The Guardian’s Jonathan Jones has been busy enthusing about the new mascot for Partick Thistle Football Club, created by Turner Prize nominee David Shrigley. The mascot, funded privately and described by Mr Jones as the creation of “a tough and honest artist” and “art at its best,” can be seen and studied here, no doubt at great length. However, in championing Mr Shrigley’s handiwork, the Guardian’s art critic inadvertently makes an argument for ending taxpayer subsidy of so-called “public” art:
Populism and good art are incompatible… Good artists… don’t please crowds… That is why most public art in modern Britain is awful… Good artists cannot and will not provide what the public wants. They need to be edgy, challenging, otherwise they will become sell-outs.
Note Mr Jones’ unironic use of the word edgy.
An example of Mr Jones’ idea of that rare thing - great, edgy public art – i.e., paid for coercively by extorting the taxpayer, in this case to the tune of £95,000 - can be found here. Mr Jones described said object as “a very elegant work… redemptive, joyous, liberating.”