In "Life-Size Bronzes of Men at Work" (by Nina Green, Dec. 23), a prospective buyer complains he could hire real painters for the cost of J. Seward Johnson Jr.'s life-sized bronzes.

This concept of working people as "art" to decorate the property of the priviliged classes represents a new trivialization of labor, thinly disguised as realism.

If supposedly enlightened "artists" such as Coppola and Johnson (along with their influential patrons) put forth these attitudes, it's little wonder why American culture, with its vast potential for uplifting the spirit, has instead degenerated into reactionary hokum. ROBERT E. MORRIS Los Angeles

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