plein air landscape painting
Painting From Life vs. From Photos

The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.
Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Ernest

Has art dealer Edward Winkleman become a cultural icon? If so, it seems we should pay attention to what he is saying . . .

But first, here are some other things worth reading:

  1. The Intrepid Art Collector, probably the worst-titled book ever. If you are an artist, don’t walk, run and buy this book. It is for you — it could be titled “What every artist should know about the art world.” One of these days I want to talk about it in depth here on Art & Perception. I interviewed author Lisa Hunter back in September.
  2. What’s in a name? If you want to see the power of words to frame, check out this diary on dailykos (it’s political, but it is a must-read from a “perception” standpoint.)

Now, back to Ed. Birgit recently referred to Edward Winkleman as a “cultural icon.” What does that mean, anyway? I consulted my copy of Wikipedia and found what is probably the shortest article in the whole encyclopedia:

A cultural icon is an object or person which is distinctive to, or particularly representative of, a specific culture. An example is the bowler hat, which could be considered an English cultural icon. John Wayne would be an example of an American cultural icon.

By this definition, Ed is a cultural icon of the art blogs; here are a couple of his recent posts that illustrate why:

  1. Looking for Fairness in the Age of Art Fairs: Ed asks, has the art world become a merit-free hedge fund?
  2. Losing My Assumptions: Ed asks, if art is about communication, is art not intended to communicate not art?

Giving the importance of the concept “cultural icon”, I found the Wikipedia article a bit short. I decided to contribute by adding Ed.

[UPDATE: A Wikipedia editor removed Ed again with the comment “(Edward Winkleman a cultural icon? ….)” I guess our subculture is not sufficiently developed to be recognized as having cultural icons.]