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  1. I was thinking maybe there was some 3d eye element to the background, given some repetition. If it doesn’t exist yet someone will now make one for the lulz, no doubt with a sexual element.

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    • Replies: @CJ
    We have several Magic Eye books around the house. When I first saw the Obama portrait in Steve’s story yesterday, that was the first thing I thought of. Obama and the chair seem to float above the flat wallpaper background, waiting to leap into crystal 3D clarity ... but no, it wasn’t to be.

    Isn’t Magic Eye done at least partly by Koreans? Somebody should commission a Trump portrait that really is 3D, with lots of gold and white and Lucite-like letters spelling Make America Great Again.
    , @Joe Schmoe



    Looking at the repeated elements in the leaves, they might have some tiny variation, which would imply, I think, that they were handpainted on top of a Photoshop mocked up image.
     
    In fabrics, this is called the pattern repeat. So, you are making something and you need to know how many inches of pattern till it repeats to know whether it is appropriate for the project whether a dress or a sofa or curtain, etc.
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  2. Andy Warhol had minions silkscreen his stuff. Having Chinese workers paint by the numbers over Photoshop is not that far removed from Warhol.

    There’s a whole city in China where paintings are produced. There’s a guy who does nothing but copy a single Monet painting, in various sizes, and in various color variations, current condition, what it probably looked like when newly painted, and so on.

    The founders of Panic Software sent off their photos and some other reference material to a painter in that city and got back an oil painting of themselves 19th century style for their offices:

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    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    Priceless ... Now I want one of me sitting in with the poker playing dogs.
    , @Bill
    That's awesome.
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  3. At least he didn’t use photoshop for that sixth finger.

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    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    Satanic message?
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  4. First, the irony of Obama getting hosed by his own dogma is very very satisfying. Affirmative action hires are no substitute for technical or artistic expertise. Both of the hired “artists” were in over their heads, and many, many people prop them up as if they weren’t.

    The artistic choices of the artist who tried to draw Michelle is bogus, since she couldn’t draw a realistic painting to begin with. Picasso could draw a realistic painting. It was after he’d mastered the fundamentals that he went into abstract paintings. That is why he is legit. To try to apply a lack of technical expertise in your field as art is bogus. She painted a juvenile level picture of Michelle because she had no other choice. It lacks proper perspective, it lacks dynamic range. It is low-brow graffiti.

    Barack’s picture, though it exhibits more technical expertise by the artist(s), is third-world tacky. Better suited to the Vice Admiral of the Great Navy of Kazakhstan, than the President of the United States. The fact that these pictures are for posterity makes me very very happy.

    I’ve always maintained that Obama was racially confused, and his decisions would reflect his inner turmoil, so the painting is unintentionally perfect for him:

    A random, sad chaotic mix, signifying nothing.

    A big mistake with unqualified confidence.

    This is him–and for 8 years, it was us.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Chaddy, The Albright-Know Art Gallery in Buffalo has several Picasso's in their collection, so I am familiar with his abstract style. However, after a friend pointed out that they had seen examples of Picasso's realistic side while in Spain, I did some research online. Truly Picasso could paint and do portraits, but he felt abstraction expressed his feeling and who am I to argue with the greatest abstract painter of our time.
    , @Stephen Paul Foster
    "I’ve always maintained that Obama was racially confused, and his decisions would reflect his inner turmoil, so the painting is unintentionally perfect for him...."

    Certainly, Obama is obsessed with race, and his confusion and inner turmoil turned into his nasty practice of projecting his resentment, rancor and hostility onto white people.

    See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2014/06/obama-projectionist-and-chief.html
    , @Bill

    It was after he’d mastered the fundamentals that he went into abstract paintings. That is why he is legit.
     
    It was after he'd mastered the fundamentals of toiletry that Apu went into street-shitting. That's why Apu is legit.
    , @guest
    Everyone always brings up the fact that Picasso trained in realistic, representational painting. (That makes at least one of them.) It gets repeated like a religious mantra.

    I think the point is to imply that not just Picasso but many of the rest of them could do the old thing if they wanted, but choose to do crap because reasons. When in fact painting instruction collapsed after the impressionists took control of instruction. (Old-style art studios carry on the tradition, but barely any artists bother learning in them.) Most every modernist lacks the choice to paint like an Old Master if they wanted.

    As for Picasso specifically, he admitted he was a charlatan. Even if thare was a pose, nevertheless he was right. The choice to paint as he did was not made for aesthetic reasons, but for reasons of fashion and publicity, as well as politics.

    Throwing away his skills to paint crap was no more "legit" than Esau trading his birthright for a mess of pottage.

    , @guest
    How low are our standards, truly, when someone can produce junk and crap all over our culture, and we accept it simply because they could paint beautifully when they chose to.

    It's akin to thanking a home invader for only raping your wife once instead of multiple times.
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  5. Andy Warhol had minions silkscreen his stuff. Having Chinese workers paint by the numbers over Photoshop is not that far removed from Warhol.

    Warhol’s minions were not necessarily minions.

    Thanks to a common friend, I once ended up visiting a guy named Billy Name who lived up the Hudson Valley. He was a close collaborator of Andy Warhol’s, and was responsible for creating several elements of Warhol’s creative work. He oversaw Warhol’s studio, among other roles.

    He was quite extroverted and a bit wild of manner and voice, but basically friendly, and gave me a photographic print from The Factory (Warhol’s studio) that Warhol and he had created. I still have it somewhere, and I have no idea if it is worth anything. PiltdownWoman nearly tossed it out during a spring cleaning some years ago.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Name

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  6. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Anyone can now be a painter. I’ve been looking around after you posted about Obama’s portrait painter and found that for $500 you can commission an artist in Dafen Village, Shenzhen (a huge hub for painting service suppliers) to execute your instructions or reference on a large canvas.

    That makes it possible to get black heritage themed art done, submit it for an art contest, and possibly win prize money based on the appeal of black orientated themes in the art world. Anyone know of any painting contests?

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  7. NYT’s art critic Holland Cotter is so excited about the BO-portait, that he loses his paragraph and throws everything together as if his text was – a pastiche or some sort of other pretty expressive thing or work of art or – :

    “At some level, all portraits are propaganda, political or personal. And what makes this one distinctive is the personal part. Mr. Wiley has set Mr. Obama against — really embedded him in — a bower of what looks like ground cover. From the greenery sprout flowers that have symbolic meaning for the sitter. African blue lilies represent Kenya, his father’s birthplace; jasmine stands for Hawaii, where Mr. Obama himself was born; chrysanthemums, the official flower of Chicago, reference the city where his political career began, and where he met his wife.”

    Huuh – -propaganda, the personal, the political, the levels – the personal level being political etc. etc. – Cotter is out of his head, out of his body almost. He touches our sepreaty reality of sorts, hehe!

    By and blarge Cotter is quite right: The world is complex, and who – if not an art critic – should decompleximise (or how’d I have to put that?) – – it all (=the world/ our existence/ American history …World History…?)

    - As long as there are readers… (and believers), he will carry on.

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    • Replies: @anon

    From the greenery sprout flowers that have symbolic meaning for the sitter. African blue lilies represent Kenya, his father’s birthplace; jasmine stands for Hawaii, where Mr. Obama himself was born; chrysanthemums, the official flower of Chicago, reference the city where his political career began, and where he met his wife.
     
    What's funny about this is, he acts like he thinks that this is some kind of brilliant thing. But that's genuinely the kind of thing they would have had us do in grade school, in some kind of art project.

    I would believe that they actually believed this was a great painting if they didn't have to rely on explanations that sounded like my explanation about a drawing I had to make representing our school year at the end of fifth grade.

    "You see, the basketball in the foreground represents that time the high schoolers went to state, and we all got to take a trip to watch. And the big snowflake represents the time the school was closed for a whole week due to the big snowstorm. And the wasp's nest represents the time Andy found a wasp's nest by the fence out back and got stung by a bunch of wasps."

    , @Autochthon

    decompleximise
     
    Simplify is the word you are seeking (unless I misunderstand your intent). Other possibilities include explain, explicate, and analyse.

    (Yet now I have written these words it occurs to me I'm missing a joke you are making in the vein of Oswald Bates....)
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  8. Can someone explain what a Photishopped mocked up image is in the context of this painting?

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  9. And Jan Vermeer used camera obscura a century after it was first used in Wakanda. So what?

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    • LOL: Kylie
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  10. OT:

    Shaun White (aka super-duper white guy) wins 3rd gold medal. Cue the outcries of #WinterOlympicsSoWhite

    I don’t follow twitter, but I’m sure there’s a whole movement to downplay/CritRacTheorize his accomplishment because White Privilege or White Supremacy or something.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Captain, Please note that athletes, such as Shaun and Chloe Kim, compete and excel in events that risk life and limb. I would think that most of the negative comments come from losers that couldn't stay on their feet for 100 yards in the moguls or clear the first gate on a slalom course.
    , @ThreeCranes
    Meanwhile the other Shani, uh, Shani Black! Yeah Shani Black, he of the sullen rage following the coin toss (which he lost) that determined who should carry America's Flag in the Opening Ceremonies. Anyway, that Shani came in 19th in the 1500 meter long-track speed skating competition. And this after earlier this year promising that his upcoming performance would silence skeptics.

    At 35 he's is a bit long of tooth. He had his day. Even if he had the faster qualifying time it would have been appropriate for the selection committee to have chosen a young, promising skater to give him experience. After all, Shani Davis (his real last name) failed to medal in the last Olympics finishing 8th, 24th and 11th--and now of course, he's four years older. Did any sane person honestly expect his performance to improve against other nation's 24 year olds?

    The black woman short track speed skater was humiliated in her second race. She's out. The coach of our short-track team is a black man. At least he skated, but not at the highest level. The NBC announcer is black. The NBC interviewer for ski events is black.

    Why all these black people who underperform or are outsiders?

    Clearly they have been affirmatively actioned into their slots to push diversity at the expense of results.

    Another thumb in the eye for white Americans.

    , @Anon
    How did skateboarding on ice become an Olympic sport?

    It's so dumb.
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  11. Stencils.

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  12. In the Michelle portrait, are the arms way too long?

    Was this intentional? In fashion photography, they often elongate the legs and torso.

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  13. If he were some kind of famous explorer known for his travels in dense forests, or if he was famous botanist, I could understand this painting. Since he is neither what are those leaves supposed represent here?

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    • Replies: @Negrolphin Pool
    Is there a Harambe version yet?
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  14. The way the art critics in the NYT and elsewhere are exclaiming about these two portraits reminds me of one of the side stories in “Atlas Shrugged”. If I’m remembering it correctly, the “elites” would fawn over and write glowing newspaper articles about obvious mediocrities.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    TTSSYF, True story that I think I posted on Steve's before. Years ago we were erecting a large steel construction in downtown Buffalo at the then Marine Midland Tower. The artist hovered nearby as we assembled the piece using a sizeable crane. Our apprentice engaged the artist in conversation. "Did you make this?" he asked. "Yes, I am the artist," the artist replied. "Did they pay you to make this?" the apprentice inquired. "Yes," said the visibly angry artist. "They gave me a large commission." The apprentice though for a bit and said, "I don't think much of your art, but you are one fucking great salesman."
    , @Anonymous
    To me, this whole thing sounds like a modern version of Christian Andersen's "Emperor's New Clothes". The whole Obama's liberal court got taken in by a couple of charlatans, yet the go on pretending how much they like the portraits.
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  15. Alas, using ‘assistants’ who do most of the work is very common in the art world – other popular artists like Murakami and Hirst do the same thing, to the point that they have people whose job is only painting the butterflies or stuff like that in new works.

    If you haven’t seen it, check out the documentary “Exit Through The Gift Shop.” It highlights how once the art world decides someone is important, it doesn’t matter how derivative or brainless the art is, it just becomes valuable and no one will back down from it.

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    • Replies: @Simon Tugmutton
    I went once to the Tate Modern in London. I am prejudiced against much modern art, but I was determined to maintain an open mind about the exhibits. However, when I emerged at the other end I was angry – with the exception of The Little Dancer by Degas, everything I had seen was talentless, meretricious, or simply an imposition on the credulous – or indeed a combination of two or all three of these. That included a whole gallery of Rothko panels, on whose benches sat a typical selection of Hampstead and Hackney pseuds vying with each other to be the most deeply affected by what this wily fellow had foisted on the curators. (In my younger years I worked at a Belgravia art gallery and so have first-hand experience of the charlatans who do very nicely, thank you, out of people with too much money and far too many pretensions.)

    What angered me especially about the Tate Modern was the use of public subsidy at a time when, for example, social care for the elderly and infirm was being cut back: for some of the very people, in other words, whose labours and sacrifices had paid for the whole rotten, smug, preening, politically correct edifice of state-sponsored art.

    Come the revolution, let the mob with their torches and pitchforks, once they have done with the House of Commons, make a quick detour across the Millennium Bridge to Bankside!
    , @Chris Marsk

    to the point that they have people whose job is only painting the butterflies
     
    I seem to remember something about this happening during the Renaissance or medieval period, some famous Dutch (?) painter who experts think hired the local horse (?) specialist to paint that section of paintings. The horses in all the paintings in that region from that period were apparently painted by the same guy, or something like that.

    I mean, painting was a business at that time, not highfalutin art. You made a product and sold it. So why not use subcontractors for components that they specialised in, like a car manufacturer buying parts from other companies?

    , @Logan
    It is also a very old approach. Lots of the Old Masters had students do a lot of the grunt work.
    , @Big Bill
    Read more about the Warhol foundation and its now-decades-long disputes. They control the rights to Warhol's name and verifying the provenance (and $$$) for his various scribbles.

    Thus a screen print can be a genuine Warhol ($$$) if Andy told some screenprinter guy to "print another copy for yourself", and NOT a genuine Warhol if the guy printed TWO copies.

    Or if Andy ordered 10 prints, got back a stack of 12 and never got around to actually looking at all of them, then several might be deemed official counterfeits.
    , @anonymouslee
    I once saw Jeff Koons peevishly explain that it was fake news he didn't have technical skills just because he didn't physically make his work. He said he had, after all, "won drawing prizes in art school and things like that" so he could draw and paint just fine if he chose to. He looked bemused, as if he wanted to say, "don't you get the joke? I couldn't be a serious artist today if I hand crafted my work like some lady selling pottery mugs at the farmers market."
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  16. Over at Zero Hedge they say there’s a spermatozoon wiggling on Barry’s left temple. I find this a nice touch. And the penis up his sleeve and the six-fingered left hand also are fabulous touches. Tres Ghey!1!!

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  17. You guys don’t understand art

    In fact most white males just don’t get it

    No wonder white girls prefer Black Men!

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    TD, nice to have the real you back. I always liked your family's work in films, you know, Daffy and Donald.
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  18. @Arclight
    Alas, using 'assistants' who do most of the work is very common in the art world - other popular artists like Murakami and Hirst do the same thing, to the point that they have people whose job is only painting the butterflies or stuff like that in new works.

    If you haven't seen it, check out the documentary "Exit Through The Gift Shop." It highlights how once the art world decides someone is important, it doesn't matter how derivative or brainless the art is, it just becomes valuable and no one will back down from it.

    I went once to the Tate Modern in London. I am prejudiced against much modern art, but I was determined to maintain an open mind about the exhibits. However, when I emerged at the other end I was angry – with the exception of The Little Dancer by Degas, everything I had seen was talentless, meretricious, or simply an imposition on the credulous – or indeed a combination of two or all three of these. That included a whole gallery of Rothko panels, on whose benches sat a typical selection of Hampstead and Hackney pseuds vying with each other to be the most deeply affected by what this wily fellow had foisted on the curators. (In my younger years I worked at a Belgravia art gallery and so have first-hand experience of the charlatans who do very nicely, thank you, out of people with too much money and far too many pretensions.)

    What angered me especially about the Tate Modern was the use of public subsidy at a time when, for example, social care for the elderly and infirm was being cut back: for some of the very people, in other words, whose labours and sacrifices had paid for the whole rotten, smug, preening, politically correct edifice of state-sponsored art.

    Come the revolution, let the mob with their torches and pitchforks, once they have done with the House of Commons, make a quick detour across the Millennium Bridge to Bankside!

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    • Replies: @ThreeCranes
    Agree about the over-hyped Rothko, but before you torch the Tate be sure to remove the Sargents and the Francis Bacons (yes, he's gay but he's great).

    http://joja.info/sites/default/files/People/werk/Francis%20Bacon%20-%20Portrait%20of%20Lucian%20Freud%201965.jpg
    , @Kylie
    Can't stand modern art. But Rothko's work moves me unbearably. Saw a painting of his and got all choked up in public, so embarrassing. Some lady volunteer overheard me and asked me about my response. Apparently others also feel that way. I don't even particular like his paintings (or painting in general). But I find them as moving and spiritual as my favorite music. It's weird.
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  19. @Arclight
    Alas, using 'assistants' who do most of the work is very common in the art world - other popular artists like Murakami and Hirst do the same thing, to the point that they have people whose job is only painting the butterflies or stuff like that in new works.

    If you haven't seen it, check out the documentary "Exit Through The Gift Shop." It highlights how once the art world decides someone is important, it doesn't matter how derivative or brainless the art is, it just becomes valuable and no one will back down from it.

    to the point that they have people whose job is only painting the butterflies

    I seem to remember something about this happening during the Renaissance or medieval period, some famous Dutch (?) painter who experts think hired the local horse (?) specialist to paint that section of paintings. The horses in all the paintings in that region from that period were apparently painted by the same guy, or something like that.

    I mean, painting was a business at that time, not highfalutin art. You made a product and sold it. So why not use subcontractors for components that they specialised in, like a car manufacturer buying parts from other companies?

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    • Replies: @Alden
    All the great and not so great artists had numerous assistants painting much of the works. The artists would make an outline and the different specialists in hands, fabrics, flowers and greenery clouds would fill it in.

    All the great artists did outlines which aren’t all that different from painting over a photo.

    Obama’s greenery is sort of faggy and weird. Hers is more of a fashion picture in that the emphasis is on the skirt, not Ms Obama. And she never wore a long 3rd rate Vegas entertainer wig. I guess they like the pictures so who cares.
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  20. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Dieter Kief
    NYT's art critic Holland Cotter is so excited about the BO-portait, that he loses his paragraph and throws everything together as if his text was - a pastiche or some sort of other pretty expressive thing or work of art or - :

    "At some level, all portraits are propaganda, political or personal. And what makes this one distinctive is the personal part. Mr. Wiley has set Mr. Obama against — really embedded him in — a bower of what looks like ground cover. From the greenery sprout flowers that have symbolic meaning for the sitter. African blue lilies represent Kenya, his father’s birthplace; jasmine stands for Hawaii, where Mr. Obama himself was born; chrysanthemums, the official flower of Chicago, reference the city where his political career began, and where he met his wife."

    Huuh - -propaganda, the personal, the political, the levels - the personal level being political etc. etc. - Cotter is out of his head, out of his body almost. He touches our sepreaty reality of sorts, hehe!

    By and blarge Cotter is quite right: The world is complex, and who - if not an art critic - should decompleximise (or how'd I have to put that?) - - it all (=the world/ our existence/ American history ...World History...?)

    - As long as there are readers... (and believers), he will carry on.

    From the greenery sprout flowers that have symbolic meaning for the sitter. African blue lilies represent Kenya, his father’s birthplace; jasmine stands for Hawaii, where Mr. Obama himself was born; chrysanthemums, the official flower of Chicago, reference the city where his political career began, and where he met his wife.

    What’s funny about this is, he acts like he thinks that this is some kind of brilliant thing. But that’s genuinely the kind of thing they would have had us do in grade school, in some kind of art project.

    I would believe that they actually believed this was a great painting if they didn’t have to rely on explanations that sounded like my explanation about a drawing I had to make representing our school year at the end of fifth grade.

    “You see, the basketball in the foreground represents that time the high schoolers went to state, and we all got to take a trip to watch. And the big snowflake represents the time the school was closed for a whole week due to the big snowstorm. And the wasp’s nest represents the time Andy found a wasp’s nest by the fence out back and got stung by a bunch of wasps.”

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    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    Yeah - as soon as one realizes the absolutely conventional context of Cotter's - eheh - argument, it sounds hollow throughout.

    To contextualize Cotter in the world (and arguments) of a child, like you do - tops that feeling I had right from the beginning.

    Having reached this point of analysis - the portrait in all it's childish imperfection and Cotter's text fit perfectly.

    The only aesthetical problem that is then to be tackeld is, that the childishness of the painting is fake - and it (not least therefor) looks awful. - Maybe that's the irty secret Cotter is trying to hide (= to bury in his words of praise).

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  21. I don’t think the repeated elements are supposed to be a secret, are they? If you look at the other paintings this guy did, they all seem to have this sort of “wallpaper” type background. I think that’s just his style.

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    • Replies: @greysquirrell
    @anon

    I don’t think the repeated elements are supposed to be a secret, are they? If you look at the other paintings this guy did, they all seem to have this sort of “wallpaper” type background. I think that’s just his style.
     
    Yeah the repetition is deliberate; it's his style.
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  22. Wouldn’t it be more accurate to call this Kehinde guy a Painting General Contractor rather than an actual artist when he barely painted any of it?

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  23. @Chris Marsk
    Andy Warhol had minions silkscreen his stuff. Having Chinese workers paint by the numbers over Photoshop is not that far removed from Warhol.

    There's a whole city in China where paintings are produced. There's a guy who does nothing but copy a single Monet painting, in various sizes, and in various color variations, current condition, what it probably looked like when newly painted, and so on.

    The founders of Panic Software sent off their photos and some other reference material to a painter in that city and got back an oil painting of themselves 19th century style for their offices:

    https://www.panic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Office-Founders-4.jpg

    https://panic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Office-Founders-6.jpg

    Priceless … Now I want one of me sitting in with the poker playing dogs.

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  24. http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/raphael-cartoons-what-is-a-cartoon/

    In and of itself, laying down a template to paint over is not cheating. It has been done since at least the Renaissance. Rubens’ paintings were mostly done by nameless assistants. The list could go on.

    The difference is that we know from his drawings and his oil sketches that Rubens was a master draftsman and a great, great artist. The Renaissance artists were masters. The technical assistance was necessary because of the medium that they were working in and the complexity of the designs.

    Wiley is basically a thug with good public relations. I would love to see drawings that he has done without technical assistance. Reading the commentary on his art, and the full-on propaganda hurricane for Black Panther, it looks as if we have all gone full-on retard. No, that’s an insult to people who are mentally challenged. I can’t find the words to describe what’s happening. It’s worse than Stalinism.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    "Rubens’ paintings were mostly done by nameless assistants."

    At least one of whom went on to become an Old Master himself, Van Dyke.

    The usual assumption was that the Old Master would do the face and hands, while his assistants would do the background and draperies. Maybe for a king, the Great Man would paint the entire portrait.

    On the other hand, it could well be that Wiley felt he must paint the entire portrait of Obama himself (his agent claims he did it all himself), which is why it's so incompetent.

    , @Jim Don Bob
    Never go full retard.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6WHBO_Qc-Q
    , @Dieter Kief

    I can’t find the words to describe what’s happening. It’s worse than Stalinism.
     
    Hegel called this dynamic the dialectics of the master and the slave. - He had in mind, that it makes people lazy (and incompetent - in the long run) to be a master - and that it makes people competent, in the long run - to be a slave. And if you look at the Chinese painters and the American - concept artist/contractor - this seems to be happening exacly like Hegel predicted.
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  25. I said here yesterday that this was a photoshop work. This ex president gets the artist he deserves.

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    • Replies: @Kylie
    "This ex president gets the artist he deserves."

    Exactly. And not just the artist but the artistry. The busy floral background, the ostentatious throne-like seating, the posture suggestive of an excretory function--it's hilarious. Hard to believe someone who presumably likes his subject supervised its creation.

    Then again, more so than other races, black people seem to mire themselves in irony and absurdity with complete obliviousness.
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  26. Obama’s body also looks like it was painted from a photo. The chair is some kind of fail because he wasn’t sitting on that chair when the photo was taken and they tried to hand paint it and messed up the perspective. The chair is too wide and Obama’s body where the other arm of the chair should be.

    If you look at Stuart’s Lansdowne portrait of Washington, which is not only masterfully painted but also filled with layers and layers of symbolism and then you look at this primitive photoshop job you want to weep for Western civilization.

    Of course, as usual, it is all who-whomism. If this painting was of Trump and was painted by a white guy from flyover country, the critics would be all over its obvious flaws like white on rice, you should pardon the expression.

    Read More
    • Replies: @whorefinder

    Obama’s body also looks like it was painted from a photo.
     
    Sounds plausible.

    Obama probably was too bored to sit for the artist long enough for a portrait, preferring to golf and party with celebrities and write about himself---you know, what he preferred to do for his entire administration rather than work. When he gets it re-done, a neat way he could overcome his boredom would be to be captured at his desk writing his memoirs.

    , @Alfa158
    We want to weep for Western civilization because it now lauds this type of work not because it is a product of that civilization. If Wiley ever found out that you had accused his painting of having any connection to Western (White) civilization, he would be pretty steamed at you.
    , @Rosamond Vincy
    Medieval and Renaissance portraits always had layers of symbolism: hidden skulls as memento Mori, keys to show official responsibilities, devices for political allegiances (rose-en-soleil, linked S, Fleur-de-lis). The viewers knew how to read those symbols.

    We live at a time when the symbols are readable to few painters, to fewer viewers, and heaven knows, to hardly any of the sitters.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Jack, Thank you. I knew something looked stilted in the portrait and as you pointed out, it is the chair. BHO looks like he was lifted from somewhere, a photo probably, and the chair painted behind him.
    , @Anonymous
    Please tell me Obama was sitting on a CHAIR when the photograph of him was taken.
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  27. This is an unconvincing quibble. Look at the guy’s other paintings – he makes use of floral motifs (repeating patterns). It’s part of his style, it’s meant to be that way, it’s meant to give a formal effect, it’s not a big deal, it’s not supposed to be photorealistic for chrissakes.

    There’s even a couple more in that shrubbery that are not highlighted.

    The sperm, however, is totally a thing.

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    • Replies: @Buzz Mohawk

    It’s part of his style...
     
    Because it is easy.

    He is a lazy, black wallpaper maker who outsources his work to China.

    His portrait of the affirmative action president Americans hired during their descent into Asian economic domination is therefore an appropriate representation. It's perfect.

    , @Buffalo Joe
    Dave, Help. what sperm thing?
    , @guest
    "It's not supposed to be photorealistic for chrisssakes"

    Neither was a lot of art that didn't end up looking like throwaway, paint by numbers, mass-produced junk.

    Is there really anyone complaining about repeating patterns because it doesn't look like a picture of actual foliage?

    It could be a better representation without being perfectly faithful to reality.
    , @Olorin

    It’s part of his style, it’s meant to be that way, it’s meant to give a formal effect, it’s not a big deal, it’s not supposed to be photorealistic for chrissakes.
     
    I know you lot circle the drain widdershins. But get a grip here.

    If it's "not supposed to be photorealistic," then why such pains taken to produce veins in the forehead of the depicted subject, or creases in the pants, or pores on the face, or marquetry inlay in the chair?

    Using the Photoshop clone tool to create wallpaper isn't "meant to give a formal effect."

    It's the shortest distance between filling in the background of a produced image using slave labor and producing something the assembled Arterati can crow about.

    The "Art World" is as corrupt as the Ed Biz and MSM at this point...and has been since the opioid-pushing Sacklers took over the Met and Smithsonian.

    It's about influence, provenance, nepotism, and access--plus literally taking a dump on every white tradition, skill, craft, memory, and thing of value.

    It's possible to be "non-photorealistic" without so blatantly applying the clone stamp. Which makes me wonder whether there aren't some deplorable wits in Chinese Art Labor Camp #6.

    What it is is a troll. A great big black FY to any of us who still harbor "traditionalist" (skilled) views of art and craft.

    Or politics and presidency.

    But you're right, the sperm is a thing.

    http://i.4cdn.org/pol/1518537358526.jpg

    http://i.4cdn.org/pol/1518538412915.png

    http://i.4cdn.org/pol/1518544333255.jpg

    http://i.4cdn.org/pol/1518546663503.jpg

    http://i.4cdn.org/pol/1518546451814.jpg

    http://i.4cdn.org/pol/1518546867089.jpg

    http://i.4cdn.org/pol/1518515822758.jpg

    http://i.4cdn.org/pol/1518534027448.jpg
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  28. Use of assistants has always been a thing in art. Particularly back in the day when all those famous great paintings were done. It was a moneymaking business, it was the closest the could get to photography. Do you think Michelangelo, or Leonardo, or any of the TMNT painstakingly put in every stroke on every bit of drapery? Fuck no – the man’s time was way too valuable.

    Old art is much the same as old music and old literature. It seems great because all the crap has long been forgotten, but by God there was a fuckton of it being produced. Back in the day, they were just churning the stuff out. For money.

    Having a bunch of chinese do the actual panting for you is continuing a fine and ancient tradition.

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  29. Does this Obama portrait mean that when we get our Hispanic president, his/her portrait will be one on shiny black velvet, ala Jesus and Elvis?

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    • LOL: Buffalo Joe
    • Replies: @Daniel Williams

    Does this Obama portrait mean that when we get our Hispanic president, his/her portrait will be one on shiny black velvet, ala Jesus and Elvis?
     
    Or airbrushed on the back of an El Camino?
    , @Joe Schmoe


    Does this Obama portrait mean that when we get our Hispanic president, his/her portrait will be one on shiny black velvet, ala Jesus and Elvis?

     

    Whenever we get an hispanic president, he will be a white boy like Peña-Nieto in Mexico.
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  30. Pattern recognition is racist.

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  31. Affirmative Action president hires Affirmative Action portrait artist, who shows that Affirmative Action produces subpar results.

    Seriously, I can’t believe Obama isn’t trying to figure out a way to get a new portrait done. He’s pretty conceited, and likely realizes that this is a bad job. I think he’ll publicly offer to purchase the painting for his private collection “because it’s so good” , then have some decent painter do a better one and donate it.

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    • Agree: International Jew
    • Replies: @Darwinian Arminian
    Not a bad idea, and one that even has some historical precedent. Obama somewhat famously had Winston Churchill's bust removed from the Oval Office, so it would be amusing to see if he now decided to swipe from the example of the former PM by taking his retirement portrait home with him so that he could then set fire to it in his back yard.
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  32. @Jack D
    Obama's body also looks like it was painted from a photo. The chair is some kind of fail because he wasn't sitting on that chair when the photo was taken and they tried to hand paint it and messed up the perspective. The chair is too wide and Obama's body where the other arm of the chair should be.

    If you look at Stuart's Lansdowne portrait of Washington, which is not only masterfully painted but also filled with layers and layers of symbolism and then you look at this primitive photoshop job you want to weep for Western civilization.

    Of course, as usual, it is all who-whomism. If this painting was of Trump and was painted by a white guy from flyover country, the critics would be all over its obvious flaws like white on rice, you should pardon the expression.

    Obama’s body also looks like it was painted from a photo.

    Sounds plausible.

    Obama probably was too bored to sit for the artist long enough for a portrait, preferring to golf and party with celebrities and write about himself—you know, what he preferred to do for his entire administration rather than work. When he gets it re-done, a neat way he could overcome his boredom would be to be captured at his desk writing his memoirs.

    Read More
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  33. I think this thread is giving the artist too much respect.

    This is what I think he did:

    1) He took some kind of existing actual photo of Obama. He used a lightbox like the comic book artist in this thread is renowned for doing:

    https://comicvine.gamespot.com/forums/gen-discussion-1/greg-land-ripofftracingrecycling-thread-695764/

    2) He made a background in Photoshop or some other program of his choice.

    3) The pose really looks awkward to me. What I think he did is take the Obama photo I referred to, and just inserted into the frame with the background (and the chair).

    4) Then he sent the digital copy to China, because you know, it is supposed to be a painting, and has to be like, you know, painted.

    Couple hours tops except for the magic Chinamen to do their thing.

    If I’m correct, if you look around you’ll find an actual photo of Obama that he used.

    And why isn’t there more talk about this guys apparent sperm fixation?

    This is modern art. Message, medium, whatever. It’s all Who/Whom.

    When Tony Blair was pitching that whole “Cool Brittania” thing, he had one video op, where he was looking at a mural where the big thing was the artist used poo as an additive in his paints.

    Real cool Tony.

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    • Replies: @Lemmings Folly
    I read an interview about this artist and he lives in China and acknowledges that he uses Chinese painters. He also has an assistant named Ain Cocke (sp), who apparently has a very similar painting style and who takes the photos of young men the artist uses in his works. Note these are young, good looking, masculine men. Located in places like favelas. The artist is gay and rich. But I'm sure there's nothing untoward.
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  34. Just for the heck of it:

    http://jimsmashextended.blogspot.com.br/2008/07/greg-land-tracing-swiping-recycling.html

    Greg Land is hilarious if you are even slightly into comics or how an “artist” actually does his work.

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  35. @Arclight
    Alas, using 'assistants' who do most of the work is very common in the art world - other popular artists like Murakami and Hirst do the same thing, to the point that they have people whose job is only painting the butterflies or stuff like that in new works.

    If you haven't seen it, check out the documentary "Exit Through The Gift Shop." It highlights how once the art world decides someone is important, it doesn't matter how derivative or brainless the art is, it just becomes valuable and no one will back down from it.

    It is also a very old approach. Lots of the Old Masters had students do a lot of the grunt work.

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  36. Hopefully we get lots of Photoshop – mocking of Hussein’s loud and ridiculous portrait. He did this to attract attention like your common, marijuana smoking, two bit rapper. Hussein succeeded on this account because the unveiling of every other Presidential portrait got fleeting attention. Plus he and this portrait will continue to get attention due to it sticking out like sore thumb out from all other Presidential portraits. If I was at The Smithsonian I know that I would want to see this.
    While Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama’s portrait is in the vein of southern folk art so more legit. Plus was likely done by a more legit artist than the African-American-Chinese-gaye buffoon Hussein chose.

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  37. Since this is his official portrait, it will presumably be the used in the various Barack Obama high schools, government buildings etc.

    That’s a rather funny self-inflicted wound.

    This is the portrait that hangs in the main entrance of my old school:

    Read More
    • Replies: @Wanda
    Beautiful! And just do a search for "Queen Elizabeth II portrait" and you'll see a huge number of them, all in the classical European style.

    My favourite is this one:

    https://www.vinciata.net/_Media/queen_elizabeth-4.jpeg
    , @guest
    From her victory over Napoleon at Waterloo?
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  38. Amateurish President, amateurish golfer, amateurish portrait.

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    • Replies: @Kylie
    "Amateurish President, amateurish golfer, amateurish portrait."

    But of course. What else would you expect from a professional poseur?
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  39. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Speaking of Photoshop, I wish someone who knows what they’re doing with it better than I do could cut out just the image of Obama from that and make it a sticker on kek.gg. Then you could just stick it on whatever you wanted.

    For example. Lately, when I think back on the Obama years, I think about this video:

    I’d like it if I could just stick the image of Obama in one of the chairs, while Richard Simmons was lying on the ground and that lesbian was standing there in amazement.

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  40. @Jack D
    Obama's body also looks like it was painted from a photo. The chair is some kind of fail because he wasn't sitting on that chair when the photo was taken and they tried to hand paint it and messed up the perspective. The chair is too wide and Obama's body where the other arm of the chair should be.

    If you look at Stuart's Lansdowne portrait of Washington, which is not only masterfully painted but also filled with layers and layers of symbolism and then you look at this primitive photoshop job you want to weep for Western civilization.

    Of course, as usual, it is all who-whomism. If this painting was of Trump and was painted by a white guy from flyover country, the critics would be all over its obvious flaws like white on rice, you should pardon the expression.

    We want to weep for Western civilization because it now lauds this type of work not because it is a product of that civilization. If Wiley ever found out that you had accused his painting of having any connection to Western (White) civilization, he would be pretty steamed at you.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jack D
    That's just wrong. Wiley is totally aware of Western Civilization and purposely inverts its icons.

    So his Judith Beheading Holofernes is derived from Caravaggio's, but in his a black woman chops off the head of a white woman:

    https://thedailybanter.com/.image/c_limit%2Ccs_srgb%2Cq_80%2Cw_1000/MTUzNDg3NzgxMTM2NDQyNTY2/download-21.webp

    The power of the work comes from the fact that he is not just making stuff up (he's not smart enough to invent a new art form) but that he is using Renaissance painting conventions to depict ghetto gals and guys in the poses of mythological heroes and royalty. More we wuz kangs fantasy which is why Obama was his perfect subject - a real black kang.

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  41. @Dave from Oz
    This is an unconvincing quibble. Look at the guy's other paintings - he makes use of floral motifs (repeating patterns). It's part of his style, it's meant to be that way, it's meant to give a formal effect, it's not a big deal, it's not supposed to be photorealistic for chrissakes.

    There's even a couple more in that shrubbery that are not highlighted.

    The sperm, however, is totally a thing.

    It’s part of his style…

    Because it is easy.

    He is a lazy, black wallpaper maker who outsources his work to China.

    His portrait of the affirmative action president Americans hired during their descent into Asian economic domination is therefore an appropriate representation. It’s perfect.

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    • Agree: The Anti-Gnostic
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  42. Anon • Disclaimer says:

    Getting assistants to do a lot of work on your paintings has been as common as dirt ever since the Renaissance. It was probably common all the way back to the Greeks and the Romans and even the Minoans, and we only lack the documentation to prove it. Collective effort was how you got all that blue sky, or the long sweeping robe, or other boring parts painted. When painters took on students, they’d train them in the art of painting by giving them a section to work on. The Master would figure out the general design, paint a bit to show a student the colors and specifics needed, and would do only the harder parts himself, or whatever. That was how Rubens finished all those bus-sized canvases. Here’s an example of collective shopwork by Verrocchio, with additions by the young Leonardo da Vinci.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Baptism_of_Christ_(Verrocchio)

    Students would usually pay the Master for the privilege of apprenticeship. That was how many a painter supported himself in lean times if he didn’t have a patron making commissions. Even if a Master decided to take on a very promising pupil with no money, he still got lots of unpaid labor out of the boy, and he made the kid do lots of other chores around the shop to help earn his keep.

    The only reason we are convinced that real artists do all their own work is because successful painters have been very good at the art of self-promotion over the centuries. There are painters who do all their own work, but the larger the canvas, the more likely it is to be collective shopwork. It’s only been with the development of tools that help you cover a lot of space, airbrushing and whatnot, that you start to see artists tackling larger canvases by themselves.

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    • Replies: @ChrisD
    Yes but outsourcing photoshop duties to China is a little bit worse than getting Da Vinci to help paint a robe, no?
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  43. @Jack D
    Obama's body also looks like it was painted from a photo. The chair is some kind of fail because he wasn't sitting on that chair when the photo was taken and they tried to hand paint it and messed up the perspective. The chair is too wide and Obama's body where the other arm of the chair should be.

    If you look at Stuart's Lansdowne portrait of Washington, which is not only masterfully painted but also filled with layers and layers of symbolism and then you look at this primitive photoshop job you want to weep for Western civilization.

    Of course, as usual, it is all who-whomism. If this painting was of Trump and was painted by a white guy from flyover country, the critics would be all over its obvious flaws like white on rice, you should pardon the expression.

    Medieval and Renaissance portraits always had layers of symbolism: hidden skulls as memento Mori, keys to show official responsibilities, devices for political allegiances (rose-en-soleil, linked S, Fleur-de-lis). The viewers knew how to read those symbols.

    We live at a time when the symbols are readable to few painters, to fewer viewers, and heaven knows, to hardly any of the sitters.

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Rosamond, I knew that some one, such as yourself, who did research at Oxford, would not disappoint. Memento Mori, indeed.
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  44. Art history has a whole language to describe the relative level of intervention by the Famous Artist in his works – and how much was done by his studio. You could pay extra and have Rubens paint all of it — but no one much ever did. He painted the faces. And sometimes the hands. He had specialist studio workers who painted satin, for instance – and you wanted that guy, because his satin was better than Rubens’.

    Andy Warhol seems to have rediscovered this practice.

    Donald Judd drew sketches in pencil and sent them to a fabricator. He never touched his sculptures after he got famous – just saw them installed at the openings.

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  45. @Jack D
    Obama's body also looks like it was painted from a photo. The chair is some kind of fail because he wasn't sitting on that chair when the photo was taken and they tried to hand paint it and messed up the perspective. The chair is too wide and Obama's body where the other arm of the chair should be.

    If you look at Stuart's Lansdowne portrait of Washington, which is not only masterfully painted but also filled with layers and layers of symbolism and then you look at this primitive photoshop job you want to weep for Western civilization.

    Of course, as usual, it is all who-whomism. If this painting was of Trump and was painted by a white guy from flyover country, the critics would be all over its obvious flaws like white on rice, you should pardon the expression.

    Jack, Thank you. I knew something looked stilted in the portrait and as you pointed out, it is the chair. BHO looks like he was lifted from somewhere, a photo probably, and the chair painted behind him.

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  46. @Dave from Oz
    This is an unconvincing quibble. Look at the guy's other paintings - he makes use of floral motifs (repeating patterns). It's part of his style, it's meant to be that way, it's meant to give a formal effect, it's not a big deal, it's not supposed to be photorealistic for chrissakes.

    There's even a couple more in that shrubbery that are not highlighted.

    The sperm, however, is totally a thing.

    Dave, Help. what sperm thing?

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Joe, Heartiste has the answer: https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/did-kehinde-wiley-slip-a-sperm-into-obamas-portrait/
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  47. @Rosamond Vincy
    Medieval and Renaissance portraits always had layers of symbolism: hidden skulls as memento Mori, keys to show official responsibilities, devices for political allegiances (rose-en-soleil, linked S, Fleur-de-lis). The viewers knew how to read those symbols.

    We live at a time when the symbols are readable to few painters, to fewer viewers, and heaven knows, to hardly any of the sitters.

    Rosamond, I knew that some one, such as yourself, who did research at Oxford, would not disappoint. Memento Mori, indeed.

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  48. The background does draw attention away from the shimmy perspective, weird anatomy, and that it doesn’t look much like Barack Obama.

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    • Replies: @Sam Haysom
    It looks like gray Davis.
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  49. @Anonym
    I was thinking maybe there was some 3d eye element to the background, given some repetition. If it doesn't exist yet someone will now make one for the lulz, no doubt with a sexual element.

    We have several Magic Eye books around the house. When I first saw the Obama portrait in Steve’s story yesterday, that was the first thing I thought of. Obama and the chair seem to float above the flat wallpaper background, waiting to leap into crystal 3D clarity … but no, it wasn’t to be.

    Isn’t Magic Eye done at least partly by Koreans? Somebody should commission a Trump portrait that really is 3D, with lots of gold and white and Lucite-like letters spelling Make America Great Again.

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    Thanks for reminding me what the correct term was. I haven't seen a Magic Eye book for years.
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  50. From commissioning childish daubings for the National Portrait Gallery to defacing a Frederick Law Olmsted designed park for his Giant Toenail with Putt-putt golf course presidential library, you can’t help wondering if Obama’s only goal in life is the piss off and humiliate white people.

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    • Replies: @whorefinder
    It's not his goal. His goal is himself, and he doesn't really care about anything beyond thinking about himself, golfing, and partying. That he has to destroy a beautiful park to get what he wants is fine by him so long as he gets his little library.

    Will Hillary's emails be part of the library?
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  51. Off-topic: Jew York Crimes article about an oriental DemocRAT who is running for President in 2020 on a universal basic income platform.

    The reason? He believes automation will cause a jobs apocalypse.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/10/technology/his-2020-campaign-message-the-robots-are-coming.html

    Ctrl + F for “immigra” = zero results.

    Yang’s website: https://www.yang2020.com/policies/

    Ctrl + F for “immigra” = zero results.

    He supports amnesty: https://www.yang2020.com/policies/pathway-to-citizenship/

    And he wants to expand work visas: https://www.yang2020.com/policies/enticing-high-skill-individuals/

    This is a good example of how religious sacraments and taboos (immigration is now a religious issue for “progressives”) destroy people’s ability to think about these subjects clearly.

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  52. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “It’s meant to be that way” isn’t much of a defense, when the way it’s meant to be is crap. I don’t think anyone thought it was accidental. Which only leaves as a reason for bringing its meant to be-ness up that people might think he has no excuse. But excuses are like you-know-what: everyone has them.

    They’re better at coming up with B.S. rationalizations in the art world than producing art.

    “It’s meant to give a formal effect”

    Amazing coincidence this effect happens to match what you’d do if you were lazy and incompetent.

    Modern and postmodern art is of course obsessed with form, because that’s what’s left when you take away everything else. Oh, except for symbolic systems of regional flowers.

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  53. So lighten this up a bit and this could be a portrait of Gray Davis. I’m not saying it doesn’t resemble Obama but there is no way the face was overpainted.

    The ultimate troll would have been to paint Obama in such a way as to make him more resemble one of his putative “real fathers” like Frank Marshall Davis.

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    • Replies: @itaintrocketscience

    So lighten this up a bit and this could be a portrait of Gray Davis.
     
    Or Fred Armisen.
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  54. @Buffalo Joe
    Dave, Help. what sperm thing?
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    • Replies: @Jack D
    I don't know where that guy got that version of the picture but it's not the real one - look at Obama's hair.

    That being said, here IS the real one and you can still see it, although maybe it's just a vein (click on picture to enlarge):

    https://cdn1.ijr.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/obama-4-e1518475391348.jpg

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  55. @Arclight
    Alas, using 'assistants' who do most of the work is very common in the art world - other popular artists like Murakami and Hirst do the same thing, to the point that they have people whose job is only painting the butterflies or stuff like that in new works.

    If you haven't seen it, check out the documentary "Exit Through The Gift Shop." It highlights how once the art world decides someone is important, it doesn't matter how derivative or brainless the art is, it just becomes valuable and no one will back down from it.

    Read more about the Warhol foundation and its now-decades-long disputes. They control the rights to Warhol’s name and verifying the provenance (and $$$) for his various scribbles.

    Thus a screen print can be a genuine Warhol ($$$) if Andy told some screenprinter guy to “print another copy for yourself”, and NOT a genuine Warhol if the guy printed TWO copies.

    Or if Andy ordered 10 prints, got back a stack of 12 and never got around to actually looking at all of them, then several might be deemed official counterfeits.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    What is original or authentic in art is a really fascinating question (and the answer often has more to do with economics or art world politics than anything factual) with very high stakes attached to it - a "real" artwork could be worth millions and one that is "not real" is just a worthless piece of paper, even though it is (except perhaps to experts) physically identical to the "real" one. These questions become even more thorny when you are talking about an artist like Warhol who called his studio "the Factory" and used mass production techniques like silk screening.

    Value in the art world depends in large part on scarcity - if millions of copies of some object exist then that piece of art can never be valuable no matter how great it is. If you watch Antiques Roadshow, sometimes people will bring in an old 78 rpm record of Caruso singing and think that they have discovered some rare treasure, but Caruso recordings sold by the millions so even in 1,000 years they won't be rare or valuable. So in order to preserve the value of the existing artworks it is essential that their supply be limited in some way, such as by disqualifying as many of them as possible by creating a high and artificial bar for what is a "real" Warhol.
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  56. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    On the other hand, I once was shown slides of a modern “found-object” artwork consisting of discarded food packages. Each piece of trash had an expiration date representing a birthday of a member of the “artist’s” family. Why we were supposed to care was not made clear. And of course we had no way to know without being told.

    That’s the level of symbolism they’re working at. It’s what happens when you have no culture.

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  57. @Dave from Oz
    This is an unconvincing quibble. Look at the guy's other paintings - he makes use of floral motifs (repeating patterns). It's part of his style, it's meant to be that way, it's meant to give a formal effect, it's not a big deal, it's not supposed to be photorealistic for chrissakes.

    There's even a couple more in that shrubbery that are not highlighted.

    The sperm, however, is totally a thing.

    “It’s not supposed to be photorealistic for chrisssakes”

    Neither was a lot of art that didn’t end up looking like throwaway, paint by numbers, mass-produced junk.

    Is there really anyone complaining about repeating patterns because it doesn’t look like a picture of actual foliage?

    It could be a better representation without being perfectly faithful to reality.

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  58. Obama’s presidential portrait is a page torn out of a woke coloring book.

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  59. @Arclight
    Alas, using 'assistants' who do most of the work is very common in the art world - other popular artists like Murakami and Hirst do the same thing, to the point that they have people whose job is only painting the butterflies or stuff like that in new works.

    If you haven't seen it, check out the documentary "Exit Through The Gift Shop." It highlights how once the art world decides someone is important, it doesn't matter how derivative or brainless the art is, it just becomes valuable and no one will back down from it.

    I once saw Jeff Koons peevishly explain that it was fake news he didn’t have technical skills just because he didn’t physically make his work. He said he had, after all, “won drawing prizes in art school and things like that” so he could draw and paint just fine if he chose to. He looked bemused, as if he wanted to say, “don’t you get the joke? I couldn’t be a serious artist today if I hand crafted my work like some lady selling pottery mugs at the farmers market.”

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    • Replies: @Autochthon
    These questions are more nuanced and difficult than they may at first seem. Consider music. (I will, anyway, because I am a musician, and more qualified to do so than to consider painting in similar detail, but I reckon my analysis follows in painting too....)

    Mozart composed a symphony. It is performed by an orchestra he's never even met. All he did was write a recipe; instructions on a paper (the essence of musical notation). Does Mozart deserve credit? Would it matter if he composed equally ingenius works because of his abstract mastery of musical theory but lacked the requisite manual dexterity and so never played a single musical instrument? The question continues today: Are the Pet Shop Boys and Trevor Rabin talented or not? Are Rabin's work with a guitar he himself plays or Neil Tennant's actual vocals somehow more legitimate than the orchestration each composes? Why do cover bands made up of technical virtuosos who perform incredibly difficult works by the likes of Genesis and Yes get no respect while Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell are lauded for performing the work of Chopin or Wagner?

    What about Eddie Van Halen, who represents the reverse?: He's no idea how to read or write music, but he sure can produce it (both original pieces and reproductions) – and how shall we address creation versus execution?: An obscure Chinaman exactly reproducing the work of Monet must inarguably be a very talented painter vis-a-vis his technique just as a virtuoso pianist who's never composed a note in his life but can perform a difficult concerto is nevertheless undeniably talented....

    Some of these distinctions about mere provenance are arguably as silly regarding Monet's paintings as Warhol's prints for the reasons mentioned supra. If I listen to my copy of Physical Graffiti but never get to attend a concert by Led Zeppelin (as indeed I have not), have I no idea what their music really is? Have I not experienced the "real" or "true" works?

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  60. @Alfa158
    We want to weep for Western civilization because it now lauds this type of work not because it is a product of that civilization. If Wiley ever found out that you had accused his painting of having any connection to Western (White) civilization, he would be pretty steamed at you.

    That’s just wrong. Wiley is totally aware of Western Civilization and purposely inverts its icons.

    So his Judith Beheading Holofernes is derived from Caravaggio’s, but in his a black woman chops off the head of a white woman:

    https://thedailybanter.com/.image/c_limit%2Ccs_srgb%2Cq_80%2Cw_1000/MTUzNDg3NzgxMTM2NDQyNTY2/download-21.webp

    The power of the work comes from the fact that he is not just making stuff up (he’s not smart enough to invent a new art form) but that he is using Renaissance painting conventions to depict ghetto gals and guys in the poses of mythological heroes and royalty. More we wuz kangs fantasy which is why Obama was his perfect subject – a real black kang.

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    • Replies: @yansee

    That’s just wrong. Wiley is totally aware of Western Civilization and purposely inverts its icons.

    So his Judith Beheading Holofernes is derived from Caravaggio’s, but in his a black woman chops off the head of a white woman:

    https://thedailybanter.com/.image/c_limit%2Ccs_srgb%2Cq_80%2Cw_1000/MTUzNDg3NzgxMTM2NDQyNTY2/download-21.webp

    The power of the work comes from the fact that he is not just making stuff up (he’s not smart enough to invent a new art form) but that he is using Renaissance painting conventions to depict ghetto gals and guys in the poses of mythological heroes and royalty. More we wuz kangs fantasy which is why Obama was his perfect subject – a real black kang.
     

    Yeah, and he chooses that because it's as fun as when a redneck's arguing with a black person in the comments section, and he pointedly observes that the black guy is behaving in an intellectually niggardly fashion:


    "Why are you upset by that word, sir? 'NIGGARDLY' means 'meager!'
    Oh, you thought I meant... oh my god, is EVERYTHING about RACE to you?!"

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  61. @Dieter Kief
    NYT's art critic Holland Cotter is so excited about the BO-portait, that he loses his paragraph and throws everything together as if his text was - a pastiche or some sort of other pretty expressive thing or work of art or - :

    "At some level, all portraits are propaganda, political or personal. And what makes this one distinctive is the personal part. Mr. Wiley has set Mr. Obama against — really embedded him in — a bower of what looks like ground cover. From the greenery sprout flowers that have symbolic meaning for the sitter. African blue lilies represent Kenya, his father’s birthplace; jasmine stands for Hawaii, where Mr. Obama himself was born; chrysanthemums, the official flower of Chicago, reference the city where his political career began, and where he met his wife."

    Huuh - -propaganda, the personal, the political, the levels - the personal level being political etc. etc. - Cotter is out of his head, out of his body almost. He touches our sepreaty reality of sorts, hehe!

    By and blarge Cotter is quite right: The world is complex, and who - if not an art critic - should decompleximise (or how'd I have to put that?) - - it all (=the world/ our existence/ American history ...World History...?)

    - As long as there are readers... (and believers), he will carry on.

    decompleximise

    Simplify is the word you are seeking (unless I misunderstand your intent). Other possibilities include explain, explicate, and analyse.

    (Yet now I have written these words it occurs to me I’m missing a joke you are making in the vein of Oswald Bates….)

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    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    If - - if, Wilhelm Raabe, one of the few truely great German Novelists ("The Hunger Vicar") - - if you do have the choice Raabe says, it's wiser to laugh than to cry.

    So - right - I was joking (& thanks for noticing)!
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  62. It’s not a big deal, guys. Obama got a mediocre, trendy artist to do his not-very-important presidential portrait. What’s also mediocre and trendy? Alt-right types mocking modern art. Suddenly commentators who couldn’t tell you the difference between, say, superflat and pop art will talk your ear off about how nasty modern art is, and how all those white guys who painted pretty pictures (prior to 1900 of course) made real art. Stick to your strengths people.

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    • Replies: @anon
    Suddenly commentators who couldn’t tell you the difference between, say, superflat and pop art will talk your ear off about how nasty modern art is, and how all those white guys who painted pretty pictures (prior to 1900 of course) made real art.

    What if I didn't talk your ear off, but just pointed out that, if a white guy had done this exact painting for Trump, then all the people who are currently gushing over this painting would be laughing and pointing out how terrible the Trump painting is?

    Would that be enough to get you to admit that modern art really is largely a scam?

    , @guest
    Neat trick, making it so that the only people qualified to criticize modern art are by and large the people who have already swallowed it. Except for a spare few you'd find another reason to discount. Wrong color bowtie, or whatever.

    There's a reason most people don't know much about modern art: it sucks, and furthermore it's a scam. Part of the scam is that only initiates"get it." Some spend a lifetime expecting to get it, and never do. Most don't bother. A few laugh their way to the bank.

    I don't know the difference between Crap A and Crap B, but if they're both crap, and I can assume they are, it might not be worth knowing. Just a matter of fashion.

    , @guest
    "all those white guys"

    They were white, mostly. Is that supposed to get a bad thing? These "white" drops are getting strange. You know there are an awful lot of white artists in modernism, right?

    "who painted pretty pictures"

    They were pretty. Something wrong with that?

    "prior to 1900 of course"

    Why "of course?" What is the significance of that? Modernism is a thing that happened, it ruined traditional painting, nearly, and it happened around 1900. "Of course."
    , @guest
    Not a big deal, not very important, but it is the first time a presidential portrait has been degraded in such a manner.

    It's also getting lotsa publicity, or rather being rubbed in our faces. With very little mainstream criticism, except from sources you'd normally expect to criticize Obama. And way too much Emperor's New Clothes-type rationalization.

    It's bad enough that all the various post-1900 (your date) fashions have taken over the art world, academia, and various other haunts. (Popular in the corporate world, for some suspicious reason.)

    If they'd keep it out of the public (after more than a century of indocronation, still not buying it is anything but ugly) eye, I probably wouldn't waste a second on it.

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  63. @Jim Don Bob
    Joe, Heartiste has the answer: https://heartiste.wordpress.com/2018/02/13/did-kehinde-wiley-slip-a-sperm-into-obamas-portrait/

    I don’t know where that guy got that version of the picture but it’s not the real one – look at Obama’s hair.

    That being said, here IS the real one and you can still see it, although maybe it’s just a vein (click on picture to enlarge):

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    • Replies: @Samuel Skinner
    They are the same picture.
    , @International Jew
    Yeah, it's just a vein. Sometimes a vein is just a vein.

    The other pictures on that page are pretty funny though.
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  64. As a teen with no connection to the art world, I didn’t know contemporary artists didn’t make their own work until I read an article in the new yorker about an artist I believe was Italian describing his wax sculpture of JFK in a coffin titled, “The American Dream.” I was pretty flabbergasted that one could be a famous sculptor without bothering to sculpt–that his contribution was, uhh, the “concept” which was really just a somewhat clever title (“oh, I get it” seems to sum up what anyone age 12 and up would think).

    My absolute favorite might be an African artist who uses what’s legitimately child slave labor–and he doesn’t even come up with a concept, since his stuff is abstract.

    “In his own art, Anatsui uses hundreds of thousands of discarded whiskey, gin and rum bottle screw-tops that he finds, too easily, in mounds of detritus near his village.”

    Let me stop you right there, NPR. El most certainly does not find hundreds of thousands of bottle caps; his assistants who construct the giant drapes don’t find hundreds of thousands of bottle caps. Village children are made to bring him bottle caps. Then his at least partially voluntary workers/students start making and building while he directs, kind of. Later, El will fly to Italy or New York and bask in his glory–it really does take a village!

    edit: giant bottle cap tapestries are kind of sweet

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  65. @JimB
    From commissioning childish daubings for the National Portrait Gallery to defacing a Frederick Law Olmsted designed park for his Giant Toenail with Putt-putt golf course presidential library, you can’t help wondering if Obama’s only goal in life is the piss off and humiliate white people.

    It’s not his goal. His goal is himself, and he doesn’t really care about anything beyond thinking about himself, golfing, and partying. That he has to destroy a beautiful park to get what he wants is fine by him so long as he gets his little library.

    Will Hillary’s emails be part of the library?

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    • Agree: Kylie
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  66. @Dave from Oz
    This is an unconvincing quibble. Look at the guy's other paintings - he makes use of floral motifs (repeating patterns). It's part of his style, it's meant to be that way, it's meant to give a formal effect, it's not a big deal, it's not supposed to be photorealistic for chrissakes.

    There's even a couple more in that shrubbery that are not highlighted.

    The sperm, however, is totally a thing.

    It’s part of his style, it’s meant to be that way, it’s meant to give a formal effect, it’s not a big deal, it’s not supposed to be photorealistic for chrissakes.

    I know you lot circle the drain widdershins. But get a grip here.

    If it’s “not supposed to be photorealistic,” then why such pains taken to produce veins in the forehead of the depicted subject, or creases in the pants, or pores on the face, or marquetry inlay in the chair?

    Using the Photoshop clone tool to create wallpaper isn’t “meant to give a formal effect.”

    It’s the shortest distance between filling in the background of a produced image using slave labor and producing something the assembled Arterati can crow about.

    The “Art World” is as corrupt as the Ed Biz and MSM at this point…and has been since the opioid-pushing Sacklers took over the Met and Smithsonian.

    It’s about influence, provenance, nepotism, and access–plus literally taking a dump on every white tradition, skill, craft, memory, and thing of value.

    It’s possible to be “non-photorealistic” without so blatantly applying the clone stamp. Which makes me wonder whether there aren’t some deplorable wits in Chinese Art Labor Camp #6.

    What it is is a troll. A great big black FY to any of us who still harbor “traditionalist” (skilled) views of art and craft.

    Or politics and presidency.

    But you’re right, the sperm is a thing.

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  67. @Jack D
    I don't know where that guy got that version of the picture but it's not the real one - look at Obama's hair.

    That being said, here IS the real one and you can still see it, although maybe it's just a vein (click on picture to enlarge):

    https://cdn1.ijr.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/obama-4-e1518475391348.jpg

    They are the same picture.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    Look at the hair on the top of Obama's head against the leaf background. Obviously it is the same painting but the one on Heartiste has been manipulated because the hair is not like that in the real picture. I assume it has been manipulated to make the "sperm" / vein stand out more also. That's the problem - once someone manipulates an image (and doesn't state that they have and give the details) then you can no longer trust what you are seeing.
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  68. @Holden McGroin III
    The background does draw attention away from the shimmy perspective, weird anatomy, and that it doesn’t look much like Barack Obama.

    It looks like gray Davis.

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  69. @Big Bill
    Read more about the Warhol foundation and its now-decades-long disputes. They control the rights to Warhol's name and verifying the provenance (and $$$) for his various scribbles.

    Thus a screen print can be a genuine Warhol ($$$) if Andy told some screenprinter guy to "print another copy for yourself", and NOT a genuine Warhol if the guy printed TWO copies.

    Or if Andy ordered 10 prints, got back a stack of 12 and never got around to actually looking at all of them, then several might be deemed official counterfeits.

    What is original or authentic in art is a really fascinating question (and the answer often has more to do with economics or art world politics than anything factual) with very high stakes attached to it – a “real” artwork could be worth millions and one that is “not real” is just a worthless piece of paper, even though it is (except perhaps to experts) physically identical to the “real” one. These questions become even more thorny when you are talking about an artist like Warhol who called his studio “the Factory” and used mass production techniques like silk screening.

    Value in the art world depends in large part on scarcity – if millions of copies of some object exist then that piece of art can never be valuable no matter how great it is. If you watch Antiques Roadshow, sometimes people will bring in an old 78 rpm record of Caruso singing and think that they have discovered some rare treasure, but Caruso recordings sold by the millions so even in 1,000 years they won’t be rare or valuable. So in order to preserve the value of the existing artworks it is essential that their supply be limited in some way, such as by disqualifying as many of them as possible by creating a high and artificial bar for what is a “real” Warhol.

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    • Replies: @choosy

    So in order to preserve the value of the existing artworks it is essential that their supply be limited in some way, such as by disqualifying as many of them as possible by creating a high and artificial bar for what is a “real” Warhol.
     
    Warhol was a social satirist, motivated by his religion of nihilism. He was a capable graphic designer, and not much of a painter in the classic sense. His "works of art" were to fuel his satirical aims, and he would have been the first one to tell you. Part of his show was telling his marks that they were marks.
    If you don't take that as a given, you're a part of his "art," featuring the dynamic spotlighting of the pointless and desperate exercise of acquisition by the lowbrow elite.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNI07egoefc
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  70. It actually becomes less thorny with a guy like Warhol, Mr. art is what you can get away with. Because he’s upfront about it not being unique or inherently valuable (though he wouldn’t turn down fame and fortune). And I don’t mean aesthetically, in the modernist tradition of wallowing in mass production (usually the idea of it, but in this case the real thing), repetition, and boringness.

    I mean he was upfront about being a con-man. Though I suppose it’s a philosophical puzzle as to whether it’s actually a con in that case.

    Why we don’t take him at his word instead of pretending each piece is a one-of-a-kind work hand-crafted by a master is beyond me. Aside from the fact that it makes people money.

    No sane person should pay a cent more for a “real” Warhol copy, unless the plan is to trade it off to the sucker next in line.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Warhol had a big crush on Trump for being "very butch," so Andy painted Donald 8 pictures to hang in the Trump Tower lobby on spec. But Trump rejected them for not matching the lobby's color scheme, which hurt Andy's feelings.

    True story.

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  71. @Jack D
    I don't know where that guy got that version of the picture but it's not the real one - look at Obama's hair.

    That being said, here IS the real one and you can still see it, although maybe it's just a vein (click on picture to enlarge):

    https://cdn1.ijr.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/obama-4-e1518475391348.jpg

    Yeah, it’s just a vein. Sometimes a vein is just a vein.

    The other pictures on that page are pretty funny though.

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    • Replies: @Anonym
    Yeah, it’s just a vein. Sometimes a vein is just a vein.

    https://img.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeed-static/static/2018-02/13/16/asset/buzzfeed-prod-fastlane-02/sub-buzz-13118-1518558722-22.jpg

    The real Obama does have such a vein but the portrait certainly makes it as spermlike as possible.

    , @Jack Highlands
    No, it's definitely a vein altered to look like a sperm. Here is a close-up of the face and shoulders from CNN, hardly a source liable to promoting spermgate.

    Click on the image to enlarge.

    https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180212175933-obama-portrait-hero-super-tease.jpg

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  72. @Jack D
    What is original or authentic in art is a really fascinating question (and the answer often has more to do with economics or art world politics than anything factual) with very high stakes attached to it - a "real" artwork could be worth millions and one that is "not real" is just a worthless piece of paper, even though it is (except perhaps to experts) physically identical to the "real" one. These questions become even more thorny when you are talking about an artist like Warhol who called his studio "the Factory" and used mass production techniques like silk screening.

    Value in the art world depends in large part on scarcity - if millions of copies of some object exist then that piece of art can never be valuable no matter how great it is. If you watch Antiques Roadshow, sometimes people will bring in an old 78 rpm record of Caruso singing and think that they have discovered some rare treasure, but Caruso recordings sold by the millions so even in 1,000 years they won't be rare or valuable. So in order to preserve the value of the existing artworks it is essential that their supply be limited in some way, such as by disqualifying as many of them as possible by creating a high and artificial bar for what is a "real" Warhol.

    So in order to preserve the value of the existing artworks it is essential that their supply be limited in some way, such as by disqualifying as many of them as possible by creating a high and artificial bar for what is a “real” Warhol.

    Warhol was a social satirist, motivated by his religion of nihilism. He was a capable graphic designer, and not much of a painter in the classic sense. His “works of art” were to fuel his satirical aims, and he would have been the first one to tell you. Part of his show was telling his marks that they were marks.
    If you don’t take that as a given, you’re a part of his “art,” featuring the dynamic spotlighting of the pointless and desperate exercise of acquisition by the lowbrow elite.

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  73. It looks cheap and ghetto.

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  74. I’m sure this is best viewed from the golden throne that the Guggenheim was so gracious to offer Trump. Now sitting there and viewing this would really give one the right “perspective” to git-r-done.

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  75. @CJ
    We have several Magic Eye books around the house. When I first saw the Obama portrait in Steve’s story yesterday, that was the first thing I thought of. Obama and the chair seem to float above the flat wallpaper background, waiting to leap into crystal 3D clarity ... but no, it wasn’t to be.

    Isn’t Magic Eye done at least partly by Koreans? Somebody should commission a Trump portrait that really is 3D, with lots of gold and white and Lucite-like letters spelling Make America Great Again.

    Thanks for reminding me what the correct term was. I haven’t seen a Magic Eye book for years.

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  76. @International Jew
    Yeah, it's just a vein. Sometimes a vein is just a vein.

    The other pictures on that page are pretty funny though.

    Yeah, it’s just a vein. Sometimes a vein is just a vein.

    The real Obama does have such a vein but the portrait certainly makes it as spermlike as possible.

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  77. @Dwright
    I said here yesterday that this was a photoshop work. This ex president gets the artist he deserves.

    “This ex president gets the artist he deserves.”

    Exactly. And not just the artist but the artistry. The busy floral background, the ostentatious throne-like seating, the posture suggestive of an excretory function–it’s hilarious. Hard to believe someone who presumably likes his subject supervised its creation.

    Then again, more so than other races, black people seem to mire themselves in irony and absurdity with complete obliviousness.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    The pose looks more like "manspreading" on the subway.

    The chair is poorly painted but "throne-like" is really over the top. It's just a classically styled chair - ever since Jackie Kennedy the White House is full of that stuff.

    If that's thronelike, what do you make of the chair in the John Quincy Adams Healy portrait:

    https://i2.wp.com/periodicpresidents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/6-jqa-portrait.jpg?ssl=1

    BTW it looks like Adams's feet might not reach the ground - this could be true because he was only 5'7".

    , @Harry Baldwin
    the posture suggestive of an excretory function

    It's what former senator Larry Craig referred to as a "wide stance" after being arrested in the men's room of the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport.
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  78. @Samuel Skinner
    They are the same picture.

    Look at the hair on the top of Obama’s head against the leaf background. Obviously it is the same painting but the one on Heartiste has been manipulated because the hair is not like that in the real picture. I assume it has been manipulated to make the “sperm” / vein stand out more also. That’s the problem – once someone manipulates an image (and doesn’t state that they have and give the details) then you can no longer trust what you are seeing.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    That hair is an Internet meme.
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  79. @JimB
    Amateurish President, amateurish golfer, amateurish portrait.

    “Amateurish President, amateurish golfer, amateurish portrait.”

    But of course. What else would you expect from a professional poseur?

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  80. @Kylie
    "This ex president gets the artist he deserves."

    Exactly. And not just the artist but the artistry. The busy floral background, the ostentatious throne-like seating, the posture suggestive of an excretory function--it's hilarious. Hard to believe someone who presumably likes his subject supervised its creation.

    Then again, more so than other races, black people seem to mire themselves in irony and absurdity with complete obliviousness.

    The pose looks more like “manspreading” on the subway.

    The chair is poorly painted but “throne-like” is really over the top. It’s just a classically styled chair – ever since Jackie Kennedy the White House is full of that stuff.

    If that’s thronelike, what do you make of the chair in the John Quincy Adams Healy portrait:

    BTW it looks like Adams’s feet might not reach the ground – this could be true because he was only 5’7″.

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    • Replies: @Kylie
    Sorry I wasn't clearer. I meant "throne-like" as in what the artist and sitter likely think of it.

    In the Healey portrait, John Quincy Adams has the appropriate gravitas for sitting in a formal chair. He lacks height but has stature. Obama is the opposite. He has pride and arrogance but no dignity. I'm surprised the artist resisted the urge to paint him with a crown on his head. Just typical Big Man posturing.
    , @Harry Baldwin
    The pose looks more like “manspreading” on the subway

    I did a Google image search of Obama sitting to see if there was a photographic source for this painting. I didn't find one, but I did notice that in nearly every photo, Obama either had his legs crossed or they were spread wide just like in the portrait. Example here:
    https://kugelmass.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/whether-the-governor-of-a-besieged-place-should-go-out-to-parley-the-montaigne-project/
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  81. @Sam Haysom
    So lighten this up a bit and this could be a portrait of Gray Davis. I'm not saying it doesn't resemble Obama but there is no way the face was overpainted.


    The ultimate troll would have been to paint Obama in such a way as to make him more resemble one of his putative "real fathers" like Frank Marshall Davis.

    So lighten this up a bit and this could be a portrait of Gray Davis.

    Or Fred Armisen.

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  82. @Jack D
    The pose looks more like "manspreading" on the subway.

    The chair is poorly painted but "throne-like" is really over the top. It's just a classically styled chair - ever since Jackie Kennedy the White House is full of that stuff.

    If that's thronelike, what do you make of the chair in the John Quincy Adams Healy portrait:

    https://i2.wp.com/periodicpresidents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/6-jqa-portrait.jpg?ssl=1

    BTW it looks like Adams's feet might not reach the ground - this could be true because he was only 5'7".

    Sorry I wasn’t clearer. I meant “throne-like” as in what the artist and sitter likely think of it.

    In the Healey portrait, John Quincy Adams has the appropriate gravitas for sitting in a formal chair. He lacks height but has stature. Obama is the opposite. He has pride and arrogance but no dignity. I’m surprised the artist resisted the urge to paint him with a crown on his head. Just typical Big Man posturing.

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  83. @anonymouslee
    I once saw Jeff Koons peevishly explain that it was fake news he didn't have technical skills just because he didn't physically make his work. He said he had, after all, "won drawing prizes in art school and things like that" so he could draw and paint just fine if he chose to. He looked bemused, as if he wanted to say, "don't you get the joke? I couldn't be a serious artist today if I hand crafted my work like some lady selling pottery mugs at the farmers market."

    These questions are more nuanced and difficult than they may at first seem. Consider music. (I will, anyway, because I am a musician, and more qualified to do so than to consider painting in similar detail, but I reckon my analysis follows in painting too….)

    Mozart composed a symphony. It is performed by an orchestra he’s never even met. All he did was write a recipe; instructions on a paper (the essence of musical notation). Does Mozart deserve credit? Would it matter if he composed equally ingenius works because of his abstract mastery of musical theory but lacked the requisite manual dexterity and so never played a single musical instrument? The question continues today: Are the Pet Shop Boys and Trevor Rabin talented or not? Are Rabin’s work with a guitar he himself plays or Neil Tennant’s actual vocals somehow more legitimate than the orchestration each composes? Why do cover bands made up of technical virtuosos who perform incredibly difficult works by the likes of Genesis and Yes get no respect while Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell are lauded for performing the work of Chopin or Wagner?

    What about Eddie Van Halen, who represents the reverse?: He’s no idea how to read or write music, but he sure can produce it (both original pieces and reproductions) – and how shall we address creation versus execution?: An obscure Chinaman exactly reproducing the work of Monet must inarguably be a very talented painter vis-a-vis his technique just as a virtuoso pianist who’s never composed a note in his life but can perform a difficult concerto is nevertheless undeniably talented….

    Some of these distinctions about mere provenance are arguably as silly regarding Monet’s paintings as Warhol’s prints for the reasons mentioned supra. If I listen to my copy of Physical Graffiti but never get to attend a concert by Led Zeppelin (as indeed I have not), have I no idea what their music really is? Have I not experienced the “real” or “true” works?

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Auto, In my opinion the classical composters had the greatest gift. While I can visualize a painting and do a rough sketch, the great composers heard their masterpieces in their heads, with the orchestration.
    , @Anon87
    What about conductors? They don't write the music, they don't play any instruments, they just stand there and wave their arms around like a human metronome. Why should I care or be impressed?
    , @anonymouslee
    Well, my own guess is that Koons doesn't take himself seriously.

    Or, rather, I think he takes his *career* deadly serious and in that arena he was driven and he succeeded. I doubt he thinks his work is some kind of natural successor to Michelangelo or that serious people in the future (assuming there are any) will be awed by his aesthetic/moral/intellectual/spiritual achievements in the arts. But, here in the present, he has ruthlessly dominated the art "scene" and successfully courted and cultivated billionaire patrons. That is its own achievement and no doubt he tells himself that and how his art therefore really is a clever commentary on the society in which he lived... http://www.dw.com/image/18495065_303.jpg

    It's extremely obvious that none of these people will survive just because billionaire collectors (who are already old) control the museums and galleries. People have to listen to Eli Broad right now. They wont when he's been dead for 250 years, no matter how many things he funds in perpetuity.
    , @guest
    Mozart was a virtuosic instrumentalist. He couldn't play a symphony by himself, but he could play one of his sonatas.

    Interestingly, basically all the composers we remember up to Berlioz were accomplished music players as well as music writers. Some had reputations of being among the greatest virtuosos ever, including Paganini.

    That let up, as I said, around Berlioz. We never looked back after Wagner. Though of course there were still great virtuoso-composers, such as Rachmaninoff. I can't say for sure why that is, except that Berlioz band Wagner were at least virtuosic conductors.

    Liibraries of books have been written on the subject you're discussing here. Music and drama are unique among the fine arts, in that they must be performed to be fulfilled. They don't exist as objects the way the plastic arts and non-dramatic literature do. Though of course the score is an object, and now thanks to recording technology performances can be themselves objects.

    There's a reason we generally value art objects over performance art. Because the former is more durable and certain. Recorded as well as live performances are more ephemeral and of less certain value. At least that's the way people think.

    Music and drama don't exist on the page like a poem. Music moreso than plays. Even if you are adept at reading scores, by themselves they're not exactly the "real thing." They're too abstract.

    Then again, they are the real thing. They must be. In classical music especially, though no two performances are exactly the same, they're written to be played precisely, with clear instructions. These have been followed with varying degrees of fidelity at different times, but generally speaking it's not like jazz where the art is primarily in the performance.

    As to why composers in later years were less likely to be performers, I could lay that off on orchestral complexity, much like the complexity of studio recording in rock music. There's something else, though.

    Classical music remained a popular art form throughout the romantic and late romantic period, but it lost its, I dunno, sense of community between music players and writers. That part of the culture faded as everyone became a Beethoven. That is, a detached genius who withdraws into his genius to genius some genius.

    That's not fair, really, and ignorant as well. Stereotypical romantic individualism is only part of it.
    , @guest
    You know what I don't get about Eddie Van Halen? Along with his brother, he was supposed to have been a classically-trained pianist, as demanded by his Tiger Mommy. But he couldn't read a note? How did that work?

    I mean, he had recitals; he won contests. How do you do that without the teacher being in on it? He could play by ear, but that requires someone playing it in front of you. Was his teacher's method to play a section, let Li'l Eddie follow along, and repeat? Or was it like, "Here's some sheet music and tapes. Come back when you can play it."

    Eddie is an accomplished songwriter, with many a hit. But he's known for his playing, because that's where he doesn't merely excel but is one of the greats.

    You can see the difference in public esteem for composition over performance right there. Though Eddie is one of the three most influential and revered rock guitarists, behind Hendrix and Clapton, he's nowhere near the esteem of Lennon, McCartney, or Dylan.

    Of course, heavy metal/hard rock has relatively limited appeal. If Eddie had never let David Lee Roth into his group (despite his voice), he might have ended up as some kind of prog-rocker, with even less esteem. (Real big fame is about the chicks. Chicks wanna dance and swoon.)

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  84. Granted, there’s a sliver of plausible deniability and granted the usual suspects and cucks are motivated to deny, but the fact remains: the last president to serve just unveiled his official portrait and any reasonable human reviewing the artist’s personal history of aggressive homosexuality, artistic history of configuring sperm into his paintings, and the convenient shape of that vein on Obama’s left forehead, would have to conclude that Kehinde’s slipped one in again.

    That is completely degenerate by any previous standards of the highest office, yet few seem interested. I guess it’s just Lazy O again: once you’re affirmed into a Nobel, what’s a little sperm on the face?

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    • Replies: @GW
    +1. The degenerate artist put a sperm cell in as is his m.o. What a sick f****t.
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  85. @Jack D
    Look at the hair on the top of Obama's head against the leaf background. Obviously it is the same painting but the one on Heartiste has been manipulated because the hair is not like that in the real picture. I assume it has been manipulated to make the "sperm" / vein stand out more also. That's the problem - once someone manipulates an image (and doesn't state that they have and give the details) then you can no longer trust what you are seeing.

    That hair is an Internet meme.

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  86. Is that the wallpaper in the First Outhouse? Is it available at Bed Bath and Beyonce?

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  87. anon • Disclaimer says:

    OT: Ashley Feinberg reports on how the rest of the NYT editorial staff thinks Bari Weiss is just too much diversity for their paper:

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-york-times-diversity-bari-weiss-tweet_us_5a833d4ee4b0cf06751f3f44?jar

    If you don’t want to read it, it’s basically a bunch of childless, unmarried women getting offended and kvetching over the burning issue of our time, whether some Asian woman at the Olympics is an immigrant, or whether her parents are immigrants.

    Final paragraph:

    The Times is deeply committed to a workplace that is reflective of the audience we serve. We view diversity – of gender, ethnicity, origin, thought and opinion, as critical to our work. And, we want The Times to be a safe and comfortable place to work for all. For that reason, we’ve prioritized training programs and forums to facilitate a constructive conversation around this very important issue.

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  88. @Kylie
    "This ex president gets the artist he deserves."

    Exactly. And not just the artist but the artistry. The busy floral background, the ostentatious throne-like seating, the posture suggestive of an excretory function--it's hilarious. Hard to believe someone who presumably likes his subject supervised its creation.

    Then again, more so than other races, black people seem to mire themselves in irony and absurdity with complete obliviousness.

    the posture suggestive of an excretory function

    It’s what former senator Larry Craig referred to as a “wide stance” after being arrested in the men’s room of the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport.

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    • Replies: @Kylie
    Lol! I'd forgotten that toe-tapping senator.
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  89. @Jack D
    The pose looks more like "manspreading" on the subway.

    The chair is poorly painted but "throne-like" is really over the top. It's just a classically styled chair - ever since Jackie Kennedy the White House is full of that stuff.

    If that's thronelike, what do you make of the chair in the John Quincy Adams Healy portrait:

    https://i2.wp.com/periodicpresidents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/6-jqa-portrait.jpg?ssl=1

    BTW it looks like Adams's feet might not reach the ground - this could be true because he was only 5'7".

    The pose looks more like “manspreading” on the subway

    I did a Google image search of Obama sitting to see if there was a photographic source for this painting. I didn’t find one, but I did notice that in nearly every photo, Obama either had his legs crossed or they were spread wide just like in the portrait. Example here:

    https://kugelmass.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/whether-the-governor-of-a-besieged-place-should-go-out-to-parley-the-montaigne-project/

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    • Replies: @J.Ross
    Deep discomfort with oneself, and/or fear of the undepicted person he is with. Also the hand-interclasping while leaning forward is wierd. But then, has Obama ever looked or sounded comfortable?
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  90. @Hubbub
    Does this Obama portrait mean that when we get our Hispanic president, his/her portrait will be one on shiny black velvet, ala Jesus and Elvis?

    Does this Obama portrait mean that when we get our Hispanic president, his/her portrait will be one on shiny black velvet, ala Jesus and Elvis?

    Or airbrushed on the back of an El Camino?

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    • Replies: @Negrolphin Pool
    The official President Luis Gutierrez boxcar graffiti mural.
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  91. @guest
    It actually becomes less thorny with a guy like Warhol, Mr. art is what you can get away with. Because he's upfront about it not being unique or inherently valuable (though he wouldn't turn down fame and fortune). And I don't mean aesthetically, in the modernist tradition of wallowing in mass production (usually the idea of it, but in this case the real thing), repetition, and boringness.

    I mean he was upfront about being a con-man. Though I suppose it's a philosophical puzzle as to whether it's actually a con in that case.

    Why we don't take him at his word instead of pretending each piece is a one-of-a-kind work hand-crafted by a master is beyond me. Aside from the fact that it makes people money.

    No sane person should pay a cent more for a "real" Warhol copy, unless the plan is to trade it off to the sucker next in line.

    Warhol had a big crush on Trump for being “very butch,” so Andy painted Donald 8 pictures to hang in the Trump Tower lobby on spec. But Trump rejected them for not matching the lobby’s color scheme, which hurt Andy’s feelings.

    True story.

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  92. @Obsessive Contrarian
    http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/raphael-cartoons-what-is-a-cartoon/

    In and of itself, laying down a template to paint over is not cheating. It has been done since at least the Renaissance. Rubens' paintings were mostly done by nameless assistants. The list could go on.

    The difference is that we know from his drawings and his oil sketches that Rubens was a master draftsman and a great, great artist. The Renaissance artists were masters. The technical assistance was necessary because of the medium that they were working in and the complexity of the designs.

    Wiley is basically a thug with good public relations. I would love to see drawings that he has done without technical assistance. Reading the commentary on his art, and the full-on propaganda hurricane for Black Panther, it looks as if we have all gone full-on retard. No, that's an insult to people who are mentally challenged. I can't find the words to describe what's happening. It's worse than Stalinism.

    “Rubens’ paintings were mostly done by nameless assistants.”

    At least one of whom went on to become an Old Master himself, Van Dyke.

    The usual assumption was that the Old Master would do the face and hands, while his assistants would do the background and draperies. Maybe for a king, the Great Man would paint the entire portrait.

    On the other hand, it could well be that Wiley felt he must paint the entire portrait of Obama himself (his agent claims he did it all himself), which is why it’s so incompetent.

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  93. OT — I’m sure NPR is going to get right on reporting this, any minute now.

    “we have no evidence – old or new – that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers” — the Department of Homeland Security.

    https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/02/12/dhs-statement-nbc-news-coverage-election-hacking

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Speaking of a**holes, NPR was banging on just now about DJT and his people abusing federal travel. Funny that they never seemed to care that the Obamas vacations cost us $96+ million. Must be racism. Or something.

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/obamas-travel-cost-taxpayers-96-million/
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  94. @Harry Baldwin
    The pose looks more like “manspreading” on the subway

    I did a Google image search of Obama sitting to see if there was a photographic source for this painting. I didn't find one, but I did notice that in nearly every photo, Obama either had his legs crossed or they were spread wide just like in the portrait. Example here:
    https://kugelmass.wordpress.com/2016/12/12/whether-the-governor-of-a-besieged-place-should-go-out-to-parley-the-montaigne-project/

    Deep discomfort with oneself, and/or fear of the undepicted person he is with. Also the hand-interclasping while leaning forward is wierd. But then, has Obama ever looked or sounded comfortable?

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  95. Did you let yourself be hypnotized by the pendulum while flat on your back on the pound note carpet?

    Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall turns into a giant adult playground

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-41471911

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  96. Since this morning, I continue to be able to get to unz.com/isteve but I get ‘Error establishing a database connection’ when trying just unz.com. Not sure how to report this so here I am.

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  97. This is more on the subject of Wiley’s “Kill Becky” paintings, but the black hatred of white women on the online black press is now constant and hysterical.

    I won’t say her name but an unfortunate white woman principal in the Bronx is now the subject of a genuine witch hunt, all instigated by black women, the Daily News, and such sites as The Root. The comments on The Root are blood-curdling.

    Wiley’s “Kill Becky” strikes a real nerve among blacks.

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  98. @dearieme
    At least he didn't use photoshop for that sixth finger.

    Satanic message?

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  99. @Obsessive Contrarian
    http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/raphael-cartoons-what-is-a-cartoon/

    In and of itself, laying down a template to paint over is not cheating. It has been done since at least the Renaissance. Rubens' paintings were mostly done by nameless assistants. The list could go on.

    The difference is that we know from his drawings and his oil sketches that Rubens was a master draftsman and a great, great artist. The Renaissance artists were masters. The technical assistance was necessary because of the medium that they were working in and the complexity of the designs.

    Wiley is basically a thug with good public relations. I would love to see drawings that he has done without technical assistance. Reading the commentary on his art, and the full-on propaganda hurricane for Black Panther, it looks as if we have all gone full-on retard. No, that's an insult to people who are mentally challenged. I can't find the words to describe what's happening. It's worse than Stalinism.

    Never go full retard.

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    • Replies: @Obsessive Contrarian
    Great movie.
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  100. @chaddy
    First, the irony of Obama getting hosed by his own dogma is very very satisfying. Affirmative action hires are no substitute for technical or artistic expertise. Both of the hired "artists" were in over their heads, and many, many people prop them up as if they weren't.

    The artistic choices of the artist who tried to draw Michelle is bogus, since she couldn't draw a realistic painting to begin with. Picasso could draw a realistic painting. It was after he'd mastered the fundamentals that he went into abstract paintings. That is why he is legit. To try to apply a lack of technical expertise in your field as art is bogus. She painted a juvenile level picture of Michelle because she had no other choice. It lacks proper perspective, it lacks dynamic range. It is low-brow graffiti.

    Barack's picture, though it exhibits more technical expertise by the artist(s), is third-world tacky. Better suited to the Vice Admiral of the Great Navy of Kazakhstan, than the President of the United States. The fact that these pictures are for posterity makes me very very happy.

    I've always maintained that Obama was racially confused, and his decisions would reflect his inner turmoil, so the painting is unintentionally perfect for him:

    A random, sad chaotic mix, signifying nothing.

    A big mistake with unqualified confidence.

    This is him–and for 8 years, it was us.

    Chaddy, The Albright-Know Art Gallery in Buffalo has several Picasso’s in their collection, so I am familiar with his abstract style. However, after a friend pointed out that they had seen examples of Picasso’s realistic side while in Spain, I did some research online. Truly Picasso could paint and do portraits, but he felt abstraction expressed his feeling and who am I to argue with the greatest abstract painter of our time.

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    • Replies: @guest
    "who am I to argue with the greatest abstract painter of our time"

    You are presumably a person with eyes to see, that's who.

    The painter with the best publicity of our time is more like it. But assuming he's also the greatest, that's a World's Tallest Midget thing.
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  101. @J.Ross
    OT -- I'm sure NPR is going to get right on reporting this, any minute now.

    "we have no evidence – old or new - that any votes in the 2016 elections were manipulated by Russian hackers" -- the Department of Homeland Security.
    https://www.dhs.gov/news/2018/02/12/dhs-statement-nbc-news-coverage-election-hacking

    Speaking of a**holes, NPR was banging on just now about DJT and his people abusing federal travel. Funny that they never seemed to care that the Obamas vacations cost us $96+ million. Must be racism. Or something.

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/obamas-travel-cost-taxpayers-96-million/

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    JDB, no they want Trump to spend his own money on travel, you know like the very rich John Kerry would have.
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  102. @Captain Tripps
    OT:

    Shaun White (aka super-duper white guy) wins 3rd gold medal. Cue the outcries of #WinterOlympicsSoWhite

    I don't follow twitter, but I'm sure there's a whole movement to downplay/CritRacTheorize his accomplishment because White Privilege or White Supremacy or something.

    http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/sports/2018/02/13/shaun-white-wins-us-its-100th-winter-olympics-gold-medal/_jcr_content/article-text/article-par-2/inline_spotlight_ima/image.img.jpg/612/344/1518580094170.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Captain, Please note that athletes, such as Shaun and Chloe Kim, compete and excel in events that risk life and limb. I would think that most of the negative comments come from losers that couldn’t stay on their feet for 100 yards in the moguls or clear the first gate on a slalom course.

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    • Replies: @Bill
    Hey, stop talking about me!
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  103. @TTSSYF
    The way the art critics in the NYT and elsewhere are exclaiming about these two portraits reminds me of one of the side stories in "Atlas Shrugged". If I'm remembering it correctly, the "elites" would fawn over and write glowing newspaper articles about obvious mediocrities.

    TTSSYF, True story that I think I posted on Steve’s before. Years ago we were erecting a large steel construction in downtown Buffalo at the then Marine Midland Tower. The artist hovered nearby as we assembled the piece using a sizeable crane. Our apprentice engaged the artist in conversation. “Did you make this?” he asked. “Yes, I am the artist,” the artist replied. “Did they pay you to make this?” the apprentice inquired. “Yes,” said the visibly angry artist. “They gave me a large commission.” The apprentice though for a bit and said, “I don’t think much of your art, but you are one fucking great salesman.”

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Was it this?

    http://www.blueofthesky.com/publicart/works/redcube.htm
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  104. @Tiny Duck
    You guys don't understand art


    In fact most white males just don't get it

    No wonder white girls prefer Black Men!

    TD, nice to have the real you back. I always liked your family’s work in films, you know, Daffy and Donald.

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  105. @Autochthon
    These questions are more nuanced and difficult than they may at first seem. Consider music. (I will, anyway, because I am a musician, and more qualified to do so than to consider painting in similar detail, but I reckon my analysis follows in painting too....)

    Mozart composed a symphony. It is performed by an orchestra he's never even met. All he did was write a recipe; instructions on a paper (the essence of musical notation). Does Mozart deserve credit? Would it matter if he composed equally ingenius works because of his abstract mastery of musical theory but lacked the requisite manual dexterity and so never played a single musical instrument? The question continues today: Are the Pet Shop Boys and Trevor Rabin talented or not? Are Rabin's work with a guitar he himself plays or Neil Tennant's actual vocals somehow more legitimate than the orchestration each composes? Why do cover bands made up of technical virtuosos who perform incredibly difficult works by the likes of Genesis and Yes get no respect while Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell are lauded for performing the work of Chopin or Wagner?

    What about Eddie Van Halen, who represents the reverse?: He's no idea how to read or write music, but he sure can produce it (both original pieces and reproductions) – and how shall we address creation versus execution?: An obscure Chinaman exactly reproducing the work of Monet must inarguably be a very talented painter vis-a-vis his technique just as a virtuoso pianist who's never composed a note in his life but can perform a difficult concerto is nevertheless undeniably talented....

    Some of these distinctions about mere provenance are arguably as silly regarding Monet's paintings as Warhol's prints for the reasons mentioned supra. If I listen to my copy of Physical Graffiti but never get to attend a concert by Led Zeppelin (as indeed I have not), have I no idea what their music really is? Have I not experienced the "real" or "true" works?

    Auto, In my opinion the classical composters had the greatest gift. While I can visualize a painting and do a rough sketch, the great composers heard their masterpieces in their heads, with the orchestration.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob

    the great composers heard their masterpieces in their heads, with the orchestration.
     
    Yeah, that's the part that blows me away when I listen to classical music. It is one thing, and not a small one, to compose a good song whether it is White Christmas or Layla or whatever, and it is quite another thing altogether to compose/hear all the parts of a symphony in your mind and then write it down.
    , @guest
    It can boggle the mind to contemplate the giant gaps in ability between humans. Especially in our egalitarian age.

    For instance, I learned from David Stove that one of the Bernoullis proposed two mathematical problems to the world that he found vexing, allowing all comers 6 months to solve them. Leibniz, no intellectual slouch, requested a year to solve just one of them.

    Newton solved them both in one day. And I don't think he just got lucky.

    At least musically, I have the brain of an ant compared to the great classical composers.
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  106. @TTSSYF
    The way the art critics in the NYT and elsewhere are exclaiming about these two portraits reminds me of one of the side stories in "Atlas Shrugged". If I'm remembering it correctly, the "elites" would fawn over and write glowing newspaper articles about obvious mediocrities.

    To me, this whole thing sounds like a modern version of Christian Andersen’s “Emperor’s New Clothes”. The whole Obama’s liberal court got taken in by a couple of charlatans, yet the go on pretending how much they like the portraits.

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  107. @Jim Don Bob
    Speaking of a**holes, NPR was banging on just now about DJT and his people abusing federal travel. Funny that they never seemed to care that the Obamas vacations cost us $96+ million. Must be racism. Or something.

    http://freebeacon.com/issues/obamas-travel-cost-taxpayers-96-million/

    JDB, no they want Trump to spend his own money on travel, you know like the very rich John Kerry would have.

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  108. @Captain Tripps
    OT:

    Shaun White (aka super-duper white guy) wins 3rd gold medal. Cue the outcries of #WinterOlympicsSoWhite

    I don't follow twitter, but I'm sure there's a whole movement to downplay/CritRacTheorize his accomplishment because White Privilege or White Supremacy or something.

    http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/sports/2018/02/13/shaun-white-wins-us-its-100th-winter-olympics-gold-medal/_jcr_content/article-text/article-par-2/inline_spotlight_ima/image.img.jpg/612/344/1518580094170.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    Meanwhile the other Shani, uh, Shani Black! Yeah Shani Black, he of the sullen rage following the coin toss (which he lost) that determined who should carry America’s Flag in the Opening Ceremonies. Anyway, that Shani came in 19th in the 1500 meter long-track speed skating competition. And this after earlier this year promising that his upcoming performance would silence skeptics.

    At 35 he’s is a bit long of tooth. He had his day. Even if he had the faster qualifying time it would have been appropriate for the selection committee to have chosen a young, promising skater to give him experience. After all, Shani Davis (his real last name) failed to medal in the last Olympics finishing 8th, 24th and 11th–and now of course, he’s four years older. Did any sane person honestly expect his performance to improve against other nation’s 24 year olds?

    The black woman short track speed skater was humiliated in her second race. She’s out. The coach of our short-track team is a black man. At least he skated, but not at the highest level. The NBC announcer is black. The NBC interviewer for ski events is black.

    Why all these black people who underperform or are outsiders?

    Clearly they have been affirmatively actioned into their slots to push diversity at the expense of results.

    Another thumb in the eye for white Americans.

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    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
    Not sure that NBC cares because their audience is women and women love these feel-good stories. We shall see what the ratings are.

    And btw, Shani Black, FOAD loser!

    , @anonymous
    Shani Davis. OK his skating has slipped but has anyone ever topped his Olympian Mr. Bojangles?
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  109. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Fun
    It's not a big deal, guys. Obama got a mediocre, trendy artist to do his not-very-important presidential portrait. What's also mediocre and trendy? Alt-right types mocking modern art. Suddenly commentators who couldn't tell you the difference between, say, superflat and pop art will talk your ear off about how nasty modern art is, and how all those white guys who painted pretty pictures (prior to 1900 of course) made real art. Stick to your strengths people.

    Suddenly commentators who couldn’t tell you the difference between, say, superflat and pop art will talk your ear off about how nasty modern art is, and how all those white guys who painted pretty pictures (prior to 1900 of course) made real art.

    What if I didn’t talk your ear off, but just pointed out that, if a white guy had done this exact painting for Trump, then all the people who are currently gushing over this painting would be laughing and pointing out how terrible the Trump painting is?

    Would that be enough to get you to admit that modern art really is largely a scam?

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    • Replies: @MB
    True, both the artiste and his subject are posers, which is nothing new when it comes to modern art, but it's worse than that.

    If Ronald Grump chose, when his term was up, to have his official portrait done by a guy who previously had his hirelings munchkins paint a picture of a white woman holding the chopped off head of a black woman all sh*t would break loose.
    It would be the racist dogwhistle of the century.

    Black Lies Matter would be riding through the streets of Washington DC and into the halls of Congress wearing black sheets and hoods and Bed Bath and Beyond would be burning all the white inventory and vowing on Fakebook never again to sell traditional colored linens.
    Clinton News Network would be having prayer candle light vigils on air 48/7, while the NewYorkSlime would declare it Black History Year and stop printing lies for a moment out of respect. Or something like that.

    IOW yah can't make this schtick up. All the parties involved don't realize how lame they appear even as they preen for approval.
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  110. @Jack D
    Obama's body also looks like it was painted from a photo. The chair is some kind of fail because he wasn't sitting on that chair when the photo was taken and they tried to hand paint it and messed up the perspective. The chair is too wide and Obama's body where the other arm of the chair should be.

    If you look at Stuart's Lansdowne portrait of Washington, which is not only masterfully painted but also filled with layers and layers of symbolism and then you look at this primitive photoshop job you want to weep for Western civilization.

    Of course, as usual, it is all who-whomism. If this painting was of Trump and was painted by a white guy from flyover country, the critics would be all over its obvious flaws like white on rice, you should pardon the expression.

    Please tell me Obama was sitting on a CHAIR when the photograph of him was taken.

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  111. @Simon Tugmutton
    I went once to the Tate Modern in London. I am prejudiced against much modern art, but I was determined to maintain an open mind about the exhibits. However, when I emerged at the other end I was angry – with the exception of The Little Dancer by Degas, everything I had seen was talentless, meretricious, or simply an imposition on the credulous – or indeed a combination of two or all three of these. That included a whole gallery of Rothko panels, on whose benches sat a typical selection of Hampstead and Hackney pseuds vying with each other to be the most deeply affected by what this wily fellow had foisted on the curators. (In my younger years I worked at a Belgravia art gallery and so have first-hand experience of the charlatans who do very nicely, thank you, out of people with too much money and far too many pretensions.)

    What angered me especially about the Tate Modern was the use of public subsidy at a time when, for example, social care for the elderly and infirm was being cut back: for some of the very people, in other words, whose labours and sacrifices had paid for the whole rotten, smug, preening, politically correct edifice of state-sponsored art.

    Come the revolution, let the mob with their torches and pitchforks, once they have done with the House of Commons, make a quick detour across the Millennium Bridge to Bankside!

    Agree about the over-hyped Rothko, but before you torch the Tate be sure to remove the Sargents and the Francis Bacons (yes, he’s gay but he’s great).

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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Three Cranes, great portrait of John Merrick
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  112. @Sunbeam
    I think this thread is giving the artist too much respect.

    This is what I think he did:

    1) He took some kind of existing actual photo of Obama. He used a lightbox like the comic book artist in this thread is renowned for doing:

    https://comicvine.gamespot.com/forums/gen-discussion-1/greg-land-ripofftracingrecycling-thread-695764/

    2) He made a background in Photoshop or some other program of his choice.

    3) The pose really looks awkward to me. What I think he did is take the Obama photo I referred to, and just inserted into the frame with the background (and the chair).

    4) Then he sent the digital copy to China, because you know, it is supposed to be a painting, and has to be like, you know, painted.

    Couple hours tops except for the magic Chinamen to do their thing.

    If I'm correct, if you look around you'll find an actual photo of Obama that he used.

    And why isn't there more talk about this guys apparent sperm fixation?

    This is modern art. Message, medium, whatever. It's all Who/Whom.

    When Tony Blair was pitching that whole "Cool Brittania" thing, he had one video op, where he was looking at a mural where the big thing was the artist used poo as an additive in his paints.

    Real cool Tony.

    I read an interview about this artist and he lives in China and acknowledges that he uses Chinese painters. He also has an assistant named Ain Cocke (sp), who apparently has a very similar painting style and who takes the photos of young men the artist uses in his works. Note these are young, good looking, masculine men. Located in places like favelas. The artist is gay and rich. But I’m sure there’s nothing untoward.

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  113. @neutral
    If he were some kind of famous explorer known for his travels in dense forests, or if he was famous botanist, I could understand this painting. Since he is neither what are those leaves supposed represent here?

    Is there a Harambe version yet?

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  114. @Autochthon
    These questions are more nuanced and difficult than they may at first seem. Consider music. (I will, anyway, because I am a musician, and more qualified to do so than to consider painting in similar detail, but I reckon my analysis follows in painting too....)

    Mozart composed a symphony. It is performed by an orchestra he's never even met. All he did was write a recipe; instructions on a paper (the essence of musical notation). Does Mozart deserve credit? Would it matter if he composed equally ingenius works because of his abstract mastery of musical theory but lacked the requisite manual dexterity and so never played a single musical instrument? The question continues today: Are the Pet Shop Boys and Trevor Rabin talented or not? Are Rabin's work with a guitar he himself plays or Neil Tennant's actual vocals somehow more legitimate than the orchestration each composes? Why do cover bands made up of technical virtuosos who perform incredibly difficult works by the likes of Genesis and Yes get no respect while Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell are lauded for performing the work of Chopin or Wagner?

    What about Eddie Van Halen, who represents the reverse?: He's no idea how to read or write music, but he sure can produce it (both original pieces and reproductions) – and how shall we address creation versus execution?: An obscure Chinaman exactly reproducing the work of Monet must inarguably be a very talented painter vis-a-vis his technique just as a virtuoso pianist who's never composed a note in his life but can perform a difficult concerto is nevertheless undeniably talented....

    Some of these distinctions about mere provenance are arguably as silly regarding Monet's paintings as Warhol's prints for the reasons mentioned supra. If I listen to my copy of Physical Graffiti but never get to attend a concert by Led Zeppelin (as indeed I have not), have I no idea what their music really is? Have I not experienced the "real" or "true" works?

    What about conductors? They don’t write the music, they don’t play any instruments, they just stand there and wave their arms around like a human metronome. Why should I care or be impressed?

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    • Replies: @guest
    "Why should I care or be impressed?"

    Because most orchestral music beyond a certain point, certainly by the time you get to Wagner, is nigh-impossible to play without a conductor. Back in Mozart's day they'd have a guy keeping time on a harpsichord. That's just not feasible for later music.

    The waving of the arms is not quite so important as the direction and interpretation of the score beforehand, and the drilling.

    Without conductors, the musicians would be like the Patriots without Belichick.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
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  115. @Daniel Williams

    Does this Obama portrait mean that when we get our Hispanic president, his/her portrait will be one on shiny black velvet, ala Jesus and Elvis?
     
    Or airbrushed on the back of an El Camino?

    The official President Luis Gutierrez boxcar graffiti mural.

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  116. @Jim Don Bob
    Never go full retard.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6WHBO_Qc-Q

    Great movie.

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  117. @Simon Tugmutton
    I went once to the Tate Modern in London. I am prejudiced against much modern art, but I was determined to maintain an open mind about the exhibits. However, when I emerged at the other end I was angry – with the exception of The Little Dancer by Degas, everything I had seen was talentless, meretricious, or simply an imposition on the credulous – or indeed a combination of two or all three of these. That included a whole gallery of Rothko panels, on whose benches sat a typical selection of Hampstead and Hackney pseuds vying with each other to be the most deeply affected by what this wily fellow had foisted on the curators. (In my younger years I worked at a Belgravia art gallery and so have first-hand experience of the charlatans who do very nicely, thank you, out of people with too much money and far too many pretensions.)

    What angered me especially about the Tate Modern was the use of public subsidy at a time when, for example, social care for the elderly and infirm was being cut back: for some of the very people, in other words, whose labours and sacrifices had paid for the whole rotten, smug, preening, politically correct edifice of state-sponsored art.

    Come the revolution, let the mob with their torches and pitchforks, once they have done with the House of Commons, make a quick detour across the Millennium Bridge to Bankside!

    Can’t stand modern art. But Rothko’s work moves me unbearably. Saw a painting of his and got all choked up in public, so embarrassing. Some lady volunteer overheard me and asked me about my response. Apparently others also feel that way. I don’t even particular like his paintings (or painting in general). But I find them as moving and spiritual as my favorite music. It’s weird.

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  118. @Harry Baldwin
    the posture suggestive of an excretory function

    It's what former senator Larry Craig referred to as a "wide stance" after being arrested in the men's room of the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport.

    Lol! I’d forgotten that toe-tapping senator.

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  119. @Anonym
    I was thinking maybe there was some 3d eye element to the background, given some repetition. If it doesn't exist yet someone will now make one for the lulz, no doubt with a sexual element.

    Looking at the repeated elements in the leaves, they might have some tiny variation, which would imply, I think, that they were handpainted on top of a Photoshop mocked up image.

    In fabrics, this is called the pattern repeat. So, you are making something and you need to know how many inches of pattern till it repeats to know whether it is appropriate for the project whether a dress or a sofa or curtain, etc.

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  120. @ThreeCranes
    Agree about the over-hyped Rothko, but before you torch the Tate be sure to remove the Sargents and the Francis Bacons (yes, he's gay but he's great).

    http://joja.info/sites/default/files/People/werk/Francis%20Bacon%20-%20Portrait%20of%20Lucian%20Freud%201965.jpg

    Three Cranes, great portrait of John Merrick

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  121. @jimmyriddle
    Since this is his official portrait, it will presumably be the used in the various Barack Obama high schools, government buildings etc.

    That's a rather funny self-inflicted wound.

    This is the portrait that hangs in the main entrance of my old school:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6f/Queen_Regent%2C_Pietro_Annigoni.jpg

    Beautiful! And just do a search for “Queen Elizabeth II portrait” and you’ll see a huge number of them, all in the classical European style.

    My favourite is this one:

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    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe
    Looks like the artist gave her a breast reduction.

    Photo of ER II

    http://www.edelweisspatterns.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/queen-elizabeth-ball-gown.png
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  122. @Buffalo Joe
    Auto, In my opinion the classical composters had the greatest gift. While I can visualize a painting and do a rough sketch, the great composers heard their masterpieces in their heads, with the orchestration.

    the great composers heard their masterpieces in their heads, with the orchestration.

    Yeah, that’s the part that blows me away when I listen to classical music. It is one thing, and not a small one, to compose a good song whether it is White Christmas or Layla or whatever, and it is quite another thing altogether to compose/hear all the parts of a symphony in your mind and then write it down.

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    • Replies: @ChrisD
    As an [amateur] composer myself, there is physically/mentally no other way to write largescale scores than listening to it 'en masse' or holistically. The individual melody lines are intertwined with other melody lines played simultaneously, so writing only for one violin and then later writing for oboes or cellos is actually more difficult than writing all of them at once. It's how the brain works. But yes, the difference between the best composers and the forgotten ones is that they could imagine beautiful interconnections and relationships whereas the rest imagined mediocre ones.
    , @guest
    Imagine being Schubert, who wrote symphonies and so forth in addition to like 800 songs, none of them fluff. Oh, and he died at 31.

    Nevermind what he heard in his head and how he was able to put it on paper. When did he find time to sleep and go to the bathroom?

    , @Buffalo Joe
    JDB, my friend's son graduated from the Eastman School of Music, so they frequently had their son bring friends home, since Rochester is just down the road from Buffalo. My friend asked one student, who was majoring in Music Composition, how he got the idea for a piece of music. The student replied, "I look at something and I hear music. Don't you?"
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  123. @ThreeCranes
    Meanwhile the other Shani, uh, Shani Black! Yeah Shani Black, he of the sullen rage following the coin toss (which he lost) that determined who should carry America's Flag in the Opening Ceremonies. Anyway, that Shani came in 19th in the 1500 meter long-track speed skating competition. And this after earlier this year promising that his upcoming performance would silence skeptics.

    At 35 he's is a bit long of tooth. He had his day. Even if he had the faster qualifying time it would have been appropriate for the selection committee to have chosen a young, promising skater to give him experience. After all, Shani Davis (his real last name) failed to medal in the last Olympics finishing 8th, 24th and 11th--and now of course, he's four years older. Did any sane person honestly expect his performance to improve against other nation's 24 year olds?

    The black woman short track speed skater was humiliated in her second race. She's out. The coach of our short-track team is a black man. At least he skated, but not at the highest level. The NBC announcer is black. The NBC interviewer for ski events is black.

    Why all these black people who underperform or are outsiders?

    Clearly they have been affirmatively actioned into their slots to push diversity at the expense of results.

    Another thumb in the eye for white Americans.

    Not sure that NBC cares because their audience is women and women love these feel-good stories. We shall see what the ratings are.

    And btw, Shani Black, FOAD loser!

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  124. @Hubbub
    Does this Obama portrait mean that when we get our Hispanic president, his/her portrait will be one on shiny black velvet, ala Jesus and Elvis?

    Does this Obama portrait mean that when we get our Hispanic president, his/her portrait will be one on shiny black velvet, ala Jesus and Elvis?

    Whenever we get an hispanic president, he will be a white boy like Peña-Nieto in Mexico.

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  125. @Autochthon
    These questions are more nuanced and difficult than they may at first seem. Consider music. (I will, anyway, because I am a musician, and more qualified to do so than to consider painting in similar detail, but I reckon my analysis follows in painting too....)

    Mozart composed a symphony. It is performed by an orchestra he's never even met. All he did was write a recipe; instructions on a paper (the essence of musical notation). Does Mozart deserve credit? Would it matter if he composed equally ingenius works because of his abstract mastery of musical theory but lacked the requisite manual dexterity and so never played a single musical instrument? The question continues today: Are the Pet Shop Boys and Trevor Rabin talented or not? Are Rabin's work with a guitar he himself plays or Neil Tennant's actual vocals somehow more legitimate than the orchestration each composes? Why do cover bands made up of technical virtuosos who perform incredibly difficult works by the likes of Genesis and Yes get no respect while Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell are lauded for performing the work of Chopin or Wagner?

    What about Eddie Van Halen, who represents the reverse?: He's no idea how to read or write music, but he sure can produce it (both original pieces and reproductions) – and how shall we address creation versus execution?: An obscure Chinaman exactly reproducing the work of Monet must inarguably be a very talented painter vis-a-vis his technique just as a virtuoso pianist who's never composed a note in his life but can perform a difficult concerto is nevertheless undeniably talented....

    Some of these distinctions about mere provenance are arguably as silly regarding Monet's paintings as Warhol's prints for the reasons mentioned supra. If I listen to my copy of Physical Graffiti but never get to attend a concert by Led Zeppelin (as indeed I have not), have I no idea what their music really is? Have I not experienced the "real" or "true" works?

    Well, my own guess is that Koons doesn’t take himself seriously.

    Or, rather, I think he takes his *career* deadly serious and in that arena he was driven and he succeeded. I doubt he thinks his work is some kind of natural successor to Michelangelo or that serious people in the future (assuming there are any) will be awed by his aesthetic/moral/intellectual/spiritual achievements in the arts. But, here in the present, he has ruthlessly dominated the art “scene” and successfully courted and cultivated billionaire patrons. That is its own achievement and no doubt he tells himself that and how his art therefore really is a clever commentary on the society in which he lived…

    It’s extremely obvious that none of these people will survive just because billionaire collectors (who are already old) control the museums and galleries. People have to listen to Eli Broad right now. They wont when he’s been dead for 250 years, no matter how many things he funds in perpetuity.

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  126. @Wanda
    Beautiful! And just do a search for "Queen Elizabeth II portrait" and you'll see a huge number of them, all in the classical European style.

    My favourite is this one:

    https://www.vinciata.net/_Media/queen_elizabeth-4.jpeg

    Looks like the artist gave her a breast reduction.

    Photo of ER II

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  127. @Jack D
    That's just wrong. Wiley is totally aware of Western Civilization and purposely inverts its icons.

    So his Judith Beheading Holofernes is derived from Caravaggio's, but in his a black woman chops off the head of a white woman:

    https://thedailybanter.com/.image/c_limit%2Ccs_srgb%2Cq_80%2Cw_1000/MTUzNDg3NzgxMTM2NDQyNTY2/download-21.webp

    The power of the work comes from the fact that he is not just making stuff up (he's not smart enough to invent a new art form) but that he is using Renaissance painting conventions to depict ghetto gals and guys in the poses of mythological heroes and royalty. More we wuz kangs fantasy which is why Obama was his perfect subject - a real black kang.

    That’s just wrong. Wiley is totally aware of Western Civilization and purposely inverts its icons.

    So his Judith Beheading Holofernes is derived from Caravaggio’s, but in his a black woman chops off the head of a white woman:

    https://thedailybanter.com/.image/c_limit%2Ccs_srgb%2Cq_80%2Cw_1000/MTUzNDg3NzgxMTM2NDQyNTY2/download-21.webp

    The power of the work comes from the fact that he is not just making stuff up (he’s not smart enough to invent a new art form) but that he is using Renaissance painting conventions to depict ghetto gals and guys in the poses of mythological heroes and royalty. More we wuz kangs fantasy which is why Obama was his perfect subject – a real black kang.

    Yeah, and he chooses that because it’s as fun as when a redneck’s arguing with a black person in the comments section, and he pointedly observes that the black guy is behaving in an intellectually niggardly fashion:

    “Why are you upset by that word, sir? ‘NIGGARDLY’ means ‘meager!’
    Oh, you thought I meant… oh my god, is EVERYTHING about RACE to you?!”

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  128. I’m surprised to learn that anyone thought that the background wasn’t computer-generated.

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  129. @Fun
    It's not a big deal, guys. Obama got a mediocre, trendy artist to do his not-very-important presidential portrait. What's also mediocre and trendy? Alt-right types mocking modern art. Suddenly commentators who couldn't tell you the difference between, say, superflat and pop art will talk your ear off about how nasty modern art is, and how all those white guys who painted pretty pictures (prior to 1900 of course) made real art. Stick to your strengths people.

    Neat trick, making it so that the only people qualified to criticize modern art are by and large the people who have already swallowed it. Except for a spare few you’d find another reason to discount. Wrong color bowtie, or whatever.

    There’s a reason most people don’t know much about modern art: it sucks, and furthermore it’s a scam. Part of the scam is that only initiates”get it.” Some spend a lifetime expecting to get it, and never do. Most don’t bother. A few laugh their way to the bank.

    I don’t know the difference between Crap A and Crap B, but if they’re both crap, and I can assume they are, it might not be worth knowing. Just a matter of fashion.

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  130. I think there’s a connection between the lack of concern for detail, “I f’ing love science,” invade the world and invite the world, “What difference at this point does it make,” and the sense that all the problems have been solved and we have only to sign on to the globalist program. These are people for whom details do not exist. The background is for them something to be ignored rather than something that informs what is in the foreground. How else do we explain an official presidential portrait that clearly relied on cut-and-paste?

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  131. @Fun
    It's not a big deal, guys. Obama got a mediocre, trendy artist to do his not-very-important presidential portrait. What's also mediocre and trendy? Alt-right types mocking modern art. Suddenly commentators who couldn't tell you the difference between, say, superflat and pop art will talk your ear off about how nasty modern art is, and how all those white guys who painted pretty pictures (prior to 1900 of course) made real art. Stick to your strengths people.

    “all those white guys”

    They were white, mostly. Is that supposed to get a bad thing? These “white” drops are getting strange. You know there are an awful lot of white artists in modernism, right?

    “who painted pretty pictures”

    They were pretty. Something wrong with that?

    “prior to 1900 of course”

    Why “of course?” What is the significance of that? Modernism is a thing that happened, it ruined traditional painting, nearly, and it happened around 1900. “Of course.”

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  132. @anon
    Suddenly commentators who couldn’t tell you the difference between, say, superflat and pop art will talk your ear off about how nasty modern art is, and how all those white guys who painted pretty pictures (prior to 1900 of course) made real art.

    What if I didn't talk your ear off, but just pointed out that, if a white guy had done this exact painting for Trump, then all the people who are currently gushing over this painting would be laughing and pointing out how terrible the Trump painting is?

    Would that be enough to get you to admit that modern art really is largely a scam?

    True, both the artiste and his subject are posers, which is nothing new when it comes to modern art, but it’s worse than that.

    If Ronald Grump chose, when his term was up, to have his official portrait done by a guy who previously had his hirelings munchkins paint a picture of a white woman holding the chopped off head of a black woman all sh*t would break loose.
    It would be the racist dogwhistle of the century.

    Black Lies Matter would be riding through the streets of Washington DC and into the halls of Congress wearing black sheets and hoods and Bed Bath and Beyond would be burning all the white inventory and vowing on Fakebook never again to sell traditional colored linens.
    Clinton News Network would be having prayer candle light vigils on air 48/7, while the NewYorkSlime would declare it Black History Year and stop printing lies for a moment out of respect. Or something like that.

    IOW yah can’t make this schtick up. All the parties involved don’t realize how lame they appear even as they preen for approval.

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  133. @Fun
    It's not a big deal, guys. Obama got a mediocre, trendy artist to do his not-very-important presidential portrait. What's also mediocre and trendy? Alt-right types mocking modern art. Suddenly commentators who couldn't tell you the difference between, say, superflat and pop art will talk your ear off about how nasty modern art is, and how all those white guys who painted pretty pictures (prior to 1900 of course) made real art. Stick to your strengths people.

    Not a big deal, not very important, but it is the first time a presidential portrait has been degraded in such a manner.

    It’s also getting lotsa publicity, or rather being rubbed in our faces. With very little mainstream criticism, except from sources you’d normally expect to criticize Obama. And way too much Emperor’s New Clothes-type rationalization.

    It’s bad enough that all the various post-1900 (your date) fashions have taken over the art world, academia, and various other haunts. (Popular in the corporate world, for some suspicious reason.)

    If they’d keep it out of the public (after more than a century of indocronation, still not buying it is anything but ugly) eye, I probably wouldn’t waste a second on it.

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  134. @Jack Highlands
    Granted, there's a sliver of plausible deniability and granted the usual suspects and cucks are motivated to deny, but the fact remains: the last president to serve just unveiled his official portrait and any reasonable human reviewing the artist's personal history of aggressive homosexuality, artistic history of configuring sperm into his paintings, and the convenient shape of that vein on Obama's left forehead, would have to conclude that Kehinde's slipped one in again.

    That is completely degenerate by any previous standards of the highest office, yet few seem interested. I guess it's just Lazy O again: once you're affirmed into a Nobel, what's a little sperm on the face?

    https://twitter.com/MarkWCaputo/status/963393351650365441

    +1. The degenerate artist put a sperm cell in as is his m.o. What a sick f****t.

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  135. @ThreeCranes
    Meanwhile the other Shani, uh, Shani Black! Yeah Shani Black, he of the sullen rage following the coin toss (which he lost) that determined who should carry America's Flag in the Opening Ceremonies. Anyway, that Shani came in 19th in the 1500 meter long-track speed skating competition. And this after earlier this year promising that his upcoming performance would silence skeptics.

    At 35 he's is a bit long of tooth. He had his day. Even if he had the faster qualifying time it would have been appropriate for the selection committee to have chosen a young, promising skater to give him experience. After all, Shani Davis (his real last name) failed to medal in the last Olympics finishing 8th, 24th and 11th--and now of course, he's four years older. Did any sane person honestly expect his performance to improve against other nation's 24 year olds?

    The black woman short track speed skater was humiliated in her second race. She's out. The coach of our short-track team is a black man. At least he skated, but not at the highest level. The NBC announcer is black. The NBC interviewer for ski events is black.

    Why all these black people who underperform or are outsiders?

    Clearly they have been affirmatively actioned into their slots to push diversity at the expense of results.

    Another thumb in the eye for white Americans.

    Shani Davis. OK his skating has slipped but has anyone ever topped his Olympian Mr. Bojangles?

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  136. @Anon
    Getting assistants to do a lot of work on your paintings has been as common as dirt ever since the Renaissance. It was probably common all the way back to the Greeks and the Romans and even the Minoans, and we only lack the documentation to prove it. Collective effort was how you got all that blue sky, or the long sweeping robe, or other boring parts painted. When painters took on students, they'd train them in the art of painting by giving them a section to work on. The Master would figure out the general design, paint a bit to show a student the colors and specifics needed, and would do only the harder parts himself, or whatever. That was how Rubens finished all those bus-sized canvases. Here's an example of collective shopwork by Verrocchio, with additions by the young Leonardo da Vinci.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Baptism_of_Christ_(Verrocchio)

    Students would usually pay the Master for the privilege of apprenticeship. That was how many a painter supported himself in lean times if he didn't have a patron making commissions. Even if a Master decided to take on a very promising pupil with no money, he still got lots of unpaid labor out of the boy, and he made the kid do lots of other chores around the shop to help earn his keep.

    The only reason we are convinced that real artists do all their own work is because successful painters have been very good at the art of self-promotion over the centuries. There are painters who do all their own work, but the larger the canvas, the more likely it is to be collective shopwork. It's only been with the development of tools that help you cover a lot of space, airbrushing and whatnot, that you start to see artists tackling larger canvases by themselves.

    Yes but outsourcing photoshop duties to China is a little bit worse than getting Da Vinci to help paint a robe, no?

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  137. @Jim Don Bob

    the great composers heard their masterpieces in their heads, with the orchestration.
     
    Yeah, that's the part that blows me away when I listen to classical music. It is one thing, and not a small one, to compose a good song whether it is White Christmas or Layla or whatever, and it is quite another thing altogether to compose/hear all the parts of a symphony in your mind and then write it down.

    As an [amateur] composer myself, there is physically/mentally no other way to write largescale scores than listening to it ‘en masse’ or holistically. The individual melody lines are intertwined with other melody lines played simultaneously, so writing only for one violin and then later writing for oboes or cellos is actually more difficult than writing all of them at once. It’s how the brain works. But yes, the difference between the best composers and the forgotten ones is that they could imagine beautiful interconnections and relationships whereas the rest imagined mediocre ones.

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  138. @Autochthon
    These questions are more nuanced and difficult than they may at first seem. Consider music. (I will, anyway, because I am a musician, and more qualified to do so than to consider painting in similar detail, but I reckon my analysis follows in painting too....)

    Mozart composed a symphony. It is performed by an orchestra he's never even met. All he did was write a recipe; instructions on a paper (the essence of musical notation). Does Mozart deserve credit? Would it matter if he composed equally ingenius works because of his abstract mastery of musical theory but lacked the requisite manual dexterity and so never played a single musical instrument? The question continues today: Are the Pet Shop Boys and Trevor Rabin talented or not? Are Rabin's work with a guitar he himself plays or Neil Tennant's actual vocals somehow more legitimate than the orchestration each composes? Why do cover bands made up of technical virtuosos who perform incredibly difficult works by the likes of Genesis and Yes get no respect while Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell are lauded for performing the work of Chopin or Wagner?

    What about Eddie Van Halen, who represents the reverse?: He's no idea how to read or write music, but he sure can produce it (both original pieces and reproductions) – and how shall we address creation versus execution?: An obscure Chinaman exactly reproducing the work of Monet must inarguably be a very talented painter vis-a-vis his technique just as a virtuoso pianist who's never composed a note in his life but can perform a difficult concerto is nevertheless undeniably talented....

    Some of these distinctions about mere provenance are arguably as silly regarding Monet's paintings as Warhol's prints for the reasons mentioned supra. If I listen to my copy of Physical Graffiti but never get to attend a concert by Led Zeppelin (as indeed I have not), have I no idea what their music really is? Have I not experienced the "real" or "true" works?

    Mozart was a virtuosic instrumentalist. He couldn’t play a symphony by himself, but he could play one of his sonatas.

    Interestingly, basically all the composers we remember up to Berlioz were accomplished music players as well as music writers. Some had reputations of being among the greatest virtuosos ever, including Paganini.

    That let up, as I said, around Berlioz. We never looked back after Wagner. Though of course there were still great virtuoso-composers, such as Rachmaninoff. I can’t say for sure why that is, except that Berlioz band Wagner were at least virtuosic conductors.

    Liibraries of books have been written on the subject you’re discussing here. Music and drama are unique among the fine arts, in that they must be performed to be fulfilled. They don’t exist as objects the way the plastic arts and non-dramatic literature do. Though of course the score is an object, and now thanks to recording technology performances can be themselves objects.

    There’s a reason we generally value art objects over performance art. Because the former is more durable and certain. Recorded as well as live performances are more ephemeral and of less certain value. At least that’s the way people think.

    Music and drama don’t exist on the page like a poem. Music moreso than plays. Even if you are adept at reading scores, by themselves they’re not exactly the “real thing.” They’re too abstract.

    Then again, they are the real thing. They must be. In classical music especially, though no two performances are exactly the same, they’re written to be played precisely, with clear instructions. These have been followed with varying degrees of fidelity at different times, but generally speaking it’s not like jazz where the art is primarily in the performance.

    As to why composers in later years were less likely to be performers, I could lay that off on orchestral complexity, much like the complexity of studio recording in rock music. There’s something else, though.

    Classical music remained a popular art form throughout the romantic and late romantic period, but it lost its, I dunno, sense of community between music players and writers. That part of the culture faded as everyone became a Beethoven. That is, a detached genius who withdraws into his genius to genius some genius.

    That’s not fair, really, and ignorant as well. Stereotypical romantic individualism is only part of it.

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  139. @Autochthon
    These questions are more nuanced and difficult than they may at first seem. Consider music. (I will, anyway, because I am a musician, and more qualified to do so than to consider painting in similar detail, but I reckon my analysis follows in painting too....)

    Mozart composed a symphony. It is performed by an orchestra he's never even met. All he did was write a recipe; instructions on a paper (the essence of musical notation). Does Mozart deserve credit? Would it matter if he composed equally ingenius works because of his abstract mastery of musical theory but lacked the requisite manual dexterity and so never played a single musical instrument? The question continues today: Are the Pet Shop Boys and Trevor Rabin talented or not? Are Rabin's work with a guitar he himself plays or Neil Tennant's actual vocals somehow more legitimate than the orchestration each composes? Why do cover bands made up of technical virtuosos who perform incredibly difficult works by the likes of Genesis and Yes get no respect while Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell are lauded for performing the work of Chopin or Wagner?

    What about Eddie Van Halen, who represents the reverse?: He's no idea how to read or write music, but he sure can produce it (both original pieces and reproductions) – and how shall we address creation versus execution?: An obscure Chinaman exactly reproducing the work of Monet must inarguably be a very talented painter vis-a-vis his technique just as a virtuoso pianist who's never composed a note in his life but can perform a difficult concerto is nevertheless undeniably talented....

    Some of these distinctions about mere provenance are arguably as silly regarding Monet's paintings as Warhol's prints for the reasons mentioned supra. If I listen to my copy of Physical Graffiti but never get to attend a concert by Led Zeppelin (as indeed I have not), have I no idea what their music really is? Have I not experienced the "real" or "true" works?

    You know what I don’t get about Eddie Van Halen? Along with his brother, he was supposed to have been a classically-trained pianist, as demanded by his Tiger Mommy. But he couldn’t read a note? How did that work?

    I mean, he had recitals; he won contests. How do you do that without the teacher being in on it? He could play by ear, but that requires someone playing it in front of you. Was his teacher’s method to play a section, let Li’l Eddie follow along, and repeat? Or was it like, “Here’s some sheet music and tapes. Come back when you can play it.”

    Eddie is an accomplished songwriter, with many a hit. But he’s known for his playing, because that’s where he doesn’t merely excel but is one of the greats.

    You can see the difference in public esteem for composition over performance right there. Though Eddie is one of the three most influential and revered rock guitarists, behind Hendrix and Clapton, he’s nowhere near the esteem of Lennon, McCartney, or Dylan.

    Of course, heavy metal/hard rock has relatively limited appeal. If Eddie had never let David Lee Roth into his group (despite his voice), he might have ended up as some kind of prog-rocker, with even less esteem. (Real big fame is about the chicks. Chicks wanna dance and swoon.)

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    Van Halen himself explains how this happened in this interview at the Smithsonian Museum (it's an interesting interview). The topic is addressed about seven minutes and twenty-five seconds (7:25) into the video: He never learned to read music but because his hearing was so good he was able to memorize and the sounds and watch the fingers of his teacher, then emulate exactly what had been done in order to please the teacher, thus training his ears and fingers to understand and perform (but never his eyes to read) music. Young Eddie was eventually found out when asked to turn the page for his instructor while the instructor was performing a new piece of music – Eddie of course had no idea where in the piece his instructor was! (The instructor was apparently an old Russian guy who himself barely spoke English, and mostly just smoked the kid with a ruler when he botched a piece, which probably helped young Eddie to fool him....) It's interesting to me because I am much better at understanding written music and hearing it in my head, and at playing from written music, than I am at identifying notes by ear (to say nothing of my lack of manual dexterity) compared to the greats.

    The greatest tend to be able to combine both aspects – the practical and the abstract, if you will. People like Steve Vai or Franz Liszt....

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  140. Read More
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  141. @Anon87
    What about conductors? They don't write the music, they don't play any instruments, they just stand there and wave their arms around like a human metronome. Why should I care or be impressed?

    “Why should I care or be impressed?”

    Because most orchestral music beyond a certain point, certainly by the time you get to Wagner, is nigh-impossible to play without a conductor. Back in Mozart’s day they’d have a guy keeping time on a harpsichord. That’s just not feasible for later music.

    The waving of the arms is not quite so important as the direction and interpretation of the score beforehand, and the drilling.

    Without conductors, the musicians would be like the Patriots without Belichick.

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    Would you elaborate on what a conductor does? It's always seemed a mystery to me.
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  142. @Jim Don Bob

    the great composers heard their masterpieces in their heads, with the orchestration.
     
    Yeah, that's the part that blows me away when I listen to classical music. It is one thing, and not a small one, to compose a good song whether it is White Christmas or Layla or whatever, and it is quite another thing altogether to compose/hear all the parts of a symphony in your mind and then write it down.

    Imagine being Schubert, who wrote symphonies and so forth in addition to like 800 songs, none of them fluff. Oh, and he died at 31.

    Nevermind what he heard in his head and how he was able to put it on paper. When did he find time to sleep and go to the bathroom?

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    • Replies: @Kylie
    Ah...you mentioned my Geliebte. He spent his mornings composing. In the afternoons, he rested, ate, read and in the evenings, he usually played piano and sang with his friends or at parties and then went to a tavern.

    He had a vocation. That's not a concept people talk about much nowadays because it requires doing, not merely being. But it explains the extraordinary output of Schubert as well as anything else does.
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  143. @Buffalo Joe
    Auto, In my opinion the classical composters had the greatest gift. While I can visualize a painting and do a rough sketch, the great composers heard their masterpieces in their heads, with the orchestration.

    It can boggle the mind to contemplate the giant gaps in ability between humans. Especially in our egalitarian age.

    For instance, I learned from David Stove that one of the Bernoullis proposed two mathematical problems to the world that he found vexing, allowing all comers 6 months to solve them. Leibniz, no intellectual slouch, requested a year to solve just one of them.

    Newton solved them both in one day. And I don’t think he just got lucky.

    At least musically, I have the brain of an ant compared to the great classical composers.

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    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
    As I understand it,they proposed these problems to test Newton and see how much calculus he knew. Only someone with knowledge of same could solve the problem. "You," said Newton,"rang?"
    , @Jack D
    Newton was unquestionably one of the greatest geniuses who ever lived, but it's not clear that he really solved the problem in 1 day. Like the story of the apple, there are a lot of "just so" legends about Newton, some of them promoted by Newton himself.

    What is amazing about great discoveries like these is that once they are explained to you, they seem obvious in retrospect. Any undergraduate calculus student today can understand the solution. Depicted graphically even an idiot like me can see it:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/Brachistochrone.gif

    Basically the question is how do you get the marble to roll to its destination the fastest? Your first intuition is a straight line, but that's not it.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    quest, I think an ant could beat me at math and music, however, I rule when they trespass in my house.
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  144. @jimmyriddle
    Since this is his official portrait, it will presumably be the used in the various Barack Obama high schools, government buildings etc.

    That's a rather funny self-inflicted wound.

    This is the portrait that hangs in the main entrance of my old school:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6f/Queen_Regent%2C_Pietro_Annigoni.jpg

    From her victory over Napoleon at Waterloo?

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  145. @Chris Marsk

    to the point that they have people whose job is only painting the butterflies
     
    I seem to remember something about this happening during the Renaissance or medieval period, some famous Dutch (?) painter who experts think hired the local horse (?) specialist to paint that section of paintings. The horses in all the paintings in that region from that period were apparently painted by the same guy, or something like that.

    I mean, painting was a business at that time, not highfalutin art. You made a product and sold it. So why not use subcontractors for components that they specialised in, like a car manufacturer buying parts from other companies?

    All the great and not so great artists had numerous assistants painting much of the works. The artists would make an outline and the different specialists in hands, fabrics, flowers and greenery clouds would fill it in.

    All the great artists did outlines which aren’t all that different from painting over a photo.

    Obama’s greenery is sort of faggy and weird. Hers is more of a fashion picture in that the emphasis is on the skirt, not Ms Obama. And she never wore a long 3rd rate Vegas entertainer wig. I guess they like the pictures so who cares.

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  146. @Autochthon

    decompleximise
     
    Simplify is the word you are seeking (unless I misunderstand your intent). Other possibilities include explain, explicate, and analyse.

    (Yet now I have written these words it occurs to me I'm missing a joke you are making in the vein of Oswald Bates....)

    If – - if, Wilhelm Raabe, one of the few truely great German Novelists (“The Hunger Vicar”) – – if you do have the choice Raabe says, it’s wiser to laugh than to cry.

    So – right – I was joking (& thanks for noticing)!

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  147. @anon

    From the greenery sprout flowers that have symbolic meaning for the sitter. African blue lilies represent Kenya, his father’s birthplace; jasmine stands for Hawaii, where Mr. Obama himself was born; chrysanthemums, the official flower of Chicago, reference the city where his political career began, and where he met his wife.
     
    What's funny about this is, he acts like he thinks that this is some kind of brilliant thing. But that's genuinely the kind of thing they would have had us do in grade school, in some kind of art project.

    I would believe that they actually believed this was a great painting if they didn't have to rely on explanations that sounded like my explanation about a drawing I had to make representing our school year at the end of fifth grade.

    "You see, the basketball in the foreground represents that time the high schoolers went to state, and we all got to take a trip to watch. And the big snowflake represents the time the school was closed for a whole week due to the big snowstorm. And the wasp's nest represents the time Andy found a wasp's nest by the fence out back and got stung by a bunch of wasps."

    Yeah – as soon as one realizes the absolutely conventional context of Cotter’s – eheh – argument, it sounds hollow throughout.

    To contextualize Cotter in the world (and arguments) of a child, like you do – tops that feeling I had right from the beginning.

    Having reached this point of analysis – the portrait in all it’s childish imperfection and Cotter’s text fit perfectly.

    The only aesthetical problem that is then to be tackeld is, that the childishness of the painting is fake – and it (not least therefor) looks awful. – Maybe that’s the irty secret Cotter is trying to hide (= to bury in his words of praise).

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  148. @Obsessive Contrarian
    http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/t/raphael-cartoons-what-is-a-cartoon/

    In and of itself, laying down a template to paint over is not cheating. It has been done since at least the Renaissance. Rubens' paintings were mostly done by nameless assistants. The list could go on.

    The difference is that we know from his drawings and his oil sketches that Rubens was a master draftsman and a great, great artist. The Renaissance artists were masters. The technical assistance was necessary because of the medium that they were working in and the complexity of the designs.

    Wiley is basically a thug with good public relations. I would love to see drawings that he has done without technical assistance. Reading the commentary on his art, and the full-on propaganda hurricane for Black Panther, it looks as if we have all gone full-on retard. No, that's an insult to people who are mentally challenged. I can't find the words to describe what's happening. It's worse than Stalinism.

    I can’t find the words to describe what’s happening. It’s worse than Stalinism.

    Hegel called this dynamic the dialectics of the master and the slave. – He had in mind, that it makes people lazy (and incompetent – in the long run) to be a master – and that it makes people competent, in the long run – to be a slave. And if you look at the Chinese painters and the American – concept artist/contractor – this seems to be happening exacly like Hegel predicted.

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  149. @Captain Tripps
    OT:

    Shaun White (aka super-duper white guy) wins 3rd gold medal. Cue the outcries of #WinterOlympicsSoWhite

    I don't follow twitter, but I'm sure there's a whole movement to downplay/CritRacTheorize his accomplishment because White Privilege or White Supremacy or something.

    http://a57.foxnews.com/images.foxnews.com/content/fox-news/sports/2018/02/13/shaun-white-wins-us-its-100th-winter-olympics-gold-medal/_jcr_content/article-text/article-par-2/inline_spotlight_ima/image.img.jpg/612/344/1518580094170.jpg?ve=1&tl=1

    How did skateboarding on ice become an Olympic sport?

    It’s so dumb.

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    • Replies: @Jack D
    You could say that any sport that is scored based upon judges judging your technique rather than by the clock or goals scored is dumb, but that would mean that boxing is dumb.
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  150. @guest
    It can boggle the mind to contemplate the giant gaps in ability between humans. Especially in our egalitarian age.

    For instance, I learned from David Stove that one of the Bernoullis proposed two mathematical problems to the world that he found vexing, allowing all comers 6 months to solve them. Leibniz, no intellectual slouch, requested a year to solve just one of them.

    Newton solved them both in one day. And I don't think he just got lucky.

    At least musically, I have the brain of an ant compared to the great classical composers.

    As I understand it,they proposed these problems to test Newton and see how much calculus he knew. Only someone with knowledge of same could solve the problem. “You,” said Newton,”rang?”

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  151. @International Jew
    Yeah, it's just a vein. Sometimes a vein is just a vein.

    The other pictures on that page are pretty funny though.

    No, it’s definitely a vein altered to look like a sperm. Here is a close-up of the face and shoulders from CNN, hardly a source liable to promoting spermgate.

    Click on the image to enlarge.

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  152. Better vegetative symbolism.

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  153. @anon
    I don't think the repeated elements are supposed to be a secret, are they? If you look at the other paintings this guy did, they all seem to have this sort of "wallpaper" type background. I think that's just his style.

    I don’t think the repeated elements are supposed to be a secret, are they? If you look at the other paintings this guy did, they all seem to have this sort of “wallpaper” type background. I think that’s just his style.

    Yeah the repetition is deliberate; it’s his style.

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  154. @chaddy
    First, the irony of Obama getting hosed by his own dogma is very very satisfying. Affirmative action hires are no substitute for technical or artistic expertise. Both of the hired "artists" were in over their heads, and many, many people prop them up as if they weren't.

    The artistic choices of the artist who tried to draw Michelle is bogus, since she couldn't draw a realistic painting to begin with. Picasso could draw a realistic painting. It was after he'd mastered the fundamentals that he went into abstract paintings. That is why he is legit. To try to apply a lack of technical expertise in your field as art is bogus. She painted a juvenile level picture of Michelle because she had no other choice. It lacks proper perspective, it lacks dynamic range. It is low-brow graffiti.

    Barack's picture, though it exhibits more technical expertise by the artist(s), is third-world tacky. Better suited to the Vice Admiral of the Great Navy of Kazakhstan, than the President of the United States. The fact that these pictures are for posterity makes me very very happy.

    I've always maintained that Obama was racially confused, and his decisions would reflect his inner turmoil, so the painting is unintentionally perfect for him:

    A random, sad chaotic mix, signifying nothing.

    A big mistake with unqualified confidence.

    This is him–and for 8 years, it was us.

    “I’ve always maintained that Obama was racially confused, and his decisions would reflect his inner turmoil, so the painting is unintentionally perfect for him….”

    Certainly, Obama is obsessed with race, and his confusion and inner turmoil turned into his nasty practice of projecting his resentment, rancor and hostility onto white people.

    See: http://fosterspeak.blogspot.com/2014/06/obama-projectionist-and-chief.html

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  155. @guest
    It can boggle the mind to contemplate the giant gaps in ability between humans. Especially in our egalitarian age.

    For instance, I learned from David Stove that one of the Bernoullis proposed two mathematical problems to the world that he found vexing, allowing all comers 6 months to solve them. Leibniz, no intellectual slouch, requested a year to solve just one of them.

    Newton solved them both in one day. And I don't think he just got lucky.

    At least musically, I have the brain of an ant compared to the great classical composers.

    Newton was unquestionably one of the greatest geniuses who ever lived, but it’s not clear that he really solved the problem in 1 day. Like the story of the apple, there are a lot of “just so” legends about Newton, some of them promoted by Newton himself.

    What is amazing about great discoveries like these is that once they are explained to you, they seem obvious in retrospect. Any undergraduate calculus student today can understand the solution. Depicted graphically even an idiot like me can see it:

    Basically the question is how do you get the marble to roll to its destination the fastest? Your first intuition is a straight line, but that’s not it.

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    • Replies: @guest
    Not that this is what you claimed, but I don't think this Newtown Legend was promoted by Newton, as he supposedly sent his answers in anonymously.* He didn't claim invention of the calculus for a long while, either. There are a lot more shameless self-promoters in history.

    *Though of course that could have been false modesty, knowing he'd be discovered.
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  156. @Jack D
    Newton was unquestionably one of the greatest geniuses who ever lived, but it's not clear that he really solved the problem in 1 day. Like the story of the apple, there are a lot of "just so" legends about Newton, some of them promoted by Newton himself.

    What is amazing about great discoveries like these is that once they are explained to you, they seem obvious in retrospect. Any undergraduate calculus student today can understand the solution. Depicted graphically even an idiot like me can see it:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/63/Brachistochrone.gif

    Basically the question is how do you get the marble to roll to its destination the fastest? Your first intuition is a straight line, but that's not it.

    Not that this is what you claimed, but I don’t think this Newtown Legend was promoted by Newton, as he supposedly sent his answers in anonymously.* He didn’t claim invention of the calculus for a long while, either. There are a lot more shameless self-promoters in history.

    *Though of course that could have been false modesty, knowing he’d be discovered.

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  157. @Anon
    How did skateboarding on ice become an Olympic sport?

    It's so dumb.

    You could say that any sport that is scored based upon judges judging your technique rather than by the clock or goals scored is dumb, but that would mean that boxing is dumb.

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  158. @guest
    You know what I don't get about Eddie Van Halen? Along with his brother, he was supposed to have been a classically-trained pianist, as demanded by his Tiger Mommy. But he couldn't read a note? How did that work?

    I mean, he had recitals; he won contests. How do you do that without the teacher being in on it? He could play by ear, but that requires someone playing it in front of you. Was his teacher's method to play a section, let Li'l Eddie follow along, and repeat? Or was it like, "Here's some sheet music and tapes. Come back when you can play it."

    Eddie is an accomplished songwriter, with many a hit. But he's known for his playing, because that's where he doesn't merely excel but is one of the greats.

    You can see the difference in public esteem for composition over performance right there. Though Eddie is one of the three most influential and revered rock guitarists, behind Hendrix and Clapton, he's nowhere near the esteem of Lennon, McCartney, or Dylan.

    Of course, heavy metal/hard rock has relatively limited appeal. If Eddie had never let David Lee Roth into his group (despite his voice), he might have ended up as some kind of prog-rocker, with even less esteem. (Real big fame is about the chicks. Chicks wanna dance and swoon.)

    Van Halen himself explains how this happened in this interview at the Smithsonian Museum (it’s an interesting interview). The topic is addressed about seven minutes and twenty-five seconds (7:25) into the video: He never learned to read music but because his hearing was so good he was able to memorize and the sounds and watch the fingers of his teacher, then emulate exactly what had been done in order to please the teacher, thus training his ears and fingers to understand and perform (but never his eyes to read) music. Young Eddie was eventually found out when asked to turn the page for his instructor while the instructor was performing a new piece of music – Eddie of course had no idea where in the piece his instructor was! (The instructor was apparently an old Russian guy who himself barely spoke English, and mostly just smoked the kid with a ruler when he botched a piece, which probably helped young Eddie to fool him….) It’s interesting to me because I am much better at understanding written music and hearing it in my head, and at playing from written music, than I am at identifying notes by ear (to say nothing of my lack of manual dexterity) compared to the greats.

    The greatest tend to be able to combine both aspects – the practical and the abstract, if you will. People like Steve Vai or Franz Liszt….

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  159. @Chris Marsk
    Andy Warhol had minions silkscreen his stuff. Having Chinese workers paint by the numbers over Photoshop is not that far removed from Warhol.

    There's a whole city in China where paintings are produced. There's a guy who does nothing but copy a single Monet painting, in various sizes, and in various color variations, current condition, what it probably looked like when newly painted, and so on.

    The founders of Panic Software sent off their photos and some other reference material to a painter in that city and got back an oil painting of themselves 19th century style for their offices:

    https://www.panic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Office-Founders-4.jpg

    https://panic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Office-Founders-6.jpg

    That’s awesome.

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  160. @guest
    "Why should I care or be impressed?"

    Because most orchestral music beyond a certain point, certainly by the time you get to Wagner, is nigh-impossible to play without a conductor. Back in Mozart's day they'd have a guy keeping time on a harpsichord. That's just not feasible for later music.

    The waving of the arms is not quite so important as the direction and interpretation of the score beforehand, and the drilling.

    Without conductors, the musicians would be like the Patriots without Belichick.

    Would you elaborate on what a conductor does? It’s always seemed a mystery to me.

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    • Replies: @guest
    Usually, conductors are in charge of choosing and interpreting musical scores for groups of musicians, rehearsing them, instructing them how to play, and during performances setting the tempo and controlling when different sections make their entrances. The latter are done through body language. Often in an elaborate, showy manner, for the benefit of the audience.

    According to the way classical music is written and current performing conventions, instruments must be played very precisely. As opposed to for instance jazz music, which is loosey-goosey. Composers place verbal instructions in addition to musical notations to explain what they want, but these are open to interpretation. If each instrumentalist went by his own interpretation, the result would be hit-and-miss if they're lucky and possibly chaos.

    In earlier times certain instruments could take the basic job of a conductor, which is to keep time. This was done by harpsichordists, first violins, and such in the days of Bach. But a Baroque orchestra and a Wagnerian orchestra are worlds apart.

    Wagner is usually credited with inventing the role of the virtuoso conductor, who decides how a piece shall be played in addition to keeping time and telling different sections when to enter. Wagner's follower Hans Von Bulow is credited with starting the tradition of rehearsing different sections of the orchestra separately.

    The goal now is to get each section to play with as much control and delicacy as solo instrumentalists. Which was never the case before the Late Romantic period. Maybe it isn't now, either, but it's closer.

    And of course the ultimate goal is to combine the sections into a cohesive whole and fulfill the vision of the composer. Or at least the version of that vision believed in by the conductor or whoever's paying the bill. We haven't got to the dreadful state of operatic stage direction, wherein the whims of the director can easily present the exact opposite of the composer and/or librettists' intentions. On purpose. Though there have been many wacky interpretations by conductors.

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  161. @chaddy
    First, the irony of Obama getting hosed by his own dogma is very very satisfying. Affirmative action hires are no substitute for technical or artistic expertise. Both of the hired "artists" were in over their heads, and many, many people prop them up as if they weren't.

    The artistic choices of the artist who tried to draw Michelle is bogus, since she couldn't draw a realistic painting to begin with. Picasso could draw a realistic painting. It was after he'd mastered the fundamentals that he went into abstract paintings. That is why he is legit. To try to apply a lack of technical expertise in your field as art is bogus. She painted a juvenile level picture of Michelle because she had no other choice. It lacks proper perspective, it lacks dynamic range. It is low-brow graffiti.

    Barack's picture, though it exhibits more technical expertise by the artist(s), is third-world tacky. Better suited to the Vice Admiral of the Great Navy of Kazakhstan, than the President of the United States. The fact that these pictures are for posterity makes me very very happy.

    I've always maintained that Obama was racially confused, and his decisions would reflect his inner turmoil, so the painting is unintentionally perfect for him:

    A random, sad chaotic mix, signifying nothing.

    A big mistake with unqualified confidence.

    This is him–and for 8 years, it was us.

    It was after he’d mastered the fundamentals that he went into abstract paintings. That is why he is legit.

    It was after he’d mastered the fundamentals of toiletry that Apu went into street-shitting. That’s why Apu is legit.

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  162. @Buffalo Joe
    Captain, Please note that athletes, such as Shaun and Chloe Kim, compete and excel in events that risk life and limb. I would think that most of the negative comments come from losers that couldn't stay on their feet for 100 yards in the moguls or clear the first gate on a slalom course.

    Hey, stop talking about me!

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  163. @Buffalo Joe
    TTSSYF, True story that I think I posted on Steve's before. Years ago we were erecting a large steel construction in downtown Buffalo at the then Marine Midland Tower. The artist hovered nearby as we assembled the piece using a sizeable crane. Our apprentice engaged the artist in conversation. "Did you make this?" he asked. "Yes, I am the artist," the artist replied. "Did they pay you to make this?" the apprentice inquired. "Yes," said the visibly angry artist. "They gave me a large commission." The apprentice though for a bit and said, "I don't think much of your art, but you are one fucking great salesman."
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    • Replies: @Buffalo Joe
    Anon, No, that work, while similar, is not in Buffalo. The art I'm referenced looked like a giant three dimensional number four, also red. thanks for the link though.
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  164. @guest
    Imagine being Schubert, who wrote symphonies and so forth in addition to like 800 songs, none of them fluff. Oh, and he died at 31.

    Nevermind what he heard in his head and how he was able to put it on paper. When did he find time to sleep and go to the bathroom?

    Ah…you mentioned my Geliebte. He spent his mornings composing. In the afternoons, he rested, ate, read and in the evenings, he usually played piano and sang with his friends or at parties and then went to a tavern.

    He had a vocation. That’s not a concept people talk about much nowadays because it requires doing, not merely being. But it explains the extraordinary output of Schubert as well as anything else does.

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  165. Read More
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  166. @Jim Don Bob

    the great composers heard their masterpieces in their heads, with the orchestration.
     
    Yeah, that's the part that blows me away when I listen to classical music. It is one thing, and not a small one, to compose a good song whether it is White Christmas or Layla or whatever, and it is quite another thing altogether to compose/hear all the parts of a symphony in your mind and then write it down.

    JDB, my friend’s son graduated from the Eastman School of Music, so they frequently had their son bring friends home, since Rochester is just down the road from Buffalo. My friend asked one student, who was majoring in Music Composition, how he got the idea for a piece of music. The student replied, “I look at something and I hear music. Don’t you?”

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  167. @guest
    It can boggle the mind to contemplate the giant gaps in ability between humans. Especially in our egalitarian age.

    For instance, I learned from David Stove that one of the Bernoullis proposed two mathematical problems to the world that he found vexing, allowing all comers 6 months to solve them. Leibniz, no intellectual slouch, requested a year to solve just one of them.

    Newton solved them both in one day. And I don't think he just got lucky.

    At least musically, I have the brain of an ant compared to the great classical composers.

    quest, I think an ant could beat me at math and music, however, I rule when they trespass in my house.

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  168. @whorefinder
    Affirmative Action president hires Affirmative Action portrait artist, who shows that Affirmative Action produces subpar results.

    Seriously, I can't believe Obama isn't trying to figure out a way to get a new portrait done. He's pretty conceited, and likely realizes that this is a bad job. I think he'll publicly offer to purchase the painting for his private collection "because it's so good" , then have some decent painter do a better one and donate it.

    Not a bad idea, and one that even has some historical precedent. Obama somewhat famously had Winston Churchill’s bust removed from the Oval Office, so it would be amusing to see if he now decided to swipe from the example of the former PM by taking his retirement portrait home with him so that he could then set fire to it in his back yard.

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  169. @Anon87
    What about conductors? They don't write the music, they don't play any instruments, they just stand there and wave their arms around like a human metronome. Why should I care or be impressed?
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  170. @Jim Don Bob
    Would you elaborate on what a conductor does? It's always seemed a mystery to me.

    Usually, conductors are in charge of choosing and interpreting musical scores for groups of musicians, rehearsing them, instructing them how to play, and during performances setting the tempo and controlling when different sections make their entrances. The latter are done through body language. Often in an elaborate, showy manner, for the benefit of the audience.

    According to the way classical music is written and current performing conventions, instruments must be played very precisely. As opposed to for instance jazz music, which is loosey-goosey. Composers place verbal instructions in addition to musical notations to explain what they want, but these are open to interpretation. If each instrumentalist went by his own interpretation, the result would be hit-and-miss if they’re lucky and possibly chaos.

    In earlier times certain instruments could take the basic job of a conductor, which is to keep time. This was done by harpsichordists, first violins, and such in the days of Bach. But a Baroque orchestra and a Wagnerian orchestra are worlds apart.

    Wagner is usually credited with inventing the role of the virtuoso conductor, who decides how a piece shall be played in addition to keeping time and telling different sections when to enter. Wagner’s follower Hans Von Bulow is credited with starting the tradition of rehearsing different sections of the orchestra separately.

    The goal now is to get each section to play with as much control and delicacy as solo instrumentalists. Which was never the case before the Late Romantic period. Maybe it isn’t now, either, but it’s closer.

    And of course the ultimate goal is to combine the sections into a cohesive whole and fulfill the vision of the composer. Or at least the version of that vision believed in by the conductor or whoever’s paying the bill. We haven’t got to the dreadful state of operatic stage direction, wherein the whims of the director can easily present the exact opposite of the composer and/or librettists’ intentions. On purpose. Though there have been many wacky interpretations by conductors.

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  171. @chaddy
    First, the irony of Obama getting hosed by his own dogma is very very satisfying. Affirmative action hires are no substitute for technical or artistic expertise. Both of the hired "artists" were in over their heads, and many, many people prop them up as if they weren't.

    The artistic choices of the artist who tried to draw Michelle is bogus, since she couldn't draw a realistic painting to begin with. Picasso could draw a realistic painting. It was after he'd mastered the fundamentals that he went into abstract paintings. That is why he is legit. To try to apply a lack of technical expertise in your field as art is bogus. She painted a juvenile level picture of Michelle because she had no other choice. It lacks proper perspective, it lacks dynamic range. It is low-brow graffiti.

    Barack's picture, though it exhibits more technical expertise by the artist(s), is third-world tacky. Better suited to the Vice Admiral of the Great Navy of Kazakhstan, than the President of the United States. The fact that these pictures are for posterity makes me very very happy.

    I've always maintained that Obama was racially confused, and his decisions would reflect his inner turmoil, so the painting is unintentionally perfect for him:

    A random, sad chaotic mix, signifying nothing.

    A big mistake with unqualified confidence.

    This is him–and for 8 years, it was us.

    Everyone always brings up the fact that Picasso trained in realistic, representational painting. (That makes at least one of them.) It gets repeated like a religious mantra.

    I think the point is to imply that not just Picasso but many of the rest of them could do the old thing if they wanted, but choose to do crap because reasons. When in fact painting instruction collapsed after the impressionists took control of instruction. (Old-style art studios carry on the tradition, but barely any artists bother learning in them.) Most every modernist lacks the choice to paint like an Old Master if they wanted.

    As for Picasso specifically, he admitted he was a charlatan. Even if thare was a pose, nevertheless he was right. The choice to paint as he did was not made for aesthetic reasons, but for reasons of fashion and publicity, as well as politics.

    Throwing away his skills to paint crap was no more “legit” than Esau trading his birthright for a mess of pottage.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    To be a successful artist these days, you need to be able to produce slick looking stuff, at roughly the level of magazine advertising professional illustration. It's a myth that 21st Century art could be produced by a child or an elephant. There might have been a brief time in the 20th Century when this was true, but 21st Century art tends toward the glitzy rather than the crude.

    Obama's portrait is incompetent if you look at it for more than 30 seconds, but at first impression, the greenery is pretty and the face is recognizably Obama's. (How you go about producing the final product isn't all that important. Nobody cares about whether you pay people to do the real work, just that the final product looks slick.)

    , @Jim Don Bob
    I have never liked Picasso. He obviously had talent, but his pictures were stupid.
    , @Chrisnonymous
    I'm not sure Picasso was throwing away any talent. He definitely had an aesthetic sense which allowed him to produce compelling abstract art. But that's not the same as having mastered traditional painting.
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  172. @Buffalo Joe
    Chaddy, The Albright-Know Art Gallery in Buffalo has several Picasso's in their collection, so I am familiar with his abstract style. However, after a friend pointed out that they had seen examples of Picasso's realistic side while in Spain, I did some research online. Truly Picasso could paint and do portraits, but he felt abstraction expressed his feeling and who am I to argue with the greatest abstract painter of our time.

    “who am I to argue with the greatest abstract painter of our time”

    You are presumably a person with eyes to see, that’s who.

    The painter with the best publicity of our time is more like it. But assuming he’s also the greatest, that’s a World’s Tallest Midget thing.

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  173. @chaddy
    First, the irony of Obama getting hosed by his own dogma is very very satisfying. Affirmative action hires are no substitute for technical or artistic expertise. Both of the hired "artists" were in over their heads, and many, many people prop them up as if they weren't.

    The artistic choices of the artist who tried to draw Michelle is bogus, since she couldn't draw a realistic painting to begin with. Picasso could draw a realistic painting. It was after he'd mastered the fundamentals that he went into abstract paintings. That is why he is legit. To try to apply a lack of technical expertise in your field as art is bogus. She painted a juvenile level picture of Michelle because she had no other choice. It lacks proper perspective, it lacks dynamic range. It is low-brow graffiti.

    Barack's picture, though it exhibits more technical expertise by the artist(s), is third-world tacky. Better suited to the Vice Admiral of the Great Navy of Kazakhstan, than the President of the United States. The fact that these pictures are for posterity makes me very very happy.

    I've always maintained that Obama was racially confused, and his decisions would reflect his inner turmoil, so the painting is unintentionally perfect for him:

    A random, sad chaotic mix, signifying nothing.

    A big mistake with unqualified confidence.

    This is him–and for 8 years, it was us.

    How low are our standards, truly, when someone can produce junk and crap all over our culture, and we accept it simply because they could paint beautifully when they chose to.

    It’s akin to thanking a home invader for only raping your wife once instead of multiple times.

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  174. @guest
    Everyone always brings up the fact that Picasso trained in realistic, representational painting. (That makes at least one of them.) It gets repeated like a religious mantra.

    I think the point is to imply that not just Picasso but many of the rest of them could do the old thing if they wanted, but choose to do crap because reasons. When in fact painting instruction collapsed after the impressionists took control of instruction. (Old-style art studios carry on the tradition, but barely any artists bother learning in them.) Most every modernist lacks the choice to paint like an Old Master if they wanted.

    As for Picasso specifically, he admitted he was a charlatan. Even if thare was a pose, nevertheless he was right. The choice to paint as he did was not made for aesthetic reasons, but for reasons of fashion and publicity, as well as politics.

    Throwing away his skills to paint crap was no more "legit" than Esau trading his birthright for a mess of pottage.

    To be a successful artist these days, you need to be able to produce slick looking stuff, at roughly the level of magazine advertising professional illustration. It’s a myth that 21st Century art could be produced by a child or an elephant. There might have been a brief time in the 20th Century when this was true, but 21st Century art tends toward the glitzy rather than the crude.

    Obama’s portrait is incompetent if you look at it for more than 30 seconds, but at first impression, the greenery is pretty and the face is recognizably Obama’s. (How you go about producing the final product isn’t all that important. Nobody cares about whether you pay people to do the real work, just that the final product looks slick.)

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    • Replies: @guest
    The "a two year-old could do that" is more for abstract expressionism, especially of the "action painting" variety. There are no standards whatsoever for what makes a better or worse drip painting, outside of whim.

    I don't know how old you'd need to be to do photoshop/paint-by-number works like Obama's portrait. Two would be too young.

    However slick it is, it's not at the level of the Old Masters. A painting doesn't need to be at the two year-old level to be below the standards we used to expect of fine are r. Almost no painters can even paint like old commercial artists. This portrait is nowhere near what could be accomplished by a Wyeth or a Rockwell.

    It's not even up to the level of the commercial art world of the Art Deco period, which is the last period when fashion art was in line with wide public taste. That I would call slick. Calling Obama's portrait slick is to debase that term. These Po-mo Pop Art guys flatter themselves as masters at manipulating media and saying with symbols and modes of communication, but they often terrible at just that. Which is why normal people snicker at this, as Highlights Magazine and Magic Eye come to mind.

    Today's famous painters may possess skill at whatever it is they do, but what they do is at a low aesthetic level and is rejected by public taste, which tends to prefer the older stuff. (Check out your local poster store. Assuming you don't live in Hipstertown.) Even if the public appreciates slickness it in advertising, in the context of fine art, po-mo pop art, or whatever this is, garners virtually no esteem.

    Except in the press, the art world, and elite culture generally. But they're in on the scam. And they think it proves their good taste to appreciate things of low quality. So long as they're produced by the right people for the right reasons. Although they may make up the reasons if that suits them, too. I wouldn't put it beyond them to praise some hillbilly's velvet MAGA painting of Trump as God come to Earth if they thought it would be to their advantage. They'd of course interpret it upside-down.

    , @Anonymous
    Steve - have you seen the actual portrait rather than digital or photographic reproduction of it? Do you think any of the commenters here have? Does it not matter? Personally I find myself more drawn to looking at pictures in galleries where I can enjoy the texture than flat shiny copies.
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  175. @Anon
    Was it this?

    http://www.blueofthesky.com/publicart/works/redcube.htm

    Anon, No, that work, while similar, is not in Buffalo. The art I’m referenced looked like a giant three dimensional number four, also red. thanks for the link though.

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  176. @guest
    Everyone always brings up the fact that Picasso trained in realistic, representational painting. (That makes at least one of them.) It gets repeated like a religious mantra.

    I think the point is to imply that not just Picasso but many of the rest of them could do the old thing if they wanted, but choose to do crap because reasons. When in fact painting instruction collapsed after the impressionists took control of instruction. (Old-style art studios carry on the tradition, but barely any artists bother learning in them.) Most every modernist lacks the choice to paint like an Old Master if they wanted.

    As for Picasso specifically, he admitted he was a charlatan. Even if thare was a pose, nevertheless he was right. The choice to paint as he did was not made for aesthetic reasons, but for reasons of fashion and publicity, as well as politics.

    Throwing away his skills to paint crap was no more "legit" than Esau trading his birthright for a mess of pottage.

    I have never liked Picasso. He obviously had talent, but his pictures were stupid.

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  177. @Steve Sailer
    To be a successful artist these days, you need to be able to produce slick looking stuff, at roughly the level of magazine advertising professional illustration. It's a myth that 21st Century art could be produced by a child or an elephant. There might have been a brief time in the 20th Century when this was true, but 21st Century art tends toward the glitzy rather than the crude.

    Obama's portrait is incompetent if you look at it for more than 30 seconds, but at first impression, the greenery is pretty and the face is recognizably Obama's. (How you go about producing the final product isn't all that important. Nobody cares about whether you pay people to do the real work, just that the final product looks slick.)

    The “a two year-old could do that” is more for abstract expressionism, especially of the “action painting” variety. There are no standards whatsoever for what makes a better or worse drip painting, outside of whim.

    I don’t know how old you’d need to be to do photoshop/paint-by-number works like Obama’s portrait. Two would be too young.

    However slick it is, it’s not at the level of the Old Masters. A painting doesn’t need to be at the two year-old level to be below the standards we used to expect of fine are r. Almost no painters can even paint like old commercial artists. This portrait is nowhere near what could be accomplished by a Wyeth or a Rockwell.

    It’s not even up to the level of the commercial art world of the Art Deco period, which is the last period when fashion art was in line with wide public taste. That I would call slick. Calling Obama’s portrait slick is to debase that term. These Po-mo Pop Art guys flatter themselves as masters at manipulating media and saying with symbols and modes of communication, but they often terrible at just that. Which is why normal people snicker at this, as Highlights Magazine and Magic Eye come to mind.

    Today’s famous painters may possess skill at whatever it is they do, but what they do is at a low aesthetic level and is rejected by public taste, which tends to prefer the older stuff. (Check out your local poster store. Assuming you don’t live in Hipstertown.) Even if the public appreciates slickness it in advertising, in the context of fine art, po-mo pop art, or whatever this is, garners virtually no esteem.

    Except in the press, the art world, and elite culture generally. But they’re in on the scam. And they think it proves their good taste to appreciate things of low quality. So long as they’re produced by the right people for the right reasons. Although they may make up the reasons if that suits them, too. I wouldn’t put it beyond them to praise some hillbilly’s velvet MAGA painting of Trump as God come to Earth if they thought it would be to their advantage. They’d of course interpret it upside-down.

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  178. @guest
    Everyone always brings up the fact that Picasso trained in realistic, representational painting. (That makes at least one of them.) It gets repeated like a religious mantra.

    I think the point is to imply that not just Picasso but many of the rest of them could do the old thing if they wanted, but choose to do crap because reasons. When in fact painting instruction collapsed after the impressionists took control of instruction. (Old-style art studios carry on the tradition, but barely any artists bother learning in them.) Most every modernist lacks the choice to paint like an Old Master if they wanted.

    As for Picasso specifically, he admitted he was a charlatan. Even if thare was a pose, nevertheless he was right. The choice to paint as he did was not made for aesthetic reasons, but for reasons of fashion and publicity, as well as politics.

    Throwing away his skills to paint crap was no more "legit" than Esau trading his birthright for a mess of pottage.

    I’m not sure Picasso was throwing away any talent. He definitely had an aesthetic sense which allowed him to produce compelling abstract art. But that’s not the same as having mastered traditional painting.

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    • Replies: @guest
    He was capable of painting in the old style. I haven't deduced that from how compelling his abstract stuff was. Picasso actually was a realist early on, and returned to that style periodically throughout his career.

    Not that he would have been a Master. I think he would have had a career, but we almost certainly wouldn't still know his name if he hadn't gone modern.

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  179. @Chrisnonymous
    I'm not sure Picasso was throwing away any talent. He definitely had an aesthetic sense which allowed him to produce compelling abstract art. But that's not the same as having mastered traditional painting.

    He was capable of painting in the old style. I haven’t deduced that from how compelling his abstract stuff was. Picasso actually was a realist early on, and returned to that style periodically throughout his career.

    Not that he would have been a Master. I think he would have had a career, but we almost certainly wouldn’t still know his name if he hadn’t gone modern.

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    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous

    He was capable of painting in the old style.
     
    That's meaningless. My father teaches beginning painting and takes his students to the point of being "capable of painting [a self-portrait] in the old style" in one semester. That just means a reasonable attempt at correct rendering, light/shade, etc.

    I was under the impression that part of the reason Picasso switched to abstraction was that he couldn't paint "in the old style" very well.
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  180. @guest
    He was capable of painting in the old style. I haven't deduced that from how compelling his abstract stuff was. Picasso actually was a realist early on, and returned to that style periodically throughout his career.

    Not that he would have been a Master. I think he would have had a career, but we almost certainly wouldn't still know his name if he hadn't gone modern.

    He was capable of painting in the old style.

    That’s meaningless. My father teaches beginning painting and takes his students to the point of being “capable of painting [a self-portrait] in the old style” in one semester. That just means a reasonable attempt at correct rendering, light/shade, etc.

    I was under the impression that part of the reason Picasso switched to abstraction was that he couldn’t paint “in the old style” very well.

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    • Replies: @Anon
    Your impression was wrong. Picasso was a quite competent painter.
    www.bcn.cat/museupicasso/en/collection/highlights.html
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  181. @Chrisnonymous

    He was capable of painting in the old style.
     
    That's meaningless. My father teaches beginning painting and takes his students to the point of being "capable of painting [a self-portrait] in the old style" in one semester. That just means a reasonable attempt at correct rendering, light/shade, etc.

    I was under the impression that part of the reason Picasso switched to abstraction was that he couldn't paint "in the old style" very well.

    Your impression was wrong. Picasso was a quite competent painter.
    http://www.bcn.cat/museupicasso/en/collection/highlights.html

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  182. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Steve Sailer
    To be a successful artist these days, you need to be able to produce slick looking stuff, at roughly the level of magazine advertising professional illustration. It's a myth that 21st Century art could be produced by a child or an elephant. There might have been a brief time in the 20th Century when this was true, but 21st Century art tends toward the glitzy rather than the crude.

    Obama's portrait is incompetent if you look at it for more than 30 seconds, but at first impression, the greenery is pretty and the face is recognizably Obama's. (How you go about producing the final product isn't all that important. Nobody cares about whether you pay people to do the real work, just that the final product looks slick.)

    Steve – have you seen the actual portrait rather than digital or photographic reproduction of it? Do you think any of the commenters here have? Does it not matter? Personally I find myself more drawn to looking at pictures in galleries where I can enjoy the texture than flat shiny copies.

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