Wolfe: They Don’t Even Buy Our Products!

“In fact, the press was so attentive that Harold Rosenberg, as well as [Jackson] Pollack, wondered why so little Abstract Expressionism was being bought. ‘Considering the degree to which it is publicized and feted,’ Rosenberg said, ‘vanguard painting is hardly bought at all.’ Here Rosenberg was merely betraying the art world’s blindness toward its own strategies… First you do everything possible to make sure your world is antibourgeois, that it defies bourgeois tastes, that it mystifies the mob, the public, that it outdistances the middle-class by light-years of subtlety and intellect – and then, having succeeded admirably, you ask with a sense of See-what-I-mean? outrage: look, they don’t even buy our products!”

– Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word (pp. 56-57)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s