commented on The Lies of the Artists
If Art is supposed to be appreciated, interpreted and comprehended visually, then what matter that the associated narratives are lacking in verifiable truths? Did the horse-farm artist's works materially change from your original assessment?
We appreciate the Abstract Expressionists work as a group, largely because they were the first American Moderns to be catapulted into international acclaim. "American Triumphalism" was a catchword of the day. The fact that their international success was largely bankrolled in secret by the C.I.A., working through wealthy intermediaries that laundered the cash, has been a story largely ignored. It surfaced fairly early, in a 1974 Artforum article written by Eva Cockcroft, based on FOIA requests. A more recent book by Frances Stonor Saunders, with accompanying BBC documentary, deals with much of the same material uncovered by Cockcroft so many years ago.
The problem is that it is difficult, if not impossible, to appreciate much contemporary work without an accompanying explicative narrative. Tom Wolfe pointed this out in "The Painted Word" many years ago. Does this then make the work itself, as instantiation of the narrative, a form of illustration? Or is it that the work isn't really that interesting, intrinsically valuable or worth considering? The narrative provides a gloss of cultural significance that is absent from the work in and of itself.
commented on The Paintings Are Not All Right (But the Way the Museum Pretends They Are Is Hilarious)
I have to agree with Swearengen. One would never know from your writing that Anthony Van Dyck, a former apprentice of Ruben's, was indeed a great painter and portraitist. Jen, looking at Old Master paintings requires work and study, continued exposure, comparison and cross referencing, and a willingness to step outside of one's comfort zone in the present. Your post-modern ironical quips bring nothing to our understanding of these works, save confirmation that you enjoy wallowing in your own prejudice and conceit. To quote Robert Henri "Don't get cheeky with the Old Masters. If they didn't have something, they wouldn't be Old Masters."
answered a bunch of weird questions about himself or herself.
commented on Charles Krafft Is a White
Nationalist Who Believes the Holocaust Is a Deliberately Exaggerated Myth
There was a time when I saw Charlie Krafft practically every day. This was in the late 1980s and well into the 1990s. We co-authored "The Resurgent Regionalist Manifesto" together, and participated in various COCA and other events. At that time he was completely open about his anti African American bigotry, dismissing it as the bi-product of being beaten up as a schoolboy. The drift into anti semitism, has been gradual, but has been going on for a long time. It is no surprise to any of his friends and long-term acquaintances. I eventually had to unfriend him on facebook, not only for his own statements, but for the gaggle of right-wing skinhead racists and bigots that he had collected in his own friend list. He has always gravitated to areas of knowledge and belief that he considers "dangerous." Such evaluative criteria is a poor yardstick, in the same ways that "modern," "contemporary," and "new" are.
Jul 30, 2012
commented on Hypnotic Prints, Activist Photographs, Paintings for Astronauts, and the Late Plein Air Painter of Seattle at First Thursday This Week
As much as I like the work of the late Chris Hoff, whom I knew, I'm disappointed at the use of the title "The Late Plein Air Painter of Seattle" in this context. Another great Seattle plein air painter passed away just a short while before Chris's untimely demise, and is just as deserving of the title, maybe even moreso. Paul Havas began painting 'en plain air' in Seattle in the 1960s, and had an exhibition history at Woodside/Braseth Gallery that spanned 40+ years. Paul was a generous and thoughtful spirit who gave much to this community. I spoke to Chris about Paul's death shortly before Chris unexpectedly passed away, and I believe he would have concurred in this sentiment. By all means give Chris his due, but please not at the expense of other worthy artists.