Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Artlessly Artful

As Inigo Montoya said: "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

While I'm fascinated, as a relatively new New Yorker, by Fashion Week and all that it entails, I am also amused by the conceit that it is Art.*

Fashion is great. It's part of our visual culture, and as a competitive and ever-churning field, it produces something worth watching. Some of its practitioners are fantastic. But please stop calling designers Artists. It's a different thing, with different concerns. Celebrate Fashion for what it is, but stop pretending or -- worse yet -- sincerely thinking it's art. Saying that only means you are insincere, or ill-informed.

And if you are going to have a show that is about the works of fashion shooters as works of art in their own right, be prepared for laughter if what you really show, weighed objectively, is just pretty / decent fashion shooting. It makes you look like you don't know what art is, and you probably do.

*(This is relatively rarely expressed by those succeeding in fashion -- and all-too-often expressed by those watching from the sidelines. Still, it is heard constantly, so it becomes fair game for critique, no?)

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