I have no idea what mainstream might mean anymore. Is there still an art scene? I no longer go to galleries, unless a friend is having a show, which is rare. I look through the art magazines but they seem more interested in fashion and vodka ads. I think we need to look more at the great art, the art that has lasted. it's lasted for a reason.
These are not times conducive to the making of great art, to paraphrase Raphael Soyer.
And I think there are many art worlds, not just the one reflected in the Chelsea/ 57th st/ Madison Ave galleries - there's good artists all over hidden away in garages in Boise, Idaho and Secaucus, New Jersey. The people who control the galleries and the art magazines control what many people think is "mainstream" or in vogue. And let's not forget Bouguereau. who was considered the world's greatest artist in the late 19th century.
I have no interest in being contemporary - or in not being contemporary. I'm lucky to have a little light to follow. And it won't have anything to do with fashion. This little light, muse, whatever one wants to call it, shows me what to do. Through listening I find work that engages me, which is all I believe any artist can ask for.
The commodification of the art, the product - it has no bearing on the process. Art that is created with one eye scanning the art magazines always betrays itself, and reveals it's superficiality.