Monday, 27 July 2009

New! Jeff - Dumb and Blind (ing)

IIn Herbert Ross’s magisterial 1987 film The Secret of My Success, Michael J. Fox plays Brantley Foster, a charming chancer who works his way up (spoiler alert!) from mailroom to boardroom in his uncle’s corporation. Meeting him in his plush corner office, Foster makes a heartfelt appeal to give him a chance in the company. “What experience have you had?” asks his flustered uncle. “Practically none,” says Foster. “But I believe in myself. Doesn’t that count for something? I can do anything if I just get a chance!” Here’s where audiences divide, both Europeans and Americans simultaneously responding, “That’s so American!” with exact opposite meaning and inflection.

Here, too, is where Jeff Koons’s work comes in, whose career and persona (like that of Michael J. Fox, or his late sometime muse, Michael Jackson) is so inextricably tied to the 1980s culture of capitalist optimism that it’s a mild surprise not to see his jacket sleeves rolled to the elbow in the press shots for his new show in London.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Monday, 13 July 2009

New! Venice Elbow

A sprawling new thing on the 2009 Venice Biennale awaits the lucky clicker of the following word: lame.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

New! YBA Baracas

My new thing about the display of Young British Artist Art at Tate Britain is right here.

UPDATE! A kindly gent doffs his hat, here. Thank you.

The Ringos of Art (Part Two)

Renaissance Ringo
Sodoma (above from the Farnesina, Rome)

The Ringos of Art (Part One)

Rococo Ringo
Domenico Tiepolo (above from Stations of the Cross, San Polo, Venice)

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Marcel, Duchampian Of The World

Adrian Ghenie’s painting Dada is Dead restages the famous photograph of the 1920 International Dada Exhibition, with John Heartfield’s Prussian Archangel (a pig-faced soldier mannequin) bumping along the ceiling and (anachronistically) a Malevich black cross hanging on the wall, each a component of a secular iconography dependent upon the ghosts of art past. Angels and crosses allude to a secularized transfiguration absolutely at the core of Dadaist found object principles, but in Ghenie’s muscular assertion of the primacy of paint, how archaic that religion looks now. A slash of light illuminates a wolf stalking the abandoned gallery, frozen mid-prowl, come to pick the bones clean. The painting has a lovely reflexive weirdness. How strange that Dada is dead, how strange it ever lived, and how strange and surprising that it should be painting that performs the eulogy.