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The New Shock
September 22, 2008 2:27 PM   Subscribe

Art critic Robert Hughes and The Mona Lisa Curse
posted by chuckdarwin (16 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Hughes’s film argues that art is the biggest unregulated market in the world apart from drugs.

heh.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:36 PM on September 22, 2008


Damien Hirst

Cory Doctorow

OH SHI-
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:40 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is a strange day when all the artists are capitalists, and all the businessmen are socialists.
posted by R. Mutt at 2:43 PM on September 22, 2008 [11 favorites]


Socialists nationalize the successful industries, R. Mutt.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:54 PM on September 22, 2008


Here's an example of what's wrong with Hughes's argument:

From the Torygraph article, he's quoted as saying: “There was a 17th-century Italian painter called Guido Reni. Not a lot of people have heard of him but in the late 18th century many connoisseurs thought that Italy’s two supreme artists were Michelangelo and Reni. But by 1950 you could buy a 10ft painting by Reni for £300."

And in July 2008, a Guido Reni sold for 1.8 million pounds.

So I'm not exactly sure what his point is. Yes, artists come into and out of fashion. This has always been true. If he's trying to argue that something changed in the late 20th century, using Reni as an example is Doing It Wrong.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:00 PM on September 22, 2008


I'm sorry about his car crash, but Robert Hughes is an old fart whose time of relevance is long gone. I mean I really can't see how what is going on the art world is that much different from what Jasper Johns (one of Hughes' heroes) was doing. Oh and I love modern art to the point of obsession but I could not ever get through Shock Of The New.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:35 PM on September 22, 2008


It was still fun to watch him kick some rich Warhol collector in the bollocks repeatedly.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:48 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I could not ever get through Shock Of The New.

You should have watched the television series instead then. Presumably it was much more engaging than the book. I thought it was rather good at the time, and it definitely pushed me towards the book in the search of a more detailed exposition of the ideas behind his thesis.

Also, I don't think Tracey Emin belongs in the same category as Damien Hurst. I agree that Hurst is a huckster, pitching superficial ideas that are all about commerce and profit and he really doesn't have much to say that's new.

I think Tracey Emin is a very different kettle of fish, IMO. While I'm not all about privileging the craft, believing that almost all modern art is fundamentally conceptual art, there is a craft aspect to Tracey Emin's stuff that I think enhances its meaning. But Emin's stuff is all about experience, and in particular, the experience of a young women at the margins. While Hurst's stuff is glib and superficial, Emin's stuff is funny and moving and passionate and intelligent and dumb.

I wonder what Hughes makes of her?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:55 PM on September 22, 2008


PeterMcDermott, he hasn't said (yet). I take your point, though... and it is mainly my own dislike for her work that inspired that link.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:09 PM on September 22, 2008


It's possible that I've judged Robert Hughes prematurely. But the couple articles of his I read were, after all, sterling idiotic.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 5:20 PM on September 22, 2008


Robert Hughes would like you to know that he is far, far more macho than that pansy Damien Hirst:

"His far-famed shark with its pretentious title, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living... might have had a little more point if Hirst had caught it himself. But of course he didn't and couldn't... Having caught a few large sharks myself off Sydney, Montauk and elsewhere, and seen quite a few more over a lifetime of recreational fishing, I am underwhelmed ..."

I think Hughes is just upset because he didn't think to stick any of his sharks in formaldehyde.
posted by cirocco at 5:47 PM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Also, I don't think Tracey Emin belongs in the same category as Damien ...

I agree.

She is totally different from the DH - specifically, she didn't base her whole career on stealing ideas from Jeff Koons.
posted by R. Mutt at 5:59 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh snap.
posted by Liosliath at 7:19 PM on September 22, 2008


It is a strange day when all the artists are capitalists, and all the businessmen are socialists.

And an even stranger day when Mefites defend Hirst against curmudgeonly critics.
posted by treepour at 8:24 PM on September 22, 2008


One comes back, inevitably, to the car crash, for it is there that the doubts about the author’s prose first appear...

In the course of seven pages three people are referred to, respectively, as a “dear friend,” a “dear, benign friend” and “my dear friend.” ...

But consider this as well: On Page 4, Hughes admits that he can recollect nothing about the crash itself. “The slate is wiped clean, as by a damp rag.” On Page 23 he tells us that he can recollect nothing about the accident: “The slate is wiped clean, as by a damp rag.”


Dyer (the NYT reviewer) clearly thinks Hughes suffered so much brain damage in the crash that he can no longer write.
posted by jamjam at 9:12 PM on September 22, 2008


but let's just pause, for a moment, over jimi hendrix giving him the clap (via his wife)
there's a tale for the grand kids.
it is a perpetual regret that i have not caught any STDs from any rock stars, via anyone.
posted by trulyscrumptious at 9:54 AM on September 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


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