The Countertop Chronicles

"Run by a gun zealot who's too blinded by the NRA" - Sam Penney of

Sunday, June 13, 2004

What's Wrong With Modern Art

Everything that is so so so wrong with the whole Jeffery Koons, Damien Hirst, Bill Viola (though in truth some of Viola's stuff is pretty neat to look at) schools of modern art are summed up in a New York Times Magazine article this morning.
Fraser's videotape ''Untitled'' (2003) was scheduled to go on view at the Friedrich Petzel Gallery in Chelsea on June 10. In it, the artist is seen having sex in what some have characterized coyly as ''every imaginable position,'' with an unidentified American collector who paid close to $20,000 to participate in this curious 60-minute work of art.

. . .

For Fraser, ''Untitled'' was, she explained, ''not a literalization of what is, in fact, a very old metaphor, that selling art is prostitution,'' a point that was made with pithy precision by Baudelaire. ''This is not 'Indecent Proposal,''' Fraser added quickly. And it is not -- or not quite.

Uuuh yeah. Right.

When the wife was at art school, one of the things that drove both of us so nuts was the utter lack of skill or artistic ability displayed by so many of her peers. My wife has been painting in oils since she was 5 and has dedicated years to mastering her craft. Throughout art school, she would experiment with various techniques and new forms of art. In each, prior to undertaking a major work she would do extensive research on past works using those mediums and spend countless hours practicing her techniques and working on studies for the final piece. Invariably (and against my wishes) she would destroy the studies because they embarrassed her and weren't intended for mass viewing. Yet, her peers who didn't spend nearly the time she did would simply paint a half ass nude picture (with their lack of basic drawing skills shinning through) or do a nude self portrait to the praise and admiration of all their professors.

This was something she encountered everywhere she has studied - Tennessee, Rhode Island, London, D.C. She never studied in New York, but having grown up there, I doubt the experience would be different.

Now we have the New York Times magazine making this talentless hookers art career, and undoubtably sending the value of her previous and future crap through the roof. It is nauseating. Why not just purchase the latest from Vivid (definately not work safe) for $39.95? I just don't see the art in any of it.

  • The Way You Move from the album Speakerboxxx/The Love Below by OutKast & Sleepy Brown

  • When You Got a Good Friend from the album Me and Mr. Johnson by Eric Clapton

  • Zero from the album Greatest Hits by Smashing Pumpkins

  • Do You Realize?? from the album Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips

  • Oh! You Pretty Things from the album Hunky Dory by David Bowie

  • Zoo Station from the album Achtung Baby by U2

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