The Retinal & the Triumph of Genre

posted: 04-06-10
Tasrill Sieyes, Avatar Descended
(Second Life screen capture)
Image Source
As far as the mass art reproduction market goes, representation still rules. According to a recent article by art student Ide Bouldin, the best-selling genres of digital imagery are still conventional or expressionistic landscapes, with depictions of nudes, dogs, wildlife and other figures crowding the rest of the list. "Abstracts" sell a little worse than seascapes and a little better than pictures of dogs.

Bouldin notes that competition for sales would ordinarily push young artists into the popular categories, but points to abstraction as a mode of creating ambiguous imagery that crosses genre boundaries and so can appeal to buyers with varying retinal or sentimental tastes. Duchamp is mentioned as originator of the idea that art is not self-expression, but what would he say about this? Is art a job or no job at all?


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