Toulouse Lautrec/Al Williamson

I’ve interspersed the work of Toulouse Lautrec with that of the American comic artist Al Williamson for comparison. It’s notable that Williamson exhibits drawing skill approximating Lautrec’s virtuosity. But one also notices that Williamson doesn’t allow himself to express anything with it other than the conventional comic banality — one won’t find a drawing of a woman remotely approaching Lautrec’s depiction of Yvette Guilbert, for example. Just as today, male heroes are invariably well-muscled and good looking, women fair skinned and curvaceous. Americans, at least since the days of Madison Avenue brainwashing in the 50s have been obsessed with cleanliness in their art.

Most of what is considered great American art since the 1950s (and the grubby Abstract Expressionists were dispensed with) exhibits a bland, sterile, polished new look. This art is also a perfect expression of a mechanistic/technological and largely brain dead culture. It’s perfectly logical that artists like Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons would be viewed as two of the greatest American artists of the 20th century.

Abstract painting, which is fashionable decoration at best, is elevated to absurd heights by empty advertising drivel strewn through gallery brochures and art magazines. The history of the ascension of Abstract Painting to metaphysical fetish object parallels the rise of the American surveillance state/war machine. There couldn’t be a more perfect art for corporate boardrooms than the decorative abstractions that are as dehumanized as the people who collect them.  Ortega y Gasset in 1925 wrote “The Dehumanization of Art”. He was all for it, as are all art critics and art historians. Since artists will now say nothing whatsoever in their works, it leaves it to the critics and historians to explain the metaphysical profundities of a colored grid.

If figuration makes a return, it’s invariably ironic or completely banal. Pop Art and its derivatives are mechanistic, detached, and impersonal: minimal art, photo-realist art, photography, video art, op art, the bulk of neo-expressionist art (throwing paint around aimlessly is just as mechanistic as paint-by-numbers photorealism), concept art, contemporary realist art, neo-romanticism, strewn detritus art, etc. etc.

The market system demands work that’s reliably mediocre, empty of authentic feeling, and repetitive. It’s art that mimics Capitalist industrial production. The less human it is and the more it’s dictated by empty theories and simplistic formulas (pick up an art how-to book), the easier it is for brigades of other artists wanting to enter the fraudulent art system to copy it.

One sign that art is dead is that the inhabitants of the art world are resolutely devoted to staying disengaged from the profound social deterioration that is going on in the country. The art world has nothing whatsoever to say about America’s transformation into a militarized police state with a corporate-owned government with the biggest prison population in history, corporations ravaging the environment at will, an educational system producing students who can’t think or write coherently, a working class going down the drain (40 percent of them now living in poverty), or the activities of the banking  elite that are pushing the working class into poverty.  Political art with no serious thought behind it (Banksy, Fairey) is more than welcome as it says nothing whatsoever outside of making pointless jokes or pointless anti-art gestures that couldn’t be more obviously hypocritical. Faux-political art is all the rage as it’s a fraud.

As a single example of the art worlds’ complete indifference to the seriousness of our situation in this country, is anyone aware of a single artblog in the entire cyber-universe discussing this latest Supreme Court decision which moves America another step closer to full out corporate fascism? Do any of the people trolling around in their la la land of beautiful Art know what the McCutcheon decision is, or what it means? Could the name the judges on the Supreme Court? Or even the Chief Justice who presided over the ruling below?

Art is dead. As Marx wrote regarding Capitalism: “Everything solid melts into air.” One of the things that’s melted into air is Art. Anyone thinking that colorful objects devoid of any connection to lived human reality are “art” are delusional. There’s all the difference in the world between a consumer product and a work of art.

I’m not condemning nice decorations and consumer products. I just wish we could face the reality that the decorative consumer products we’re making bear about as much relation to to the art of the past as Al Williamson’s comic book work bear to Toulouse Lautrec’s works of art.

lautrec 9










williamson 1





lautrec 8







williamson 8lautrec 6


williamson 6


lautrec 5

williamson 5

lautrec 4

williamson 7



lautrec 3

williamson 4

lautrec 2

williamson 3lautrec 1

williamson 2

About trueoutsider

I'm an artist.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Toulouse Lautrec/Al Williamson

  1. Paul Rumsey says:

    Artists today are very lucky, you can do a drawing in the morning and show it to world in the afternoon via the internet…
    It is true that most of the art world is in the grip of a tedious academia of fake avant-garde, but I can’t get that angry about it because I don’t really think of it as real art, so I see it as just another of the stupid things that people are interested in and that I am not… like sport, cars, fashion, celebrities, rap music, Hollywood films, etc etc…
    The reason so much modern art is boring is that many artists are happy to complacently follow fashion and smugly provide the cool / ironic pap that is required by the market.
    You are lucky to be very pissed off with the state of the world and the state of art, because having anger and dissatisfaction is the only way for art to progress and change, it is the fuel for creativity, because otherwise artists are just happy to imitate what has gone before with nothing new to say. Do you find that ‘anger is an energy’? How is your work progressing?

  2. trueoutsider says:

    Cheers, mate. Good to hear from you. Love to see some of your new work. … You got a link to it? I’ve got to run out and draw! I work a full day, generally starting around 7a.m. I’ll write more when I return.

  3. Paul Rumsey says:

    I have an old website which I have not updated for ten years.
    My daughter set up a facebook page where she posts my work. You don’t have to be logged into facebook to see it, (I’m not logged in myself). She is posting old drawings from the last 25 years, plus new stuff as I finish it.
    The most recent drawings were a ‘Saturn Devouring His Children’ and another drawing which owes rather a lot to Goya called ‘Bullshit and Bollocks’. ( A sort of giant man / bull squatting on the horizon)
    I look forward to seeing your new work, are you going to post it here or on you website?

  4. trueoutsider says:

    Anger’s helpful as a source of energy. Perhaps because lately I’ve felt like giving up entirely and going out to do landscape painting. It’s hard to find a reason why I should be tearing myself up both mentally and physically doing the work I do in a culture that is content with POP Kiddie Vampire art (Mark Ryden) on the low end to Julian Schnabel on the high end. Hello Kitty or Jasper Johns. What’s the difference? Both are entirely bland and devoid of the least bit of human feeling (other than that of the narcissist). Imagine van Gogh/Soutine/Beckmann strutting around/pontificating about their genius in the manner of a Schnabel/Rothenberg/Basquiat. The entire art world simply strikes me as absurd theater.

    So it’s part anger, but just as much laughter. My next post coming up actually had me falling out of my chair splitting my sides. Of course the art world won’t find it funny because they take themselves seriously. Hard as that is to believe. Of course, that’s because they’ve never bothered to look at any real art. Art to them descends from Duchamp/Greenberg. The Dutch masters are basically a lot of brownish sludge. And I say that in all seriousness. I’ve been around these people for decades. And it ain’t just Americans. I had a group of Japanese people come up to me when I was looking at a van Huysum at the Getty and ask me if it was a digital photograph. This is the condition of Modern man. The people wandering around art museums have no more interest in painting than they have in digital photographs. Probably less. That’s why Cindy Sherman et al are considered to be great artistic geniuses. They simply reflect the brain death of the human species by exhibiting their own brain death.

    So, is there some difference between Hello Kitty and Duchamp’s urinal? Other than the fact that Hello Kitty has a sliver more of creative expression I’m hard pressed to think of what the difference is…. Oh, yes, Duchamp’s was an idea. A brilliant philosophical statement. So Art is about “ideas”, expressing your philosophical/didactic notions visually? Are we interested in Brueghel, Rembrandt, Degas, Lautrec because of their bright ideas? Their profound reflections on what art is? In effect, Lautrec isn’t really that brilliant because he didn’t have the revolutionary philosophical notion about art that would have led him to make a bronze sculpture of the container holding his brushes? As far as ideas go, I think Hello Kitty on a kids backpack is a lot better idea than a urinal as a piece of artwork.

    Well, I’m going to stop here. I know any readers I have won’t be able to go more than three paragraphs of my rambling. And I don’t want to lose the 15 readers I have. I’ll take a break and then respond to your second comment. Very interesting about the Goya as that’s who I was comparing the tiny paintings I was doing a couple months ago to. So perhaps we’re part of the same Zeitgeist? Is the Zeitgeist real or an invention of those Romantic Germans? I really don’t know about any of this, Paul. It’s just how it looks to me. Just asking questions.

  5. trueoutsider says:

    Oh, first. What’s the name of your daughter to find your work on Facebook? I had a well-meaning friend encourage me to go on Facebook but I rarely if ever go on it because the urge to commit suicide becomes so intense after a few minutes. But I will be glad to brave it in order to see what you’ve been up to lately if you tell me the name under which I can locate it.

    By and large, I’m completely technophobic, which is why doing this blog is somewhat of a minor miracle. Quite puzzling to me, really. Still looks like my post on Kim Kardashian’s ass is the most popular. I think most of my readership wants more on the subject so I’ve been under a lot of internal pressure to come up with more material. Need to get out there and find out what she’s been up to lately. I’m hoping that Hillary will win the next election and perhaps Kim will be granted a cabinet post. Why not head of the National Endowment of the Arts? Remember Karen Finley getting an NEA grant for stuffing yams up her ass? That’s the kind of work that Kim would be a natural authority on!

  6. Paul Rumsey says:

    The face book page is under my name, ArtistPaulRumsey. My daughter set it up without telling me. She replies to questions and comments on my behalf, but she usually has better things to do, so often only posts pictures about once a month or so. There are some good artist facebook pages, for dead artists, like this one on Dado, and on Topor…

  7. trueoutsider says:

    Thanks, Paul. Great new work. I was wondering also if you’d done that Goldsmiths drawing you were thinking about. Or maybe you were joking? The strangest thing for me, seeing your drawings, was that I remembered that I’d been doing a handful of drawings of Saturn eating his children as well as the other smaller Goyaesque paintings I referred to. I’d forgotten about the pen and ink drawings entirely.

    My drawings don’t resemble yours or Goya’s painting. I have to see where I’ve put them now.

    Never seen Dado. Thanks for that. I simply don’t see art of the quality of yours, Dado’s, Topor’s etc. in the American Southwest. You wouldn’t believe what’s out here. Have you ever visited the States,,, particularly Southwest, Las Vegas.

    Museums/galleries basically resemble shopping malls. Art buyers are California/Hollywood/Texas Oil Money… Really discriminating connoisseurs.

    I continue to buy art books (when I can afford them) or get them from the library. I just bought a Felician Rops book with the J.K. Huysmans intro. Your work puts me in mind of that late 19th century period, which I love. So no doubt accounts for why I find your work so interesting. There are a lot of questions I would have about your working process but I think those things are just as well left a mystery. Art, for me, is a mystery. Once you’ve covered it over with theories, explanations, justifications, enormous price tags, acoustiguides, klieg lights, mobs of people in the latest fashions….It’s really not so bad, in a way, because for the most part the mob scenes are for art I don’t want to see anyway. At the Denver Art Museum I can view the Pre-Columbian pottery all day with rarely a soul coming by. They have a fantastic collection.

    I do think art still exists as long as the human spirit exists so I’m not quite a Baudrillard-type pessimist. So no doubt there are artists working in hermetic seclusion, as well as others like yourself showing in various places. Well, thanks for cheering me up. I appreciate it. And I’m very glad for your success with your work.

    I still want to go after the holographic dragons of contemporary art, though. The anger I can manage to work myself up into does provide a source of energy. Otherwise I’ve been thinking of becoming a landscape painter. I had a shrink who nailed me as the painter of the Divine Comedy 30 or more years ago now… But I just can’t seem to work my way up to Purgatory, much less Paradise. So trying to work in the landscape might be what’s called for. I had a picture of an Otto Dix landscape in my next post, now that I think of it. Have you seen those? Unfortunately, all I’ve seen are the work in reproduction.

  8. Paul Rumsey says:

    Thanks Bart, glad you like them.
    I wasn’t joking about the ‘Goldsmiths’ drawing, it is in the sketchbook, with about 500 other ‘extreme’ subjects that I intend to draw someday. I have sketchbooks going back to 1977 and also a ‘picture list’ book that lists all the subjects, with the dates of the sketchbooks where I have been working on ideas, so I often find a way of drawing something that I had in mind about 30 years ago, but couldn’t ‘get right’ back then.
    The idea to do a version of Saturn was a new idea, I have two more versions of it on the studio wall. I had read that the Goya painting may have had an erection, and this detail was lost when the wall painting was transferred to canvas… I thought ‘what would that look like?’, and the problem with thinking is that then I get ideas, and then have to decide if it is a good or stupid idea, and then I feel an obligation to try and draw it. I drew the Saturn with an erection, but then darkened that area, because I felt that it attracted too much attention, but my wife said she preferred the drawing with the erection, so I am trying two more versions, to see if I can do it… As Saturn is a symbol of time, he devours but is also fertile, so if the Goya Saturn had an erection it would make symbolic sense.
    I haven’t visited the states. I think that most galleries sell nice pictures for nice people to decorate their homes.
    It is a bit mad doing drawings of the subjects I draw because so few people want to hang them on the wall, which is why I sell very little, (and my last show sold nothing), but luckily in the UK we have the NHS, and also if I can earn about £100 a week from art, the tax system will give me another £90. If I can earn a small amount doing what I want it is better than earning more doing what someone else wants me to do. I am very lucky to be able to do this…
    You are welcome to ask about my working process, there is very little that can be said. I try to draw the ideas as simply as I can, without any unnecessary information, I draw on paper or card with ink, charcoal or compressed charcoal. I keep drawing and erasing until it ‘looks right’ to me.
    What does it mean to ‘look right’?, that is the mystery bit… a rhythm, a balance, hidden geometry.. solidity, expression, effect of light… who knows, perhaps a balance of all these, I just keep drawing for days or weeks and eventually it ‘looks right’, but sometimes it does not and I destroy the drawing. I use fixative, and then I have to use sandpaper to erase. I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want, so mostly I hate the drawing and keep changing it until I ‘get it right’ by accident, then I try and fix it and leave it alone before I ruin it again. And quite often my wife will say ‘It looked better last week’, so I try another version and she says ‘ I preferred the first version… before you changed it’.
    Is that what you mean by a ‘working process’?

    I was looking at Henry de Groux today on google images… lots of good stuff, he was an influence on Kubin. Marcel Roux also very good.
    Yes I like Dix, most of his work.

    I think there are a lot of interesting artists who are happy working in hermetic seclusion.
    I had a long correspondence with the artist Fons Bloemen who did some very good ink drawings, (sadly he died March 2013). And I know a number of artists in France, the process of doing drawings takes a lot of time, so they sit at home scratching away with pen or charcoal, it’s the process of drawing that they enjoy so they would see no point in employing someone else to do their work for them, or just exhibiting objects that they had chosen to designate as ‘art’.

    Meanwhile in our local public art gallery they are exhibiting two old jet engines which the artist has sprinkled inside with anti-depressant drug (I think a defused atomic bomb coated with Viagra tablets would be more amusing)
    They are also exhibiting ‘The Personal Effects of Kim Dotcom’, not the real possessions but similar items, so there are two expensive cars, a motorbike, jet ski, a bed, crates of fake money, personalized number plates and many framed newspaper articles about him…very boring, it is much more interesting just to read his wiki page.

  9. trueoutsider says:

    I read all your remarks with real fascination. I particularly liked the part about your process, which resonates with me. I also have the myriad sketchbooks going back to mid 70s. But it’s about somewhere in the early 80s that they become habitual, in that I draw in them compulsively and am carrying them around at all times. That goes right up until today. I don’t have the kind of organization you mention (picture book list). They seem to differ from yours in that they’re primarily drawing people/places, not really thinking in terms of developing anything into a final drawing. It’s fantastic that you have that kind of structured approach and it makes me aware of how your later process differs from mine as well. For me, having done all the looking/observing is kind of a gigantic storehouse in my visual imagination so that as I’m drawing spontaneously on any given piece of large paper the material can flood out. I imagine it’s similar to the Dado works in terms of seeing things form in a kind of hallucinatory trance…. once I get into it. I kind of slip into it slowly.

    However, when I paint it’s usually more like the process you describe in your drawing process, but I have less structure going into it. .. which means I have to do much more painting in and out and problem solving than if I’d done it before hand. I’ve been working on some paintings for thirty years. Of course not continuously,… but they can get pretty heavily overpainted. Yes, and a lot of times they go completely to hell.

    Your way sounds to me a better way of going about it. But it’s no doubt that it’s just there are different results. The main thing that I feel connects us to each other as well as to all the other artists we’re interested in is that there are various ways of getting into the realm of the subconscious. And I’m not talking about the Painted Word theory type painting where some of the worst painting of all time has claimed to have “metaphysical content”. Since I just had a minute of a Helen Frankenthaler painting movie forced on me as I walked let’s take Helen. It’s a load of pretentious baloney. That woman is about as much an artist as Martha Stewart.

    As I was leaving the Denver Art Museum today there was a film being projected on the wall… Helen Frankenthaler makes a painting. Takes all of 15 minutes to knock one out I imagine, as she’d covered most of the canvas with the 5 second pour I witnessed in passing. Gee is painting fun and easy when you’re a great artistic genius. So great that she could skip over the stage of having to learn to draw. I always hate these films/videos because it announces that museums are now places committed primarily to entertainimg TV addicted bubbleheads. Naturally the buffoonery of big abstract monstrosities are great entertainment for the bored middle class out to see something fun and exciting.

    If only van Gogh were around to give a performance as a mad spastic… But the story alone is so great they’ll line up in droves to see what the mad spastic painted. You can’t even see a van Gogh show (which I did in Denver not long ago) without being nearly trampled to death… herded into the show like you’re being squashed into a Tokyo subway car. Not to mention the combined roar of the acousti-guides and excited shouts. “OH MY GOD, HENRY!!! HE PAINTED THIS ONE THE SAME MONTH HE SHOT HIMSELF!!!”

    And what’s better Hollywood than Kirk Douglas chewing up the scenery in Lust for Life (and pass the viagra)? His son in Basic Instinct? Personally my vote is for Sharon Stone opening her legs in Basic Instinct. Not much of a secret what will attract a mass audience. I loved hearing about the Kim Dot Com show and definitely agree that Viagra tablets are what’s needed there. I hope that I’m not courting too much controversy and that I don’t alienate lovers of high art but I think imitations of Kim Dot Com’s possessions would be far more interesting than a Helen Frankenthaler retrospective. Even better, I’m badgering the director of the Denver Art Museum to get together a Martha Stewart show and serving Viagra highballs at the members-only opening gala.

  10. Paul Rumsey says:

    The ‘picture list ‘ book I put together in about 1998, previous to that I had done picture lists in my sketchbooks every year or so in an attempt to collect my thoughts.
    It is an attempt to bring some kind of order to confusion and bad memory.
    I could collect the ideas together in loose themes, mythological, political, war, psychological, death, sex, fortune, time, etc.
    In 1987 I had collected all the ideas together and done small versions of them, between 3 and 6 inches, and covered a wall with them, the ‘ideas wall’. When we moved house and I put these in a folder.
    In the new studio I had a big sheet of paper on the wall with all the titles of ideas written on it in different colors.
    When I had managed to finish an idea I would circle the idea in a colored crayon, and shade it in.

    One day I was visited by an artist who I had been at college with, who had a career teaching art, (conceptual, photography, etc), he looked about my studio, but didn’t know where to look because there were drawings on the wall, he was trying not to see them, so he looked about the room as if he was trying to find the art.
    Then with relief he saw my ‘picture list’, – random titles and phrases, scrawled in different colored crayon, some circled and colored in, he found this really interesting, said I should exhibit it.
    (I knew the reason he could recognize it as art was because it looked similar to something a ‘Turner Prize’ artist had exhibited at the Tate gallery.)
    He found something else which he thought very good, a sheet of paper with geometrical diagrams, where I had been working out the sizes and proportions of available frames. It looked a bit like a drawing by Sol LeWitt.
    (I hope I haven’t told you that incident before… my memory…. )

    BTW, I worked all yesterday on the two new Saturn drawings, then erased them, perhaps one day I will try some smaller versions of them…if I knew what I was doing it would be boring, because I would know what the end result would be.

  11. trueoutsider says:

    I’ve had that happen a number of times with artists, curators, dealers in my studio… They’ll become bored with the thousands of drawings/paintings in it. Picking up kitsch ceramics that inherited from my Mom or a book of photographs of celebrities that I’d be using for source material–kind of a Francis Bacon habit of mine. I’m not joking. I finally couldn’t take it any more when I had my dealer and a curator over and the curator is snapping away at my paintings with a digital camera. They’re like the Japanese tourists I mentioned above. They can only see something if they take a digital photograph of it and look at it later on a computer screen. They took me out to lunch and in conversation I mentioned I was working on a comic book based on Bertolt Brecht’s Good Woman of Setzuan. They asked me who Bertolt Brecht was.

    These people have gone beyond stupid into complete absurdity. I texted the gallery soon after, told them to pack my work up and return it ASAP. The gallery owner was a not too bright trust fund kid telling me she didn’t like the Surrealists. She had a degree from Stanford (so I was told). Perhaps she’d heard of Brecht. But who knows in this dismal country what a Stanford degree amounts to anymore. One time over lunch I began talking about the recent Modigliani biography, when she cut me off with, “Why should I care about Modigliani?” See what I mean? It’s so stupid it’s funny. I discovered that the reason they stay so stupid is because they shut their ears to anyone trying to tell them anything. They already know it all!

    I had a big time collector who’d bought some work invite me to his house. He began talking about the great German Expressionist George Grosz. I told him that Grosz was a Berlin Dadaist and he got offended, telling me that he was an authority on art history. He informed me that in every art book on his shelf George Grosz is referred to as a German Expressionist! It wouldn’t surprise me given the state of art historians and what’s being printed nowadays. Anything goes. “Why should I care about Art History?”

    I wish I’d thought of your organizational methods! Too late now. But they do remind me that I’ve done “thematic” work in the past… I began painting Dante’s Inferno up to Canto XIII. I also did a couple versions of the 7 Deadly Sins. A lot of crucifixions, scenes from the Life of Christ, etc. I guess the thing with my work is that I never stand back to get an overall look. Perhaps a weakness. I don’t know… doesn’t really matter since I’m incapable of anything to do with organization. If I put my sweater on with the tag at the back I consider the day a major organizational success.

    My memory’s shot as well, so if you’ve told me something before it’s a crap shoot whether I’d have remembered it. I’m sure I repeat myself all time… But also I like hearing stories like yours many times repeated. Anything about these bizarre people who consider themselves artists, dealers, critics, curators is unfailingly amusing. The more I’ve gotten it behind me, the funnier it all is in retrospect.

    The other thing with my sketchbooks… in the mid-90s when my son was born I began to use word balloons and language and then making comic fragments and stories, .. reading them to him and so on… I’m still doing them sporadically.. Scraps of conversation, jottings from things I’m reading, dialogues going through my head I imagination people saying. My son’s now 17, has been making comics since the 3rd grade and wants to go to Art College to become a cartoonist/animator. He sees me as an old out-of-it technophobic crank. He’s a great kid. I’m hoping one day he sees the light once he gets over his infatuation with the digital world. Somebody has to do something with all the oil painting supplies I’ll be leaving behind.

  12. Paul Rumsey says:

    I have been fortunate with my galleries, I have got on well with them and they have all bought work from me for their own collections. But my work is not easy to sell, so none of them have got rich selling my work.
    One more amusing art story….
    Our local public gallery has been in the national news recently when it was revealed that most visitors were only there to use the toilet, so at a cost of £28 million it has been dubbed the most expensive toilet in the country.
    It was designed by a very prestigious architect, (it has been called the ‘gold banana’) but it’s design is a joke because it is quite unsuitable to exhibit art. The walls slope outwards so you can’t hang pictures on them, and this also means that the ceiling space is vast and very high, but the floor space is rather small. So you enter this vast space where the two old jet engines are exhibited, and then walk what seems an endless curving empty corridor to the smallish galleries at the other end, where you find the expensive cars, motorbike, jet ski, etc, the simulated possessions of Dotcom. There are huge windows, which is just as well, because it is more interesting to look out of them than at the exhibits.
    The place is always empty when I visit, the only people around are the staff who are eager to explain the works to the uneducated, and a bunch of skate boarders who hang about outside, because the outward sloping walls give some protection from the weather.
    In an attempt to dissuade the skate boarders from skating the council has spent £10 thousand attaching metal knobs to the concrete outside.
    So the art fails as art, and the building fails as a gallery. But it does succeed as a toilet.
    I recently found out that the same architect is responsible for an incredibly ugly sky scraper in the city of London, this building has been nick -named the ‘walkie talkie’.
    It is glass with a concave curving wall which leans outwards, which has the effect of concentrating the sun’s rays to make a ‘death ray’ which is directed into the street below. It has caused fires and also melted a car, the £200 million skyscraper melted a £50 thousand Jag.

  13. trueoutsider says:

    Sounds like it might be best to call it the Marcel Duchamp Memorial Gallery and have urinal-themed exhibitions, Going back to FL Wright’s monumentally ugly Guggenheim with it’s curved walls and everything slanting downward, as the most hostile environment to paintings ever designed, his successors have done their best to follow in his footsteps. Hirschhorn same thing… except not for the floors sloping downward… But the shadows cast by the rectangular paintings on the curved walls makes the paintings edges warp all to hell. Who cares though, since the places are funhouses anyway. Liebeskind’s Denver addition started leaking even before it was finished and is as friendly to art as the sets for Dr. Caligari. But it’s great for funhouse art, which is what it’s designed for. The attack on painting has been systematic and complete. The public doesn’t want to see paintings, they want a nice place to take a leak, have slide shows, movies, dancing acrobats, Matthew Barney sliding around in vaseline, Tracey Emin and her soiled underwear or whatever the hell she calls art. I can’t even look at the stuff. It makes me feel like a pervert. Why not just turn them all into stage sets from Bob Guccione’s Caligula, I say! Orgies, banquets! The whole nine yards. I’m fed up to the gills with James Turrell’s/Dan Flavin mystic light installation art and the contents-of-my-attic installations. I can see better installations driving around to garage sales than I see in gallery/museums. The local Halloween Haunted House at the elementary school puts most of this stuff to shame.

    My sense of the difference between American art galleries and European ones is that ours are far gone into casino gambling mode. I imagine there’s still some kind of traditional vestiges left over there. When I was a visiting artist in Scotland, I was talking to faculty about artists like Mantegna and Carpaccio. American faculty, if they even knew the names, wouldn’t have any interest in talking about them at all. We’re the land of the throwaway. Everything is new for 15 minutes… Then it’s thrown away… Then next week it’s new for 15 minutes…

    I’m not kidding. Things are deteriorating here at a pretty good pace. I’m always hoping I’m wrong. One example. This supposed housing recovery a third of the housing was bought by banks and investment groups, not by homeowners. Homeownership keeps dropping. You can see a neighborhood that looks pretty nice and healthy. But the people living in it are renting. Then of course there are entire neighborhoods bought up by foreign investors at bargain rates (due to foreclosure) and then filled up with renters. Americans are becoming a rentier class. We’re a Potemkin village. Americans themselves don’t know this. They live from paycheck to paycheck.

    OK>.. enough “politics”. It’s just that what my entire body of so called “art” amounts to is chronicling what I see going on around me. If I have a drawing of a chaotic funhouse populated by what look like grotesque caricatures, that’s actually what I’m seeing. You really wouldn’t believe just how broken down people are here in the lower class… No safety net, ill, impoverished. And we walk over them as if they’re so much detritus.

    Here’s one for you if you want to see just what a brutal place America has become:

    The collective response of the Santa Fe art community will be a yawn. They don’t want to leave the rapturous states they’re transported to surrounded by their beautiful art collections.

  14. trueoutsider says:

    I’ll give you the link below so you can get a sense of just how collapsed a society this is. It’s also why the Santa Fe Gallery art scene is so nauseating to me I can’t even visit that city. I don’t ever want to set foot in it again.

    While they sit up there in their phony nirvana this is what’s going on in the city I lived in for 12 years. It’s not just New Mexico. America as a whole is a disaster and disgrace, shoveling money as fast as it can into the greedy maw of the ultra wealthy, as its citizens become a banana republic in all but name. And the so-called “intellectual/cultural” class have not a word to say about it. The artists want to prostrate themselves before a collector class that I find morally depraved. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Feel 100% better after leaving.

  15. Paul Rumsey says:

    I had not heard about those police shootings… it has not been on the news here. Half the news is taken up with sport… why is sport considered news?
    I am very glad that there is so little gun ownership in the UK, and that mostly the police are not armed, because the wrong people always get shot.
    Somehow the possession of a gun seems to alter a persons behaviour, their confidence, their physical stance, their way of talking and voice, as if it has been wired into their nervous system, it seems to effect their hormones, and once exposed to the drug of guns, without them they feel impotent.

  16. trueoutsider says:

    The only reason this particular shooting caused any controversy was that it was captured on video. They go on routinely along with beatings, taserings, etc. People here don’t need guns. Knife murders have been rising rapidly as well. This one 6 hours ago:,0,6765295.story

    Search police beatings on youtube. I’ve done a lot of drawings of things like this. Those are what the gallery dealers etc. will flip through as fast as possible if they happen to turn one up.Beatings, massacres. Throughout most of my pen and ink drawings. Yeah. It’s hard to sell allright, particularly since nobody will show it. Those get edited out. The art world prefers to reflect the real world by making paintings of advertisements. Even better, Banksy-style jokes of of police kissing. Strong stuff… Bring on the revolution.
    That’s why that particular one sells for 575 grand. It’ll be worth much more after the revolution and people see Banksy as the one who started it. Here the revolutionaries come now… all wearing OBEY caps and other “cool gear” they bought at Urban Outfitters.

    I have drawings of survivalists with deer and human corpses hanging from trees that are a big turnoff, as well. One has Marcel Duchamp’s black dahlia/etant donnes corpse with naked open crotch for an art historical reference. I guess they didn’t get it. Too obscure. This stuff isn’t the future. It’s going on as I type. The Wild West never ended. Back in the old days they had their six-shooters. These cats are carrying around assault rifles. Take em into bars, national forests.. in Georgia you can even take them to church with you. … As you say, one doesn’t want to feel impotent and defenseless when in the House of God.

    Of course the great upcoming political artists who make the front page of the NY Times address the really important political issues of today that we need to deal with. Like what, you might ask? Corporate crime? The complete corruption of the Judicial System? Corporate ownership of the entire political class? Formation of a totalitarian police state surveillance? Inequality in wealth at banana republic levels? Inner city poverty? Not really. In fact not at all. Those political issues or any other for that matter are of no concern to the art elites (or much anyone else as far as I’ve noticed.) The burning issue in the art world as judged by the New York Times is that men should fuck off and stop telling women to smile.

    I think there should be mass protests organized immediately to tackle this problem that’s making America unlivable. Men who are telling women to smile are revolting! If I ever find one doing it, I’ll give him a piece of mind. Or if I can find a cop make sure he’s tasered or given a severe beating.

    It’s good that this artist and the New York Times have brought this to my attention. I had no idea whatsoever that men were telling women to smile! This injustice has been going on right under my nose and I haven’t even noticed! Hopefully the other news organizations and media outlets will get this issue out to the public and it can be addressed. These bastards have to be stopped!

  17. Paul Rumsey says:

    I would like to see your drawing of the survivalists, perhaps you will post it here someday?

    As for the ‘Stop telling women to smile’ campaign, I can understand that.
    Women want to be able to go about their business without being hassled and being forced to engage in unwanted sexual banter with complete strangers. I remember back in the 70s my wife would get very pissed off with men in the street making comments. She says that as she got older she became invisible to them and the comments stopped. The reason the comments are made to younger women is that the men see them as more vulnerable and not as likely to answer back, so really it is about power and dominance. A young woman walking on the street has to endure this crap, while she is immersed in her own thoughts some jerk will be trying to get her attention.
    So as she approaches a group of men she will be thinking ‘oh shit, are they going to pick on me and make humiliating comments’. So she tries to walk past as quickly as possible but the tension shows on her face, and she gets the inevitable ‘give us a smile love’ comment… she then has to decide how to respond, she either forces herself to smile back, in the hope that they will then ignore her (but they might take the smile as an invitation to engage in more unwanted attention) or else she ignores them and marches on, but this may well lead to shouts of ‘stuck up cow’ and ‘I’m only being friendly, bitch’ and ‘you need a fuck, that would cheer you up’ etc.
    The attitude of the man is that the function of the woman is a decorative object, there to please him, and she is not pleasing him enough because she is not smiling, and she is not important enough to have thoughts of her own.
    And as you point out on this blog, there are a lot of reasons not to be smiling….
    It is interesting that one of the women says New York is the worst place for aggressive harassment, why is this, how does it differ from elsewhere?
    In the UK, I think the behavior of men to women in the street has improved since the 1970, which shows that it is possible for things to change.
    But we found that as you travel further south through Europe it gets worse, perhaps it is the effect of religion, young men are kept more separate from women, so treat them like a different species and don’t know how to behave. My wife found that in Italy she had to endure much more unwelcome attention, even to the extent of being followed about, which she found very intimidating.
    She also went to Egypt, and even though she was accompanied by her father and was well covered by her clothes, she found herself the target of constant remarks, sexual approaches and unwanted physical contact, grabbing and pinching.

    So if those artists really can improve the attitude of men towards women in America, good luck to them.

  18. trueoutsider says:

    I don’t see how ‘art’ or the art world will have any effect on men (and their behavior) at all.

    Why is this “street protest artist” making “art” whereas everyone else engaged in exactly the same activity with their painted signs and slogans not an artist?

    Is this woman’s “art” any kind of effective form of protest that will “improve the attitude of men towards women in America”? Don’t you think it’s only going to be paid attention to by liberal readers of the NY Times and liberal “art world” inhabitants? In other words, do you think men who say “you need a fuck, that would cheer you up” go to art galleries to see this kind of work? Do you think men who say this are going to have the slightest interest in this kind of protest?

    This “artist” describes New York City as a hotbed of male aggression and brutality? As compared to what? The oil sheikdoms? Inner city Compton or Detroit? Japan? China? Switzerland? It’s really only in America, and NYC in particular where women are suffering the abuse of stupid/creepy pickup lines?

    Maybe if one of the women working in the porn industry, being gang-banged to the point she’s hospitalized for anal-tearing and internal injuries makes some art about it, it’s going to show up on the front page of the New York Times. Did you ever hear of what happened to Linda Lovelace? Star of the little known bestiality film “Dog Fucker” before her career-making hit “Deep Throat”? Raped and beaten often. Her pimp boyfriend pointing a .45 automatic at her head while listening to her phone calls?

    Believe me, the porn world that Lovelace was brutalized in was a cakewalk compared to the porn world of today. See the Chris Hedges video below for a description of it.

    As a matter of fact, the only place connected to the art world you’re going to hear a peep about the serious and quite real abuse of women in this society is on this blog… Unless you or anyone can tell me about another “art’ locale showing something like this:

    I’d encourage you to pick up Chris Hedges’ Death of the Liberal Class or Empire Illusion to see what America is really like behind the Potemkin facade.

    Sorry for going on so long, Paul. My questions are rhetorical, hoping to encourage some thought about this. Not just in you but in anyone reading. If you want to try to formulate definitions or answer any of the questions that’s fine too.

    What’s going on within the art world is the kind of moral degeneracy that Chris Hedges is describing above. The upper class supports and promotes the kind of art that is numbingly banal and without any serious content, trivializing the abuse that women are suffering at the hands of the corporate shits and their paid lackeys who run the art world. What we have here is “art” telling us that women’s abuse is at the hands of lower class vulgarians. The much greater and widespread of women in the real lower classes is of no concern whatsoever to those within the art world. They won’t even read about it, much less address it.

    What we really need is an intelligent discussion of women’s treatment not only in sweatshops in China, or on the streets of New York, but in the sex industry, as a start. I know the art world is not the place where this is going to happen. Women in the military, and working as contractors within the military, are similarly subject not just to verbal abuse but to actual rape.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s