View Full Version : Are the lunatics running the (artistic) show ?

30th Apr 2012, 13:33
This weekend Mrs O and have entered one of her sculptures for a competition run by a prestigious art organisation. Needless to say the sculpture - which is figuerative and hence looks like what it supposed to (two human beings) took weeks of her time to do followed by weeks of work in the foundry.

And then we looked at some of the other entries. Well ! A bunch of mentally-retarded school children, fed on expresso to make them hyperactive, and given paper, cardboard, a few broken toys and some sellotape, would, in a few hours produce similar efforts - or possibly better.

In my father's time people claiming to be artists and producing such unmitigated rubbish, would be laughed at (at least) or committed to a lunatic asylum (at worst). And anyone submitting an unmade bed as an "exibit", rotting carcases as an "exhibit" or peanut butter smeared on the flooor, as an "exhibit", would be laughed at - and wouldn't find a collector to feed their pockets by buying this awful rubbish.

What I'd like to ask my fellow colleagues on JB is this: do you think the degeneration of what used to be a noble art, sculpting (or art in general) is specific to this subect, or is it part of a more widespread degeneration in morals, standards and ethical behaviour ? If the former, are people such as Tracey Ermin and Damian Hirst laughing up their sleeves at us, and if the latter, are they perfectly sincere in believing what they produce is "art" ?

Interestingly although costumes and settings change, if you produce a classical opera, it still has to be sung by people with talent who can hit a correct note and memorise the entire score: you don't have unqualified people turning up to sing "Don Giovanni" screeching and howling, and promoters listening and saying "wonderful, wonderful".

So maybe the rot is confined to painting and sculpting......

Comments ?

30th Apr 2012, 13:52
One might ask if some artists are lunatics...?


Dribble, drivel or genius...?


Take a deep breath OFSO it is only art... ;)

If the former, are people such as Tracey Ermin and Damian Hirst laughing up their sleeves at us, and if the latter, are they perfectly sincere in believing what they produce is "art" ?

Two very wealthy charlatans... one of whom I believe thinks he is a "genius".

'Damien Hirst should not be in the Tate' says critic - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/9168804/Damien-Hirst-should-not-be-in-the-Tate-says-critic.html)

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon - Part 1/6 - YouTube


30th Apr 2012, 13:56
Modern sculpture is just one other proof of the dictum "You can fool some of the people all of the time".

30th Apr 2012, 13:56
I don't know what I like but I know what art is. :}

30th Apr 2012, 14:10
One visit to the New Tate would convince any disinterested observer that it is an out and out pisstake on the part of the (so called) "modern art" establishment to see how far they can push today's version of "the emperor's new clothes" joke on the public (and the public purse). Polystyrene blocks strewn randomly around a room ain't art; nor are rocks (*** rocks!) in the corner of a room.

green granite
30th Apr 2012, 14:12
What is even worse is that people with more money than sense pay huge sums of money for such crap.

Krystal n chips
30th Apr 2012, 14:25
I am proud to announce my forthcoming exhibition at the Tate Gallery....tickets are limited and I suggest you buy now to avoid disappointment.....a sneak preview of the already globally acclaimed project to intensify and stimulate the senses prior to you viewing....

" given paper, cardboard, a few broken toys and some sellotape, would, in a few hours produce similar efforts - or possibly better."

Wot ?......:E

30th Apr 2012, 14:26
This article sums up the late 20th/21st Century artistic establishment..

Frederick E. Hart Article by Tom Wolfe (http://www.jeanstephengalleries.com/hart-wolfe.html)

Doing her best to play the part, Lin asked Hart -- as Hart recounted it -- if the young men used as models for the three soldiers had complained of any pain when the plaster casts were removed from their faces and arms. Hart couldn't imagine what she was talking about. Then it dawned on him. She assumed that he had followed the lead of the ingenious art worldling George Segal, who had contrived a way of sculpturing the human figure without any skill whatsoever: by covering the model's body in wet plaster and removing it when it began to harden. No artist of her generation (she was 21) could even conceive of a sculptor starting out solely with a picture in his head, a stylus, a brick of moist clay and some armature wire. No artist of her generation dared even speculate about . . . skill.
http://dcmemorials.com/Img//0001000//01270_0000016120.jpg (http://dcmemorials.com/Img//0001000//01270_0000016120.jpg)


30th Apr 2012, 14:37
Now this is ART.

pro hart carpet ad - YouTube

30th Apr 2012, 14:37
They'll never get famous producing that crap. Just ask Salvador Dali.

30th Apr 2012, 14:41
"It's art because I say it's art". Say that to enough people, in a convincing enough manner backed up by copious supplies of supporting "explanations" liberally peppered with key furrin words such as genre, rationale, raison d'etre, etc., and you have it made. Brass cheek is all it takes, to have the insubstantial foolishness of the flocks of cognoscenti fluttering around your work cooing and simpering over its "genius". It's a prime example of "the Emperor's new suit" syndrome, none of these idiots dares to roundly declare any rubbish presented with good PR to be what it so patently is, total cr*p. To do so would expose themselves to ridicule by their peers, who would destroy their credentials in the blink of an eye, for rocking the boat that buoys the whole rotten crowd of them up.

I feel quite certain that those so-called "artists" and "sculptors" mentioned above are well aware that what they are doing is little more than "smoke and mirrors", but having become very rich on the proceeds to date, they are never going to admit it! The only artistry involved in the process is in their consummate ability to pull the wool over the eyes of those who run the galleries, and the wealthy but often culturally deficient idiots who throw obscene sums of money at the sad dross being displayed. :suspect:

30th Apr 2012, 14:46

An advert of pure genius. Almost as artistically good as this one... :ok:

Foster Beer Advert - Feng Shui - YouTube


30th Apr 2012, 14:53
Awww, Caco, they cut a bit off the end!!

30th Apr 2012, 15:35
Just ask Salvador Dali.

As it happens, Mrs OFSO did. She was running a gallery in (---) which had an exhibition of Dali's work and he arrived for the vernisage. Looking and behaving perfectly normally, while backstage he showed great interest in the arangements.

Then he changed into his robe, tweaked his moustache and became the mystic and ephemerial painter the public loved. Completely detached from reality.

When it was all over it was back on with his normal clothes, a very perceptive reckoning of the takings (and how much his share was) and off he went.

But boy, could he paint !

"It's only art". Last week some of the more perceptive followers of football may recollect that Barça had a Very Bad Time of It. I discussed it with my Catalan friend Joan, and he said "after all, it's only football". And that statement to a follower of Barça is as true as "it's only art" to someone who loves art. Makes as much sense as putting porcelain sculptures of Michael Jackson's ape in Versailles.....er, whoops. Sorry, Jeff.

30th Apr 2012, 16:52
I wish Salvador Dali would get a move on and finish that
Cathedral in Barcelona.
It's going to cost him a fortune in Penalty charges.

30th Apr 2012, 16:59
He contracted it out to Gaudi :} ... who went under a tram! :E

Yes, I know Dali didn't

Gaudi, Norm! Gaudi!!

Loose rivets
4th May 2012, 04:11

4th May 2012, 15:38
I am studying photography now at a small liberal-arts college, when I get a lot of exposure to art of all sorts, some good, some not really art at all. In fact, we had a problem with a recent exhibition when the custodians cleared up some trash that turned out to be part of the art exhibit! Yes it was trash, and yes it was art. 'Why was trash, art?' you may ask. Well, it was art because the artist said so!

Damien Hirst's famous shark is just a pickled shark... no, make that a rotting, pickled shark, when the solution turns out to be replacing one shark with another shark, the solution to 'a problem in the conservation of modern art.'

I used to spend a few happy Sunday hours in the Tate Modern when I was living a short walk away in the East End. Some of the stuff in there... you had to wonder. Rachel Whiteread got a special exhibition all to herself in the Turbine Hall, just a maze of white plastic boxes piled up very high. That was it, just boxes, boxes, and more boxes, all in that plain off-white color of some sort of polyethylene or polystyrene. Art, uh-huh....

Then there was Tracy Emin, with Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995, a tent with the names of (see above), mainly but not only her varied sex partners, part of her slaggish image that seems to sell very, very well. (The tent later burned, when I blame the Spanish Inquisition.)

The subject of 'the' Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, D.C. came up in Art History not long ago, that long, black wall, when I said that it was one of two. 'Oh!' said the prof, 'That other one glorifies war!' meaning, I suppose, that, for her, it doesn't exist.

I did not bother to argue about that, but I don't think anyone who looks at those three hot, tired, infantrymen could confuse them with John Wayne.

I keep a close eye on the end-of-term photo exhibits, of course, when one by a seemingly talented young woman caught my eye. It was very expensively produced, featuring large, glossy color photographs, but those consisted mainly of fields of bright colors, purples, blues, reds... here and there one could make out cryptic scribbles and childish sketches, but one looked in vain for recognizable photographic images as such! Then there were large spheroids, obviously made by wrapping exercise balls in plaster-soaked strips of gauze, with photo negatives coiled within them. Not that one could see the images from the negatives, it was just the negatives themselves. From a strictly photographic point of view this was a terrible waste, but one must consider the 'negative space' of the non-existent image, the artist's refusal to engage with corrupt contemporary society... well, something like that, anyway.

You get huge images that lack a subject, aren't in focus, or else they are not carefully composed, or perhaps show all sorts of obvious technical flaws, but it is the concept that matters, not what you see up there on the wall!

4th May 2012, 15:59
the custodians cleared up some trash that turned out to be part of the art exhibit

Sadly I don't remember the name of the famous 'artist', but I remember very well the scandal when a cleaning lady disposed of some rancid fat she found on the floor in a German moderm-art museum, and the fat turned out to have been the leading exhibit in this gentleman's show. Back in the 1980's that was.

But I see it has happened again in Dortmund .(November 2011) when a cleaner scrubbed off a stain which was part of the Martin Kippenberger exhibit in Dortmund's Ostwall Museum.


4th May 2012, 16:11
Easily confused.


tony draper
4th May 2012, 16:20
Had a hour to kill once so me and work mate wander into a free exhibition at local art gallery,lots of good stuff in there, old portraits, landscapes ect,proper paintings, one room had weird stuff,bowls full of large ball bearings wooden cones spheres and such, a large section of tree trunk with bark still upon it,one had had enough and said in a loud voice "This is just shite!"(one is noted for speaking one's mind) a chap wanders up behind me and whispers in me ear,"This is tactile art for blind people"
One made one's excuses and left.:\

4th May 2012, 17:48
Still big in Germany despite being quite dead, Beuys was noted for using fat, felt and 'ready-mades.' (He had a story about crashing his Stuka somewhere in Russia and being rescued by nomads who packed him in felt after swabbing him down with fat, during Zee Varr.)

Check out The Pack to see what I mean. It's actually quite good, where some of his other masterpieces are simply daft, such as a large room full of carefully chosen rocks. That's it, just rocks, but rocks chosen and installed by Josef Beuys. You might look at that and think 'BS!' but that is because you just do not appreciate what a genius Josef Beuys was, so 'Sorry for you!'

4th May 2012, 20:17
Thanks Chucks, Beuys was the guy. We had some very large floppy light switches made out of "felt" in the Darmstädtisches Landesmuseum, also one room full of what I thought were small pallets for transporting sculpture lying on the floor, but it turned out they WERE the sculpture. Or sculptures. All were Beuy's work and - needless to say - revered by the Germans.

Mrs OFSO's friend Mieke from Holland said on Monday that another incident happened last week in the Netherlands: an artist smeared peanut butter on the floor, this was seemingly some priceless piece of art (!) sadly a visitor promptly trod in it and caused €10,000 worth of damage to the "exhibit".

It would be hysterically funny were it not for the fact that these poor deluded fools are producing this sort of thing in the belief it is "art" which other poor deluded fools buy for vast amounts of money.

I was at our foundry this week. Several life-sized and very beautiful figuerative female sculptures being worked on, so not all is lost.

5th May 2012, 00:58
Off to see the Archibald (major portrait competition) entries now. No doubt there will be some good, some ordinary and some a waste of wall space. I shall report.

5th May 2012, 02:31
You can see stuff such as big sheets of lead laid out on the floor like tiles.
That's all, just these big sheets of lead. It's conceptual, you see!

Don't get me started; I have been a real party-pooper when it came to classroom presentations of such as Jean Baudrillard, skewering each pretentious sentence for being non-factual, baffling and totally full of BS. All the prof could say was that, well, perhaps I shouldn't insist on his stuff making literal sense, even though it's presented as serious writing.

There's nothing stopping one from doing whatever one wants to. It is just that it might not sell. So you get a side job to keep body and soul together, I guess?

I know that typanum on the National Cathedral. It's a knock-out. I didn't know the same artist did the second Viet Nam War Memorial.

18th May 2012, 14:16
They really are taking the piss now......

Empty plinth and blank piece of paper to feature in exhibition of invisible art - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/art-news/9274597/Empty-plinth-and-blank-piece-of-paper-to-feature-in-exhibition-of-invisible-art.html)

I would pay £8 just to be able to stand outside and laugh at those paying to go in.

18th May 2012, 14:31
Musée de l'Orangerie. Monet's waterlilies. Art.

'Nuff said.

18th May 2012, 14:35
I was intrigued by the artist that smeared peanut butter on the floor.
That is just a BRILLIANT concept. Every time you drop your toast it gets
a lovely coating of peanut butter instead of the usual crap it picks up by
being dropped on the floor.

18th May 2012, 15:14
Yesterday, being my Birfday, myself and ladyfriend decided to visit Waddesdon Manor, Bucks. We kept our visit to the grounds and may do the interior of the Manor at a later date. In the grounds, scattered about, were a number of contemporary sculptures. I thought they looked amazing. I can't describe the exhibits that I loved the most and the ones that made me think eeerr??

We were close to the Manor entrance and near one exhibit was a sign that read "do not climb on the sculpture". This 'exhibit', as I saw it, was a collection of about 8 very large and heavily built packing cases complete with labels with an image printed and the name of the artist. I pondered the significance of this sculpture, as it was being photographed by a very interested lady.

It turned out these were packing cases containing sculptures for an upcoming show at The Stables gallery in conjunction with Christies, due to open May 26th. The lady was overseeing the safe delivery and set-up of the items. And silly little me mistook the packing cases for an exterior sculpture:D

Anyhow, we had a bite to eat at the Stables where the exhibition is due to be held. Suddenly, the stable doors were opened. The team were setting up the exhibition and were in the midst of doing a photo shoot and I guess they needed some natural light. Having had a glass of birfday Chardonnay, I decided to have a closer peek. There in a glass 'cage', was half a pig, a sort of cut-away down the center. I thought it looked bloody amazing. Perfectly presented. It was of course by the Damien chap. I'm going back there when it opens.

I'm still a little embarrassed that I mistook a pile of packing cases for a sculpture.

19th May 2012, 01:50
Off to see the Archibald (major portrait competition) entries now. No doubt there will be some good, some ordinary and some a waste of wall space. I shall report.
Well, as expected, there was more ordinary and waste of space than good, and very few excellent.
The winner of the peoples' choice award (http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/self-portrait-wins-archibald-peoples-choice-award-20120517-1ysib.html), a self portrait by Jenny Sages, was one of the few excellent paintings there. The winner of the archibald, didn't get many votes from the public.

Loose rivets
19th May 2012, 07:02
Huh! Just remembered. The Rivetess and I went to Ipswich one day, and in a park there was a house, and in the house was an exhibition.

Odd things there, but I quite liked them. However, the one that stuck in my mind was a Mini. It had been made to scale - I'd guess about 1:1.25 Maybe more. Bigger that is.

I think they may have used 1100 wheels, (not eleven-hundred wheels, that would be silly.) You know what I mean, and the car was in proportion to that.

Having owned several Minis, I spent some time looking at it, thinking it would be a practical size, and right now realize it was about the size of the new ones. Prophetic art, that.

19th May 2012, 07:59
The Daily Telegraph reports (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/art/9275545/Invisible-art-exhibition-to-set-imaginations-alight.html) on an invisible art exhibition which will "set imaginations alight":rolleyes:

19th May 2012, 17:48
Pleased to say one of my works was accepted for the 'Invisible Art' exhibition at the Hayward

What do you think? ;)

19th May 2012, 17:54
It's soooo you !

19th May 2012, 18:05
It's soooo you !

That size?

19th May 2012, 20:02
Good colour, though. And nicely placed relative to the window.

Solid Rust Twotter
20th May 2012, 07:57
Reckon you've got it upside down, Mr TTN.

20th May 2012, 10:42
Oops! You're right - sorted now. Thanks SRT :ok:

20th May 2012, 10:46
Not quite, TTN, it's not exactly horizontal. Try some invisible BluTak behind the frame to hold it straight.

20th May 2012, 15:16
Come the revolution, no doubt the FSL will have the perpetrators of this travesty (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-18116830) put up against the nearest wall and shot, slowly.

20th May 2012, 18:07
"I've never done anything like this before... the team's going to push the jelly around the boat which will take about six hours.

It's a SHIP not a BOAT , FFS!

20th May 2012, 19:49

I suppose this Olympic Tower is Art as well.