Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Achy Breaky Art
Being something of an minor league art cannibal, I've been observing the recent controversy created when a local Miami artist acted on impulse (or in a premeditated fashion, depending on who you believe) and broke elements of an expensive art installation to protest the museum's perceived lack of community outreach, once again exposing a typical gallery game to light where the well-known are used (and abused) and the unknown are ignored for the sake of commerce. Plus ca change...
An irony abounds here, however - for the artist whose work hit the tiles has himself made a name by indulging at times in forms of vandalism for the sake of a greater point - in his case, to protest the masses' uncaring attitude toward their own cultural history. A fair point, and yet...
The fact that this same artist now decries such highbrow hooliganism holds the irony, and the comparison used to justify his revisionism ('You cannot stand in front of a classical painting and kill somebody and say that you are inspired by the artist') makes as little sense as a purely destructive act committed in and of itself. Who is 'killing somebody' here, in the interests of metaphoric comparison?
Further to that, actual murder has allegedly inspired art, as art has been the inspiration for murder...which thus dooms the comparison to irrelevance, in any case.
It's likely that the art was overvalued for insurance purposes, as the artist acknowledged - and my opinion is that it is overvalued for artistic purposes also, as dipping an ancient relic in high-visibility paint provides a point (to me) abstract at best and nebulous at the worst, much like another artist who took the mundane and made it more...mundane.
'Fuck off', indeed.