Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Fine" Art (6/8/06)

The 20th century produced many great artists. In the 1910s, there was Picasso. In the 1940s, it was Jackson Pollock. And the 1960s? Well, the '60s gave us LeRoy Neiman and Margaret Keane. Neiman is best known for sporting a ginormous mustache, painting brightly colored pictures of athletes, and never letting go of his cigar. Keane stunned the art world with her heart-rending portraits of children with eyes the size of Buicks. While both were successful, neither painter managed to find a place in the Sears Vincent Price Gallery of Fine Arts, which seemed to have some standards, even if they were questionable at times. It wasn't until Thomas Kinkade hit the scene in the 1990s that we found an artist who could really cram his work down the throats of Americans. Maybe the success of these artists is surprising to some, but as H.L. Mencken once (almost) said, "No one ever went broke underestimating the good taste of the American public."

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