Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Smart Kid

Little Junes reading

Smirking Chimp on Gopnik

But it is a great shame if some of the last outposts of criticism should be used to play "Nearer My God To Thee" as the ship sinks. That funereal sense is really what you could get from Mr. Gopnik's description in today's Washington Post of going to the Phillip's Collection to see Renoir. He spoke of having to "drag" himself in front of the picture. And by the way, even if Mr. Gopnik is not gay, he sure sounds like a drama queen. Naturally he then must let us in on the great secret: that this great painting is "coy" and "staged". Well, truly this painting has always been recognized as one of the most artificial in the sense of the German Kunstlisch, and "staged" and "coy" are close relations to that sense . What Gopnik is observing is more telling about the ennui that is created by having to regularly look at so much bad art, and trying to come up with reasons for why it shouldn't be portrayed that way. Thus when he stands in front of a great painting like the Luncheon, he has no choice but drift into the Cultural Autism that characterizes our age.
Read the whole thing here.

Jessica off the mark... again

In this article, the Washington Post's freelance galleries' critic Jessica Dawson writes that an artist's "highest calling" is "creating work that challenges social and political norms."

Really, did I miss that in Janson's?

OK, OK, I know that this is simply Jessica's own opinion being passed as some sort of highest calling agreement that we've all signed up to before receiving our art degrees.

Because Jessica Dawson is an art critic and not an artist, she views what "real art" should be from a postmodern theoretical viewpoint in which a lot of art critics and writers, and some artists, may see art's highest calling as indeed creating work that challenges social and political norms.

That artwork and those artists are just members of a much larger set of artists and art which has an equally important "higher calling" in their art that has zip to do with social or political norms, such as 98% of contemporary abstract painters with the other 2% just claiming that their work does challenge some social or political norm. For some of those, their higher calling may just be the beauty of what can be achieved by a talented hand and brush with the nuances of color and form and shape.

But Dawson's comment is an eye-opening inside view at the mind of this Washington Post freelancer, and somewhat sad in that her viewpoint excludes the vast majority of other highest callings that artists may have.

Philippa over at the Pink Line Project drives a good historical stake through the heart of Dawson's silly segregationist viewpoint. Read that here.


Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: February 1, 2010

The Kinsey Institute 2010 Juried Art Show is now accepting submissions from all artists 18 years and older creating work relating to human sexual behavior, gender and/or reproduction. They welcome a broad range of submissions exploring subjects including: sex, gender, sexuality, eroticism, reproduction, romantic relationships, the politics of sex and gender, human figure, sexuality and illness. The exhibit will explore the positive and negative ways these topics affect individuals, couples and/or society.

All selected works will be exhibited at the Indiana University SoFA Gallery, May 28-July 30, 2010. Entries must be original works from medias including: painting, drawing, video art, installations, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics, fibers, computer based art, or mixed media.

Artist can submit their work online at this website or by mail with images stored on CD and payment by check. Entry fees are $30 for one piece, $35 for two, $40 for three.


My mouth is still wide open from what happened last night at the People's Soviet Socialist Commonwealth of Massachusetts.