Monday, March 24, 2008

De l'art ou du cochon.

As I was visiting the Gustave Courbet retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum in NY, I was once again shocked by the number of bad paintings this type of show inflics upon us public at large. These marketing-driven high masses where the public supposedly connects or reconnects with an artist are generally pathetic insofar as every piece of art, the good, the bad and the ugly, is treated with the same phony respect. Why is it that say, 300.000 people, prompted by the usual mass media shepherds, flock like sheep to the Grand Palais, the Metropolitan, Beaubourg, to see an "incontournable" exhibit and yet have absolutely zero contact with art in general or in particular on any of their boring given day? Education of the masses? Bull! Some will buy the odd postcard at the exit of the museum and go home and put in the same mental basket Manet-Monet-Gauguin-Van Gogh-Cézanne-Lautrec-Renoir-Matisse-Picasso. With possibly one or two representations of their most famous pieces.
What if the masses, in their flockish hebetude, have it right? A painter's good work can be counted on one hand. The rest is shlock, repetitious, commissioned.

Je méditais, il y a peu, sur Degas, Edgar pour les intimes: son penchant pour l'instantané, la proverbiale tranche de vie, le mouvement en suspens. Et je me répète que c'est là qu'il faut aller: une peinture où le spectateur est voyeur par inadvertence, témoin involontaire. Le regard du spectateur fait partie du tableau, mais les protagonistes du tableau ne croisent pas le regard du spectateur.Tout le reste est de la poudre aux yeux. J'ai tout compris. Plus facile à dire qu'à faire.

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