low opinion that conservative hosts and callers have of the American artist. Art is portrayed as a scam, a rip-off and snow job pushed by snobbish elites.
Beauty is our weapon against nature: by it we make objects, giving them limit, symmetry, proportion. Beauty halts and freezes the melting flux of nature.
I believe that history has shape, order, and meaning: that exceptional men, as much as economic forces, produce change: and that passe abstractions like beauty, nobility, and greatness have a shifting but continuing validity.
Over the past 20 years, I have noticed that the most flexible, dynamic, inquisitive minds among my students have been industrial design majors. Industrial designers are bracingly free of ideology and cant. The industrial designer is trained to be a clear-eyed observer of the commercial world - which, like it or not, is modern reality.
Video games and YouTube.com are creatively booming, even though Web design, as demonstrated by the ugly clutter of most major news sites, is in the pits.
It's aggravating that Hollywood has never gotten credit for the role it played in promoting modern design.
Now that virtually every career is an option for ambitious girls, it can no longer be considered regressive or reactionary to reintroduce discussion of marriage and motherhood to primary education. We certainly do not want to return to the simplistic duality of home economics classes for girls and wood shop for boys.
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