Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Art School Drop Outs
I meant to post something about this over Winter Break, but I forgot of course. But I (finally) am watching the New Years Eve performance Radiohead broadcasted and got to thinking again.
I was just thinking about art school dropouts as a particular genre of musician (or author? Dos Passos trained originally in art and architecture) For Kanye, he was able to build 3 albums conceptually out being a dropout, but the art part of it usually gets forgotten. Thom Yorke went to art school and then dropped out because he didn't think it was as powerful a media as music, so he says (think about all the definitively pomo art pieces about ownership which are about making the patron self-conscious of the art market and museums and capital and then think again about their distribution scheme for Rainbows)
There's a certain avant-garde both West and Yorke remain invested in which I think springs from a beginning in art. For West, his obsession with both being more indie-rock than the indie rockers while also having more street-cred than 50 Cent-ers all at the same time accounts for the strange jubilience of Graduation. I think it also accounts for his melancholic arrogance because he knows trying to hold both positions will eventually lead to his downfall in both worlds. Perhaps he's the Jeff Koons of music. Flashy, a bit pompous, manages to remain taken seriously in the art world but also a mainstream kind of artist..but it's all kind of dangling by a thread
Yorke is that other art student...you know which one. The melancholic, angry, bitter headstrong one, but with a slightly giggly inside. Yorke seems to have come to peace with the fact that he can't change the world himself, but doesn't let himself off the hook because of this. His avant-garde is with the political edge that Kanye feels free to lose when it's convenient. I can't think of his artist doppelganger but feel free to try. (Rothko's too sad. Rothko could be Yorke circa Amnesiac, but now, I dont know who he'd be? Perhaps some sort of video-artist. Douglas Gordon?)
This post has kind of fizzled out. I feel like I had a point over winterbreak when I began thinking about this but it shriveled up and died. Anyway, any more art school dropouts you'd like to think about?