Many decry the modern art scene, likening its fluctuations to that of the fashion industry, and are understandably aggrieved by what they perceive as its inevitable dilution of the quality of contemporary art. However, since as far as the collective culture is concerned there is no validated art outside of the art market, and since this market digests and commodifies a vast diversity of aesthetics, styles, points of view and periods, there is no longer an identifiable art of our time.  In our market-oriented society, exercise of taste has in large measure replaced the exercise of individual creativity. In the art market, like the department store, creativity and self-expression has been transformed into a process of selecting from a choice of pre-manufactured designs. As we announce and display our identities through our choice of designer or style, so we announce our aesthetics through our purchases of pre-designed art objects.  

In the 1980s some predicted the eventual collapse of an over-extended art market.  It did collapse, and it may again, but not independently from the whole economic house of cards.  Though the destiny of a particular artist, style or aesthetic, like the emission of subatomic quanta, is fickle and unpredictable, the art institution continues for the moment, like the managed markets to which it is symbiotically and economically linked, to prosper, flourish and grow, to monopolize our attention and in great part unmindful, indifferent and immune to the issues of aesthetics, ideology and individual creativity that have and continue to be, at heart, the driving raison d’etre of creative spirits.