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Camille Paglia - How Capitalism Can Save Art

The vulnerability of students and faculty alike to factitious theory about the arts is in large part due to the bourgeois drift of the last half century. Our woefully shrunken industrial base means that today's college-bound young people rarely have direct contact any longer with the manual trades, which share skills, methods and materials with artistic workmanship.

Warhol, for example, grew up in industrial Pittsburgh and borrowed the commercial process of silk-screening for his art-making at the Factory, as he called his New York studio. With the shift of manufacturing overseas, an overwhelming number of America's old factory cities and towns have lost businesses and population and are struggling to stave off disrepair. That is certainly true of my birthplace, the once-bustling upstate town of Endicott, N.Y., to which my family immigrated to work in the now-vanished shoe factories. Manual labor was both a norm and an ideal in that era, when tools, machinery and industrial supplies dominated daily life.

For the arts to revive in the U.S., young artists must be rescued from their sanitized middle-class backgrounds. We need a revalorization of the trades that would allow students to enter those fields without social prejudice (which often emanates from parents eager for the false cachet of an Ivy League sticker on the car). Among my students at art schools, for example, have been virtuoso woodworkers who were already earning income as craft furniture-makers. Artists should learn to see themselves as entrepreneurs.

by Anonymousreply 710/09/2012


by Anonymousreply 110/09/2012

Save Art? Capitalism and Art have been one and the same thing since the time of Warhol, at least...

by Anonymousreply 210/09/2012

hahaha R2, couldn't agree with you more.

by Anonymousreply 310/09/2012

[bold]Thus we live in a strange and contradictory culture, where the most talented college students are ideologically indoctrinated with contempt for the economic system that made their freedom, comforts and privileges possible.[/bold]

At one point, Camille Paglia describes herself as "a libertarian Democrat who voted for Barack Obama in 2008." First of all, she's in the wrong party. She met Mitt Romney a number years ago, wrote about it at, and mentioned that she predicts Romney will someday be president.

Her despicable gushing over the incompetent Sarah Palin, who quit her governor post from Alaska the year following the McCain/Palin GOP loss of 2008, was contradictory and adolescent.

So, enough of Paglia -- who, as anyone should know, not liberal; and I doubt she's libertarian. Whatever best describes Paglia, she certainly shouldn't be voting for the Democratic Party; and, at age 65, she should have figured out how differently to handle her vote.

When Camille Paglia finally pulls herself out of the trash, then the rest of her pseudo intellectual garbage may be readible and considered. But not until that point does Paglia merit attention. She is out of touch. With herself. (And, following that, with the American citizenry.)

by Anonymousreply 410/09/2012

Her article is contradictory to the point of hypocrisy- she sounds like she is talking down to the proles. Cheap one trick pony, promoting right wing crap in the name of true libertion. Awful, self obsessed character.

by Anonymousreply 510/09/2012

I love Camille Paglia, if for no other reason than she makes people's heads explode!

by Anonymousreply 610/09/2012

I don't think she has that effect, R6.

Camille Paglia is just old.

Years ago she was provocative. And that made her seem fresh. But in the last, say, 10 years Paglia's writings became so contradictory it seemed more for show than anything exhibiting lucid and intelligent reasoning.

I actually suspect much of her columns, one or two years prior to her last "appearance," were ghost-written.

by Anonymousreply 710/09/2012
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