Hollow Laughter where M Collings surveys the universal wreckage brought about by the takeover of European art by America post WWII:
The video below: The Triumph of Pomposity. Take a listen to Barney Newmann (4:53), Greenberg (18:45), Motherwell (19:38), Frank Stella , Rauschenberg (32:42), Johns (33:50) for prime examples… Total bullshit. Artists instead of learning to paint becoming art critics/art historians spouting gibberish. Sales talk, plain and simple. Inflate a common, even mediocre, product and sell it as if it’s the greatest boon to mankind to have ever arrived on the planet. How does the salesmanship of American Abstract Art in Painter’s Painting differ in any substantive from the infomercials one sees for Vegamatic or making a fortune buying real estate?
These artists when listening to them now sound more like used car salesmen than anything else. Great Artists? Imagine a van Gogh or Impressionist painter spouting the kind of gibberish and exaggerated claims these artists and art critics are making,
The single quality necessary for entering the pantheon of major American Abstract artists was and still is the ability to talk total bullshit with unquestionable authority. Obviously one need have no notable painting ability. No drawing ability. No vision or even minimal imagination. Simply develop a line of nonsensical horseshit. Or follow the line of nonsensical horseshit spewed by Greenberg. America Abstract art sits at the apex of the American tradition of charlatanism and snake oil that’s made the country what it is today… a vast bankrupt Potemkin village thinking that its military rules the entire globe. Everything a house of cards waiting to crash into ruin if the banking system implodes again like it did in 2008.
The hollow laughter in the BBC documentary follows directly out of the thorough destruction of painting accomplished by the artists and critics documented in Painters Painting, little more than a two hour advertisement that every artist entering an American art school in the 70s was treated to, while the art teachers painted in accordance to it and spread the gospel to their students. The brainwashing in American art schools was no different in any way whatsoever from what had taken place in American tent revivals for centuries. That is American culture. It’s the entire basis of our ubiquitous “art” walks and art fairs and art towns. And it’s about nothing more than generating money.
This has all come about with the advent of Reagan and neoliberal economics, the entry of Wall Street investors en masse, the notion of “art” as an economic boon to depressed areas where real jobs have been outsourced.
Conceptual art, earth art, video art, performance art, arte povera… yes. arte povera sums it up neatly… every artist feverishly competing to find that next ludicrous Barnum and Bailey gimmick backed by nothing more than a tsunami of idiotic sales talk concocted by splicing together bits and pieces of Art Forum gibberish.
If you really want to get to the bottom of what these artists are all about while you’re looking at the film listening to Rauschenberg followed by Castelli and then Johns try to realize that these are Confidence Men. It’s all about Confidence. That’s the essence of the con artist. The American genius. You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time… but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
It’s interested to read the comments of the handful of delusional people commenting.. “Artists today seem to have forgotten about the level that these Artists achieved and how far they pushed Art and that is why Art today is on such a low level and so easy.” “lol”, “powerful, equilibrated, wonderful”, “cool but also boring” “yeah we eat fish with hand so what” . “good job! keep doin!” “love this video. i’m such a sucker for anything pertaining to art.” “God, lots of pretentious fuckery in this!!!” “it was nice to see the rich and powerful”. Same gibberish of the art writers only simplified so that everyone can understand it. Same brain trust of enthusiasts.
If you can’t laugh at this, I don’t know what you can laugh at to be honest.
The documentary is perfect for the kind of suggestible morons that buy whatever they see on late-night infomercials. I also note that all of 15,000 people have even bothered to watch this documentary, and doubt more than a pair of people reading this blog will bother to view it.
Who cares at this point of our pathetic cultural collapse? I just watch this stuff as a kind of wry amusement. I have no idea why so many artists I’ve known over the years believe in the painting below…. staring into a wall of bright red paint and thinking they’re viewing something profound. Nobody paints like this anymore who isn’t totally brain-dead. Why in the world would anybody think that painting is great that leads nowhere… has no legacy other than the performance/spectacle idiocy they all complain about as degraded. They somehow don’t understand that eviscerating the language of Western Painting could lead nowhere else but into the post-Modern wasteland we inhabit today?
Somebody might note that my demolition of these bullshit artists is no different in spirit than Duchamp’s demolition of Western Painting. Naturally, all the people who think Johns is great think Duchamp is great.. Everyone in the MoMA is great. It goes without saying, really, if you’re a NOW and with it artist. Art that totally contradicts and eradicates other art is invariably seen as great as long as it’s in the MoMA timeline of Great Art. There are no doubters in the Church of Art established by MoMA. Mondrian, who thoroughly invalidates the paintings of Munch, Ensor, Henri Rousseau, Cezanne, Bonnard who were in the rooms preceding his work in the MoMA timeline, is viewed as equally great. Painting can be anything really. Colored squares,, Warhol Piss paintings or silkscreens… Johns targets… pour a can of chocolate sauce on a sheet of canvas. lt’s all good, dudes…. MoMA said it was. Dripping paint off a stick sure beats Turner! Much more exciting and look at the sexy Hans Namuth photos. Cave man goes wild! Hurrah!
Saint Jackson. Sure he was a drunk who killed an innocent young girl when he crashed his car into a tree. But he changed the entire course of Western painting! Wow! Now there’s an accomplishment. No more boring narrative painting… Have a drink… Bottoms up! Painting is loads of fun. Who needs Turner when you’ve got Mark Rothko?
Some of the more astute among you might notice that Duchamp, and the art he promoted (Pop Art in particular) were anti-artists.
I’m not attacking art. I’m attacking anti-art. If others want to see all of it as art, more’s the pity.
By the way, those interested in politics might note the the great Hope of the Democratic party, Barack Obama, has successfully ramrodded the latest version of NAFTA through congress. The TTIP insures the total obliteration of what’s left of the middle class, who are barely on life support as it stands now. This is just in case any non-artists might be reading at this point. As I know artists are too far above politics, as Greenberg/Duchamp have instructed them in the matter, to soil their beautiful minds trying to understand the nature of what is happening to them and their country.
Can’t wait to see what Hillary or Jeb Bush do to us next… all with our racing to the polls to protect us from the other party who is out to destroy us. Only Hillary can protect us from the depraved Republicans with their military madness and pro-Corporate policies! Only Jeb can protects us from the Moscow-style Communism of Barack and Hillary!
A country of great intellects electing their great intellectual artists like Robert Rauscenberg and Jeff Koons as the art that will last through the centuries…. What… don’t tell me that nobody’s laughing?