Everybody is a critic

A series of posts on Facebook started an avalanche of comments and subsequent postings.

This first one below was a post by my friend Martina Hoffmann:

An eloquent article by RM Vaughan, VERY worth while reading!!!
Excerpt:….After trying so hard to find something beyond the clumsy surface of these paintings, I began to wonder if I was an unwilling participant in a vast art-world hoax, a ruse predicated on the sucker-born-every-minute understanding that in contemporary culture all you have to do to turn something into a praise-worthy object is simply position it as a praise-worthy object. The art world will then haplessly fill in the blanks itself, as the art world cannot stand a vacuum any more than the world of, say, political information peddling, which is also now post-everything…..

 Not to be outdone, I found another gem I then published on Facebook:

lets stick with today’s art scene, here is another brillant piece:
I can see a series coming on – like, teabags in a urinal, audience interactive art …..

The comment section overflowed – too much to show here – to see it all you could check the original post (set to ‘Public’, so it should be accessible).

But the best answer to a subsequent comment by myself came on this exchange:

Otto Rapp If they would give me a solo show, I could bring in the lint that had collected under my bed – I am sure I could come up with artspeak that would describe in great detail how this is significant – the spiritual connection alone would be very deep, because when I was a child I thought that there were dead people under my bed that had turned to dust.


To which another (personal) friend replied:

Ben Dhaliwal Rapp’s ‘Coming to terms with my own mortality’ follows in the wake of Gormley ‘s ‘bread works’ and Emmin’s now iconic ‘bed’.

Here the artist is exploring the significance of the dust particles harvested from the interstitial space between the bed upon which he sleeps and the floor upon which the bed stands. The accumulated material from this most private and personal of spaces, is both separate from and a part of the artist’s physical presence. It signifies both his presence and absence. As the dust owes it’s uniqueness to both the artist himself and the specific topography of its source, Rapp is forcing us to acknowledge the influence of our surroundings on the characteristics which society encourages, indeed insists on us identifying as ourselves. In our current server driven, digital world of online identity, Rapp is literally bringing us back to earth.
The ephemeral quality of household dust is always redolent of funery liturgy. The inevitable ‘returning’ unto dust is Rapp’s leitmotif here. As, like so many artists before him he returns us to the bed as the locus amoena of the creative
process. The bed. And with it, the inevitable paradox that to create is to engage with death. That sleep and imagination are inextricable.

Rapp’s forthcoming navel fluff sculptures which are to be exhibited at the Serpentine this summer promise to attract record numbers of visitors and your current reviewer will be among the first in the queue.

There you are, I’ve done it for you. I didn’t work with the best collection of contemporary sculpture outside of London for nothing.

Mark Henson Perhaps Ben will be offering artspeak classes to all of us wanna-bees. Well said, sir!

Following this, I felt compelled to share this news item from the Art Market Monitor:

Is it any wonder? Compare this to my other recent posts about art!

Last week, the Louvre opened a show of Vermeer putting him in context of his peers and showing the ways in which Dutch Golden Age genre painters influenced and competed with each other. From the opening day, the crowds have surprised and overwhelmed the Louvre to the point that demand shut down online ticketing.
Otto Rapp but what’s all that compared to Cy Twombly – Untitled 1970 – which was sold for $69.6 Million – we came a long way, haven’t we? In art, ‘Reverse Evolution’ (Regressive Evolution) is the norm and celebrated!

 ……. and looking for Devolution (Reverse Evolution) in Art I found this posting in Quora, which I then shared on Facebook:

this might get lost in the comment section under another post, so here it is again:

using the example of Cy Twombly I added my own 2 cents worth to the Quora Forum (which I subsequently shared on Facebook as well):

Otto Rapp, BFA Fine Art & Social Anthropology, University of Lethbridge (1982)

I tend to think there has been a reverse evolution in art, something that is impossible in biology. Does anyone think that Cy Twombly, for example, is a ‘master’ on a level with Vermeer? See below this ‘masterpiece’, Untitled, 1970 which sold for nearly $ 70 Million!

Now compare to Vermeer and this article about a exhibition in the Louvre:
Old Masters Have No Constituency? Tell the Crowds Shutting Down the Louvre’s New Vermeer Show

 There were many comments as well. I have to admit I am selectively biased about some – but see for yourself, without me editorializing, on my original Facebook post.

Of course this isn’t my first “rant” – I posted this item on Blogger (it has many related links):

Tuesday, December 17, 2013  

LAOKOON, ANTI-LAOKOON and ANTI-KOONS

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~ by ottorapp on March 5, 2017.

2 Responses to “Everybody is a critic”

  1. I don’t personally care for most of the modern shite….but…then again, what the hell do I know? I’m sure plenty of people out there would argue that I’m just uninformed or uneducated, or just don’t understand the sublime. For the most part, I think modern humans are simply afraid to embrace the mysterious. They have to feel they know everything already, and are not comfortable when faced with representational realistic art that is mysterious in subject matter. That’s why the only representational art getting widespread praise around here is either deliberately not serious in subject matter, or it’s dry, harmless, academic depiction of something mundane. Meh. I will always take the road less traveled. The scenery is much more interesting 🙂

    • The art market is a strange thing – everything functions in reverse to what drives other markets. Here, they are exalted elites that speak a language only they understand, not to mention obscene amounts of money. The less “comprehendable” it is, the more appreciated the artist is in these circles, for that gives them a feeling of sublimity that exalts them from the unwashed masses. It is not the art, but what they paid for it, that elevates their status among the oligarch peers.

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