A thought occurred to me the other day. Beck and Stewart are like artists painting their worldviews on the canvas of other people’s minds. When assessing their work it is helpful to keep in mind at least two things
1. Who is the intended audience?
2. What are they intending to convey?
In Stewart’s case, he is simply rehashing the favored prevailing worldview (or hodge podge thereof) of the day.
In Beck’s case, he is attempting to warn others, often times against the wisdom of the prevailing worldview, of dangers he perceives.
Stewart’s agenda is simply to make money by sailing the cultural current. Beck wants to divert the current.
When you want to tell people that everything is fine, you use humor. When you want to warn others of impending danger, you use fear.
That said, I too find his choice of colors and subjects to be disturbing. I don’t disagree with the premises and conclusions in his work, but I do find his paintings to be aesthetically unappealing.
Artistically Stewart is superior, there is a lot of competition in the marketplace of his intended audience. Beck, on the other hand has very small audience with very little competition. So its little wonder, really, that Beck is as bad a painter as he is. And its frustrating when people compare Beck and Stewart.
That’s like comparing Rembrandt to a 4 year old.