After a recent trip to Key West, I realized why most contemporary art in naturally beautiful places tends to suck. It’s because the viewer has access to the real thing — a magnificent sunset, a flock of pelicans, a sailboat on turquoise seas. So depictions of what look better out a car window never measure up. There are some exceptions to this rule, of course; see: Georgia O’Keefe.
But in a place like New York, a big and sometimes ugly city with little access to natural beauty, artists must convey the latter via art. Perhaps it’s a defense mechanism to ward off the stress and discomfort often associated with life here.