… making the world safe …

As I read all these pieces about Jeff Koons online lately, particularly the obligatory descriptions of that amiable idiot as the new Andy Warhol, I think of this passage from Gary Indiana’s (bowdlerised but still excellent) Andy Warhol and the Soup Can that Sold the World:

The single most devastating lesson of the 1960s and early 1970s was that progressive institutional change in American society would not be permitted to happen. It took a long time for the lesson to sink in everywhere, and whether or not it has bearing on Warhol’s eventual embrace of “Business Art,” his work became the mirror of an unameliorated capitalist ethos, at ease with portrait commissions from the Shah of Iran and taped reflections of Imelda Marcos; making the world safe for Andy Warhol involved making Andy Warhol safe for the world.

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