Henry Wessel et al.

wessel.jpg Henry Wessel whose work I have only just come across caught my attention. He seems to have had a great deal of influence as a mentor and teacher at the San Francisco Art Institute and beyond. His work is better viewed in person, and you can still do that at San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art, until April 22nd, which is today. I tend not to discuss other photographers' work as I would rather leave those ruminations to others.

Another artist of note is Jeff koons, recently featured in the New Yorker. I have always liked Jeff Koons's work primarily because it is humorous. "Fine" art is for the most part singularly uh-humorous but Jeff Koons is one of the few exception to that rule. Humor, is considered lightweight and unworthy of a great deal of attention because it somehow lacks depth (whatever that means). Art, much like religion, is not meant to be humorous, it's serious business. No need to wonder why Art was the propaganda arm of religion for so long, the two are quite possibly forever joined at the hip. I am not quite sure that most people realize that unconsciously or not we equate both in our minds or work towards that end.

Art directly served religion for so long that it will take a very long time before it actually becomes divorced of that association. Modernism attempted to sever those links but only separated itself from its historical patron by looking to other forms of mysticism, culturally appropriating them to revolutionize itself, a much needed shot in the arm, but a fragile and momentary prescription. To this day I'd be willing to bet that most artists, wether they are conscious of it or not still work within that framework. I don't think that'll change any time soon.