Why is modern public art so uninteresting?

Scott Alexander Suskind observed on his blog that contemporary public art is less interesting than older art, and considered a number of theories why.  Two of them seemed the most plausible to me.

One is that the older art is harder and more expensive to do than contemporary art, and contemporaries lack the genius, the money and the availability of low-paid skilled labor that made the older art possible.

The other is that in older times, the tastes of the elite and the masses were the same, and now they no longer are.  Elites no longer want to impress the masses by building something beautiful; they want to show their superior taste by creating something that they can appreciate, but the general public cannot.


Whither Tartaria? by Scott Alexander for Astral Codex Ten.

Urban Design: Why Can’t We Build Nice Neighborhoods Anymore? by Tyler Cowen for Bloomberg Opinion.  [Added 10/7/2021]

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