The Art World


1010061141.jpgAnother anomaly from the Times today–the big setup and the even bigger letdown. We see a tantalizing array of photographs. Easy chairs? Barcaloungers? What’s the underlying theme? Our eye immediately finds the caption, unoriginally titled in that it is based on a big Hollywood movie title, and learn that it is from a photo exhibit by an artist named Saul Robbins. Brilliant idea: therapists’ chairs! I want to know more! Which gallery reps Saul, so I can go see the hilarity in person? Well, we’ll never know, because Saul or his work or the exhibit is not mentioned again. Sure, the article tells us a lot about shrinks and their offices, but what is the tie-in to this artwork? How did Mr. Robbins come to this project? Has he been in therapy for 20 years and finally confessed that he typically never listened, instead focusing on the office decor in his endless stream of experiences with various and sundry psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers? No, nothing like that. As has been the wont of the Times for the last few years, as it slips into decline, the pictures don’t really match the articles, or the captions don’t match the pictures, or the caption is misleading, or the article doesn’t bounce off the picture… you know, high school stuff. It reminds me of the story about the tall guy below.

Bling01What the hell?  Mike’s Art Review about Rouault at the Metropolitan in today’s New York Times (B1) says this about the man’s paintings —

The art has a sanctimony and sincerity that resonated after the war but came to seem dated in an art world besotted by American Pop and bling.

C’mon, man.  When exactly did this occur?  Sure, Pop Art changed things starting in the ’50’s, but so did lots of other art movements.  Abstract Expressionism.  Neorealism.  Bling02But “bling?”  I must’ve missed that one.  Hip-hop didn’t start until the ’80’s and use of the word “bling” is even more recent.  Perhaps when you throw out an absurd comment like that you could throw in a non-absurd example or two.  Are collectors buying images of musicians wearing giant rings and watches?  Or are collectors collecting the bling itself?  Or representations of the bling?  And what happened between the ’60’s and the ’80’s?  Did Pop meld right into “bling?”  I thought Pop referred to the kind of art, not the vantage point of the “art world.”  Help me out here, buddy, I mean we’re all under deadlines, but, “huh?”