The art of the impossible

I so much liked Andy Warhol’s “art is what you can get away with” that I bought a copy of the poster, and a tomato soup mug with the words around the rim. This is an article, Can You Get Away With It? Then It Was Probably Art This Year with a title obviously designed with Worhol in mind. What makes it art? The price tag perhaps, but what else who can know.

Today’s international art practice comprises such a bewildering array of idioms, schools of one, strategies, styles and projects, each with its own recondite vocabulary and apologists, that a kind of cultural gridlock has taken hold – even as works arise that almost dare the audience to shout “Bogus!” and “Shame!” Last month, an orange stainless-steel balloon-dog sculpture by Jeff Koons sold at Christie’s for almost $60-million (U.S.).

Politics is what you can get away with

Went to the Andy Warhol exhibit at the MOMA yesterday which is the kind of thing you come to New York for. But what caught my eye was Warhol’s most famous quote, “art is what you can get away with”. Watching politics in the US, what may be true about art – there being a sucker born every minute – in Obama’s America it is true everlasting about politics. The media here, like everywhere, is to the left. But to mix the media with a presidential system emphasises all of the worst features of both. Obama routinely breaks the law in deciding what he will enforce that he, as the head of the executive branch, is sworn by law to do, while there are other things that he is forbidden to do but does anyway since there is apparently no ability to fight it, never mind the lack of will.

The American political system is corrupt from end to end. The combination of a lawless president and a media that will never criticise means nothing will be done since nothing can be done since the ability to create the storm before the resolution of a problem is entirely absent. This is a country evolving into masters and servants, with the tax gathering power and the ability to reward friends unprecedented in a democratic community. Once the richest country in the world, using average real incomes per head of population as the measure, the US is well down the list today and heading down even further. The elites will do well, and the rest will have enough to eat, mostly. But there is no freedom where it counts, which is the freedom to disagree with the majority view on anything.

But it is a Warhol presidency. Explain this in any conventional way, which is the story of the day to be replaced by another just like it that will distract from this, just as the day after will distract from tomorrow’s:

US blocks attempts by Arab allies to fly heavy weapons directly to Kurds to fight Islamic State

Middle East allies accuse Barack Obama and David Cameron of failing to show strategic leadership in fight against Islamic State

That’s tonight on Drudge. I wonder whether it will even crack the first five pages of the NY Times in the morning. If it’s not in the news, it effectively didn’t happen.