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Just a quick note to let you know if you don't donate to Art Fag City's latest fundraiser you won't have a chance to be the high donor, who gets a wonderfully appropriate print from Saul Chernick: Derivative (straight out of a Dover clip art book, in fact), pointless, overpriced at any price. I guess if AFC had to pick a signature artist, a guy who makes Roy Lichtenstein look like a brilliant innovator and skilled draftsman is perfect.


Chris, it's none of my business, but why don't you just leave this fag thing alone?

If it's not sour grapes, then of course it must be that you just don't "get it." Those two rationalizations cover just about every objection or opposition to the party line. The possibility that the party line could be defective, let alone a crock, is absolutely out of the question.

And by the way, Chris, even though it's a moot point, the thing is not faux medieval. It's more like a Rococo-Victorian combo. Medieval is rather less prissy.

i think i need that book - would be great for graphic design in the "urban" flava'

Modern Roccoccoo - maximalism man, thats where it's at. If you are there. SOme people aren;t there yet.

Poor AFC, still doesn't get it. Here's a knock knock joke - you start.

Chris, it's not worth arguing about it, but the woodcut on that Wikipedia page does not look rococo to me. The plant elements are much more plain, basic or straightforward, not self-consciously decorative, prissy or feminine.

Yes Jack, two quotes direct to me from fully paid up party members:

"all the major movements in art are shocking to the people of the time, therefore if we show work that shocks it will eventually be seen as important" - a state funded gallery director - did no-one ever explain to these guys that the Greeks worked it out with dogs and tails right at the beginning of their civilization?

"We didn't buy it because we think it is great art. We bought it in case one day it might be considered great art and we didn't want to miss out" - a curator on the purchase of Carl Andre's Equivalent VIII - um... can anyone give them the address of that warehouse that Indiana Jones uses?

Well, it's painfully obvious these party members are blissfully unaware of how lame and stupid they sound. Of course, that's the beauty of party membership: you can be an idiot and get away with it.

Wow! are there things built out of Art all over NY?.... or are they just built out of bricks? (the official answer when this question was first asked was that a conceptual work only existed in a specific context.. Outside of a gallery or a collection they were just a pile of bricks. Sanctioned by the artist they transmuted into Art)

The sad thing is that the two party members mentioned are nice intelligent guys when they turn their brains on. It just doesn't happen much when they are at work.

It may well be they know the party line is full of it, but they figure they have to abide by it and at least appear to buy into it for career reasons. I'm sure there are some "true believers," but I expect they're definitely outnumbered by opportunists or insecure types who just want to fit in and "belong."

And even when the innocent indicates the insufficiency of the emperor's attire to a reception of general public ribaldry, the parade proudly continues because it's participants are not prepared to publicly admit either their gullibility or their complicity. Yet rather than manufacturing our own insubstantial contribution to the imperial wardrobe, some of us weavers persistently continue to sing "The King is in the altogether!" ...... hmmmm....

Chris, the whole thing is a big twisted game, and most of the players may, in fact, know that, but there's so much money involved, so much secondary gain, so much investment in it (both material and psychological, whether sincere or opportunistic), that the system simply cannot come clean, and is essentially forced to keep up the charade as long as it possibly can. It will never change of its own volition.

Luckily no system lasts as long as "never". A paradigm shift will roll around (either for the better or worse) sooner or later. The NYC gallery scene has only dominated world art and it's mores since the late 1940's with the CIA's substantial cash injection into Abstract Expressionism as a cultural contribution to the cold war. The Paris gallery scene dominated for less than a century before that. England has only been a major player since the late 60's when the English decided (probably temporarily) to give up regarding any art less than 100 years old as somehow unpleasant and embarrassing (like stepping in dog-shit). All levers - such as Chris's blog - contribute towards an eventual shift, we just won't know, if we know, until after the event what the final trigger was.

Does art criticism have to be bland? that's my concern with Art fag City. If Paddy Johnson is a trim tab, warp speed better be 5 knots. Hey, so urs fischer, everyone is talking about how he heroicly scales up ephemeral gestures using industrial processes like a modern day prometheus, unbound and stealing fire from the gods' who must be crazy to have such lax security. So uh prometheus, what's eating you? ha ha ha ah ah ahaahahahhaha.

I'm raising funds to go to Disneyland - turns out I'm allready there, the desert of the real, the endlessly self replicating simulacra, gosh I'm thirsty. hey paddy, pedantry may sell to "the sister of the economist" - but please, less mirror, more smoke, an art dies every time you write like that.

Now, Chris, you know the drill. "Open-mindedness" (as in "it's all good" or "I'd better not risk looking uncool") is de rigueur for party membership.

Chris, you and Erickson can make that distinction, but most people wouldn't. My point, obviously, is the same either way: the hip, or would-be hip, live in fear of being taken for unhip. That's why it's so ironic, not to say hilarious, to hear these people go on about how "fearless" they are, when they're terrified of being caught "off base" or being suspected of "not getting it."

Would-be hip, the truly hip go their own way regardless and Happy Days remains as good a cultural analogy as any. Anyway, none of them are secure enough to withstand ridicule, point the finger with enough humor and conviction and they do sometimes buckle. Trouble is, that the form of the TV studio debate is now the power structure for all cultural discussion. If you are on the platform, you can get away with almost anything but say the same from the audience and you are easily dismissed (I've played both - being on the platform is great fun if you don't care whether or not you get invited back). Only way round is to build a strong enough structure between you to become the platform they have to address. At the moment, your blogs are just voices, however eloquent, from the audience.

Yes, the "platform" confers supposed validity or authority, when in fact those on it frequently have little if any of either, in the true sense. Same goes for the art institutions, which are also a kind of platform, like the art mags, the arts pages of "serious" news media, and so forth. In other words, practically no one can be taken at face value, regardless of his or her "platform."

Just glanced at Jerry Saltz's list for New York Mag of the most memorable art of the decade. I should have known better after that recent Richter review where Saltz blathered on about GR's "ultrapowerful technique," whatever that means. The list includes references to Matthew Barney as "mythic" and "colossal," Pipilotti Rist as "shaman," and Cindy Sherman as "timeless." But of course. Then there's the business about the Koons Puppy as the art work of the decade. I mean, I'm sorry, but for a presumably serious, let alone ostensibly major critic, this is simply WAY too embarrassing. You go, Jerry. Good little tool.

Saltz may not be the worst offender, and he may even mean well, but he's just not credible or respectable, certainly not to me. I know you like him, but he's part of the system and part of the problem. Of course, if he wasn't part of the problem, he could hardly be part of the system.

Oh, and Chris, if you want stupidities, the Saltz piece on the Koons Puppy is a gold mine. I was going to read it, but mere skimming proved unbearable. I cannot believe this guy has "major critic" status. Or rather, yes I can. It's like Koons having "major artist" status. It fits perfectly into the prevailing, uh, ethos.

Here's a little sample to get you started: "his [Koons's] work retains the essential ingredient that, to my mind, is necessary to all great art: strangeness."

Is that a card-carrying party member or what?

Chris, if Saltz is just goofing or fucking around, which I can believe, what does that say about anybody who'd take him seriously? Obviously some people do, otherwise he wouldn't be an issue for discussion. But as I said, a joke of an artist like Koons goes with a joke of an art critic.

As for the Matthew Barney story, I hope, for Saltz's sake, that was just more goofing or fucking around. If it wasn't, the guy's simply an idiot, which I tend to doubt. I expect it's all part of a certain schtick which has proved successful enough to get him where he is. And the whole Barney Vaseline business is SO lame--it's like an "updated" knock-off of the Beuys fat business, which was already more than lame enough.

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