Friday, December 16, 2005

Is popularity so bad?

There is an article in the NYTimes today about a Pixar exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art. Though the writer generally praises the exhibit and Pixar, he seems to have a snobbishness that I find annoying:
Such transformations, enhanced by unexpected shifts in scale, are momentarily delightful, but they can also cloy because the drawings are so conventional.

The Pixar movies are not just popular art, they are people-pleasing popular art that recycles fairly familiar conventions...Their urge toward conformity stands out starkly if you put them beside such subversive television cartoons as "South Park" or the venerable "Simpsons."

Is it really so bad when so many people like something? Is that a reason to ridicule it or degrade its worth? I think the art world (and its bitchy sister the fashion world) probably does have a forced distaste for the popular. Maybe there is a reason more people watch Pixar movies than buy modern art.

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