02 February 2008
is that art? or are you just being a pretentious jackass?
warning: back to back negative posts! and this one is about art (much too highbrow, i know). we'll bring it around to the positive in the next post. promise.
watched Charlie Rose interview Julian Schnabel on the television. they talked a lot about Schnabel's movie the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, which is supposed to be excellent. The video interview is not up yet or I would have a screen capture of Schnabel's outfit, which includes yellow-tinted glasses and prominent chest fur.
At one point the conversation turned to Schnabel's new exhibition of his recent paintings. He has taken to painting abstract shapes (if you can call it that) over maps. The maps themselves are often quite beautiful. The painting looks like something my cousin's 2 year old would do, and then his 4 year old would come over and make fun of it because it looks so sh*tty. (kids are mean.)
Abstract art may be similar to jazz; in jazz you have to master common musical form in order to break out of its constraints and limitations. In jazz you express yourself in complex, difficult patterns that often don't lend themselves to casual listening. If you don't master the regular form, then the irregular form is beyond you.
This particular "art" looks more like some bullsh*t that someone vomited onto what used to a very elegant bit of cartography. The only statement Schnabel is making is that he doesn't have the good sense to recognize a beautiful map as a work of art in its own right.
I'll let you know about the movie.
UPDATE - turns out that Mr. Schnabel is a very famous artist who has made 'millions of dollars' for his paintings. You can decide for yourself if they're any good or not. Robert Hughes, a prominent art critic, was not a fan of the man's art or his memoirs, about which he said: The unexamined life, said Socrates, is not worth living. The memoirs of Julian Schnabel, such as they are, remind one that the converse is also true. The unlived life is not worth examining.