Interview, September 2009
Do you agree the whole "lowbrow," genre has proliferated to the extent where it is now outselling more traditional genres?
If “traditional” means standard high brow art like single color canvas paintings, the Fine Art Mafia will never willingly allow “lowbrow” art to outsell the conceptual non-art currently clogging up the galleries and museum since the competition for collector’s money and corporate funds is too fierce. For “lowbrow” art to take the lead in the sales price of individual pieces of art there must be a major crossover star; a situation similar to Andy Warhol and his Pop Art banishing the Abstract Expressionists from meaningful contemporary art collections. Shepard Fairey seems to be doing this but whether or not he is “lowbrow” is debatable.
If the phrase “traditional” means genre art like landscapes and portraits, I don’t think that the art uneducated masses consider “lowbrow” viable interior decoration. There is a cultural threat inherent in “lowbrow” that will never be acceptable to them.
Do you agree that there a greater sense of fraternity between these galleries that cater for the genre that acts as a common platform or forum for exchange of ideas and artists when compared to regular galleries who are more competitive?
There is a fraternity in the “lowbrow” art world but it exists among the artists and not the galleries. From my experience there was initially such camaraderie between dealers but it evaporated as the number of galleries increased.
Is it good or bad for the art world in general if self-taught people dominate the scene?
A self-taught artist is generally someone who developed their technique without instruction from academia. This distance from theory has the consequence that “lowbrow” art evidences many distinct individual technical styles but not a lot of conceptual differences. I believe that this lack of schooling has resulted in a limited number of themes in “lowbrow” art.