Sunday, October 28, 2012

Beauty Just Doesn't Cut It

Robert Boyd

Forrest Prince, Attention Artist, 2012, wood, glass, vinyl lettering

Attention Artist by Forrest Prince is on view at the Station Museum exhibit [Hx8], which opened last night. I think this piece could pretty much serve as the mission statement for the Station Museum.  Kind of puts all those artists who want to create beauty or express personal feeling or play with ideas in their place. Quit wasting everyone's time, you slackers!



  1. I love the way this work actually sabotages itself. As if the reactionary concept of god has improved the world rather than created centuries of misery. It's so typical of a religious person to make a self-righteous, delusional, controlling statement such as this. It should read: if you want to change the world, quit making art, and go to Law school. This piece strikes me as very adolescent.

  2. I just wanted to hop in and disagree. What strikes me about this piece is not its religious origin, but how similar it is to so much contemporary political art. The smug, self-righteous hectoring tone strikes me as typically political.

    Certainly many reliegious people are self-righteous and hectoring (these days mostly from the right, even though Prince himself comes from the left). But contemporary religious art can (and often is) contemplative, ecstatic, mystical, etc. In other words, I think in it's preachy tone, Prince's work is an outlier among contemporary religious artworks.

    But I certainly agree that the work sabotages itself. The problem, which Prince fails to acknowledge, is that people don't like to be scolded. It's not a particularly good way to change the behavior of adults.