Most readers of this blog will likely agree with the following sentiment: “modern art is terrible.” In my more intellectually generous moments, I’d add “most” as a qualifier to start that phrase, but with age comes orneriness, and orneriness does not lend itself to intellectual generosity.
Perhaps the best treatment of this sentiment in a scholarly—dare I say “intellectually generous”—way is Roger Kimball‘s The Rape of the Masters: How Political Correctness Sabotages Art. The book is a quick read, but even in 200 pages, it’s depressing seeing the increasingly bizarre, flat-out wrong interpretations politically-motivated Leftists bring to classic works of art. The unfortunate trend of comparing everything that ever happened to Harry Potter is no-doubt the watered-down, pop cultural version of this academic shoehorning of the ideology du jour into artistic interpretation.
Of course, there is a corollary to the maxim that “modern art is terrible.” It’s that “modern art is only successful because wealthy dupes want to look cool.” That’s a bit of a mouthful, we all know it’s true.
So it is that two close relatives to the current Pretender’s regime—scandal-ridden, sister-in-law-loving drug addict Hunter Biden, and not-pretty-enough-to-be-a-model model Ella Emhoff (Vice President Kamala Harris‘s stepdaughter) have made good money peddling “art.”
I’m not here to point out the hypocrisy of the Left using political influence to peddle crappy art. For one, it doesn’t do any good—what, is Hunter Biden suddenly going to see the light and repent because some chubby conservative blogger calls him out?—and it’s just a matter of influence. George W. Bush makes mediocre paintings that, if they sell, only do so because he was the President of the United States.
No, the point I want to make is that these kind of nepotistic, corporatist relationships make for bad art. Or, even if the art is okay—Ella Emhoff’s knits aren’t universally terrible—it’s leapfrogging far more deserving creators out there.
Most importantly, it’s an assault on beauty itself.
Aesthetically speaking, Ella Emhoff’s “look” is not appealing. It’s the kind of androgynous, formless fashion that gay men and their sycophants love. But because Emhoff is Kamala Harris’s stepdaughter, her wearing a frumpy coat to the Inauguration makes her a star in the world of fashion. She looks like the dowdy librarian in that outfit, but instead of becoming a salacious 8 when she lets down her hair and takes off her glasses, she basically moves from a 4 to a decent 5. She is, at best, a moderately cute Jewish girl (although, oddly, her Wikipedia entry takes pains to point out she is not Jewish, even though her father is). There’s nothing wrong with that—there are plenty of cute Jewish girls—but it’s like giving the perfectly normal, quiet girl in your class a lucrative modeling contract: everyone kind of knows it’s not deserved.
What makes it worse with Emhoff is that she’s proactively taking points away from her physical beauty score, with weird poses, tattoos, and all other “body positivity” crap. The modeling world has always favored some oddball beauties, but as moderately cute as she is (when unmaimed), Emhoff doesn’t even seem to have that quality.
I don’t mean to dump on some girl’s looks; my point is that we live in an artistic world that cares little for actual Beauty, and instead revels in all sorts of weirdness—and even ugliness. It’s not just aesthetically wrong—it’s morally wrong. Hunter Biden should be in prison right now; instead, he’s involved in scams involving his art because his father is the (alleged) President of the United States.
Look, we all network. I’ve landed gigs before because I’m persistent, reliable, and network well. I’m not the best musician in my area by a long shot, and one of the worse pianists, but I’m not afraid to work my contacts and build up new clientele. I also put on a good show, and genuinely entertain when I perform. Having some connections—and the social skills to make them—are important for artists to develop.
But what does Hunter Biden do? At least Emhoff knits clothes (allegedly). He could sell artwork like my stupid Magic Marker stuff for thousands times more than what I charge (and even I charge too much). That doesn’t make me bitter—it makes me mad! There are legitimate visual artists who make good work, but they’ll never enjoy the kind of success that Biden does because they have the wrong last name.
Well, there is some vindication: Hunter Biden will occupy a special place in Hell (though I sincerely pray he renounces his wreck of a lifestyle and accept Christ), and True Beauty will never die.