We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Those all-white canvases pretty much were the dead end. Or maybe Pop Art. However, thousands of people still make compelling and appealing pictures that people want to decorate their homes. Besides that, painting remains a highly-popular hobby because it is difficult, semi-relaxing, you have total control for once in your life, and there is always room for improvement.
What about the modernist abstractionists like Pollock? Decorative to some people, definitely investments and status symbols. Could I tell a real Pollock from a Rockwell Pollock? Nope. I think Rockwell did a fine Pollock.
Why Art Became Ugly - by Stephen Hicks. https://web.archive.org/web/20101216203750/http://heyokamagazine.com/HEYOKA.3.STEPHEN%20HICKS.htm
The destruction of beauty, of form, of history, of truth were all intentional. It was the point.
Assistant Village Idiot
Art must satisfy the needs of the patron.
A talented artist will also sneak in their stuff.
Michelangelo gave the Pope and the Medicis Classical respectability with a twist, and snuck in homoeroticism and his own tortured self-portrait.
In the modern era:
Photography + industrialization = realism and consumption for the masses.
So the modern patron's need is to distinguish themselves from an increasingly wealthy and educated populace.
Hence art spun away from realism and "common" taste, and dived into increasing abstruse ugliness that only the initiated elites can "appreciate". When every Joe can have a French Provincial dining set, a sterile home stripped of joyful ornament and furnished in modern brutalism signifies "taste" and status.
And artists = who had started styling themselves as revolutionaries and secular prophets instead of tradesmen-at-court - snuck in their deconstructionist agenda, making things even uglier.