Today, the Whitney announced the artists selected for the 2008 Whitney Biennial, the much-balleyhooed survey of the state of contemporary art. I like to peruse the list, crunch the numbers, ascertain significant patterns, and then move on to something more important.
In speed-reading my way through the list announced today, I began to hallucinate the crumbling of the Nixon empire, disco inferno, the fall of Saigon, the Jonestown massacre and our nation's Bicentennial. For indeed, a little more than 50 of the 81 chosen few are little babies of the Me Generation, born during the overly colorful and raggedy late 1960s and 1970s.
Oh, to be an artist in one's 30s now and living either in New York (40 or so of them) or Los Angeles (20 or so of them), maybe even in Chicago or Miami (a smattering)! You are the favored ones! Enjoy your time in the sun. Oh, and there appears to be more artists within this age group in their early 30s as opposed to their late 30s. During one's late thirties, the knees go out, the eyes fail, the artistic juices (and more!) run dry, and the sun starts setting on one's art career. Except apparently for John Baldessari (b. 1931) and Robert Bechtle (b. 1932), sunny Californians of eternal youth.
Pack it up, Baby Boomer contemporary artists of the heartland! 40 is the new 30. Let's go play golf.
See the press release with the names of the selected artists for the Whitney Biennial at the website of the Whitney Museum of American Art.
image: Study of a 40-year-old woman. brush and ink. WOTBA. 2006.