Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Review: The Mona Lisa Curse

In spite of my scepticism that this series would be a pulpit for Robert Hughes to preach his traditional art views to the public, it in fact made me contemplate many aspects of the art world. Mr. Hughes tells not only the story of art over the past 50 years but more interestingly perhaps, his story. Showing footage of him today interwoven with footage from the 60's and 70's in NYC with artists like DeKooning, Jasper Johns and Rauschenberg made me feel some nostalgia for those early days when artists actually had studios in Manhattan.
This tale is mostly about how big art prices are on a path to ruin the creation of 'good' art as collectors sway public opinion by forcing their taste on the public through museums and auction houses. Mr. Hughes feebly eases his way onto a couch with aid of his cane before giving renowned collector Mr. Mugrabi an arty verbal pummelling the likes of which Mr. Mugrabi will not soon forget. It was painfully obvious at that moment that many of these big collectors have very little conviction for, or knowledge of the art they buy and how scary is that considering they are affecting the market and the production of art? Watching the massively annoying art agent scamper her way through the armory art show looking at weak instant art made me feel a bit sick. I have been to several of these art fairs and indeed it takes a strong stomach as an artist to listen and watch the chaos within. I certainly don't see eye to eye with all of Mr. Hughes's views, or his opinions on what constitutes art but I love his conviction. This is something that is becoming a rare thing and it is my hope that diversity and passion prevail and that the collectors with the cash don't become the dictators of taste.

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