Santa Fe art, not so much?

You must have noticed by now that there are many art galleries in Santa Fe and plenty of artists residing here. Some were clearly hit by the 'Santa Fe kitsch' paintball gun. Many display work that is solipsistic at best. There is an idea the artist is trying convey but it does not translate into anything the random viewing soul can grasp.

This reminds me of self-absorbed scholarship, where someone has a little bitty idea and they turn it into a scholarly tome read mostly by the students to whom they assign it. I saw plenty of that &#@* when I was working with anthropologists and also as a student of English literature & criticism, so I've gotten fairly good at identifying this vexing tendency across the creative spectrum.

One past artist I do enjoy is Gustave Baumann (color woodcut above). And a current artist obsessed with the past is Seth. In his underrated graphic novel
Palookaville, civilized, simpler times are evident in every stroke of the pen.

Maybe this means I'm overly fond of cartoons. It does bring us far afield from Santa Fe. Although Baumann is a compelling link between past and modern and Santa Fe/not Santa Fe because although he was schooled in Germany and Chicago, he moved here and his work is filled with the quirky light of New Mexico. He shares with Schulz and Seth a very accessible core that makes you want to see more of what he sees. For me, that is art doing its job.