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Jho Low and his $48.8 mil Basquiat

From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

State of the Art
by Steve Sailer, December 05, 2018

A new study in Science, “Quantifying reputation and success in art,” documents that in the contemporary art world, it’s less a matter of what you know than whom you know.

Art economist Magnus Resch writes in Art News this week of what he has learned from his database of prices paid for roughly 10 million works of art by half a million artists at more than 20,000 museums and galleries around the world.

Having your works displayed at most of these institutions is more or less a career dead end, while there are only a few royal roads to success.

The most lucrative network of all consists of six New York institutions—the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Gagosian and Pace galleries, the Met, and the Whitney—and one Chicago museum, the Art Institute. If you can make it there, you’ve made it everywhere.

Read the whole thing there.

 
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  1. OT. I don’t think we’ll ever reach Peak Guardian. The author was educated at Godolphin and Latimer school and Lincoln College Oxford.

    Potty shaming – why blaming the parents is a political act.

    Demonising parents for not getting kids out of nappies is part of a wider class agenda at the heart of the austerity programme.

    Potty training is a parent’s job, according to Amanda Spielman, the head of Ofsted, interviewed earlier this week. It’s such an uncontroversial statement – who could think otherwise? Even on a practical level, if you left it to a teacher, you’d run the risk of a child who was only potty-trained during school hours. Yet the statement fails a basic authenticity test: it does not mean what it appears to mean.

    Some 70% of primary schools have registered a rise in the number of four-year-olds who arrive in reception wearing a nappy. In every single school Spielman visited, there was “at least one”. It is highly improbable that this is the main concern raised by the headteachers.

    Amanda Spielman, btw, is also notorious for stating that families of white working-class (i.e. Native British) children ‘lack the drive’ of immigrants, like, say, Ms Spielman’s forebears.

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/jun/21/families-white-working-class-children-economic-burden-lack-drive-of-migrants

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  2. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

  3. Tyrion 2 says:

    I occasionally visit the Tate Modern, Britain’s prime contemporary art museum. Each time it is because I have forgotten how bored I was previously. I usually see one or two items which may deserve to survive the filtration process of the next few centuries. I like to think of this filtration process as “Survival of the Greatest”. That is also meaning survival of the most universal. After all, it has to be valued by generation after generation in order to be kept. Perhaps this explains a lot.

  4. snorlax says:

    Combining a few current year iSteve topics, here’s Tom Wolfe masterfully trolling the contemporary art world with the old Pat Buchanan / Trump trick of stating things slightly inaccurately so journalists “correct” you and prove your point.

    http://www.artnews.com/2015/10/09/grumpy-old-men-tom-wolfe-and-tom-sachs-duke-it-out-over-contemporary-art/

    “Maurizio,” Wolfe said at one point. “I’m trying to think…”

    “Cattelan,” the audience muttered back.

    “He had a recent work called Ninety Cans of Shit,” Wolfe continued. “And that’s what you get.” (This being in reference to contemporary art as a whole. Though it consisted of ninety tin cans presumably filled with excrement, the piece was called Artist’s Shit, and was in fact by Piero Manzoni, who produced the work in 1961, the year after Cattelan was born, and thoroughly within the era in which Wolfe argues that contemporary art had become too “literary.”)

  5. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    A hermetic bubble.

  6. LondonBob says:

    Never looked at Basquiat paintings, boy are they ugly.

    Truth is that good art is very cheap. My Gran was an amateur artist, did a lot of very good landscape watercolours that are easy on the eye, which now adorn the walls of friends and relatives. Then there are perfectly good reproductions. Go down to any charity shop and they will have dozens of paintings available for peanuts. A couple of thousand can get you works by artists with name recognition, there is a noticeable step up in quality, then there are the old masters. They fully deserve their high price and reputation, but even then forgers can imitate them, flawlessly enough that sophisticated dating techniques, x rays and provenance is needed to determine whether they are fake.

    Modern Art is like fiat money, a confidence trick that can sustain itself. Andy Warhol and Damien Hirst essentially acknowledge this with their factory style production line of work. Most people would do what that cleaner did to Tracy Emin’s piece, and put it in the bin.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @black sea
  7. For some reason,this topic recalls to mind an old joke:
    A man is being treated by a psychiatrist. He is shown a series of ink blots hand asked what he sees in them.
    The first one is shown.
    “Well,that’s a naked woman!”
    Followed by another.
    “A pair of breasts!”
    “A woman pleasuring herself!”
    “A horny naked woman!”
    At last the exasperated doctor says,”You sure are obsessed with sex.”
    To which the man replies indignantly,”You’re the one with the dirty pictures!”

    • Replies: @AndrewR
  8. I did a stint as a teen stuffing envelopes at the Chicago Art Institute, and browsed the collection a few times, but I had no idea how stunning it really is until seeing too many so-so collections in the world’s capitals. Hey, ho, way to go Chicago.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Anon
  9. Artists don’t become artists to make money. We become artists in order to make art. Or, put another way, we become artists because Someone or Something has more or less put a gun to our heads. We make art because we’ll die if we don’t.

    Collectors and gallery owners and the whole business care about making money. Me, I’ve been broke as an artist, I’ve been kinda-sorta rich as an artist, then broke again, then flush again, lather, rinse, repeat. Rich is better of course, but it’s not everything.

    What matters to me most is connection, is the look on people’s faces when they finally GET it. The business end has a fat bank account, and that’s fine. What I have (well, of course I have a bank account too, who doesn’t) is a desk-drawer full of hand-written letters from all over the place, written by people who told me, in so many words, “There was something I never understood before, and then I came across your stuff, and now I understand it. THANK you.”

    So long as I can at least make a living, that look on people’s faces is payment in full. These rankings and things, from an artist’s point of view, well, they’re great if they bring in the bucks, but they’re better for the sheer exposure. The more people encounter what you’ve done, the larger the number of jaws dropped, of people who finally get it. That’s worth something.

  10. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    There are still good artists working. Open up any Art magazine, and you can see good works.

    But art as cultural phenom is dead. No one cares but the insiders of corrupt curators and moneymen.

  11. @The Alarmist

    The art history textbook I studied in college (Janson?) was by a professor who relied on the Chicago Art Institute the most, so when I moved to Chicago, there in one museum were dozens of of pictures I’d studied in class.

    It’s a really good mega-museum.

    I like the Norton Simon in Pasadena for the opposite reason: it’s small and you can see everything in about 90 minutes, right about the time your feet first start to hurt. It has a fine collection, including a Raphael.

  12. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @LondonBob

    Never looked at Basquiat paintings, boy are they ugly.

    I call it basquiatcase. He was black, homo, and well-connected.

    Not a fan of Grosz but he did have something. I see no such in Basquiat.

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=grosz&FORM=HDRSC2

  13. Anon[330] • Disclaimer says:

    Uniqlo licenses MoMA art for $12 “UT” T-shirts: Worhol, Basquiat, et al. For that purpose, I like it. They also license content from record labels (I have a Pet Sounds T-shirt), and oddly, from the Charles and Ray Eames estate, drawings of office chairs.

  14. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Only Iran had an ALL woman team.
    How is that fair?

    What? All nations put up trannies?

  15. Janus says:
    @Tyrion 2

    The only thing I can remember from visiting the Tate in the mid-90s is seeing a Rothko in person for the first time. I found his work much more evocative than I would have imagined from seeing reproductions. It was probably the strongest reaction I’ve ever felt to a painting, although at this point I couldn’t even tell you what the colors were.

  16. New York is awash in pretentious, self-important mountebanks posing as cultural gatekeepers? Paint me a shocked face!

    • Replies: @songbird
    , @Anon
  17. Anon[330] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Only Iran had an ALL woman team.

    I still cannot get over how any debate on transsexuals in women’s sports has been completely shut down. How can such a tiny minority whose views are not held by most of the population so totally have taken over things?

    This is really worthy of study. Was it via universities and then on into positions of power? But then somehow it became shameful to express anti-tranny sentiments? Why? Is it fear? Fear of physical harm, or loss of jobs? But that just moves things up a level. Why are employers so fearful? People in positions of power have the power to harm employers. The whole thing just gobsmacks me. Is there any relation to how Hitler took over? (Whoops, Godwin’s violation.)

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    , @AndrewR
    , @anon
    , @bomag
  18. It’s interesting to quantify monetary success in art. But it’s a really old insight, that art and money are only distant relatives, so to speak. The most important quality of art is to make our world greater – (=better/richer/more interesting/and more disgusting/horrific…tempting/ – to make it shine, as Schiller and Goethe said – – again & again).

  19. @Janus

    Rothko does that to a lot of people. His paintings don’t have that effect on me, but they have that effect on enough people that I presume that it’s my fault, not his, that they don’t do anything for me.

  20. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Interesting, thanks. I’d like to hear more of your story.

  21. It may have been Warhol who commented that it didn’t matter what you sold a painting for — it was who you sold it to.

    In other words, given a choice between selling me your painting for $5000 and selling it to some well-connected member of the New York art world for $50, you’d be well-advised to pick door number two.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    , @Dube
  22. @Janus

    ‘…seeing a Rothko in person for the first time. I found his work much more evocative than I would have imagined from seeing reproductions…’

    Ditto for Matisse.

    • Replies: @Janus
  23. @Steve Sailer

    I like the Norton Simon in Pasadena for the opposite reason: it’s small and you can see everything in about 90 minutes, right about the time your feet first start to hurt. It has a fine collection, including a Raphael.

    There’s a lot to be said for small museums. My favorite is the Mauritshuis in The Hague. Speaking of Vermeers, it’s got ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ and ‘View of Delft’ on opposite walls of one small room. It’s pretty much Vermeer heaven.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  24. @Steve Sailer

    Tastes differ. That’s not a bug of art – it’s a feature. The sphere of art is a sphere of freedom and invites us to experience – – – not only our preferences but also our differences. It’s one of the most important qualities of art, therefore, that it makes us agree to disagree (=to experience that our tastes are not necessarily the same – and that this experience is not bad in itself, but rather – – – liberating).

    My theory of Rothko is, that he is a) basically a sky-painter (lights/clouds) and that he hints at what Lukacs called the metaphysical rooflessness of our modern times. That’s one of the big underlying themes of our modern times and I do think that Rothko touches it by painting the sky without really showing it (this hints t a deus-absconditus-motif in Rothko’s work).

    • Replies: @Anon
  25. @Steve Sailer

    ‘I like the Norton Simon in Pasadena for the opposite reason: it’s small and you can see everything in about 90 minutes, right about the time your feet first start to hurt. It has a fine collection, including a Raphael.’

    Yeah. Snortin’ Imon’s Art Museum and Antique Car Boutique is a good one.

    If you’re ever there, the Hugh Lane in Dublin is another gem. Small collection — all good.

  26. Tyrion 2 says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Austerity as a political battleground is so strange. I’ve shown progressive types the entirely uncontroversial data that UK government spending has increased in real terms almost every single year since the Conservatives came to power and they’re utterly baffled. They’ve spent years ranting against something that simply doesn’t exist. Indeed it has been their primary piece of political rhetoric.

    The source, the Office of National Statistics, has never been accused of overplaying government spending. Indeed that would run counter to all of their interests.

    To be fair, the Conservatives used to boast of implementing Austerity all the while not doing anything of the sort.

    Amanda Spielman, btw, is also notorious for stating that families of white working-class (i.e. Native British) children ‘lack the drive’ of immigrants, like, say, Ms Spielman’s forebears.

    Well they don’t lack the native intelligence, so what else explains their academic underperfomance? And yes, there are mitigating factors aplenty but the statement is still true.

  27. anon[336] • Disclaimer says:

    “Amanda Spielman, btw, is also notorious for stating that families of white working-class (i.e. Native British) children ‘lack the drive’ of immigrants, like, say, Ms Spielman’s forebears.”

    Conquerors often rewrite the native history to put themselves and their tribe on top. This is no different.

  28. @Tyrion 2

    “there are mitigating factors aplenty but the statement is still true”

    I don’t give a toss. I’m sure UK GDP would be higher if we replaced everyone with an IQ under 100 with a hard-working Chinese. What Ms Spielman ignores is that they are our people, and we should care about them. They’re not her people, so she ignores that.

    • Agree: AndrewR, Colin Wright
    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    , @Colin Wright
  29. Anon[281] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Janus

    Rothko… soiled diapers.

  30. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Colin Wright

    I guess art is like Bitcoin then, and indeed any quasi pyramid scheme.

    Anyone who buys it is immediately incentivised to advocate for the product; therefore selling to/recruiting effective advocates is a great strategy, especially if you control the supply.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Colin Wright
  31. Tyrion 2 says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I cannot say why she highlighted it, but ignoring such a phenomenon would hardly be doing a service to native Brits. Problems need to be clearly identified to be effectively dealt with. She’s in charge of education not immigration. I presume she is therefore looking to rectify the issue with education – a good, nationalist thing to do.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  32. @Tyrion 2

    Nothing personal Tyrion, but most Brits with ambition fled to the colonies generations ago.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    , @anon
    , @DFH
    , @dearieme
  33. How can such a tiny minority whose views are not held by most of the population so totally have taken over things?

    Interesting question. Part of the explanation is that the movement is funded by some very rich, very aggressive men-who-think-they-are-women, such as Jennifer Pritzker and Martine Rothblatt. http://thefederalist.com/2018/02/20/rich-white-men-institutionalizing-transgender-ideology/

    Still, lots of rich people pump lots of money into much less crazy causes that never gain traction. I don’t quite get it either.

  34. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Anon

    This is why so many great thinkers have referred to concepts like zeitgeist.

    • Agree: Thea
  35. jim jones says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Art is for people too stupid to do Science.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  36. @Anonymous

    I think she’s talking about one game in the championships – it’s quarter finals day today. Don’t think there are trans in all the teams.

    Not surprised by the Poz in Oz. The good news is that Australia didn’t qualify, though I see New Zealand are through.

    Korea beat China and Iran beat New Zealand today, the other quarters are Japan/Kazakhstan and India/Hong Kong.

    https://japanhandball2019.com/asian-championship-2018/result/en/

    (Ms Isaacson is a lesbian feminst, you’ll not be too surprised to note. Still, she’s right about this one).

  37. AndrewR says:
    @Father O'Hara

    Your joke could use some work… “You sure are obsessed with sex” in an “exasperated” tone sounds like something a middle school girl would say, not a licensed psychiatrist.

  38. @Tyrion 2

    Problems need to be clearly identified to be effectively dealt with.

    It’s not a problem that immigrants are “more driven” than Native Brits. We managed to create a pretty decent country without them.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    , @peterike
  39. AndrewR says:
    @Anon

    If I had to guess, I would say it’s because so few people actually care about women’s sports to begin with. Do I think that, EEBE, men who identify as women can compete fairly with actual women? Of course not. But I really don’t care about women’s sports so this definitely isn’t a hill I’m willing to die on.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  40. Tyrion 2 says:
    @Redneck farmer

    I prefer to think of it as those who left simply couldn’t hack it. They went to the colonies to play in the minor leagues. Can’t beat the Darwins? Leave and only play the “First Nations”.

  41. AndrewR says:
    @Steve Sailer

    You might want to see a podiatrist if your feet hurt after 90 minutes of mostly standing around and plus little walking. Or at least have a chat with your local Al Bundy.

  42. @Steve Sailer

    If you are ever in London, drop by the Wallace Collection.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  43. @Anon

    You are aware of the fact that there are lots and lots of people out there who like Mark Rothko’s paintings quite a lot, aren’t you? Now – what’s wrong with this fact?

    I do hope this social truth does not disturb you. And I do hold, that you need n o t be disturbed by the fact there are lots of other people with tastes that differ a lot from yours. That’s all right.

  44. Tyrion 2 says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    The working class majority of the male half of the British population is suffering generally but they’re actually failing in education.

    Their attitude is one cause among many and would benefit by being publically recognised, even as their attitude is a natural consequence of progressive cultural hegemony.

    Indeed, recognising the factual problem is halfway to identifying its cause and the solutions.

    I say solutions plural because people both are products of their environment and shape their environment. While it is most efficacious to basically hold people responsible for their own behaviour.

    Anyway, I am one hundred percent on your side, yet your continued overly defensive presumption of my bad faith is tiring.

    Of course now you’re probably thinking that you don’t need my stinking help, in which case I am a bit more pessimistic than I was earlier this morning. Endeavours permeated with that attitude tend to fail.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    , @bomag
  45. @Steve Sailer

    Has Mark Rothko done anything really bitchin’?

    “… I always thought that, well, since I’m nobody, and I’ll prob’ly never be nobody, I’m left with the total freedom to do somethin’ really bitchin’.” —Robert Williams

  46. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Tyrion 2

    I went there back when I was younger and stupider. I spent a full minute staring at the emergency exit before I realised it wasn’t an exhibit. What clued me in was the absence of the little plaque: real art comes with a little plaque that explains what you’re looking at.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @Buffalo Joe
  47. @Tyrion 2

    For once, I agree with you.

    Even obscure artists–like me–can take satisfaction in knowing that their work will hang on someone’s wall for, who knows?, maybe a couple centuries or so. Walls in the homes of fairly wealthy people are adorned with nice paintings, quietly doing their job, like wildflowers blooming along the road “less traveled by”. And pondering that “has made all the difference”.

    But to survive the ravages of time, a painting must be well constructed. It needs a good foundation and like a house needs to be assembled with care. Art is both a craft and an expression of emotion. Too much emphasis on the latter and a painting becomes, unintentionally, literally “performance art” as it degrades in front of our eyes. Too much emphasis on the former and a painting is dead, lacking verve.

    • Agree: kaganovitch
  48. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Redneck farmer

    Agreed. England is a case study in how imperial ambitions destroy the nation that acts on them.

    Of course, the colonies aren’t doing so well themselves any more either: a case study in how you can’t expect the colony to stay like the old country.

    • Replies: @DFH
  49. DFH says:
    @Redneck farmer

    As if Tryion were British in anything but a legal sense

  50. @Steve Sailer

    “right about the time your feet first start to hurt”

    I like it!, Steve. Succinct! A piece that makes us forget our aching feet. Finally, a universal criteria for what constitutes good art.

    I always look forward to the museum coffee shop that looks out over the courtyard garden. Halftime for the sore-footed.

  51. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    They’ve hijacked the basic human desire to be nice. Also, there’s Nassim Taleb’s idea that the most intolerant win. Since these trannies are crazy and might scratch your eyes out if you state the obvious, that’s a pretty strong incentive to keep your mouth shut, too.

  52. @jim jones

    Science is for people too lacking in color to do Art.

  53. bomag says:
    @Anon

    Sports people tend to be bureaucrats following the party line.

    When the party line became, “men and women are equal”, a critical mass of sports people went along with trannies as a sort of penance for maintaining women’s sports in light of their new found orthodoxy.

  54. @anon

    In the modern art wing of the Norton Simon in the 1970s, I spent a minute admiring a minimalist rectangular sculpture on the wall. But then I couldn’t find the tag explaining who it was by. I finally reached out and swung it out. It was the door for the fuse box. I was going to make up my own tag and see how long it would be up before anybody noticed it wasn’t a work of art.

  55. We hear complaints about the 1%, but it seems to me the social justice folks should look at income distribution in the art/music/entertainment world. It looks to me like the gap between the haves and have-nots is especially extreme..

  56. dearieme says:
    @Tyrion 2

    But the view from the coffee shop back over the wobbly bridge to The City is rather fine, isn’t it? (At least it was when I last visited, perhaps fifteen years ago.)

    That, of course, supports your point.

    • Agree: Tyrion 2
  57. dearieme says:
    @Redneck farmer

    “most Brits with ambition fled to the colonies generations ago”: certainly those with ambition to desert the wife and family, or avoid the bailiff, or outrun the policeman did.

  58. njguy73 says:
    @Anonymous

    I hear the WNBA is struggling. Maybe the NBA has been wrongly subsidizing it. Instead of money, send it players.

    That’s right. Whoever finishes last in the NBA Eastern and Western Conferences, have them relegated to the WNBA. Completely relegated.

    That will stop tanking for a high draft pick once and for all.

  59. anonymous[340] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Ah, but it was!

  60. I am always surprised that the Art Institute of Chicago doesn’t sue the for profit “The Art Institutes” as the Art Institute of Chicago also has the School of the Art Institute. Some famous people who attended The School of the Art Institute include Grant Wood, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Bill Maudlin.

  61. CK says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Should you ever be in Moscow; The State Tretyakov Gallery is a must visit.
    Should you be in St.Petersburg: The State Hermitage and the Pererhof are wonderful.

  62. @AndrewR

    Another iSteve thread had a joke about a young man going to Catholic confession and admitting to masturbating. I told the joke to a married-at-age-50 lapsed Catholic, and I didn’t make it past the “set up” of the priest admonishing, “Save that for marriage” before my friend laughed at what he thought was the punch line. The real punch line that follows was the man recounting, “So I did — all 5 gallons.”

    Having been through medical fertility treatment, 5 gallons had me rolling on the floor — I had seen the quantity involve in a test tube. But I “get” what my friend thought funny.

  63. songbird says:
    @Oleaginous Outrager

    I’m going to state the obvious: some of these things are going to be bad investments, in the long-term.

  64. DFH says:
    @anon

    England is a case study in how imperial ambitions destroy the nation that acts on them.

    Ummmmmmmm how?

    • Replies: @anon
  65. peterike says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Artists don’t become artists to make money. We become artists in order to make art.

    Oh please.

    • Replies: @International Jew
    , @Fun
  66. @Tyrion 2

    Impressive building. Vapid content. The Rothko’s are laughable.

    The Tate Britain in Pimlico is far more worthwhile.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  67. Benjaminl says:

    To look at the glass as half-full (OK more like 10% full), we could say that genuine Old Master works of quality are, by contrast, a great bargain, due to the cluelessness venality of the New Collector Class.

    At one point, the NYT noted that a fine 18th-century Old Master painting like Francesco Fontebasso’s Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well, sold for a single bid, of 140,500 pounds sterling.

    https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/francesco-fontebasso-venice-1707-1769-rebecca-and-eliezer-5958414-details.aspx

    At this very moment, Christie’s is doing an online auction of Old Master prints and drawings for under 5,000 pounds (each):

    https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/old-master-works-paper-prints-drawings-under-5-000/lots/451?lang=en-us

    Any single one of those has more inherent value than the latest version of Basquiat.

  68. My friend recently showed me some photos online of “art” by Stephen Felton, the nephew of a mutual acquaintance. His work has brought six figures and is owned by several known celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio. I am off to buy the 64 crayon set by Crayola and then to find an agent.

    • Replies: @Liza
  69. Janus says:
    @Colin Wright

    It’s funny you should say that about Matisse, because his “Dance” painting is my strongest memory from the Hermitage. My second strongest memory of that museum is that I had a student ID because I was studying in Petersburg for the summer and therefore paid ten cents for entry rather than the foreigner’s fee, which I think was something around $9. That ID worked wonders all over the city.

    • Replies: @Anon
  70. If it weren’t for the Unbearable Whiteness of Art Dealing, Basquiat’s paintings would fetch 10 figures!

    Seriously, any black man may as well try his hand at painting, someone will overpay for it.

  71. Liza says:

    Do I understand the art world correctly:

    ” an invisible network of curators, art historians, gallery owners, dealers, agents, auction houses, and collectors” collude and collaborate to claim that Such ‘n’ Such’s works are unspeakably great, thereby increasing their (financial) value to unheard-of amounts of $$$. Then they step back and allow the world’s richest suckers to buy these paintings, works that are not really worth a pinch of coonshit, canvases that I wouldn’t use to repair a hole in a tent.

    So everyone involved in this megascam is eventually rolling in dough and the buyer of the work of art doesn’t really care all that much because he is so rich and his friends outside the invisible network think he is sophisticated because he owns a famous painting.

    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    , @ThreeCranes
  72. peterike says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    It’s not a problem that immigrants are “more driven” than Native Brits. We managed to create a pretty decent country without them.

    Well for a while there, the Brits were probably the most driven people in the world.

    For a great fictional rendition of this, I highly recommend R.F. Delderfield’s “God Is An Englishman” trilogy. A great ripping yarn about a family of strivers in the Industrial Revolution with lots of interesting historical detail (if you find that sort of thing interesting).

  73. Thea says:

    During the Cold War the CIA funded and promoted abstract painters such as Pollack in some nefarious plan to show the commies what they were missing. This plan was fueled by an underwear gnomes style of logic but our tax dollars supported it.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @anon
  74. KunioKun says:

    One of the coauthors of the paper is a big dog in social network analysis. He co-created an algorithm to generate “scale free” networks, which are one of the standard models used to characterize networks. The algorithm is quite easy to implement.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barab%C3%A1si%E2%80%93Albert_model

    I think most of these modern art paintings are very silly. People are certainly free to like all sorts of silly things, and I am glad for that. I am also glad that the silly things I like do not cost tens of thousands or even millions to have in my house.

    • Replies: @Anon
  75. Flip says:

    The best thing about high prices for lousy art is that the person who bought them no longer has that money.

  76. I wonder how many curators at these famous places have managed to make a fortune on inside trading of the art works they themselves have chosen to promote.

    How hard would that be? They know what the Next Big Thing is because they pick it. And I don’t see how it’s illegal.

    • Replies: @Colin Wright
  77. Clyde says:

    Jho Low and his $48.8 mil Basquiat

    The only way you pay tens of millions for a hideous piece of crap is as an investment. An investment in bigger suckers being out there. Preferably suckers loaded with inherited wealth.

    • Agree: Liza
  78. @Dieter Kief

    I don’t get it. What’s to like about the “paintings”? I knew an artist guy in the 90′s who painted stuff like that–bold colors in contrast, with no drawing–and I couldn’t see the point. He was totally weird (now I know he was autistic) and a complete alcoholic, to the point of drinking first thing in the morning. To me, his art, his booze, and his oddness were all stemming from the same source of crazy.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  79. @Steve Sailer

    LOL! That was about the funniest thing I’ve ever read from you, and yet it was nothing but a short true story.

    It’s funny, cause it’s true. [/Homer], which, BTW is also funny because it’s true.

  80. Gary says:

    Steve,

    Aren’t you getting over-cautious? Afraid you and
    your family will be sacrificed in the coming civil
    war? Go to any contemporary art museum in the
    US it is infested with Jew docents lionizing the
    decadent trash art. Modern art is simply
    another angle our parasitic, genocidal leaders
    use to destroy the Traditional America.

    • Replies: @Ghost of Bull Moose
  81. @AndrewR

    AGREED! If something this damn weird and stupid were happening in college football, changing the rules during the Alabama v. Auburn game, you’d better believe people would give a damn. (Too much, IMO, but still …)

    I haven’t even heard of these goings-on, bolstering your point, Andrew, until I saw the picture of that guy above playing handball with the skinny rag-headed broad. No, IT’S NOT FAIR!, sob, sob, but then, on the other hand neither is f___ing Title IX, so that’s just another reason I don’t care about that stuff. There may be some lesbian women’s softball spectators who do – knock yourself out, “ladies”, figuring out this mess.

  82. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Thanks also to Mr. Sailer & Mr. Unz for providing this forum. I count myself a lucky ducky to be in all your company. Even that exquisite little artist of a troll, the Tiny Duck…

  83. @Dieter Kief

    Yes, please.

    That’s something I’d also be eager to read.

    It just occurred to me, that so much of what gets shared around here could count as “hate-reads,”
    things that provoke contempt, mockery, disgust, despair & outrage about everything broken in our society.

    Would be nice to read more inspiring examples like @The-Germ-Theory-of-Disease.

  84. @Janus

    ” . . . seeing a Rothko in person for the first time. I found his work much more evocative than I would have imagined from seeing reproductions. It was probably the strongest reaction I’ve ever felt to a painting . . .”

    You’re talking about the “art” that consists of a couple of squares or rectangles or is it something else? I don’t claim to know much about art but if it’s something I or anyone else with no talent could do, it’s crap.

    • Replies: @Janus
  85. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @DFH

    1. Brain drain
    2. Privatised profits, socialised costs
    3. Distracts the rulers
    4. Creates karmic debt/ill will all over the place

    Empires fall more readily than nations, ergo nations are more stable than empires, ergo the nation-state is a superior political arrangement than the empire.

    But people pursue empire anyway. I suppose maintaining your nation must be boring, and imperialism must be fun. How else to explain all those people at the CIA and the State Dept., constantly plotting to overthrow governments? They can’t be motivated by fame or money, since they won’t ever get much of either.

    (One advantage to having an empire: your military gets a lot of practice, without your people actually suffering a war. Although, again, there’s a downside, in that your people will probably become cavalier about war.)

    • Replies: @DFH
  86. @AndrewR

    There is a difference between a real psychiatrist and a joke psychiatrist. (Such as a Viennese accent.)
    I suspect you are obsessed-with your own feces.

  87. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:

    Question: did art collectors have better taste when they were all inheriting their wealth?

    There’s a reason there’s such a thing as art appreciation classes (excuse, “art history”): art is tricky, and esoteric; an understanding of what’s good and what’s bad doesn’t necessarily come naturally.

    This is why the art world is full of charlatans and hacks, but it might also explain why the charlatans and hacks are worth so much money. A nouveau riche art collector, after a lifetime of chasing filthy lucre, might have never had time to learn anything about art or develop any judgement about it. Meanwhile, the useless scion of some old aristocratic family has never needed to spend time actually earning money, and might instead have had time to learn about art. Especially if he grew up with some hanging on his walls.

    Or maybe not, what do I know

    • Replies: @DFH
  88. @Anonymous

    A giant white M2F transgender locked in intense competition with a headscarf-wearing Muslim woman (POC?). Steve should use this photo whenever he wants to illustrate the infighting among the Coalition of the Fringes.

    These two gals could really use a cisgender white man to do battle against about now.

    • Agree: bomag
    • Replies: @MikeatMikedotMike
  89. @Tyrion 2

    It is true that “the working class majority of the male half of the British population is suffering generally” (agreed 157%, and the female half are suffering even more – at least the boys aren’t generally being raped) but whether or not “they’re actually failing in education” has absolutely nothing to do with the educational qualities of the incomers who are replacing them.

    It may well have something to do with the fact that the current England and Wales curriculum is designed to denigrate their heritage and culture while celebrating everyone else’s. It may also have a lot to do with the fact that while most immigrants are very pleased to be in a place which is a lot better then the places they’ve come from, while British kids (and more so their parents ) are aware that things for them are getting worse.

    When minorities perform badly in education, the blame’s always put on white people.

    The English system has changed a lot since CLR James wrote

    “English people… have a conception of themselves breathed from birth. Drake and mighty Nelson, Shakespeare, Waterloo, the Charge of the Light Brigade, the few who did so much for so many, the success of parliamentary democracy those and such of those constitue a national tradition. Underdeveloped countries have to go back centuries to rebuild one.”

    Now our children are taught Rosa Parks, slavery and Sacco and Vanzetti. That tradition has been destroyed deliberately.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
    , @stillCARealist
  90. David says:

    I worked in the Guggenheim finance dept for a few years in the early 1990′s and maintained a Lotus spreadsheet that graphically showed display spaces and their scheduled use over the next couple of years. Lots of exhibits were proposed and loosely scheduled for a few months before being eliminated from the plan. The number one reason a show didn’t get the go-ahead was lack of corporate sponsorship.

    So if a show at the Guggenheim can make an artist’s career, it usually takes a deep pocket corporate sponsor to pay for that show. The museum wasn’t into financial risk. I wonder if Seagrams or Phillip Morris, just as examples, ever bought paintings by the artists whose shows they underwrote, in anticipation of those shows raising the prices. Would seem like a no brainer.

    Though the charter of the Guggenheim specifies the mission as discovering, cultivating, and exhibiting new artists, like a Victorian charity hospital, as soon as it was instituted, it was redirected to establishment ends.

  91. bjondo says:

    garbage controllers
    controlled garbage
    garbage.

    the fools.

    5ds

    • Replies: @Anon
  92. @YetAnotherAnon

    ‘I don’t give a toss. I’m sure UK GDP would be higher if we replaced everyone with an IQ under 100 with a hard-working Chinese. What Ms Spielman ignores is that they are our people, and we should care about them. They’re not her people, so she ignores that.’

    Couldn’t agree more. I just moved into an all-white area of the country.

    Okay — some of them aren’t the sharpest pencils in the drawer. However, they are most certainly my people, and whatever the virtues of Han Chinese, I’ve no desire whatsoever to see the latter replace the former.

  93. @candid_observer

    ‘I wonder how many curators at these famous places have managed to make a fortune on inside trading of the art works they themselves have chosen to promote.

    How hard would that be? They know what the Next Big Thing is because they pick it. And I don’t see how it’s illegal.’

    This does go on — or close enough.

    In one of my previous lives, when I did a lot of painting and drawing, I recall discussions of a gallery owner who promoted pottery. He not only selected which artists and pieces he would show — which would have been about what one would expect — he also told the artists what he wanted them to produce, and then took a sixty percent share of any sales.

  94. @Anonymous

    Iran has more trannies than all those other countries combined. It’s not trannies they oppose, it’s cheating.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @Anon
  95. @Steve Sailer

    ‘… It was the door for the fuse box. I was going to make up my own tag and see how long it would be up before anybody noticed it wasn’t a work of art.’

    The irony here is that by modern criteria, had you done that, the fuse box would have become a work of art, and you would have been the artist. Look up ‘found objects’ and Marcel Duchamps’ Fountain.

    …which leads to another decided irony. For all its pretensions to originality, there’s actually been little new and worth mentioning in the world of modern art for a hundred years. Abstraction, minimalism, expressionism, pure nonsense — all had come into being by 1918. The last century has been a remarkably stagnant period. Compare, say, to the changes between 1780 and 1880, or for that matter, between 1200 and 1300.

  96. @anon

    Anon, I was viewing a collection of “Folk Art” at the Albright-Knox with one of my daughters. There was an interesting construction, containing among other things, mashed potatoes. Next to the piece was a two page explanation of the work. My daughter asked me if I thought it was a piece of art and I replied, no, not if it takes two pages to explain it. A Becky standing near by assured us that indeed it was “art.” When I asked how she could be so sure, she replied, “Because I studied art.” So if you are woke you don’t need the little plaques.

    • Replies: @anon
  97. @Anon

    Anon, but you didn’t.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Anon
  98. Speaking of art, it seems the memo on Canada’s “salad bowl” assimilation, tolerance, and anti-discrimination policies hasn’t quite reached Adventure Bay:

    Zuma is a male Chocolate Labrador pup and the water rescuer of the PAW Patrol. His primary purpose is to rescue sea animals from underwater emergencies. Since his services aren’t often required, he is one of the least used members of the team.

    http://paw-patrol.wikia.com/wiki/Zuma

    As if an alien name and warming the bench isn’t insulting enough, they make him talk funny, too:

    Zuma is a chocolate Labrador retriever puppy, with a slight speech impediment where he can’t pronounce his r’s correctly.

    Maybe he’s from Wode Island, or Wockwand, Maine. Or twained with Elmer Fudd.

    At least he gets to operate the hovercraft.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  99. @Anon

    That looks like the Vatican flag with the keys taken away, tipped on its side, and half-covered with the artist’s blood.

    As if Vincent Castiglia had joined the North American Vexillological Association.

    But no man can beat a woman at blood art. From (literally) Sarah Levy:

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  100. @Buffalo Joe

    I can do this.

    Anon, but you didn’t.

    The trick is not just to do it, but to get paid for doing it.

    • Agree: Liza
  101. Tyrion 2 says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    It may well have something to do with the fact that the current England and Wales curriculum is designed to denigrate their heritage and culture while celebrating everyone else’s.

    I agree to some extent but the first step to recognising this is to make people aware of the problem it is creating.

    Greening, who appointed Spielman, was following Gove’s long-standing plan to rectify this problem.

  102. Anon[309] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Babies do it everyday on their diapers.

  103. Janus says:
    @Federalist

    Although Rothko’s art appears very simple, especially in a tiny reproduction of a massive painting, I don’t think you could even come close to doing it. And neither could I. It’s like saying that anybody could do what a master Japanese calligrapher does because it’s only a few lines.

    It may sound a bit esoteric for this crowd, but I personally believe that the consciousness of an artist is somehow transmitted into a work beyond what could be explained merely technically. You are of course free to disagree with me and even consider me loopy, but certain works of art have a power that can’t be simply explained. I felt it most clearly viewing Michelangelo’s unfinished Prisoners sculptures in Florence.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @Anon
    , @Colin Wright
  104. Corvinus says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    “Iran has more trannies than all those other countries combined. It’s not trannies they oppose, it’s cheating.”

    Citation needed.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  105. @Gary

    The Plan to Destroy America Traditional America with Modern Art is going about as well as the Plan to Wipe Out Africa’s Population with AIDS.

  106. Corvinus says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    “Speaking of art, it seems the memo on Canada’s “salad bowl” assimilation, tolerance, and anti-discrimination policies hasn’t quite reached Adventure Bay:”

    What are you talking about? The darkie dog enjoys the water. Can’t say that about your friends in the hood, right?

    http://www.tyreebp.com/tbp-blog/2016/08/12/why-black-people-dont-swim

  107. @Anon

    Exactly. A red rectangle and a yellow rectangle is not art in any meaningful sense outside of preschool.

    These so-called artists only talent involves scamming people out of their money. They’re not artists but they are master con men.

    • Replies: @Anon
  108. @Reg Cæsar

    If that’s her blood, how does she keep it red? Goes rust-brown very quickly. I refuse to believe that “they” have different blood.

  109. @Anon

    You wouldn’t believe me if I, as someone who worked for a while as an art critic, told you how often I’ve heard this sentence. Thing is: It doesn’t matter at all, what you think you could. It doesn’t matter too, that you don’t much like these paintings. The nature of art is to enrich the lives of people. And for lots of Rothko admirers, that’s what his paintings did. And what they do – and will do – day in day out, all over the world. – – –

    The world is big and has room for all kinds of people*** – I think that’s the most important sentence in this context.

    *** and it even helps to think of HBD too as a factor

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Anonymous
  110. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @The Alarmist

    National Gallery in DC blows it away though.

  111. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Oleaginous Outrager

    New York is awash in pretentious, self-important mountebanks

    More like cynical, glib, and snide.

    Pretentiousness of yesteryear at least had the saving grace of seriousness and commitment.

    Today, the attitude is more like ‘we get the joke and know how phony it is’. It’s like one of those games in David Mamet movies. The question is who is the swindler and who is the swindled.

  112. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Janus

    Matisse did some remarkable work, but ‘Dance’ has to be one of the ugliest of the famous iconic paintings.

    • Replies: @Janus
  113. Liza says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    I have never heard of Felton so I looked him up.

    I am hereby taking a poll if that is okay:

    *Shit

    or

    *Go blind.

    Check one only. Thanks.

  114. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thea

    During the Cold War the CIA funded and promoted abstract painters such as Pollack in some nefarious plan to show the commies what they were missing.

    People make too much of this, but post-WWII modernism would have happened without CIA funding. It was just sign of the times. I’m sure KGB funded some decadent stuff in the West to promote degeneracy. But it would have happened anyway.

    The real cultural danger to the East was youth culture.

    • Replies: @snorlax
  115. J.Ross says: • Website
    @Janus

    Phrenology and palmistry were complicated and required training; they were still vanities. Nominally Western art disconnected from the Western tradition is an egotistical spiral ending in suicide and yielding nothing.

    • Replies: @Janus
  116. bomag says:
    @Tyrion 2

    Anyway, I am one hundred percent on your side…

    Appreciate that. We need all the help we can get.

    But you seem to accept Speilman et als premise that natives must out-do immigrants on certain metrics or else they get replaced.

    My side falls into the same trap when they announce immigrants are more criminal or more likely to use welfare: it carries the implication that the less criminal and less welfare-ish should be allowed unfettered access at the expense of raising up natives to fill those slots.

    I’d like to see the cultivation of an ethos along the lines of a Malaysia or Senegal: no particular claim that the natives are the best GDP contributors, but the natives have a categorical right to inherit the future.

    • Replies: @Tyrion 2
  117. @stillCARealist

    Agreed, it’s crap.

    A comparison to music is interesting. The 20th century produced a lot of unlistenable, unmusical “music” too. But it never caught on nearly as well as crappy art did. Symphony orchestras still play, overwhelmingly, works composed before 1900, and popular music — from films to radio to elevators — is more conservative in its tonal language than Beethoven 200 years ago.

    Whereas abstract art is everywhere. Why? My guess: we can point our eyes away from what we don’t like, but we can’t do that with our ears.

    • Replies: @anon
    , @Mr. Anon
  118. @Dieter Kief

    I guess I can like Rothko’s paintings too — the way I like the way my kitchen is painted in two different colors of paint, or the way I like one of my striped ties. Nicer than a monochrome wall, or a green jumpsuit.

    I only start to object when someone suggests that Rothko (likewise, the guy who painted my kitchen) engages in “art”.

    Also, speaking as a pretty good amateur violinist, I can’t take seriously someone who bends the conventions of the artistic tradition he claims to come from, if he can’t demonstrate technical competence with the fundamentals. In other words, could Rothko draw a good portrait? If he couldn’t, I can’t take him any more seriously than I’d take some “innovative” violinist who can’t play the standard repertoire in tune and with a steady beat. Fraud is a useful word we ought to preserve.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @kihowi
  119. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @KunioKun

    I think most of these modern art paintings are very silly.

    Fine Art has lost its purpose.

    Prior to photography, it was to represent people and things. It was the ONLY way the looks of things could be preserved. With advent of photography, humanity no longer needed paintings to preserve the look of things.

    So, in order for painting to survive and have a purpose, it had to do something photography couldn’t do. For awhile, paintings had the advantage of color(because color photography became good only much later). Also, movements like impressionism did something more than representation. And then came the modernist explosion, and for a time, it seemed like anything was possible. But the thing is one can only do much with a square canvas or with sculpture. Soon, the possibilities were exhausted, and stuff like abstract painting became merely new conventions. Every high school art student was doing it. Also, novelty wears out. There are many good painters today, but they offer nothing new. Also, there is no real excitement about Fine Arts. Another problem with modernism is its ‘schools’ and dogmas dug their own grave. Initially, it was fueled by freedom, creativity, and personalism. But as schools and dogmas around movements developed, the range of expression was constrained to the point of anemic puritanism. Anyone who has listened to some ‘modern music’ knows this. All the blood, sweat, and tears have been squeezed out. There is only the idea, often ridiculous. Art tried to be like theoretic physics when it must work on the human and emotional level, as well as the intellectual. This is why there was more real creativity in cinema(less affected by modernist schools) and popular forms of music. I wouldn’t go so far as Eric Hobsbawm, but he had a point.

    https://rtraba.com/2014/09/11/guernica-vs-gone-with-the-wind/

    Eric Hobsbawm argues that
    1) 20th century painters retreated into areas of conceptual art and distanced themselves from representation because cinema (and before that photography) conquered their traditional spaces; in doing so, they effectively lost the ability to bring their message across to a wider audience;

    I would argue somewhat differently. Much of pop culture, esp in music, became more open-minded than intellectual modernist ‘avant garde’ culture. So, Rock music took from everything: folk, country, blues, classical, jazz, and even modern music(as with Pink Floyd). In contrast, modernist music became hermetic and sealed, monastic.
    Same with cinema and stuff like music videos. Most of them were crap, but cinema, European and Hollywood, drew inspiration from all sorts of expressions. And music videos took from experimental film. So, while pop was taking good stuff from modernism, modernism closed itself off to popular culture….
    and when finally the Art World did take from pop culture(with Andy Warhol and the like), the result was disastrous because it was done as conceit than as inspiration. The effect was only to spread cynicism. In contrast, when Pink Floyd took from experimental music, they meant business.

    Because modernism staked so much on novelty, originality, and controversy, it was bound to fail. Liberals love to bitch about Conservative opposition to Mapplethorpe and Serrano, but would those turds have gained notoriety without the outrage expressed by Cultural Conservatives? Shock Fatigue killed controversy, and no one cares.

    Worst is when politicians get involved with art. Because most politicians are whores or philistine, they just give the stamp of approval to whatever the experts put forth as significant. In the past, the philistine-ness of politicians led to favoring staid same-old-same-old. But with modernism becoming normalized, politicians just nodded along to whatever was deemed ‘important’. As such, entire public squares were ruined with bad art, mostly horrible sculpture. Daley and Picasso. What a combination.

    http://chicagoist.com/2012/08/15/one_for_the_road_the_picasso_45_yea.php#photo-1

    • Replies: @anon
  120. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Like the English and policemen, she had a little plaque in her head

  121. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    Scarcity value, surely. You can’t own an original Penderecki, but if you could, some pendejo would doubtless pay $50 mil for it.

  122. @peterike

    Well, considering that the vast majority of artists don’t make money, if you give them credit for being rational beings then you have to accept that they do not, in fact, do it for the money.

    Same as 99% of kids who play basketball in high school. They don’t do it out of any hope of becoming pros. (It’s more like 99.9% that have no chance, but I’m allowing for some delusion.)

    • Replies: @anon
    , @snorlax
  123. isn’t the gambit with really expensive art that it’s a tax dodge for wealthy people?

    you take possession of a painting by paying 10 million for it, but then you don’t pay taxes, and as the art ‘appreciates’ then you can sell it 5 years later for 12 million. or something like that.

    it’s a tax free store of wealth that’s exempt from most IRS rules.

    that’s why these mediocre paintings are selling for ludicrous sums now.

    • Replies: @International Jew
  124. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:

    There is actually an easy and profitable way to make the masses interested in Art again.

    The Thematic Gallery. Simple formula. The curator comes up with a theme and holds a contest for various artists to paint on that theme. The theme can range from high to low to balance things. It can be about nature, history, people, emotions(love, anxiety, angst), social themes(alienation, justice, inequality, corruption), or stories(of novels, movies, and etc).

    Also, there can be winners in three categories. Voted by the people. Panel of Critics. Experts on the Subject. So, if the theme is Leone’s THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, three awards are given. People’s Choice. Choice by Art Critics. And Choice by film scholars/critics who know about Leone’s works.

    Maybe this won’t produce the greatest masterworks, but Art will once again be something that the larger community will be talking about.

    Now, some themes will attract more attention than others. For example, STAR WARS will attract all the Star Warrior nerds. And STAR TREK too. And there will be a need for popular themes once in a while. But they can be balanced out by other higher themes.

    I guarantee anyone who does this will be the Talk of the Town and rake in millions. And in time, some works exhibited at the gallery will be big bucks… and the People will have had something to do with it.

    I know arts are not same as sports, but the spirit of competition in Ancient Greek Drama kept the blood flowing. Too much of current Art World is hermetic and enclosed.

  125. Anonymous[198] • Disclaimer says:

    I don’t consider myself an artist, but I enjoy “doing art,” and am pleased if people like it — and amused when, as has happened, something I’ve done causes a few people to make personal attacks on me. I’d say 95 percent of men like what I do and 70 percent of women don’t.
    I was more than happy to doodle around below the radar until, by happenstance, some fellow with connections “discovered” me, leading to minor exhibitions at the Castor Gallery and the Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, neither of which I had heard of before because I had no knowledge of or interest in the professional art work. But I thought, wow, I’m gonna be famous!
    However…nothing at all happened. I think part of the reason was that I didn’t know the patter — didn’t have a “deep meaning” explanation for what I was doing, offered no edgy criticism of the bourgeois world…whatever.
    When another exhibition was offered, I turned it down. The whole process was tiresome, stressful and boring, and involved interacting with people I had nothing in common with and didn’t like.
    So I’ve gone back to making art to amuse myself and my friends, taking the occasional commission to do a piece to hang over a bar or in a pool room or bachelor den. Stuff that people (okay, men) will actually look at and then say, “I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like — and I like that!”

  126. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @the one they call Desanex

    It’s a general rule in art. If you(the average schmoe) can do it, it ain’t worth doing.

    Now, there are exceptions. Some things have low value in terms of technical expertise but have high value as originality/inspiration. Take Peanuts characters like Snoopy and Linus. Most kids, with practice, can learn to draw Snoopy pretty well. But what genius it was for Schulz to design such characters.

    I look at Rothko’s squares, and I don’t see anything. I see no technique and no originality. Also, stuff like that had been 1000x by Modernists before he came along.

    Now, Rothko did some interesting work when he wasn’t such a ‘square’.

    But his soiled diapers are utter crap.

  127. Tyrion 2 says:
    @bomag

    But you seem to accept Speilman et als premise that natives must out-do immigrants on certain metrics or else they get replaced.

    No, my feeling is that if English people aren’t outperforming everyone then something is wrong. My evidence is the last one thousand years.

    And being a person naturally inclined to the concept of personal responsibility, I think part of the blame does actually lie those doing the underpeforming.

  128. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Dieter Kief

    The nature of art is to enrich the lives of people.

    Rothko’s art surely enriched some people very much. Maybe too much.

    Btw, do you think all those people who were (emotionally)enriched would have been so if not for Art Critics who fed them gibberish?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  129. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Iran has more trannies than all those other countries combined. It’s not trannies they oppose, it’s cheating.

    Iran should be called Tran?

  130. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Janus

    Although Rothko’s art appears very simple, especially in a tiny reproduction of a massive painting, I don’t think you could even come close to doing it. And neither could I. It’s like saying that anybody could do what a master Japanese calligrapher does because it’s only a few lines.

    Okay, below is a very large and close up and detailed rendering of his painting. So, what do I see? Smudges close up.

    Also, calligraphy is like painted music because the strokes create a ‘futurist-like’ impression of active motion. You sense the mastery in the curves and angles. But in Rothko, you got one big smudge followed by another.

    https://tse4.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.ubsPahYkQf5StHhQirOHrgHaL6&pid=Api&w=2777&h=4468&rs=1&p=0

    • Agree: vinteuil
  131. Tyrion 2 says:
    @jimmyriddle

    The Tate Britain is perfect if you’re a Turner fan like me.

  132. DFH says:
    @anon

    1. Brain drain

    Where is the evidence of this? Britain still has a comparable IQ to countries like France which did not experience significant emigration and massively outperformed in science and other intellectual achievements in the first half of the 20th century.

    2. Privatised profits, socialised costs

    It didn’t make very much money by the 20th century, on the other hand it didn’t cost very much either. Nor did it provide much benefit to British capitalists, who invested more outside of the empire and at a higher rate of return

    3. Distracts the rulers

    From doing what?

    4. Creates karmic debt/ill will all over the place

    The other Anglo countries love Britain. Most African/Caribbean countries like Britain a lot. Even India and Pakistan are at worst ambivalent about Britain.

    I am not really in favour of empire in general, but it has not really had any significantly negative consequences for Britain (the worst would obviously be the first wave of non-white immigration, but that was very easily avoidable and ended up happening even to non-imperial countries like Sweden and Ireland almost as badly, so it can hardly be considered an inevitable consequence of empire)

    • Replies: @anon
  133. DFH says:
    @anon

    There’s a reason there’s such a thing as art appreciation classes (excuse, “art history”)

    Meeting attractive, rich girls?

  134. Buck says:

    Modern Art™ is just a simple “shite test” by our cultural overlords. It is so obviously juvenile, basic and base but somehow “worth” more money than most Americans will earn in their lifetimes from labor. Most people fail the test by admitting Modern Art™ must be worth obscene wealth even if they don’t personally “get it”. They defer to their cultural betters and don’t trust their own sense of beauty.

    Other forms of art don’t usually get this pass. Music, even pretty obscure stuff, has to be somewhat appealing to more ears than a few. Architecture and the rest of the built environment has to last in its environment. Industrial design has to be user friendly.

    There is more beauty in most Ikea furniture than Modern Art™ because it touches life. But a good hand-built table serving generations of a family may be the most beautiful art of all.

  135. @Liza

    Liza, I don’t want to slander anyone, but didn’t the two largest art auction houses collude to inflate auction prices. Can’t seem to find a link on line but I seem to remember this.

    • Replies: @a reader
  136. Alfa158 says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Mine was a chair at the Phillips Collection.

    • Replies: @anon
  137. Janus says:
    @Anon

    I had also always found “Dance” to be ugly from the reproductions I had seen of it. When I saw it in person, however, the impression was different, almost sublime. The Hermitage is filled with thousands of highly skilled representational works, but I literally can’t recall a single one of them at the moment.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @vinteuil
  138. @International Jew

    Tastes differ. That’s good.

    That you don’t much like Rothko is alright. But the Rothko admiration is not touched by this fact, not in the faintest way, because the world of aesthetics is by its very nature – – – – – – – – – incomplete and open for digressions.

    That’s a structural (=big) difference to the world of those sciences, in which people measure things. A meter is a meter – for all of us. Seen from an everyday perspective, it makes no sense, to discuss this fact and it makes no sense, to look for exceptions from this rule.

    With art, the exceptions matter, but do not necessarily disturb. – Look at the exception, the Leipzig city council made, when they hired not the first and best-renowned musician, but a humble guy named Johann Sebastian Bach. They knew that they made a very doubtful decision and – – – apologized publicly for having hired this obviously second class scribbler of notes and fat organ-quarreler…

    This – as you probably know, lingered on for more than a century. Some of the Bach pieces for harpsichord were even looked upon as boring and uninteresting way into the twentieth century. Now go and listen to Bach’s Suites Francaise by Blandine Rannou – if you had the CD in your hands, as I do, you could see a reproduction of cave-engravings of deer from the Stone Age – art, that interested absolutely nobody – there are no traces of reception up until the fifties and sixties of the last century. People knew that these things existed, but nobody really cared (except for Ernst Jünger, for example, the German right-wing militarist and nature writer and drug-expert and friend of Albert Hoffman…and very few others).

    So, it took time for this engravings-interest, to take off. But now it’s a phenomenon of our mass-culture and in the south end of France one of the rare investments in the last twenty years, which really paid off. – And the new fake-caves are very impressive. I recommend especially the Chauvet cave.

    Art is open to love and resentment at any time, and there is nothing wrong with that. People differ. Tastes differ. Traditions differ. Art differs, too.

  139. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @bjondo

    garbage controllers
    controlled garbage
    garbage.

    Much of high-priced is just that. For some reason, the curators and buyers prefer junk among new stuff. I guess it’s easier to control the prices and ‘worth’ if it has no intrinsic worth.

    There is art with intrinsic worth and market worth. So, even though it may be overpriced or under-priced, it does have independent and autonomous value as art, good or great. Therefore, it is not totally at the mercy of sellers and buyers and all the middlemen in between.
    But over-priced junk art puts ALL THE POWER in the sellers and buyers and the middlemen because they get to decide the worth. And of course, there are critics who service such junk just like there are financial ‘experts’ and journalists who service worthless financial junk. But if insider-trading is illegal, it seems insider-pricing in the art world is just part of The Culture.

    Modernism with real value requires heightened intellect and inspiration. This is why there is nothing worse than modernism done by those without intellect and/or inspiration. Even without i/i, a person can make a pretty good Western movie or write pretty decent genre novel. Just stick to conventions of story-telling and characters. John Ford never pretended to be intellectual or revolutionary. He made honest movies about mostly simple people. That’s all very fine.

    But if an artist wants to move into modernist territory, he better know what he is doing. It’s like advanced math requires something more than arithmetic and simple algebra/geometry. Someone without i/i doing modernism is like someone who doesn’t know Calculus playing with Calculus symbols without knowing what any of them means. There was a logic behind Picasso’s art.

    In cinema, if we compare Resnais’ MURIEL and Lester’s PETULIA, it becomes evident what modernism is capable of in the right hands and what it becomes in the hands of someone who doesn’t get it. Lester was a clever film-maker, but he was no artist. He was wonderful with TV commercials and stuff like HARD DAY’S NIGHT.
    A film like PETULIA has the look of modernism but is confused mess.
    MURIEL is a real work of art because Resnais could work at the highest level as a modernist artist.

    Too much of today’s ART WORLD is about people with little or no i/i doing stuff that has the mask but no soul of originality. It’s like Third World leaders(esp in Africa) try to catch up with the West. They build things with the Western Look but fail to develop institutions and methods of running a complex modern society. So, any African nation will have areas that have the outward look of a First World nation, but the inner workings of society remains crude and clueless.

  140. Janus says:
    @J.Ross

    I don’t really see the connection with phrenology or palmistry, but I can see your point that modern art in general, and abstract art in particular, indicate that the Western tradition has been in a state of dissolution for quite a long time. I wouldn’t say it yields nothing, although in Rothko’s case it literally ended in suicide, but it yields something different than would a work which flowed out of a healthy, growing culture. A further problem with abstract art is that while I believe excellent art can stem from it, it’s also leads to a huge amount of questionable work being produced. Many people who in prior ages would have lacked the minimum talent and discipline required to finish their training, are now quite free to call themselves artists and produce very low quality paintings with little effort expended.

  141. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief

    Tastes differ. That’s good.
    That you don’t much like Rothko is alright.

    It’s not a matter of taste. There are lots of things I admire(a great deal) but don’t care for due to matters of taste. I’m not the one to denigrate Beethoven or Titian. They were giants… but I just don’t care for them. Mozart was a genius, but I don’t much care for his music either. I agree with critics that GRAND ILLUSION and CHILDREN OF PARADISE are great works but would rather not see them again.
    Also, there are things that I would not defend artistically(or morally) that I like: BILLY MADISON(esp chemistry class) and RESIDENT EVIL series.
    All those are matters of taste.

    But people who are opposed to Rothko here are not talking of taste. It’s not a matter of personal preference. It’s a matter of some folks pretending that a guy who drew one rectangle over another is supposed to be some giant of art. That is crazy!

    Maybe it’s the drugs for some people(and I’m not saying you). Maybe people smoke dope or peyote before looking at art or something. Being a non-doper, I just don’t see it.
    I sometimes got this impression reading Jonathan Rosenbaum, like when he raves over a 7 hr movie called SATANTANGO where entire scenes are made up of people walking in the rain. (I did like Bela Tarr’s WERCKMEISTER HARMONIES, but it was 2 1/2 hrs.) Maybe some movie people smoke some dope and fall into a kind of mood that can appreciate stuff that says nothing to me personally.

    https://www.jonathanrosenbaum.net/1995/06/the-significance-of-sniggering/

    I’ve never met Robert Crumb, but he served as my guide the first time I took LSD, in 1968, when we were both 25. Significantly, that encounter involved fraternal complicity as well as fraternal betrayal, a subject that’s at the center of Zwigoff’s movie…
    My younger brother Michael, who’d already dropped acid several times and was supposed to be my guide… But he got lost, and I didn’t see him until the next day. Fearful of being alone, I turned to R. Crumb’s Head Comix… for company, guidance, and edification. Considering that Crumb ascribes much of the freedom of his work… to his first acid trip in 1965, an experience that unleashed most of the characters and visual concepts he’s known for today, he wasn’t a bad choice. I’m sure I could have done much worse — indeed, did do much worse when I ventured out a few hours later to see Barbarella, a much more corrupt, strictly mercantile package of 60s zeitgeist.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  142. a reader says:

    Van Meegeren’s forgeries never looked much like genuine Vermeers, resembling poorly done publicity posters for Greta Garbo movies.

    Van Meegeren is to Vermeer what this guy is to Vinci.

  143. JackOH says:

    Thanks to all for the comments here, especially those from art world insiders.

    We have a fine art museum built by a steel guy, and once a year or so I try to make my way there for a look-see. I confess the moderns appeal to me, some more than others, and it’s because–wait for the cliche–they speak to the condition of modern man. All alienated, “fractured”, “atomized”, or as King Crimson would have it: “Nothing he’s got he really needs.”

    That’s just me, I suppose. But, I’m a guy who believes, without much supporting evidence, that the psychological health and moral equilibrium of an 11th century European village may be better than what we have in our 21st century cities.

  144. a reader says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    You’re right:

    Christie’s and Sotheby’s colluded on prices to cheat their customers.

    • Agree: Liza
  145. kihowi says:
    @International Jew

    Maybe because you’re an international jew you can see through the spiel. Goyim have a lot more trouble with that. When confronted with empty but difficult-sounding nonsense, we imagine we’re not clever enough to understand and panic. So we try to bluff by going with it, yelling at loudly as we can about how enormously profound it is, hoping nobody guesses our secret.

    Of course two splotches of color next to each other is dumb and meaningless. But we’re easy marks and have money.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  146. Corvinus says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Thanks for partial archives for one of your favorite topics. While the links are appreciated, you still have yet to directly respond with the actual information. You said “Iran has more trannies than all those other countries combined.” Dig deeper in your resources and locate a chart or graph or real statistics that proves the statement.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  147. @Reg Cæsar

    I cannot believe that a grandmaster like yourself missed this one…

    Jho Low —-

    J.Lo: how?

    Somebody get some decent cappuccino into this guy, stat!

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  148. A new study in Science, “Quantifying reputation and success in art,” documents that in the contemporary art world, it’s less a matter of what you know than whom you know.

    Here’s a data point in support of that contention. There was this lady artist in the Orlando area whose sculptures were all of phalluses representing men she knew. One I remember in particular featured rather large assortment of rather large phalluses. They were all colored, as in red, green, blue. All sorts of colors. She knew a lot.

  149. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief

    A lot of people were really admiring the emperor’s new clothes, too! That’s not a serious argument. Rothko is a con job. If people never knew that these “paintings” are world-famous, nobody’s life would be enriched by these colored lines. The entire Rothko is one endless and extremely tedious citation of Malevich’s Black Square. Malevich at least did more than squares and circles. Not Rothko – that guy found a con that works and never ever deviated from the working recipe.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  150. Mr. Anon says:
    @International Jew

    Another point about music vs. art: it’s value is instrinsic, not relational, a least a lot more so than art, especially modern art.

    If it were found tomorrow that a symphony by Mozart, or Beethoven, or Schumann, or Shostokovich, had not been written by the purported composer, but by some anonymous composer who passed it off as someone elses, its place in the repertoire probably wouldn’t change at all. It would get played just as much, sell just as many records, etc. But if some piece of modern art (piece of…., in this case being an apt term) were found not to have been created by the celebrated artist it was claimed to have been by, it’s value would instantly plummet – 50%? 90%? More?

  151. utu says:
    @Tyrion 2

    I guess art is like Bitcoin then, and indeed any quasi pyramid scheme.

    And we should not forget that effect of pump priming by CIA to erect this pyramid.

    Modern art was CIA ‘weapon’

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/modern-art-was-cia-weapon-1578808.html

    The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art – including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko – as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince – except that it acted secretly – the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.

    Because Abstract Expressionism was expensive to move around and exhibit, millionaires and museums were called into play. Pre-eminent among these was Nelson Rockefeller, whose mother had co-founded the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As president of what he called “Mummy’s museum”, Rockefeller was one of the biggest backers of Abstract Expressionism (which he called “free enterprise painting”). His museum was contracted to the Congress for Cultural Freedom to organise and curate most of its important art shows.

    In 1958 the touring exhibition “The New American Painting”, including works by Pollock, de Kooning, Motherwell and others, was on show in Paris. The Tate Gallery was keen to have it next, but could not afford to bring it over. Late in the day, an American millionaire and art lover, Julius Fleischmann, stepped in with the cash and the show was brought to London.

    The money that Fleischmann provided, however, was not his but the CIA’s. It came through a body called the Farfield Foundation, of which Fleischmann was president, but far from being a millionaire’s charitable arm, the foundation was a secret conduit for CIA funds.

    Then there is a Jewish angle that is more important than the CIA’s role. Clement Greenberg and Harold Rosenberg as critics and explainers. They told us what to think and how to react to Pollock and Rothko and others. The visual art was turned into Talmudic studies. Words not images.

    http://www.israelshamir.net/shamirReaders/english/Darkmoon–The-Plot-Against-Art.php
    In order to succeed in this difficult profession, the visually challenged Jews had to bent art to fit their abilities. It is as if, unable to excel at athletic prowess, the Jews had somehow managed to gain control over the Olympic Games and decreed that, from now on, sprinting and marathon running were no longer important. What really mattered was winning the sack race or the Spitting Competition accomplishments, possibly, which Jews were particularly good at!

    The Jews were extremely ill equipped for their conquest of Olympus, Shamir instructs us. For many generations, Jews never entered churches and hardly ever saw paintings. They were conditioned to reject image as part of their rejection of idols. In short, the Jews were visually handicapped. Trained in Talmudic dialectics, they were marvelous with words. They had a verbal IQ of 130. Their IQ for patterns and pictures, however, was dismally low: only 75.

    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
  152. @Dieter Kief

    TL;DR. It’s a couple of rectangles.

  153. anon[385] • Disclaimer says:

    i never understood that Rembrandt painting of the fat woman

    what was supposed to be so good about it?

  154. Fun says:
    @peterike

    These kind of stories are misleading. Making art is a crummy way to get rich. The vast majority of fine artists, who are far more skilled at their craft than the average person, barely make a living at it, and will never become rich and famous. For most people it’s a labor of love, not an Andy Warhol-esque attempt to con the wealthy and tasteless.

  155. Prediction markets are fun, but they don’t seem to have much to do with prediction.

  156. @Janus

    ‘…It may sound a bit esoteric for this crowd, but I personally believe that the consciousness of an artist is somehow transmitted into a work beyond what could be explained merely technically. You are of course free to disagree with me and even consider me loopy, but certain works of art have a power that can’t be simply explained. I felt it most clearly viewing Michelangelo’s unfinished Prisoners sculptures in Florence.’

    Uh huh. I actually had a bit of an unplanned epiphany in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    There I was, deriving what pleasure I could from the De Koonings and such: I mean, you can study them, and that does yield some results.

    Then I wandered into their collection of Impressionists. There was absolutely no comparison…my socks were immediately and permanently knocked off.

    If you feel obliged to make yourself appreciate modern art, or find it rewarding to do so for some reason, I imagine you can succeed — but what’s the point? Aren’t there far better paintings out there?

  157. @Tyrion 2

    ‘I guess art is like Bitcoin then, and indeed any quasi pyramid scheme.

    Anyone who buys it is immediately incentivised to advocate for the product; therefore selling to/recruiting effective advocates is a great strategy, especially if you control the supply.’

    That’s partly true. There’s also a lot of what can only be called mumbo-jumbo. It’s very hard to understand — usually for the excellent reason that it is literally nonsense — so people turn to people they perceive as authorities to tell them what is good.

    If I put a painting on my wall, it means I like it. That’s about as far as it goes. Worse, few who matter will ever see it. If Waldo de Pfefferhasen puts it on his wall, it means it’s GREAT ART, and everyone who sees it (except the hired help) will realize that it is, and attribute any failure to appreciate it to their own deficiencies.

    So sell to Waldo, not to me. If you sell to me, you’ve got the money, but your painting’s gone. Sell it to Waldo, and maybe you didn’t get much money, but your painting (and you) are on their way to the big time.

  158. Art economist Magnus Resch writes in Art News this week of what he has learned from his database of prices paid for roughly 10 million works of art by half a million artists at more than 20,000 museums and galleries around the world.

    I love the fact that “Art Economist” is actually a thing. The only operative economic principle would seem to be the “greater fool theory” — i.e., a piece of canvas with some oil-based pigment smeared on it is worth exactly what an even bigger sucker will pay for it in the future. Nothing more, nothing less.

    The delusional aspect of the market is proven every time a “priceless” object loses its value because its origin story changes. For example, if a painting has been a “Renoir” for 150 years, but it is recently discovered to have been painted by his assistant instead. The same exact painting that was formerly trading for millions is now essentially worthless. Nothing about the commodity changed, only the story people tell each other about it.

    So in the end it’s just a market for stories.

  159. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Is this “J Lo” somebody I should be aware of?

  160. @Federalist

    “A giant white M2F transgender locked in intense competition with a headscarf-wearing Muslim woman (POC?). Steve should use this photo whenever he wants to illustrate the infighting among the Coalition of the Fringes. ”

    Hell, a 200′ statue should be rendered from that photo and used to replace the Statue of Liberty, because that photo is EXACTLY Who We Are!

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  161. @Anonymous

    “The 2018 Asian Women’s Handball Championship was yesterday won by Australia…”

    To add insult to injury, the Asian WHC wasn’t even won by an Asian team.

    To add even more insult to injury, that Iranian handball player was immediately executed following the match for having inappropriate relations with a man.

  162. vinteuil says: • Website
    @Dieter Kief

    there are lots and lots of people out there who like Mark Rothko’s paintings quite a lot

    Well, there are lots (not sure about lots and lots) of people out there who like to pretend that they like Mark Rothko’s paintings.

    Now – what’s wrong with this fact?

    The problem, DK, is that the sort of people who pretend to go all ecstatic in the presence of Rothko’s floating rectangles have never hesitated to trash the rubes who actually kind of enjoyed looking at a painting by, say, William-Adolphe Bouguereau. In fact, they just couldn’t wait to stomp all over those rubes.

    So, in the end, they reduced the ancient & honorable art of painting from a going public concern to a looney investment vehicle.

    That’s what’s wrong.

    I mean, do you have any situational awareness at all?

    • Replies: @Janus
    , @Anon
  163. @Corvinus

    Just an educated guess, I guess. The other nine handball nations are either small, or discourage “transgenderism”. Iran is big and pushes it.

    South Korea
    Japan China
    Kazakhstan Iran
    Hong Kong Australia
    New Zealand
    India
    Singapore

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Women%27s_Hockey_World_Cup

  164. Dube says:
    @Colin Wright

    Actually, Colin, didn’t Rothko send back the cash from his commission for the Four Seasons restaurant when he became convinced that the “whom” he painted for was too elite? That, as I recall, is the theme of the 2010 Tony winner about Rothko, “Red,” by John Logan. There are some vids online. Rothko sent back the commission and withdrew the paintings from exhibition at the restaurant.

  165. @Anon

    I wrote (tongue in cheek) a few years back that I had employed Rothko years ago when I was a house painter and, as low man on the totem pole he had to clean up the equipment at the end of the day.

    Now, before you actually wash out a paint roller you first roll all the paint that’s in it out on an unpainted wall somewhere or other. Always he would be in a spare bedroom rolling out those rectangles, one above the other. I’d wonder where he was and would peer in on him only to find him distracted, staring at his handiwork, cleanup forgotten. He was a notorious stoner, so he could get completely wrapped up in the silliest stuff. Anyway, I finally had to let him go because he just wasn’t getting the work done.

  166. @Liza

    My understanding is that they collude in the inflation of prices so that later when they donate it to a museum they can use it as a huge tax deduction. In other words, it doesn’t cost them a cent. As usual, they rig the game so as to make money out of their “philanthropy”.

    • Agree: Liza
  167. @utu

    Excellent comment.

    Likewise, because of it’s ban on graven images Islamic art excels in recurring patterns. One would not expect a Muslim to be qualified to judge European representational art.

  168. Janus says:
    @vinteuil

    It seems that you’re calling me a pretentious liar since I’m the one who initially professed an admiration for Rothko’s works. I don’t agree, but maybe you’re right. I thought I enjoyed the painting, but it appears that that couldn’t have been possible. I also wasn’t aware of my underlying hostility towards “rubes”. I come from awfully humble roots to be having such condescending attitudes, so maybe I should think about that.

    Anyway, I could well be wrong about Rothko, but I expressed my opinion in good faith. It could also be that there is something substantial about Rothko that you don’t happen to be in tune with.

    • Agree: Colin Wright
    • Replies: @vinteuil
    , @vinteuil
  169. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    William-Adolphe Bouguereau

    There is an artist! A bit repetitive in subject and style, but when it works, it sure works. This is one of the best pieces at the Art Museum.

    As for DK, I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but he’s too much like the Germans in BIG LEBOW. He seems a bit ‘nihilistic’.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  170. snorlax says:
    @Anon

    The real cultural danger to the East was youth culture.

    More like (because they were run by clueless octogenarians) their biggest missed opportunity. Western “youth culture” celebrities were very sympathetic to their cause. If they’d returned the embrace they could’ve created a very powerful meme in the minds of Western and their own youth: East = cool and West = your dad.

    10-1 that NATO would’ve broken up before the Warsaw Pact.

    • Agree: Thea
    • Replies: @anon
  171. Re: arguments over “value”….

    True story.

    When I was a young man, I moved to a new city where I didn’t know just about anyone. After a great deal of effort, I finally got myself professionally “established”, so to speak, and though I was enjoying serious success for the first time, I was not a household name or a recognizable celeb. I was just burrowed in my work.

    Then a very close friend was killed in a freak accident. Being new to the city, I had pretty much no one to commiserate or mourn with. In my grief, I began haunting a local cabaret/coffee shop type place, where I sat alone at a table, trying to lose myself in jazz trios, lame stand-up comedy, and a lot of coffee.

    It was the sort of place with the cutesy affectation of putting butcher paper or drawing paper out instead of tablecloths, and each table was set up with crayons, colored pencils, pastels and water colors. While I sat there, for 3 or 4 hours an evening, I would idly doodle all over the table until the whole table-top was covered. It wasn’t Rembrandt-like stuff, it was cartoonish: it looked like a weird combination of Mark Alan Stamaty, Keith Haring, Ernie Bushmiller and George Herriman.

    I used to watch what the staff did when a couple or a party of four left the place: clear the table, crumple up their doodles and throw them out.

    One night I happened to stay until closing, and my waitress cleared away the cups and dishes, then very carefully rolled up my table-cloth paper and put it away for obvious storage. Viz., she didn’t just throw it away like they always did. I asked her what was going on.

    She said, “Oh, you didn’t know? Everybody here collects your stuff. People fight over it back in the kitchen. One guy, his whole apartment is covered with these things, wall to wall.”

    These folks didn’t know my name, and even if they had, they never could have attached it to my reputation. There was no monetary “value”. They just sort of instinctively liked this stuff.

    Yeah, and Rothko just drew rectangles.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  172. @MikeatMikedotMike

    Hell, a 200′ statue should be rendered from that photo and used to replace the Statue of Liberty, because that photo is EXACTLY Who We Are!

    Need a model? The world’s tallest statue was just “unveiled” in Gujarat. It honors a man named (surprise!) Patel.

    • Replies: @Anon
  173. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alfa158

    Ha! There seems to have been a lot of us.

    There’s an idea for a coffee table book: things at art galleries that people thought were art but aren’t

  174. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @DFH

    “From doing what?”

    Fighting Napoleon

  175. @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Yeah, and Rothko just drew rectangles.

    Don’t know about value, but I’d rather have Rothko’s rectangles on my wall than Mapplethorpe’s rectums.

    Mondrian’s rectangles, though, were golden.

    https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/glowblogs/cbteportfolio/2017/11/24/maths-in-art-and-the-fibonacci-sequence/

  176. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    Mr. MaGoo.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  177. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Janus

    Chagall seems like one of the absolute giants of the 20th century. And he’s gotten much admiration but not as much as others who, I think, were far less deserving.

    Why does Dylan receive more love than the hardline avant-garde-ists in music, but hardline avant-garde-ists recieve more love than Chagall in Fine Art?

    Maybe because music culture still has some connection to people, human feelings, and folk culture, whereas Fine Art world has become cut off from it?

    Same in cinema. Kubrick and Tarkovsky get more love than hardcore film ‘avant-garde-ists’ or ‘experimentalists’. Kubrick and Tarkovsky were innovative pioneers deeply influenced by modernism but also very classic and connected to recognizably human issues.

    But the world of Fine Art is where the Human Element was effectively wiped out people who control it. Maybe Chagall is somewhat downgraded because there is much warmth and ‘sentimentality’ in his works.

    • Replies: @Janus
    , @Anonymous
  178. Janus says:
    @Anon

    I’ve always liked Chagall. I also like Paul Klee who some might dislike for similar reasons to Chagall. I suppose I’m only really interested in those artists who are fundamentally most interested in the human (or spiritual) element, even if the form of the painting is completely abstract. Someone like Mondrian doesn’t appeal to me at all. Picasso often focuses on the human element, but I feel him to be essentially vicious. In music, I find Faure, especially in his late chamber works, combines those elements of Modernist technique with deep emotion that you were referring to. I consider Tarkovsky and Bresson to be hard going, but they strike me as two of the most serious artists the last century produced.

  179. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @kihowi

    Of course two splotches of color next to each other is dumb and meaningless.

    If it was pink and orange-yellow, it used to mean Dunkin Donuts.

  180. Anonymous[313] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Chagall was a good friend of Bill Wyman, the bass player for the Rolling Stones,

  181. The Science study has this recommendation in its final sentence:

    the art world could benefit from … blind selection procedures

  182. @Anon

    Having worked quite a while as an art critic myself I’m biased. But – yes. Of course! – People liked and admired all kinds of art – and in most cases without the interference of critics, because there were none around. 99% of art never catches an eye of a critic – and enlightens people nonetheless.

    • Replies: @Anon
  183. Anon[297] • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Pound for pound the best museum in the world is the Frick

  184. Anon[297] • Disclaimer says:
    @Federalist

    It’s a landscape reduced to its component parts: earth and sky. It only needs to be done once, to make the point. Its an intellectual excercise, rather than an esthetic one, although the division of space probably coincides with the golden ratio. But it illustrates the problem with 20th century art: once you’ve done ‘it’ once, where do you go from here? Hard to imagine a Rothko school of painting.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    , @black sea
    , @Anon
  185. @Anon

    In 1969, the year before he killed himself, Rothko started painting a black rectangle above a gray rectangle. I proposed in art history class in 1980 that this color change in his style was proposed by the Apollo missions to the moon, which started orbiting the moon in December 1968. The photos taken from lunar orbit looked much like Rothko’s paintings in 1969-1970.

    https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/mark-rothko-1903-1970-untitled-black-and-4978836-details.aspx

    But the professor was dismissive.

    I see now at MarkRothko.org that the lunar theory is taken seriously:

    “Rothko invited many of the New York art world elite to his studio to view his latest, and what would be his last, series of paintings, the Black on Grays. While the event was mainly shrouded in silence, it was thought by some that these were premonitions of his death. Others thought that with the prevalence of lunar images in popular culture that they were interpretations of moon landscapes, while others thought they were paintings of photographs taken at night.”

    http://www.mark-rothko.org/untitled-black-on-grey.jsp

  186. @The Last Real Calvinist

    I second your remarks, particularly about the Mauritshuis.
    If you are in Amsterdam, make an appointment to be shown round the Six family collection: a private house, lived in by the same family for centuries with, amongst other treasures, the last Rembrandt still owned by the family which commissioned it.

  187. @The Alarmist

    Absolutely.

    Usually quiet, and full of minor treasures. The Boningtons alone are worth the price of admission.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
  188. @Old Palo Altan

    Admission is free, so I’m not sure what you are implying. The Dutch Masters on display now are quite nice.

  189. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @snorlax

    If they’d returned the embrace…

    According to Yuri Bezmenov, they did. Or at least, they tried.

    Maybe they even succeeded: they got Jane Fonda singing Charlie’s tune, at least.

    Of course, the yanks were ready for the pop culture angle. Witness the FBI’s investigating John Lennon, for instance.

    (Which wasn’t that crazy, since the Beatles were involved with the Maharishi in the 60′s, and Bezmenov says the Russians considered recruiting him.)

  190. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Thea

    During the Cold War the CIA funded and promoted abstract painters such as Pollack in some nefarious plan to show the commies what they were missing. This plan was fueled by an underwear gnomes style of logic but our tax dollars supported it.

    It only seems illogical if you take the CIA at their word.

    What was really happening was that wannabe art patrons suddenly had a bottomless pit of money and no oversight as to how they spent it. (Yes Minister touched on something similar.)

    Personally, I’m starting to think that this is what motivates vast swathes of the American government: the chance to play at being a pre-war European nobleman. Fancy dinners, gallery openings, high-falutin’ this-and-that, dividing and ruling, redrawing the map in some obscure part of the world… it must all be quite a lot of fun.

    I mean, your average CIA agent or State Dept. functionary doesn’t actually get paid all that much, in the scheme of things – most of them are probably smart enough to be a corporate drone on twice the salary – nor do they get any acclaim. Maybe one in a thousand writes a book or goes on to elected office, but the rest toil in virtual anonymity.

    So what’s actually in it for them?

    Patriotism? It is to laugh.

    Tribalism? Possibly: read John Schindler to see how “the Intelligence Community” views itself, and how strong is the sense of belonging it engenders in its members; maybe people from other areas of gov’t feel the same way.

    Beyond that? I think the best explanation might be, essentially, “4 the lulz”.

  191. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    Prior to photography, it was to represent people and things. It was the ONLY way the looks of things could be preserved. With advent of photography, humanity no longer needed paintings to preserve the look of things.

    So, in order for painting to survive and have a purpose, it had to do something photography couldn’t do.

    Pardon me for not reading your whole comment, but I think I see where you’re going.

    It’s not true.

    Painters were painting fantastical scenes for as long as they were painting representative ones. I went to an art gallery once in London, and I noticed that the paintings actually got more fantastical as they went back in time. I suppose there must have been improvements in technique or materials in the Renaissance, or maybe tastes just changed.

    Either way: weird-looking, unrepresentative art long predates the photograph. William Blake springs to mind; I’m sure people who know more about art than me can offer more and better examples.

    Further: the zest for surrealism/weirdness/bullshit spread to photography too. More importantly, it was present in literature and music and probably fucking ballet around the same time.

    It seems like all art forms became hyper-intellectualised and ugly right around the same time. (And it was prior to the start of the First World War, so that explanation doesn’t fly either.) What caused it? I don’t know, but I know the introduction of photography is a red herring.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @Anon
  192. anon[190] • Disclaimer says:
    @International Jew

    Same as 99% of kids who play basketball in high school. They don’t do it out of any hope of becoming pros.

    Right, just like most people who buy lottery tickets don’t really hope to win.

  193. @YetAnotherAnon

    Rosa Parks, slavery, Sacco and Vanzetti. Those are all American history, mostly. Why is this being emphasized in Britain?

    FWIW, my history classes through high school included almost nothing about Britain after the War for Independence. If you had any race/class conflicts embodied in a few 20th c. archetypes, I never learned about them.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  194. black sea says:
    @The Germ Theory of Disease

    Artists don’t become artists to make money. We become artists in order to make art.

    I think this is generally true. A person whose first priority is making money would have to be awfully stupid to imagine that a career as an artist would be more likely to pay off than, say, a career in business or the professions. And people that stupid tend not to get very far as artists anyway.

    Having said that, artists are — romantic myths aside –, if anything more narcissistic, ego-maniacal, infantile, and self-interested than the Joe Sixpacks of the world. This doesn’t always manifest itself as avarice, but it often enough does.

    I guess the best way of putting it would be that only a very tiny sliver of artists ever strikes it rich, but those who do — or who sense that they may be on the verge of riches — are every bit as susceptible susceptible to a heady sense of exuberance as the entrepreneur about to take his business public.

    When Saul Bellow’s novel Herzog was published, it topped the best-seller list, and he recognized that he was about to become both wealthy and famous (the famous part mattered a lot too). This realization left him practically delirious. I remember reading that while working on one of his plays, maybe Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, Tom Stoppard wrote to a friend, “I am about to become very rich.” I don’t think he was indifferent to the prospect.

    Good artists — and both of the men mentioned above produced some wonderful stuff — are generally driven, and part of the thing driving them is the desire to be great, and recognized as great. Not pretty good or somewhat talented or carrying on a tradition, but great.

    Money is crude indicator of greatness, but when you’re hungry enough for accolades, it’ll do.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  195. black sea says:
    @LondonBob

    The art critic Robert Hughes wrote quite a good piece on Basquiat following his death by overdose at the age of 27. Hughes titled it: Requiem for a Featherweight: The sad story of an artist’s success.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/105858/hughes-basquiat-new-york-new-wave

    • Agree: Dieter Kief
  196. black sea says:
    @Anon

    But it illustrates the problem with 20th century art: once you’ve done ‘it’ once, where do you go from here?

    The problem described above was the consequence of a larger, simpler problem: the development of photography as means of capturing realistic and sometimes compelling reproductions of the visual world.

    Painting had always been about more than just the capture of the literal reality of a visual image, but the capture of the literal image — or what was purported to be the literal image — gave painting a baseline value or meaning in human experience that it has never quite managed to secure post-photography.

    What 20th Century art is about — to a considerable degree — is the search for the answer to a question: “what should art be about now that its not about visual reproduction?”

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @Steve Sailer
  197. 2658001

    But, yeah, Rothko was really good at painting Rothkos and Pollock at Pollocks, but that doesn’t leave much for anybody else to do in that line. In contrast, Caravaggio kind of invented Baroque painting around 1600 and was vastly influential for the next century or so.

    The history of the reception/interpretation of art (=hermeneutics/reception-theory (Preisendanz, Iser, – – Jauss), Konstanz School, Poetics and Hermeneutics Group (vol. 1-6 esp.), Truth and Method (Hans Georg Gadamer) would, I assume, agree, that it’s infinitely (almost) easier, to talk about what Caravaggio has accomplished (maybe less than you think would be my guess – and I’d say that Savoldo and Il Guercino especially are .more. important than most people think) and how influential he was, than it is to say something reasonable about Rothko (or Pollock) and how they influenced art and art history – let alone abstract painting in general. It’s simply too early to make definitive statements. What I would say: Abstraction is huge – and it definitely makes sense as a step towards liberation (same with minimal in music).

    Rothko would make the list of my hundred artists from the twentieth century – way behind Klee, Warhol, Dix, and even behind Jakob Bräckle, Schiele and – – – – Kirchner. Not on my list: Basquiat, Louise Bourgois, no Damien Hirst and no Jeff Koons so far either. Ansel Adams would be on my list. No. 10. August Sander close behind on 11. Daido Moriyama No. 14, Barbara Klemm No. 78, Guido Mangold No. 79, Stefan Moses No. 80, René Burri No. 81, Werner Bischof No. 22.

    As I said above – the sky is Rothko’s realm, so for me too you definitely hinted in the right direction at school.

    Depression is right, too (cf. Pollock, Nicolas de Stael, Gerhard Richter’s Grey Series, Andreas Gursky (his beginnings were quite suicidal – he quit reporting without any noticeable accomplishments).

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  198. @black sea

    To show the world has become less important, and dramatically so. True.

    So I agree – but not quite: To analyze the way we see with artistical means was already underway before photography took off (Impressionists, Pointilists…Turner!) – and is, I think, at least not only a consequence of the invention of photography.

    • Replies: @black sea
    , @Steve Sailer
  199. @anon

    It seems like all art forms became hyper-intellectualised and ugly right around the same time.

    This is indeed one of the big questions in cultural history (art history, too, of course).

    The simplest way to put thiws phenomenon into modernity’s context it is the shrinking of the Devil. Religion had dominated the public discourse about evil. Now Religion got weaker – and those Devils in the basement were still there- and made themselves noticed in all kinds of ways (cf. Baudelaires “Flowers of Evil”…De Sade, Freud…).

    Therefor, Goethe’s Faust (and Jagger/Richard’s Sympathy For The Devil) is so important – and therefor, Johann Benjamin Erhard’s “Apology of the Devil” (1799) is indeed a text of fundamental importance for our times (don’t let you be deceived by the fact, that hardly anybody wrote about him: as so often, the devil sticks in the detail…here too. Erhards time should come…or might even be here already.

  200. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Pardon me for not reading your whole comment, but I think I see where you’re going.
    It’s not true.
    Painters were painting fantastical scenes for as long as they were painting representative ones.

    I shall pardon you in that, yes, paintings had long been fantastical from the beginning. But prior to photography, much of painting served to record things. Many painters made their living by drawing portraits of leaders, priests, merchants, clergy, and etc. With advent of photography, only very special people have painted portraits done for them. Most just rely on photography. Many painters had something like portrait studios prior to photography. I wouldn’t be surprised if 99% of painting prior to photography served what proto-photo purpose. Take the works of Charles Wilson Peale, one of the first American masters.

    https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=+charles+wilson+peale&FORM=HDRSC2

    But even fantastical painting lost out with rise of cinema. If you look at lots of fantastic images, they try to convey far more than an instant in time. As paintings are static, it isn’t easy to convey a sense of time or story. But painters tried. So, a painting will be packed with details. A war painting will have details of an entire battle. It looks unnatural because so many striking things can’t be happening in a single moment. Or take the phantasmagoria of Bosch. It’s cluttered with ‘too many’ details, like “Where’s Waldo?”

    And futurism tried to convey the impression of time, poorly I think. A most pointless movement in painting and sculpture in the age of cinema.

    Before cinema, certain paintings sought to be cinema-like, conveying epic time and turbulence therein. But with cinema, paintings couldn’t compete because cinema is images unfolding through time or as Tarkovsky called it, sculpting in time.

    If you went on a camping trip and want to convey this in a video, you can tell the story in time. But if you wanted to convey it in a painting, you would have to pack all the events and details into a single painting, making it all seem unnatural and stilted. You could of course draw several paintings of the adventure, but because paintings are time-consuming, painters have tended to pack as much details as possible into a single frame.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  201. @Anonymous

    You can always say such things in aesthetics and you can be sure, that nobody can prove you being wrong.

    But on the other hand, you are in a realm, which is basically subjective. Such realms don’t depend on definitive judgments, but on a) experiences and b) exchanges of arguments about these subjective experiences between people.
    If the opponent leaves this subjective sphere, everyone in his right mind might just say, that he is not interested in what such an opponent says; and that then will be it.

    Put it in a different way, the argument goes like this: You can always say that you are looking out for one cold definitive answer to an aesthetic problem, but to give cold definitive answers is just not what art is about in the first place. The strength of art lies in its restraints. Art is free to be whatever it wants to be and the only justification of art is not to be approved by everybody, but by being liked by it’s lovers (=afficionados, fans, adorers…). And the reasons for being liked are manyfold… (and often times quite irrational!).

  202. @Anon

    Yes, there are those who think, Bosch is too rich. But then there’s lots and lots of others – an endless stream so far, through the centuries. Books aplenty, visitors in the Prado on end… what do you make of these? Would you say, they are wrong because they don’t share the same taste as you do? – And what if they don’t care?

  203. black sea says:
    @Dieter Kief

    One of the great Russian novelists was reputed to have said, upon seeing an early silent film, something along the lines of “This will spell the death of the novel!”

    Novels still exist, people still read and write them. Novels tell a story in ways that no other medium can, and yet, in some sense he was right. Prior to the invention of moving pictures, words, and for a large audience written words, had been the only way of telling a story. That only way of telling a story was about to be challenged by another, in some ways more immediate and attractive, way of telling a story.

    Shortly thereafter, novelists started asking themselves — and writing about — what novels should be about, now that they couldn’t just be about telling a story.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  204. @Anon

    Mr. MaGoo.

    Where’s Cholly?

  205. vinteuil says: • Website
    @Janus

    It seems that you’re calling me a pretentious liar…

    Janus, I don’t recall addressing you. But if you choose to count yourself among the sort of pseuds I was referring to – well, I can’t stop you.

    Do you deny that such people exist? And that there are a lot of them? And that they played a huge role in the promotion of abstract expressionism? And that they stigmatized the tastes of the bourgeoisie at every opportunity?

    Because if you deny any of the above, then you simply know nothing about the history of the fine arts over the last century and a half.

  206. vinteuil says: • Website
    @Janus

    I expressed my opinion in good faith. It could also be that there is something substantial about Rothko that you don’t happen to be in tune with.

    OK, so tell me about it.

    Choose a Rothko that you particularly like. Give me enough identifying info that I can find it via an image search. Then tell me what I need to focus on to give me the buzz that you’re getting when you look at it.

    I mean, if somebody challenged me to show them why, say, Caravaggio’s Madonna di Loreto is a great work of art, there’s no end of things I can point to. Look at the dirty soles of the feet of the pilgrim! Look at the folds of his pants! Look at the gnarled hands of the woman! Look at the strangely hooded, seemingly indifferent eyes of The Virgin…and so on and so forth.

    If I’m missing something in Rothko, it ought to be possible to tell me what it is – or at least to nudge me in the right direction.

    • Replies: @Anon
  207. Janus says:

    It may sound like a cop out, but I don’t think that any image you could view would really produce the experience. I was just looking at google images and I can quite understand why someone might consider him a fraud if that’s all they were going by. And I don’t want it to sound like it was some magnificent epiphany or that I was in raptures when I viewed his work. I did somehow find myself magnetically drawn to it and probably stared at it for several minutes. Although this was almost 25 years ago, I remember that the painting gave this eerie impression of rich 3d depth with one of the rectangles floating above the other. I found it surprisingly meditative. And of course the size of the painting was a factor. It was probably something like 9′ x 6′ Most post mid-century painting leaves me cold or even actively repulsed, but I had a different experience with that particular artist. For what it’s worth, my friend who I was visiting the museum with had a similar reaction. I believe his words were along the lines of “There’s something very strange about that painting.” And I’m certainly not one to disparage Caravaggio. I also don’t like pretentious snobs, so I got a bit annoyed when it felt like you were calling me one.

  208. vinteuil says: • Website
    @Janus

    The Hermitage is filled with thousands of highly skilled representational works, but I literally can’t recall a single one of them at the moment.

    Figures.

    So tell me what you thought of the paintings by Ilya Repin in the State Russian Museum?

    Did they measure up to the standards set by Matisse & Rothko? Or not?

    I mean, obviously, as a connoisseur of the fine arts, you went to the State Russian Museum, while in St Petersburg?

    Personally, every time I’ve visited the Admiralty annex of the Hermitage, I’ve been struck by how worthless the post-impressionists are, compared to the the romantics. Matisse’s Dance? Whatever.

    But there are some really terrific paintings by Caspar David Friedrich to be seen there, if you’ve got the patience to search them out.

    • Replies: @Anon
    , @Old Palo Altan
  209. vinteuil says: • Website
    @Anon

    A bit repetitive in subject and style…

    What great artist isn’t?

    Well, maybe Stravinsky?

    • Replies: @Anon
  210. Janus says:

    It seems we have differing tastes, which I am fine with. I don’t take issue with any of the artists you’ve mentioned. You seem to assume that if I like one thing I must look down on something else. Repin strikes me as an amazing portraitist, although I did not in fact visit the State Museum while I was there. I’ve visited several good museums while travelling, but I’ve never had the good fortune to live within easy reach of one. You’ve probably had more opportunity to study great works first hand, and I don’t doubt you care deeply about art. But am I allowed to have an opinion which differs somewhat from yours, even if it might show me to be a “rube”?

  211. snorlax says:
    @International Jew

    More like 60-70%; blacks and to a lesser extent stereotypical jocks tend towards delusional narcissism. 30-40% if you also exclude the players hoping to be recruited by a college.

  212. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    On matters of taste, I don’t have a beef with Janus. I can look at lots of nice paintings but forget most.

    ‘Dance’ by Matisse is one I don’t like but it’s very ‘iconic’. It sticks in your mind. It is ugly and I wish it were prettier but then maybe that’s the point. It’s memorable because the image of people dancing in a circle seems graceful and harmonious but one woman is being dragged, one’s torso is twisted, another has drab buns, and one has putty tits. So, there is a tension between order and disorder, and it’s the imbalance within the balance that makes it stick. Personally, I’ll take Primavera by Botticelli(the greatest artist ever) any day, but Matisse’s painting does strike a chord.

    I’ll take Royko over Rothko. Now, it’s possible Rothko wasn’t a phony and really believed in his art in an autistic, aspergy, or theoretic sense. But I see nothing.

    I think Romanticism worked better with music and literature than with art. Friedrich was a fine artist, but the themes are so obvious. Romanticism comes alive with movement and change. It works better with flow of music or words, not so much with frozen images. But one thing for sure, German culture reached its peak in the Romantic period. Germans made for interesting modernists too, but there was something soulless and alienated about modernism. Maybe it was necessary but Germans without the soulful thing become like mechanized folks or walking-talking theorems. Some people without soulfulness still seem human. But when Germans lose soulfulness, they become dogmatically and hardline anti-soulful. They become like automatons or the robot in METROPOLIS. Lack of soul doesn’t mean calmness but hardness. When Germans lose heat, they don’t just cool into lukewarm-ness. They turn cold like the nihilists in BIG LEBOW.

    Nikolai Blokhin isn’t a great artist, but I do like some of his works.

    https://za.pinterest.com/VLvdB/nikolai-blokhin-drawings-and-paintings/?lp=true

    This one is esp good.

    https://za.pinterest.com/pin/531072981039722555/

    He seems to be among the better Russian artists working.

    https://museumstudiesabroad.org/10-contemporary-russian-artists/

  213. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    The most outrageous thing about Rothko is not Rothko but the clowns who promoted him and the fools who bought his stuff.

    It used to be ‘those who can’t do art do criticism’. But somehow it became ‘those who can’t do art do art.’

    • Replies: @vinteuil
  214. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    2658001

    4 identical replies, one atop the other. Rothkoan?

  215. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon

    But it illustrates the problem with 20th century art: once you’ve done ‘it’ once, where do you go from here? Hard to imagine a Rothko school of painting.

    Yep. Pollock’s action painting was worth doing once but it’s pointless to do more.

    At one time, it seemed as though Modernism was the destination of culture, but it turned out be more a detour. An important and necessary detour, and its most striking lessons and innovations will be with art forever. But as culture progresses, it pulls away from the detour of modernism back toward Eternalism or the Timeless. In the end, the contribution of modernism was to produce new ideas to enrich the Eternal and Timeless with interesting mutations. It’s like in evolution. Mutations can’t be the end goal of evolution. Most mutations are useless or harmful. But some do contribute something to the eternal flow of life.

    It’s like French New Wave added something to cinema… but Eternal Cinema will always have timeless themes, narratives, and memorable characters.
    Critics prefer Godard over Truffaut, but in the long run, 400 BLOWS and JULES AND JIM will dwarf everything by Godard except ALPHAVILLE and MASCULIN FEMININ.
    With each yr, Kubrick and Tarkovsky looms larger and larger.

    And in art, this will have more lasting value than most of Modernist stuff:

    https://za.pinterest.com/pin/753649318866307421/

  216. @prime noticer

    it’s a tax free store of wealth that’s exempt from most IRS rules.

    No. The same rule applies to stocks and bonds too: you’re not taxed on the capital gain until you sell. Art is a terrible investment: it has no fundamental value (such as the profits of the company whose stock you hold), and the market is extremely illiquid hence a huge gap between bid and offer. Same goes for jewelry (beyond its melt-down value of course).

  217. @Dieter Kief

    In your opinion, is there anything technically accomplished about Rothko’s rectangles? I have a vague notion that in watercolor painting, there’s something called the “graded wash” that isn’t easily mastered… Just askin’, as a non-artist.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @Dieter Kief
  218. @Dieter Kief

    I have a hard time understanding what the Impressionists invented that JMW Turner wasn’t doing 50 years earlier.

    I have the impression that Turner chose to use paints that looked great in the short run but have been fading ever since. It’s possible that Turner’s painting look worse today than 50 years ago.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  219. @Dieter Kief

    Why did Redon go in the opposite direction: from monochrome grotesque pictures (e.g., a giant eyeball hotair balloon) as a younger man to, after age 50, lovely bouquets of flowers in color? It’s the opposite of Rothko’s moving toward black and grey as he got old, sick, and suicidal.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  220. @black sea

    Dashiell Hammett spent two pages describing Sam Spade’s looks in detail (the same as Hammett, who was quite unusual looking: very tall, triangular face, silver hair, dark mustache) and Raymond Chandler gave a general description of Philip Marlowe (basically, Robert Mitchum), but both characters were played famously by Humphrey Bogart, who didn’t look anything like the descriptions.

    By the time Robert Heinlein got started in 1939, he didn’t bother describing his characters at all, presumably so that the movies wouldn’t be inconvenienced. (Heinlein lived in Hollywood at the time and his wife worked for a movie studio). This also enabled Heinlein to play games on his readers, such as revealing at the end that the main character was a different race than you’d expected (black in “Tunnel in the Sky,” Filipino in “Starship Troopers). Ironically, Heinlein wasn’t treated well by Hollywood, with him not getting credit for two movies he inspired: Destination Moon and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And when they finally made Starship Troopers in the 1990s, Paul Verhoeven indulged his Nazi movie fetish in casting “Starship Troopers” and blamed it on Heinlein.

  221. Anon[312] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    What great artist isn’t?

    There’s repetition by obsession of vision and repetition by comfort of formula.

    Some artists revisit an idea or image to seek more and more.
    Others repeat the same thing because it is familiar and comes easy.

    A lot of Bouguereau’s works are rather like hallmark-card-like. But some are really special.

  222. @vinteuil

    Repin!

    The greatest portraitist of his age, and a very great painter all round.

    I particularly like his oil sketch of my political hero Konstantin Pobedonostsev: ice cold reaction, the stuff of nightmares for the miserable rabble of the then nascent Left.

    Caspar David Friedrich in St Petersburg? I would not have guessed it.

    Look for him in Berlin, and while there don’t miss the sculptures of Adolf von Hildebrand, a master pretty well unknown outside of Germany.

    But the one painting I always seek out when in Berlin is a small work by Pompeo Batoni, said to have been carried round with him at all times by Frederick the Great. It’s in the Gemaeldegalerie, which mustn’t be missed in any case.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @vinteuil
  223. @black sea

    Subjective perspectives are among the reasonable answers novelists gave. Basically, films neither argue too much nor reflect/think. Film rather shows what happens/what people do. Novels can show what is going on inside the head of people – in great (and minute) detail.

    I think that Thomas Mann (cf. the brilliant short story Little Herr Friedemann about his little dog), Updike and T. Wolfe and Franzen understood this quite well (perfectly well – T. C. Boyle too, at times (for sure not all the time (not everything he wrote shows, that he understood these basics, but he has had some sure hits, some of his short stories ( – the one about the late Jack Kerouac, and Greasy Lake and After the Plague plus his novels Drop City and A Friend of the Earth (and Budding Prospects (great fun))).

  224. @Old Palo Altan

    Caspar David Friedrich in Schweinfurt (first rate!) – Sammlung Schäfer in Schweinfurt – ca. 40 kilometers north of the Schwarzenbach Monastery at the Main river, and Kesting, and Corvinth and Kügelgen and (I hope you don’t mind…) – Spitzweg – first rate Spitzweg collection there, too).

  225. Uh – Abtei Münsterschwarzach, not Schwarzenbach.

  226. @Steve Sailer

    Odilon Redon’s is the prototypical case of (self-)liberation through art.
    He was an unhappy and ill kid, and he showed that in his black period – that and his frustration with the stiff classicism, which ruled over his beginnings at the academy. Then a few things happened (Impressionism, a quite happy marriage) – – – and all along, there was a) Opium and (my guess) b) Absinthe, too

    a)

    https://www.akg-images.de/archive/Le-fumeur-d%E2%80%99opium-2UMDHUWTQVHI7.html

    b)

    https://www.wikiart.org/en/odilon-redon/the-crown-1910

    https://www.wikiart.org/en/odilon-redon/young-girl-facing-left

    Mark Rothko ended in despair (maybe he was terminally exhausted after decades of heavy mood shifts).

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @Steve Sailer
  227. @Dieter Kief

    Plus – I sense a kind of home-sickness in Rothko’s color-field-paintings – the Latvian sky is there and the Latvian mood – a kind of (at times almost: glooming) assurance/ somewhat natural restrictedness/realness (I think of this mood as being at the opposite side of hipness/ self-centeredness/ neuroticism).

  228. vinteuil says: • Website
    @Anon

    The most outrageous thing about Rothko is not Rothko but the clowns who promoted him and the fools who bought his stuff.

    I hear you, my friend, and I wish I could agree – but the truth is that those who promoted Rothko (& Pollock, & de Kooning, &c & c &c) were neither clowns nor fools.

    They were speculators. And they made a lot of money.

    • Replies: @Anon
  229. @black sea

    Stoppard loves being rich. He lives in a giant country house like a 19th Century aristocrat.

    In general, artists love spending money. They appreciate beautiful, rare things more than the average person.

  230. vinteuil says: • Website
    @Old Palo Altan

    The greatest portraitist of his age

    Absolutely. No contest.

    I particularly like his oil sketch of my political hero Konstantin Pobedonostsev: ice cold reaction, the stuff of nightmares for the miserable rabble of the then nascent Left.

    And I particularly like his painting of his wife, entitled “Rest.”

    Can’t figure out how to embed it, at the moment

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  231. @Steve Sailer

    Turner wasn’t too far away from his predecessors Bosch and Friedrich

    Hieronymus Bosch

    https://www.tagesspiegel.de/kultur/hieronymus-bosch-ausstellung-in-venedig-gelehrte-gespraeche-ueber-die-hoelle/19633114.html

    Caspar David Friedrich

    https://www.google.de/search?q=caspar+david+friedrich+kirche+am+morgen&rlz=1C1GCEA_enDE754DE754&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=J4YdLYVPgRc_8M%253A%252CYV8P7ntrDPQYLM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kSZhX06NGd9xYahtwc8Zwgj5cxZNQ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiS85i10I7fAhXlposKHUVhB1wQ9QEwAnoECAQQCA#imgdii=ZbxUzYWrKm6ftM:&imgrc=o-V1mRUTyIkK5M:

    Some of Turners watercolors are in perfect shape (The Rhine Series) – colors jumping off of the paper, especially if one is lucky enough to see them in an exhibition which allows to approach them closely (and which is not destroyed by bad (=neon or LED) lights. Daylight is best, but hardly ever used any longer in our days of the miracles and wonder.

    Turner’s color-palette is on the obvious and a bit simple side.

    Renoir is (much) more subtle. Sisley is closer to real life – cf. his Port-Marly series

    https://www.musee-orsay.fr/de/kollektionen/werkbeschreibungen/gemaelde.html?no_cache=1&zoom=1&tx_damzoom_pi1%5BshowUid%5D=118118

    Or this

    https://www.google.de/search?q=sisley+%C3%BCberschwemmung&rlz=1C1GCEA_enDE754DE754&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=8sBpm8osuorq_M%253A%252CusioK1kv0jGY_M%252C_&usg=AI4_-kSkYEAkgalmTy6vy00Oz1Lr2LCFBg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjf-pKg0o7fAhWjpIsKHa5IC30Q9QEwBnoECAMQCA#imgrc=_e5siXP_aqOJOM:

    Corot is less spectacular and more accurate as well as more nuanced than Turner -, especially in the brown tones.

    https://www.google.de/search?q=corot+winterthur&rlz=1C1GCEA_enDE754DE754&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=k5kTyor5d8x8ZM%253A%252Cq68NpKAKwUnGSM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kQ7XugzBWVhRd0Zlka1S9wop7X8pw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjbr42O1Y7fAhUHy6QKHQ4sAqwQ9QEwBXoECAUQBg#imgrc=WFGX-Rn4LYz63M:

    Claude Monet is often times closer to reality an idea (and a sensation), Turner just does not induce)

    https://www.google.de/search?q=monet+eisschollen&rlz=1C1GCEA_enDE754DE754&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=L2W-DL_YTfxiTM%253A%252CtPfGNvjrBDuPEM%252C_&usg=AI4_-kST19Ybve0UWneCgNHBZ2sC0bsHtg&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjyqfij147fAhXMtYsKHd6fARQQ9QEwBnoECAUQEA#imgdii=JDCEpefXpHfiNM:&imgrc=L2W-DL_YTfxiTM:

    Impressionism came up with not much new but added a lot of nuances to everyday scenes. The highlights like Renoirs Luncheon at the Boating Party in the Phillips Collection radiate one of those precious moments in time when everything seems to be alright. – A moment, when our culture has – – – all defenses down, being thin like a cellophane cover of a packet of cigarettes, ca. 1972, held against the sun by a smiling Joni Mitchell with quite far away eyes who just discovers how much this tiny cellophane piece resembles – her – – – freakishly fragile – – – self, – – – – right before she hits the stage to perform in front of – maybe – 8000 people amidst “Miles of Aisles“.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  232. @Dieter Kief

    Well of course. I was simply pointing Vinteuil to an obvious place to see Friedrich, without having to traipse all over the country, and , indeed, even into Switzerland.
    On the other hand, that painting of his in Winterthur is my favourite of all his works (and I’ve seen the ones in Dresden too) so I’ll be going there myself next chance I get.

  233. @vinteuil

    Beautifully observed (I particularly like the way the arm extends from the sleeve to the viewer’s left), but a bit tame for my taste.

    I like his take on femininity in “What Freedom!” which is also the finest depiction of stormy and rushing waters that has ever been painted by anyone anywhere.

    And of course his Mussorgsky has been part of my visual furniture all my life, long before Repin himself meant anything to me.

  234. @stillCARealist

    “Rosa Parks, slavery, Sacco and Vanzetti. Those are all American history, mostly. Why is this being emphasized in Britain?”

    Because there were historically hardly any minorities in the UK for the evil whites to mistreat, and the Brits must be taught their blood guilt. That’s why WW2 German crimes (against non-Brits) are also emphasised, while WW2 Japan crimes (against Brits among others) are ignored.

  235. @Dieter Kief

    If you like Caspar David Friedrich you may appreciate the under-rated (though not under-valued, over £100,000 these days, a few thousand 40 years back) Victorian painter Atkinson Grimshaw.

  236. Anon[425] • Disclaimer says:
    @vinteuil

    but the truth is that those who promoted Rothko (& Pollock, & de Kooning, &c & c &c) were neither clowns nor fools. They were speculators. And they made a lot of money.

    All those critics who championed Rothko, Pollock, and etc. made a lot of money? I don’t think so. I think the big bucks came later from those who rode on the reputations. I think many critics and intellectuals were serious.

    Take what happened with avant garde modern music and experimental jazz. Increasingly, people made less and less money, but their champions just couldn’t stop. They were true believers.

    Maybe the appeal of Rothko is his work signals the twilight of modernism. Modernism was so aggressive, chaotic, and neurotic. It unleashed so much anarchic energy, and it’s certainly there with Pollock who really went crazy. Then, one can see Pollock as the final big explosion of modernism and Rothko as the inevitable fading of the light, with his rectangles signaling something like sunsets. Modernism, been there, done that, burned down entire forests. And with nothing left to burn, what is left but the fading embers, the twilight. Maybe that’s the calm that people find in his paintings.

  237. @Old Palo Altan

    I made the following little comment about an AKK-article by Fritz Goergen this morning on Tichys Einblick:

    (…) das Funktionärsnetz der CDU ist ein Faktor, aber diese Funktionäre hören hier in Südbaden z. B., nicht nur auf die Partei, sondern auch auf die ganzen Botschaften, die in der Luft liegen – und sind deswegen mehrheitlich für Kramp-Karrenbauer. Also: Das Merkel- und nun auch das Kramp-Karrenbauer-Phänomen ist eines, das auch eine deutliche sozialpsychologische Seite hat, und die ist auf Teilen, Mitgefühl, „Fernsehbilder“, Kommunikation, Europa und „europäische Lösungen“ und „weltweite Lösungen“ (=Lösungsorientiertheit) und insgesamt auf das Gefühl der weltweiten Verbundenheit und Gleichheit ausgerichtet (=Gleichheit bedeutet weltweite (!) Mitmenschlichkeit und das Verschwinden der Grenzen… – eine ins Profane gewendete (=transzendenzlose (=kindliche, seufz)) Version des Unio-Mystica-Gedankens).

    Was dabei zu kurz kommt ist kurz gesagt die konfliktreiche heimische und weltweite Realität. Das soll nun in der CDU so weitergehen. Sehr lakonisch gestern Alexander Gauland: Kramp-Karrenbauer wird der AfD weitere Wähler bringen. Er wird recht behalten.

    Except for that: AKK is not too bright (lots of Emotional Intelligence (= in tune with the Zeitgeist and – – – simple opportunism, too)).

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  238. @International Jew

    Rothko has for sure had quite a few technical skills. He painted lots of – – color chords, I might say, which sounded absolutely right – and quite a few of those unheard of before. Since there are tens of thousands of shades of any color our eye can separate, this task is much more difficult than it might seem. A big difference between first and second rate artists is that first raters make no mistakes as far as basics are concerned. Atkinson Grimshaw and Caspar David Friedrich have indeed lots of things in common, as commenter Yet another Anon No. 247 points out rightfully.

    But then, there are obviously a few things that separate them and to name but two: Grimshaw lacks detail in important parts of the picture – look at the kids head in the foreground, and he produces quite a lot of emotions with his color palette while being sloppy in the details (his colors are too thick/ too obviously nice…in (important) parts of his paintings…Friedrich never does that. It would have probably hurt him (caused pain to him (my guess)).

    Except for that, art nowadays means not only the process of making something beautiful but also that things are discovered which haven’t been seen yet. And Rothko did accomplish to cover new territory.

  239. @International Jew

    Rothko has for sure had quite a few technical skills. He painted lots of – – color chords, I might say, which sounded absolutely right – and quite a few of those unheard of before. Since there are tens of thousands of shades of any color our eye can separate, this task is much more difficult than it might seem. A big difference between first and second rate artists is that first raters make no mistakes as far as basics are concerned. Atkinson Grimshaw and Caspar David Friedrich have indeed lots of things in common, as commenter Yet another Anon No. 247 points out rightfully.

    But then, there are obviously a few things that separate them and to name but two: He lacks detail in important parts of the picture – look at the kids head in the foreground, and he produces quite a lot of emotions with his color palette while being sloppy in the details (his colors are too thick/ too obvious…in (important) parts of his paintings…Friedrich never does that. It would have probably hurt him (my guess).

    Except for that, art nowadays means not only the process of making something beautiful but also that things are discovered which haven’t been seen yet. And Rothko did accomplish to cover new territory.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  240. @Dieter Kief

    Your first paragraph touches precisely what I had been thinking: that this phenomenon is not political at all, but ” sozialpsychologische” and based upon a feeling, in this precise instance, that to be seen to be choosing a conservative man over a progressive woman, and that in succession to a progressive woman, would give the world all the wrong signals about what modern Germany is all about, which they are convinced, must be … Teilen, Mitgefuehl, und so weiter. Your final view that this is a debased form of religiosity is clearly true, and offers little hope of a change of course, as you also state.

    No doubt they will all feel so superior going down to defeat after defeat (one hopes) against those nasty AfDers.

    Baden has always struck me as deplorably liberal. Perhaps the CDU base in other Laender will react differently to this recipe for more of the same.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  241. @Old Palo Altan

    Perhaps the CDU base in other Laender will react differently to this recipe for more of the same.

    No, they will not.

    By the way – if you like company (me and my wife at least) at all when having another look at Friedrichs Kalkfelsen auf Rügen in Winterthur – you can ring me up (online-phonebook of Konstanz) or email me in advance: neiswi at gmail dot com.
    (I assume you were talking about Friedrichs Kalkfelsen painting in your post above).

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  242. @Dieter Kief

    Here’s the poorly done (puppet-like) foreground figure – it’s a woman, actually:

    https://wallhere.com/de/wallpaper/1247683

    There are so many wrongs in this picture, that I’m almost “down on my knees” (Little Feat – Cold, Cold, Cold) -wishing for “a beet, or a pear, or a coconut please” (…)

  243. @Dieter Kief

    1) How sad.

    2) An invitation I would be delighted to take up when next in your area. Kalkfelsen auf Ruegen it is.

    3) You are right about Grimshaw. The English like atmosphere and cozy feelings. Once they have these, they are satisfied and look no further.

  244. @Anon

    Drugs are a thing in artsy matters because art is centered around our ability (and longing) to play (cf. Schiller, best writer on art I know (cf. his Letters About the Aesthetic Education of Man).

    A modern version of Schiller’s basic attempt at art is Habermas’ idea that art allows us to be decentered (as being opposed to the “square” existence we have to live because life asks us to accomplish things by following the rules).

    Except for that – no ultimate need for drugs, really. Rothko might well be approached sober, with care, open-mindedness and taste – its the same with the Devil in Goethe’s Faust (and Jagger/Richards Sympathy for the Devil) – “if you meet me/ have some courtesy, have some sympathy and have some taste (…)”.

    (And just in case that you find out, Rothko, let’s say, is not your cup of tea – relax and take it easy – – – and don’t mind – – – – – – and especially: Are not mad about those with different ideas about him. The world is big, and what’s really going on here is n o t known (not known yet, at least, if one follows Ernst Bloch, the philosophy-king of the not-yet, who taught me at least this – – – neverending, so to speak, fact (=existential truth/Kantian (basically) insight) about our earthly existence: That it is necessarily (=structurally) incomplete).

  245. Anon[318] • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief

    99% of art never catches an eye of a critic – and enlightens people nonetheless.

    That’s true, but doesn’t critical appraisal become more important increasing directly with the number of people who have the chance to be thus “enlightened”?

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  246. @Anon

    That’s true, but doesn’t critical appraisal become more important increasing directly with the number of people who have the chance to be thus “enlightened”?

    That’s the critic’s heaven, basically, or how it looks like, there. As an ex-critic, who still gives an introduction here and there or a talk: If there is no enthusiasm, no interest, no longing, no spark, you can say what you will – it will make no big difference.

    Ok – I’m not talking here about the worldwide art market and its communication system and its mechanisms. Since I know The Art Basel for example, as one of the hotspots of today’s worldwide art market, I can tell you, it works, and like most earthly matters, it has some funny, queer, pathetic moments. It’s not that easy to land your private jet at the Basel-Mulhouse airport, to begin with. The air becomes crowded, people up there are circling on end at times, waiting for allowance to land – – – imagine this scenery!

    Just one more detail: The aging English ex-soccer pro with his (second or third) trophy wife (now visibly past her time of absolute if I might say: blossomness) – alright, now the two of them stroll around in these really big halls in Basel and where do they land: At the loudest and most kitschy Galleries for sure, or at the second and third rate productions of big names (third and fourth-rate big names – that’s all the VIP-couple from old England can afford…), while being seemingly exhausted after a while (older ex-soccer pros don’t like to walk much, because their bones ache) and mildly disoriented but “saved” by the super-nice and always superbly dressed sexy flamboyant – – -employees of the big Galeries. Things like that happen/exist. And there’s nothing really wrong with that.

    Two books for both sides – the enthusiasm side and the market side: Tom Wolfe’s back to Blood (Art Basel Miami Beach!) and John Updike’s Seek my Face. I love both.

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