It don't get much better than this.
— Anon, 20th century


All of life, you might say, is a fool's paradise, or can be: we fool ourselves constantly just to go on living. Everyone in existence should be a member of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition, as everyone keeps hope alive in order to keep oneself alive. But in America, hope is a veritable commodity. Here, possibilities are boundless, or are presented as such: in these magic United States, ideas and ideals that take root in the American soil invariably grow into healthy realities; here, you can be boss or you can be left alone; you can get what you want when you want it, through hard work, or the right pitch, or the perfect crime; your resources multiply rapidly and your potency dwindles slowly; and home is a cozy place on the sunny side of the mountain or the highest point in the city, amen.

The more you get the more you want,
the more you want you get, you bet. — Richard Foreman

It's no accident that some of the most compelling American art of our time, as well as some of the least compelling but most inevitable, mirrors the American tendency to consume both things and images in mass quantities (if surprisingly well-articulated qualities -- although quality per se has little to do with it). Such art also mirrors the imagery-industry that stokes and perpetuates this feeding frenzy. No poetry but in things, William Carlos Williams opined, finding the art in our artlessness. Others have found their fortunes therein.

— Excerpt from Peter Frank's essay for the exhibition catalog.

smart art press catalogue

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