Monday, December 28, 2009

Your Favorite Lost Art Practitioners of the '00s

While admittedly a bit of a dilettante, and certainly not a scholar of any art form, hopefully My Favorite...of the '00s exercise covering many topics indicates that I am at least interested in a wide variety of art forms.

Therefore, it somewhat disturbs me that I can name very few--and in many cases, zero--people who came to prominence in any of the Lost Art Forms listed below. And while I would like to hear from you about artists I should be paying attention to, it isn't so much that I doubt that there are fine practitioners of each art known to aficionados--in fact, I'm pretty sure it's the opposite--but in decades past, I would think a large portion of the population knew names like Miles Davis, Beverly Sills, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Harry Chapin, Robert Frost and more (though it's possible they only became "famous" in retrospect).

So for those of you playing along, please tell me the names of people who I should explore, but also, as best you can gauge, anybody who you believe has reached the mainstream from these fields. If there are people that I am aware of in these fields who came to renown, if not mass prominence, in this decade I will cite them, but I believe very few are well-known to the masses.

Fine Art Painter


Classical Composer

Opera Composer

Broadway Composer - Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx, Marc Shaiman, Laurence O'Keefe and Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the music for some of the biggest & best musicals this decade, but does anyone know their names except me and their mothers?

Jazz Musician - I really liked a saxophonist named Miguel Zenon, who I saw this year at Jazz Showcase


Short Story Writer



Opera Singer - I have seen dozens of "renowned opera stars" at the Lyric, including Renee Fleming, but perhaps only Andrea Bocelli has achieved mass fame on a Pavarotti or Domingo level

Playwright - See My Favorite Plays of the '00s for some names worth knowing, but does anybody else know who these authors are? Even Pulitzer Prize Winner Tracy Letts probably has a Q rating below the Kardashian sisters.

Movie Director - Christopher Nolan, Spike Jonze, Wes Anderson, David Fincher or Darren Aronofsky, anyone? Many have done good work and made blockbuster films, but perhaps only Peter Jackson entered the Spielberg, Lucas, Scorsese & Coppola strata this decade (Tarantino's fame preceded it)

Folk Singer - Does Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes count? Is he famous?

Newspaper Columnist or Print/Online Journalist

Architect - I think Frank Gehry is pretty famous, but is he really?

Ballet Dancer

Chess Player - You might laugh at this category, but everybody knew who Bobby Fischer was. I haven't heard of anyone since Garry Kasparov

Boxer - Name a great fighter other than Mayweather or Pacquiao

Politician - Other than Obama and Hillary Clinton, name someone first elected to a major office in this decade outside of the state in which you live

Any other art forms missing in action?

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