I like Andrew Wyeth. I like how personal his work is. I like the American-ness of it. I am not a patriot, not nationalistic at all. I am very interested in people and art from other places, but as an artist I keep being inspired by very personal, very rooted representational work. I love Eakins, Homer and I like Wyeth. And my goodness, what a handsome, magnetic man. He looks like a combo of young John Wayne and the new James Bond guy - Daniel Craig.
The reason I say I am "Grappling" with taste is that, well, he's so popular. I admit I want to be "cool" and know and like hip, obscure artists, but I don't really. I like Wyeth, not everything he's done, but I like him. So anyway. There it is. It's kind of like the Beatles, or Bob Marley, most people have to admit they like it. There's an honesty to his work.
but my attraction to "American" things is a realization that's been dawning on me for a few years. I'm not a "proud to be an American because at least I know I'm able to shop at Walmart" but I'm culturally an American. I like fried chicken and gravy. I embrace who I am as part of a culture. Not as being better than other cultures, just to appreciate my traditions and values. My ancestors came over to this country in the 1600's (the Irish ones in the 1800's) and this has informed my taste, my habits. I love roots and history and looking at things sentimentally but honestly. making a living on the land, knowing how to build and grow and repair - I love that kind of thing. I love the heartbreak too. Well, I don't love bad things that happened, but I want to feel them and let them be part of my past.
Post Script: I just found an excellent article from the Smart Set on Wyeth's Christina's World. The author addresses common Wyeth criticism and gets at the core of Wyeth's appeal. Link ">Here.