Blacklist in a Teapot


Dead finches

About two and a half years ago I wrote "I'm the Next Charlie Finch" in which I spoke about "our own [art blogging] controversy, compared to which a tempest in a teapot is an extinction-level event". It looks like Charlie has wound up another one, and once again it's somewhat smaller than that worn-out teapot metaphor. Charlie wants to know why we "loggorheac know-it-alls of the art blogosphere" haven't been reporting on Jack Tilton and his recent testimony damning the art world in general and Marlene Dumas in particular. I don't honestly feel old Charlie is talking about me since I don't do reportage of any kind. I suppose he has a point, though, picking on all the other bloggers who think they're doing such great jobs while scribbling up posts about, for example, one of the stupidest assemblages of "net art" I've ever seen and how many feed readers they have, not to mention the enormous circle-jerk of linking to each other that was #class. Fucking #class. So hooray for Charlie Finch!

Sadly I can't give a crap about the main story, in which Jack Tilton reveals the evils of the art world. About the only part that really speaks to me is finding out that Marlene Dumas isn't a happy person. As Finch writes, "Far from glorying in her rare success and the attentions of major museums, galleries and collectors, Dumas, in Tilton’s telling, appears obsessed with issues of her legacy, the destinations of her paintings...and the sad idea that someone somewhere might be making a buck off her labors. I mean, where is the joy, Marlene?" I, for one, am thrilled to see that no amount of success and accolades can help the hunched, broken personality of someone who makes their living creating overpriced junk. Truly it gives me hope that the universe is, in fact, proceeding as it should.

The story came to my attention, however, when one of NYC Art's far flung correspondents -- okay, it was Franklin -- pointed me to Twitter. In particular, Oly Lambert wrote:

Does Charlie Finch realize he is the Chris Rywalt of the old guard? #bloggerrevolution @hragv @artfagcity @heartasarena @powhida

Given what I wrote back in late 2007, I find this amusing. I thought I was turning into Charlie Finch but it turns out he's turning into me in some weird retroactive way. I'm so very happy about this. Then, because she's a nice person, Oly goes on to say:

Btw, Rywalt's girl scout daughter I bought Thin Mints from! @artfagcity @hragv @heartasarena @manbartlett @joygarnett #heismysupplier!! ;)

To which Man Bartlett, he of the dweeby fur hat and complete lack of artistic talent, replied

Please tell me you asked her why her father is such a tool. #wasthatoutloud? @olympialambert @artfagcity @hragv @heartasarena @joygarnett

Well, I'll tell you myself why I'm such a tool, Man: Because what you try to pass off as art sucks. If you and people like you went into dry cleaning, street sweeping, or perhaps the food service industry -- any career where you actually perform useful work for society -- I could stop being a tool and spend more time with my Girl Scout daughter. Instead I see you "performing" and become apoplectic, requiring this blog to vent the skull pressure. Thus my toolness.

Oly's final tweet on the subject:

@manbartlett @artfagcity @hragv @heartasarena @joygarnett Nah. I just ate the cookies. #noenemycanconquercookieluv

Oly, dear, I'm not sure why you find it worth sharing that you bought Girl Scout cookies from my daughter. It seems kind of odd of you to bring it up. I think it's the second time you have, too. It doesn't make sense. I offered to sell you a box back before you wigged out on my blog. And you wigged out because -- I want to stress this -- my review wasn't positive enough. You said you wanted the cookies. We didn't connect last year at cookie-selling time so I got back to you this year. No big deal. Nothing to write home about, and nothing worth a tweet. But there it is. Do you feel you've somehow let down your team? Is it like sleeping with the enemy? Do you have some sort of Greek Orthodox need to confess?

Maybe we can discuss it at the VIP preview event for your Escape From New York show on May 2. Unless I've been blacklisted.


Maybe you should start bringing up their family members Chris. Oh that's right. You would never stoop that low.

Hey--I saw that tweet re: Charlie French. Such drama!

Sounds like you might have to impose a samoa and tagalog blacklist

Snark Snark Snark.

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