Some artists working in these movements are holding it down on Art Attack's "5 Most Overrated Paintings of All Time" breakdown.
Others, like Juxtapoz and Claude Monet, are posting up on one of our overrated lists for the first time.
5. Lowbrow Also referred to as "pop surrealism," 1970s Los Angeles is attributed as the time/place founders of this élan that's currently documented in hipster mags like Juxtapoz. Over the past five to ten years, the combinations of comic-book style designs with hot-rod culture and other underground subcultures have been showcased at DIY and vanity galleries everywhere -- even Astoria, Oregon, the location of The Goonies, has a lowbrow-centric space called Lunar Boy Gallery. Though Mark Ryden is nailing the character-driven style, he's one of the few. Overall, serious galleries and museums aren't sure whether to place lowbrow art on the "is this good?" or "is this crap?" scale. We tend towards the latter end.
4. Renaissance The roughly 200-year period following the Dark Ages seems to be the go-to pick for people who try to be all hoity-toity about art. While the Europeans' developments in music, science, math and philosophy were certainly impressive, the art, especially the Italian stuff -- such as Leonardo da Vinci's way-too-hyped Mona Lisa as well as works by Michelangelo and Raphael -- is just kind of "eh."
3. Steampunk This still-active movement, created in the late '80s and early '90s, is kind of like "acid jazz" -- nobody can explain what the hell it is and why it matters. According to The Art of Steampunk book, the genre is "a world filled with beauty and innovation. A world in which steam power and technology intertwine to create machines that are not only functional and practical, but unique and striking." Huh? To us, steampunk is akin to the subcultures of fixed-gear bikes and fetish proms -- there are better things to spend time with.
2. Pop Art This movement, kind of like funk music and Pamela Anderson, suffers from the not-aging-gracefully syndrome. Though Andy Warhol was the movement's biggest offender, the English are to blame for inventing a style whose crux is all about juxtaposing irony -- an element which is usually lame in art -- with the commercial world.
1. Impressionism The pursuit of wonderfulness, especially by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, and expat Mary Cassatt, yielded some fine works, but it's time to move on from the too-frequent retrospectives that have flooded American museums and focus on something else; like, say, artists living and working today -- what a concept that would be.
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