Brian on Art

Regular readers will know of my fondness for Brian Micklethwait’s blog and his narrative, no nonsense style of writing.

Today, Brian gave us a collage of Anthony Gormley’s exhibit(s?) in London during the summer of 2007. But it wasn’t the pictures that piqued my interest so much as Brian’s commentary:

For some damn fool artistic type reason that need not concern us unless we want it to, Gormley called these Men “Event Horizon”.  (Artists who make nice things but talk bollocks about them are a characteristic type of our time, I think.  I don’t blame them.  If they didn’t talk bollocks they’d never get their careers cranked up.  Anyway, it makes a change from a generation ago, when the things they made were almost entirely bollocks also.) The Gormley Men are all based on Gormley himself.

Critic Howard Halle (see here) out-Gormleyed Gormley by saying this:

“Using distance and attendant shifts of scale within the very fabric of the city, [Event Horizon] creates a metaphor for urban life and all the contradictory associations – alienation, ambition, anonymity, fame – it entails.”

Whatever.  In other words, you see in these metal Men whatever you want to see, much as you see whatever you want to see when confronting actual men.

I can’t agree with Brian that what artists produce these days is any better than what artists produced a generation ago. Lest we forget that during this year’s (at least partially) publicly-funded “Infecting The City” arts “festival” in Cape Town:

City “treasures”, including King Edward’s statue on the Grand Parade, were covered in clingwrap and trees on the station forecourt were draped in toilet paper.

Which, to me, almost entirely indicates that things in the art world really haven’t moved on at all in the last 30 years.

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