Well, you are in luck, i live in Brooklyn and as it turns out I had a late lunch with friends on 14 th, so easy enough to take the L, could do my run on the high line and trot over to gagosian, which has been a while. As I suspected, the enlargement of the publicity photos did nothing to change what I perceived on my iPad, competent photo realism though with a few moments of student level misunderstanding. And, as I alluded to, within the family of cultural dialecticians from Berger to Adorno/Benjamin to Baudrillard one could make a case for this stuff. You could have made a case for high vacuity being a translation of Koon's old high kitsch. I could even imagine with the surf board attempt, First Point, giving my upper level art history majors this painting and Ingres The Source as a compare and contrast. Lindsay with her star cult, train wreck following set up in an airless photo studio with the trappings of 20th century Mod., Plastic, plastic everything: vinyl sunglasses with cellulose lenses reflecting the milked plexi of the photo lights, neoprene/polyester wet suit weaved over a contraposto frame, and the board a wonder of fiberglass and polyisostyrene laminated against some plastic ocean view. Venus de Plastic compared to Ingres reduction of the body of his concierge's daughter to classic line and contraposto formula pasted against a studio backdrop standing on water and holding an earth plastic, clay, in the form of a classicizing amphora, a secular Venus of academic L'Ecole. So, you could have done more than rant about the press release. What surprises me here is the old fashioned sexism, is that not worth mentioning? Some of these images depict women as outdoor furniture. I guess what ultimately stinks here is why this is reviewed in the first place?
A diss review might not be very helpful, it can usually be spotted a mile off as a feelgood exercise for some would-be snark. But a thoughtful critical review that makes a valid comment on the state of things that be is gold.
Saying "that's not art" is always a mistake, as history amply proves. But saying "this could be more interesting" or "what's up with this particular circle-jerk moment" can be.
Seriously, if art blogs have one problem to focus it on it will not be that they are too critical. More so than other media outlets, blogs are written partly out of the desire to be respected and possibly liked by the community you blog for. Critical writing is rare enough, saying it's counter-productive is, well, counter-productive. Without criticism we are left with a Pinterest-style world.
Just don't ever say you don't like my work, ok? And keep your reviews friendly enough for the lite yoghurt demographic, they got dollars to spend.
“Criticism is all that stands between the public and advertising...”
There is one circumstance where writing negative reviews pays off--if it establishes your reputation as a deft assassin. People like to read well written bad reviews with cruel zingers, just like people like to see James Bond make a joke after he kills someone. If you have a reputation as an eloquent curmudgeon, you can possibly make a career out of it.
Do your homework and then leave a comment. I'm not discussing this further until you've seen the show.
Duchamp: well u never said it was an exaggeration in yr first response, w/o quotes around toilet obviously anyone reading this post will NOT know that, and it just looked like sloppy scholarship. Sorry.
There are critical licensing paradigms attending the eighties appropriation aesthetic involving a family of writers: Jameson's commodity fetish pastiche, Baudrillard's simulacrum, Adorno's aura of reproducibility, Debord's media spectacle and so on, not to mention Duchamp's ready made played through Warhol's consumerism. Most people writing on art, except Jerry Saltz/Smith, have this as their background music since it makes up a large part of the field of art criticism and university art history. So, the photo realism attempts in let's say Koon's hoaky Hulk series in principle equal what this guy is doing. I haven't seen the works in person, but the craft seems in line, so what makes these paintings bad, other than we've grown weary of photo realism? I'm just not seeing why you're going so ape shit on what is the run of the mill attempt of Gagosian to maintain cash flow? We're you this critical of the obnoxious presentation of Hirst's Dot.com money making scheme? Seriously, how do you know the Lohan attempt isn't just another vulgar attempt at showing how stupid and cattle-like collectors are?
Actually, media feminists find the media's positioning and policing of the train wreck female genre very interesting, think Courtney Love, BSpears, where all kinds of policing attempts on these out of control females smacks of male hegemony and fear of women with power. For me seeing, Lohan serenely on the beach 'vibrates' a lot against her court battles, not to mention her staging of the feminine.
To compare Philips to Tuyman and Freud is clearly apples and oranges. The rice repro I do not find eerie, but more of the painter as flatlined, media dazed zombie in the throes of shock therapy, if only. More dullness, more banality, more zzzzzz. Freud never left the 19th Century of academic painting, toned canvases, tonal constructs afraid of color, and male control of women, like Manet on acid. To say Philips doesn't 'vibrate', again that undefined resonator term, like those guys is like saying Monet doesn't do Cabanel, or Cos, or Gerome. Obviously. Maybe this Philips is trying an exaggeration like you did.
Phillips' appropriation aesthetic isn't similar to any Koons work I've written about. I think the porn stuff isn't bad, but part of what makes them interesting is the poses themselves, and Jeff's participation in the work. You don't see that kind of participation here, and while Phillips isn't a star himself so there's good reason he's not there, the result is that the work never feels particularly invested. That's a problem.
What we know about Lindsay Lohan does not vibrate with these paintings. Part of this is the subject itself; the fact that she frequently runs people over is not interesting, so what's a bad painting going to add to what we already know? Tuymans and Freud chose their subjects better and painted them better. If we look at the painting of Rice, Tuyman's loose brushwork and purposefully muted palette produce what should be a banal painting of someone we know to have a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience. That created a kind of "vibration" when I saw the painting in SF, and I think it works.
Finally, regarding Duchamp: if you want to make a big deal out of a sentence purposefully exaggerated for effect go right ahead. It's not relevant to the piece and I think anyone reading this post will know that.
Well the appropriation aesthetic is similar here to Koons, et alia, and I'm saying your position in the past hasn't disavowed them. So, how can you let those guys pass, but not this work?Your critical criteria for Tuyman and Freud is ' ... the paintings themselves vibrate in conjunction ...' etc., well what we know about Lindsey Lohan doesn't vibrate? How can vibrate be a standard of judgement? Could you explain vibrate as your review seems like a subjective ad hominem.
Re: Duchamp and toilet, who cares? Well for a reviewer to write toilet instead of urinal in this instance is like the Christians not getting the time of Jesus's resurrection right. As well, Duchamp did not write or say the urinal was art. Moreover, your knowledge seems dated, the Bedforshire urinal i assume you're alluding to, just hasn't been located in a catalogue. There were other sanitary pottery producers around nyc besides the Trenton Potteries and the photo by Stieglitz is a composite (see Shearer, Tout-Fait). Who believes the urinal never existed? How could it have been photographed if it didn't exist? Now ask yourself, would Duchamp been good with these paintings given how this seems similar to the things his friend Dali did?
@Hill I never mention Koons, Hirst, Prince, and Sherman in this post, so I don't know how I'm avowing them.
And, yes, I am aware that Duchamp allegedly had Stieglitz photograph a urinal (it's believed that particular urinal never existed), but who cares. The point is that Phillips is claiming to be a misunderstood genius, and we know that's not true.
I've seen him! He has been pissing off people for a long time I remember at Yale( over 20 years ago) he had the whole faculty looking kinda old fashion and behind the times.
I think they all walked out of a final crit., he was pretty cool back then. It is hard to tell if this is sell out or just more bad-ass art making i kinda what to give him the benefit of the doubt because there doesn't seem to be much else to talk about.
Duchamp did not 'drag' a toilet anywhere, although he did 'drag' later with Rrose Selavy. Duchamp allegedly had Stieglitz photograph a urinal at 291, though with the Hartley for backdrop and generic pedestal as prop, the image could have done anywhere. Seems you have a problem with critical criteria here, how can you avow and support the empty Koons, Hirst, Prince, Sherman, etc., and then turn around and disavow the empty Philips because he does not 'vibrate' like LFreud? Vibrate? Seems you waltzed into quite a sexually loaded term, especially for women. Explain.
Has anyone ever seen this artist? He seems to have done these paintings 4 years ago. Never got this attention, seems like another Jack Smith
Self aware vacuity isn't any different than vacuity, it's just dressed a little different.
Wealth that generates wealth isn't an idea, it's an observation.
That the show is basically impossible to take seriously from an artistic standpoint is a problem, but a lot of living contemporary artists show at Gagosian suffer from this. What's galling is that Phillips seems to think he's in the same league as Duchamp. It's just going to take a little bit of time for the rest of us to catch up with his bullshit. Give me a break.
just to play devil's advocate here: isn't total vacuity the point of his practice? his work feeds off of its own dissemination and celebrity status, such as his apparent decision to paint the most "popular" stills from the videos in this show. or, to use another example, a few years ago one of his pieces made a cameo appearance on "gossip girl" - a show about extreme wealth and conspicuous consumption - which was followed by his "most wanted" series, which featured a painting of "gossip girl" star taylor momsen on a background of the chanel logo (also in that series: robert pattinson on louis vuitton, taylor swift on givenchy, etc). the fact that it's superficial and conceptually shallow fits with the subject: wealth generates wealth ad nauseum.
with that said, there are many things i'd rather look at than an eleven-foot-tall painting of lindsay lohan with some gaussian blur. it's fitting that this show is at gagosian; another weird meme for the super rich.
this shows steals a little bit of my soul (and there's not much left after elizabeth peyton, jeff koons, richard prince have thieved.)
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