Partytime in the Yukon


I began having doubts about art school education when I was a student at the art institute school in Chicago. Something was off kilter, the teachers seemed uninterested in art much less contemporary art. I thought pop art was the real breakout from all the terminal paint mushing that students did then in search of their inner expressionist style. One thing I learned was that abstract expressionism takes more tubes of paint to make that other more direct styles like pop art. And pop art was the first large scale deployment of conceptual art. Suddenly art had to appeal to the mind and language re-entered the art making game. If you think of the crap that Warhol's paintings are made with especially silk screen ink (extremely fugitive colors) you can see how he knew to produce cheaply and sell high. Warhol was a good businessman in the sense that he understood how to make money. Something alot of us have never mastered, but the idea of art projects that are cost effective ie. punch for the buck Warhol had a business plan, the movies the Interview magazines - the silkscreen portraits from polaroids- make art easy and pretty soon everybody likes it.The sort of discovery we need to make to thrive is partly in the problem what should one make or do? I find comfort in the idea that the present is sorted out again by posterity. Nietzsche wrote about posthumous fame that he would he famous in the future which he is - Warhol posed as a quiet naive but he was hip to how the art world operated. To make something that people enjoy forever is a trick but it is the essential task of art. What happens with contemporary art is you can have many simultaneous trips going on in different parts of the world. What is the most compelling changes like a market changes as things become more or less desirable.The problem for me was the art schools never took much interest in the present contemporary scene. Sure some teachers were hip but they did'nt know what was going down. This extreme situation produced an very hybrid sort of future art.It's as if art sort of lost it's old identity on the way to our times.The interest in film by so many artists does make me wonder if the inevitable movement towards the screen is putting painting out to pasture. Not that painting isn't still alive and well but it's a different take on painting, it's not your father's Rothko. My complaint was that the schools teach you skills for another age, an age passed and far away in time.The world I've lived in was not a subject in art school. To copy as one does in art school means it's always about the past, it's as if you learn sitting with your back towards the front the room - the future was not done so we could'nt look into it. The world is always lost in it's own conceits and time just unwinds like a broken film reel. Perhaps some of this complaint is the complaint of all of us when we end before the story ends. Our incompleteness is where our art is most alive.