Jeff vs the worker bees

Post by Doug Witmer


[Ed note: Witmer is responding to Roberta’s post about Jeff Koons’s 50th birthday party.]


Hello Artblog:

Roberta, you write:


“…Big artist with big ego makes big noise and big money. It’s not a lesson I like but it seems to be the one that works today.”

I’m curious about your definition in this case of what “works today.” Are you talking about the “lesson” you learned or the nature of the (earthly) “success” Koons has had or your opinion of the aesthetic value of Koons’ work? I won’t argue with you on his aesthetic terms. What he’s about aesthetically is anathema to me, but his work is out there and presents/reflects compelling issues/problems that I think are important to consider. I would agree on this front that it “succeeds.”

The New Yorker story…yeah, entertaining hijinks…only in NYC. But I caution (anyone) getting sucked into that perpetuated myth of the New York Uber Artist Hero. I’m finding myself continuously surprised that in this day and age it still exists. Shouldn’t that story be played-out by now?


I believe there is another buzz: It’s collectively louder and it comes from all of us other artist-worker-bees. Each day in the USA the mere act of working in the realm of the human aesthetic makes each one of us more and more radical. Cheers, Douglas (image is Witmer’s painting, “Refrain,” which appeared in an exhibition in Philadelphia Cathedral last year.)

Douglas Witmer is a regular artblog contributor and busy bee. See his website and read his blog for more.