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Thank God for Glenn Dixon’s “Beneath Contempt” art reviews. In fact, God likely is thankful as wellomnividiodic though He may be, how could He bear to watch what goes on in so many of D.C.’s art galleries?
Most of the time I visit the local galleries I expect to find some biographical note regarding the artist like, “Despite blindness and mutism…” or “Although diagnosed with Down syndrome…” or “Shrugging the effects of a full lobotomy…”
Predictably, Dixon’s first column a few weeks ago met with a deluge of protest letters, each a meaningless monologue in which linguistic incorrectness grapples with illogical inadvertency. Of course, it’s not the least bit surprising that the artists, dealers, and so-called critics that howled so loudly remain invincibly ignorant.
I loved the suggestion from several of the bleating hysterics that Dixon can’t validly offer critiques without stating his “criteria.” How’s this for criteria: If it’s unparsable gibberish devoid of any idea, it sucks. This simple benchmark alone is more than adequate to justify 95 percent of Dixon’s shit list.
Dixon is also on target by pointing a finger at one of the causes for our pathetic state of affairs. “Critics” in D.C. are hardly that and might better be accused of gross overgenerosity, of upgrading the second-rate so that their own flabby discriminations appear all the rarer. Observing the criticism of D.C. art has been the equivalent of watching imitation pearls cast before genuine swine.
The latest, clueless hack for the Washington Post only makes matters worse, as he shows even less principle than education. His character is basically that of blotting paper: passive, receptive, and accepting of any troglodytic Rorschach.
As bad as the Post is, KOANanother theoretical outlet for criticism of D.C. artis even more laughable. It passes out more blowjobs than Madonna at an NBA All-Star game. In fact, being a product of vanity press, KOAN has close associations with prostitution. (Any self-respecting writer ought to be able to claim he never paid for it.)
It’s gotten to the point that none of the respectable national and international art journals pay any attention to D.C. art, even on those rare occasions when it is deserving of broader attentions. Compelling artists either leave D.C. or languish. In this respect, those in the D.C. arts community who try to protect the substandard status quo show themselves to be the true art haters.