The past decade has seen an unsettling evolution of thought with regard to the artist’s place in society. That place has increasingly become a wobbly axis of discord. Painters, poets, actors, authors and musicians are battered and belittled for doing nothing more than what they were born to do: express themselves. While the artist’s contribution to the world community was once valued for its conscience and vision, in recent years it has depreciated and even become a liability.
You can read the entire text here. The sentiment is really rather sweet. I do agree with some of the points made in the Manifesto. However, I don't agree that artists have had much to do with shaping our culture. I still hold that you can only change a willing tide.
One point that is brought up is the influence of celebrities. I think it is very difficult for visual artists to reach the mass of people that movie actors reach. Even the Painter of Light doesn't reach as many folks as a pop singer.
I've seen a lot of art that challenges, that provokes thought, that expresses views outside of the mainstream. I haven't seen much that I disagree with. It seems to me that art audiences already agree with art politics. When visual art stories reach mass publications, it is usually in the form of a story about a celebrity, like the story posted about Anjelina Jolie through AP. This what they had to say about the artist --
Kate Kretz has painted for 20 years but none of her previous work has garnered the attention given ''Blessed Art Thou,'' showing this weekend at Art Miami, an annual exposition of modern and contemporary art.
You can read the entire text here (requires NYT login). I guess, as a visual artist, I should be pleased that there is even this much notice being given to the art that I hold in such high esteem. But still, it seems like we are shouting in the forest where no one can hear us.