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From the Armory’s Big Plastic, to the Hammer’s Snapshot overview, it looks to me like young artists are reclaiming playfulness in art big time. But they are also getting increasingly intoxicated with the superficial sensual satisfaction of sheer visual pleasure (what Dave Hickey champions as “frivolous beauty”). No surprise in a culture of entertainment and appearance.

My hope is that art will keep a playful attitude, but push past the easy satisfaction and marketability of producing mindless objects of good looks. I would like to see the art of this century search for its soul afresh, or at least pose deep, open-ended questions of itself and everything else.

In a world saturated with visual stuff, art stands either relatively mute or at most straining just to be noticed, much less thought about, in relation to so much high priced, mass distributed entertainment and news media. Art writing is a quiet space where art forms, where ideas can be examined and related to larger issues. It is also a written record--an annotated history of thoughts and labor that extends beyond an exhibition’s specific audience or time. It can also be a nourishing spotlight of attention for things under-seen or out of favor.

Every writer reads and interprets art based on personal experience and interests. As an art writer with a love for philosophy and a working class background, I want clear, deep, writing free of intellectual pretensiousness and coded language. Trusting that aesthetics is part of art’s emotional information, I value word-smithing that suggests the art’s feelings. But mostly I want to convey how the art resonates within its created world.