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View Diary: Why are our recent art tributes so poorly done? (48 comments)

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  •  I'd say get used to it. Mediocrity rules. (6+ / 0-)

    Public art commissions are decided by people who have their positions of power because they sought positions that would feed their egos.  Not by people who dedicate their lives to exploring and appreciating art.  The result is that most projects will have guidelines that by intention should not challenge -- not challenge the deciders of who wins the commission, not challenge viewers who are no more encouraged to appreciate art than the deciders were, not challenge funders who want their largesse to speak well of them and avoid controversy.  Maya Lin's Vietnam War Memorial was a very rare exception, and it faced a huge amount of pushback when it was first revealed.  Today the odds of anything challenging making it through such pushback are more remote.

    FWIW, monuments a century ago also met with resistance to novelty, but the idealistic figurative style of that era meant that compromised solutions would be less anomalous than they are today when more adventurous styles are common.

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