The problem is not with these artists per se, but rather with a subset of the intelligentsia who are busy with social engineering in the world of art. There is an insistent demand for museum boards, art fairs, award winners and museum contents to reflect the broad demographics of women and minorities in the US and Europe. While these groups have had great success in music, the visual arts, much like tennis, has favored both bureaucrats and practitioners with disposable income. Whether an impressive degree or simply the time to pursue unremunerative activities, poor people of any ilk are at a considerable disadvantage. Perhaps more importantly, especially with regard to women, is the lack of ambition to succeed in the Arts, as opposed to crafty lower case art.
The problem is that due to the relatively low number of women and minorities interested in pursuing the Visual Arts (I am addressing museum material) the rising demand for full demographic representation is a disaster. Think of the difference in the quality of men’s pro basketball versus women’s pro basketball. I may be 15 years behind in my perception of women’s basketball but we could as easily compare 1920s men’s basketball to the current pro scene. While current men’s pro basketball attracts fistfuls of dollars, and brings talent here from China and Yugoslavia, as well as stirring the hearts of wannabe six year olds, 1920s men’s basketball and current women’s basketball had/has a much weaker appeal. The world’s potentially best basketball player from 1920 may well have been trading pork bellies, lumber and coffee in 1920, and the current potentially best woman player may well spend her days selling real estate in Orange County, CA. My point is that there simply is not sufficient quality among minorities or females with an interest in a bureaucratic or creative positions in the Arts to justify full demographic representation. I am reminded of a problem the air force had with filling jet fighter positions with women; in order to please the bureaucrats they promoted second rate female fighter pilots whose abilities were below that required of men. The result was a high death rate and the loss of expensive jets.
The next greatest fighter pilot or world class artist may be a woman or be from Puerto Rico (or both), but that does not mean that the aggregate of women or minorities who wish to be fighter pilots or world class artists are as good as the aggregate of men or European-Americans who wish for the same.
It is common among female politicians and CEOS to have more balls than their male peers. Such people do not succeed because of their feminine attributes, but rather because of their ability to ape masculine ones, and often because they copy the worst attributes of their male peers. Likewise, most of the successful female and minority artists succeed by adhering strictly to the mental concepts of the bureaucrats promoting the idea of female and minority art. Bringing such mental concepts (and its attendant worship of the mind) to art is antithetical to real art, just as a female CEO cut off from her femininity is antithetical to real business.
The worship of ideas automatically divorces the worshiper from reality. Just so do we arrive at a world, in this case the art world, where all the leaders are exactly the worst ones for the job.