Still really busy, but here's something for you to look at while I try and get things done...
Dawn Eden points out one of the sillier excesses of modern "art", which reminded me of a reaction to all that -- The Art Renewal Center. I even posted a link to the site in her comments. It is definitely worth visiting. There are many lovely works of genuine art, and you can buy prints as well. In addition, they have many interesting articles. Here is the first one currently linked on their front page: "Oppressors Accuse their Victims of Oppression: Modernist Tactic Exposed". An excerpt:
It is the oldest technique in the book for oppressors to accuse their victims of oppressing them. We donít think most Modern and Post-Modern works rise to the definition of ďart,Ē much the less good art or great art. But we donít believe anyone should be banned from making it or exhibiting it, or even calling it art if thatís what they believe, or even if they donít believe it and are saying they do for cynical and mercenary reasons. It is a dear and cherished right that they exercise in our free society regardless how hideous or pathetic their work may be.
But we have equally the right to say that itís not art at all without being told that we are trying to limit their freedom of expression. Saying that we are doing that is really just a tactic they use to intimidate and suppress those with whom they donít agree while they are actually doing what they accuse of the realists. If they can make people who donít like their work fear being labeled as right wing extremists or ďoppressorsĒ then they have effectively silenced their opposition, in the name of freedom of expression.