Get yours while they last — because the stilted drones have banned it.
Art should challenge the status quo, the staid complacencies of the bourgeoisie; it should even shock. So goes a standard Leftist line. But when art actually DOES that, they do their best to suppress it. That helps to explain why the ideas of the avant garde have been the same for more than a century, and why, today, avant garde means defending the statist status quo.
You don’t have to be an art critic to see something tasteless going on at Pratt Institute. Since 1887, this venerable New York institution has been dedicated to educating “artists and creative professionals to be responsible contributors to society.” Yet teachers and administrators at Pratt have been nothing but irresponsible in their recent dealings with a fifth-year drawing student named Steve DeQuattro.
Mr. DeQuattro is a political artist. He uses his background in graphic design to illustrate the dominant political culture of his world. At Pratt, this means creating work that addresses, as he wrote to me, the “growing bureaucracy, higher tuition, new buildings for administration, new offices, and departments, and left-wing bias, all at the expense of the students.”
As part of his recent work, Mr. DeQuattro has designed a cereal-box-like sculpture that he calls, ironically, “Sustainable Liberalism in a Box” (the graphics are pictured above). He has developed a piece that takes the ubiquitous Apple iPod ad campaign to address abortion. He has designed a sobering five-foot-wide mural that tracks the Democratic Party’s record on race, from Jefferson’s slave-holding days up through the racially charged speeches of Senator Robert Byrd and Vice President Joe Biden.
As a senior in the school, Mr. DeQuattro has been working on this art in preparation for a group show for Pratt’s graduating students, which is scheduled to open on April 23. While his faculty advisor has been supporting him, his peers have not. Mr. DeQuattro says they recently wrote a letter to his professors, calling his work “offensive” and complaining about exhibiting alongside him. Last week, the chair of the fine arts department stepped in to prevent Mr. DeQuattro’s participation alongside the other students in the group show–an unprecedented move in the history of the department, says Mr. DeQuattro, despite the fact that none of his work is pornographic, libelous, or in violation of the laws of free speech. Mr. DeQuattro’s advisor did not return a request for comment.
Well, no, he wouldn’t. Being a liberal means never having to admit you’re a fascist, and the advisor, having supported DeQuattro, would be in line for severe punishment from the ancien regime. But whether you possess the intellectual honesty to admit it or not, you are just the same. Read all of it; it’s right on the money, right down the line. And remember, under liberal fascism, Transgressive is Good…as long as you’re not transgressing against the entrenched establishment, which simply can’t tolerate any dissent at all, lest their smarmy self-regard dissolve quicker than sugar in hot water.