Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Art-Free Post

About a year back my wife and I stopped subscribing to the Washington Post because of our informational mix of NPR and the Wall Street Journal, combined with an inability to finish one, let alone both periodicals. Add to that the lackluster art – icles in the Post and it did not seem like such a loss. Granted, we still get the Sunday Washington Post.

Yesterday I thumbed through the Arts Section (that comes with the Saturday delivered Sunday Source) and discovered something missing: fine art. Sure, there are 9 year olds in the metro region that take to page with colored pencil and crayon and create works of art worthy for any mother’s fridge (page 3). But why write about it? Isn’t that par for the course? Then there was a bit about the V-Chip, Super Mario Brothers, and a guy who does cartoons for kids about how it’s okay to grow up and go through those life changes (yes, I skimmed it, and I must add the images in his studio behind him appeared more interesting). If we connect those remaining dots we could assume that the Arts section could take a very smart and progressive lean in defining or analyzing the shift of art in the region, nationally or even globally. But, at best it looks like an accident and seems more a half-hearted attempt to just fill a section.

While I doubt this is the end of the end for Washington Post critical review of the traditional fine art housed within the walls of certain Smithsonian structures, I kind of wonder if it should be with what little we get in the forms of aesthetic criticism and abject commentary of some goings-on. It is better than nothing I suppose but I would enjoy a bit of juicy criticism or even a diatribe on art theory as it pertains to the twenty-first century. Of course, it’d only have a readership of a few hundred persons in the metro-area while the majority of readers will abandon the section in lieu of finding out how a Redskin scrimmage did. Such is life. Go Nats.

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