Maritza Ruiz-Kim

Artist, San Francisco Bay Area

Choppy Notes on Kincaidisms

1. Two excerpts regarding the work of Thomas Kinkade, who died earlier this month. (This is not about Kinkade.)

America is a marvelously diverse land with a diversity of people and a diversity of tastes. … All kinds of people like all kinds of art for all kinds of reasons … Artland’s more arrogant denizens took this man’s demise as an opportunity to lash out not only at the artist himself, his art, and the millions of people who own it, but also at pretty much everyone else on the face of the planet who might happen to like art that’s different from the art that these pretentious aesthetes have christened… Taste is a personal thing and so are plenty of other inalienable rights and privileges that we Americans enjoy. – Alan Bamberger at artbusiness.com
The reason the art world doesn’t respond to Kinkade is because none — not one — of his ideas about subject-matter, surface, color, composition, touch, scale, form, or skill is remotely original. They’re all cliché and already told. This is why Kinkade’s pictures strike those in the art world as either prepackaged, ersatz, contrived, or cynical. … Kinkade’s “serene simplicity” wasn’t limited to his ideas about imagery. They had everything to do with what Andy Warhol called “business art.” … Kinkade’s paintings are worthless schmaltz, and the lamestream media that love him are wrong. – Jerry Saltz at vulture.com

2. Yesterday & today, a quick exchange on Twitter about the appropriateness of a word like “womanifesto”. Does it weaken a discussion on equality? Is it “baby-talk”? Bad English? Why was the word chosen & who chose it & why & what was the intended definition? I have no idea. But someone didn’t like it. I’m fine with that.

3. Definitions:

Tolerance: a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own; interest in and concern for ideas, opinions, practices, etc., foreign to one’s own; a liberal, undogmatic viewpoint.
Judgement: an act or instance of judging; the ability to judge, make a decision, or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively, and wisely, especially in matters affecting action; good sense; discretion

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5. Notes from that article from time
6. It’s ironic how people can be intolerant of judging (incl me, I value tolerance.) Judging itself has mostly negative associations. I’m reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and the author (an introvert, duh) went to some introvert retreat. The quietness, the deference, the polite consideration were all there. But she posited that she would get tired of it. Would anyone speak up? Would anyone go first, making it easier for those who follow? So, applying it to a world with unending tolerance, where everything is equally good, I say- No. I do want respect for all artists; I want diverse aesthetics to have a place in the world. I’m open to populism in the arts, and dislike (other) elitists. But what if I want some art I hate dislike to have a smaller place in the world? What if I want *more* people to expand their visual vocabulary and appreciate *better* things? They don’t have to. But I want them to. So? I took Charles Murray’s How Thick is Your Cultural Bubble quiz, and I almost ranked as a You get around. Your bubble is quite large and permeable. I’m quite proud of this. I have first hand experience with many traits of small town middle class America, and I haven’t disowned them all.

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