Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I think this is supposed to be a joke...

In reaction to the Paul Gauguin masterpiece at the National Gallery of Art that was attacked last Friday by yet another idiot, the very weird article "Three Works at the National Gallery We’d Have Defaced Before Gauguin" is a post in the Washington City Paper where CP art critics Kriston Capps, Jeffry Cudlin and John Anderson each pick a work of art at the National Gallery of Art they'd rather see "defaced."

I know these three guys, and I think that this is supposed to be an attempt at humor... but from reading the comments, it seems that a lot of readers missed the joke and some of the words in the article read to me as contemptuous (or as commenters noted) "openly hostile", and as "stuffy cultural elitism."

Apparently, the LA Times didn't think it was a joke and they write:

If she is deranged, one wonders: What is the excuse for the Washington City Paper, which Tuesday published a story with the headline "Three Works at the National Gallery We’d Have Defaced Before Gauguin"?

The alternative tabloid proceeded to "recommend" three works in the museum's collection more suitable for trashing than the Post-Impressionist picture, which is on loan from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art to a popular traveling exhibition. One of the three writers even explains, "Actually, I've been defacing a work of art very subtly since September last year," claiming to regularly add colored pencil marks to a Sol LeWitt wall drawing at the museum.
So, dear readers... what do you think? Should these erudite and gifted writers hang up their Onion-wanna-be aspirations? or is this just a case of the WCP's "inject irony into everything" approach?

Personally I think that these three guys are pretty good art critics and really suck as comedy scribes.

And by the way, I know John Anderson well enough to know that he would never, ever actually deface any artwork, no matter how much it sucks.

And my good bud Jeffry Cudlin responds here.

When tyrants rule...

The Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, who disappeared into police custody in Beijing after he was arrested on Sunday while trying to board a flight for Hong Kong, is a fully 21st-century figure, global-minded, media-savvy, widely networked. He is also the embodiment of a cultural type, largely unfamiliar to the West, that dates far back into China’s ancient past.
Read the NYT article here.