Friday, August 24, 2007


Painter Laureate

The synapses of great minds fire together. Or maybe it's just because we've been married so long that we can read each other's minds - Marital ESP. After telling hubby about my post concerning artistic movements yesterday, he said that he'd been thinking about visual artists. This due to seeing an Andy Warhol poster in a restaurant. He got to wondering why there seem to be no visual artists since about the 1980s who've become household names. Artists that most people in the nation would recognize. There was Keith Haring, with his funky colorful cartoons of people, and Robert Mapplethorpe, most remembered for his crucifix in a jar of urine. Chuck Close, of giant photo-realism head fame, is still producing, but you don't hear much about him.

The trouble seems to be that visual artists (not including photographers) aren't making a splash of themselves, either promoting themselves in bold ways or in having others promote them in bold ways. The artists are out there; we're just not hearing about them. You know, writers have poet laureates to bring attention to writers on a state or national level. Why have we no painter laureates, or digital art laureates?

Can you think of any currently-producing visual artist that has become a household name?

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