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« Guest Posting -- Publishing in Britain | Main | Haspel on Cult Critics »

July 01, 2003

Brian on Bridget

Friedrich --

Brian Micklethwait does some mischievous writing here. Hard to summarize exactly what he's up to, but he manages to fisk an art critic, puzzle over the abstract painter Bridget Riley, and do some thinking about paintings and computer screens, and somehow make it all hang together. Well, maybe almost hang together. But that's part of the posting's charm.



posted by Michael at July 1, 2003


Perhaps the most telling part of the posting is Brian's analysis of why most art writing is such bad writing. This is addressed to a newspaper art critic who is in terrible danger of--gasp--making sense:

Your job is to talk about the incomprehensibly idiotic reactions of your idiotically incomprehensible self. Don't recycle the lucid observations of the general public. Big mistake. Your core readership likes modern art and accordingly opposes sensibleness whenever and wherever it rears its beautiful head. Piss off your regular lunatics and who else will read your stuff? Who on earth wants to read sensible writing about modern art day after day, when there's so much sensible stuff out there already, about sensible things?

You go Brian. (And by the way, I had no idea that Bridget Riley didn't paint her own pictures. Why on earth would one generate paintings via studio underlings? Granted, if you're Raphael or Rubens and you have more work than you can handle, you might do this for some of your work, but I'm not aware of a master painter who ever completely gave up the joy of painting with his (or her) own hand. Alternatively, as in the case of the guy whose name I can't recall who ordered a "painting" from a sign company, I can see doing it to make a point. But doing it and keeping it, more or less, a secret? Sheesh.)

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on July 1, 2003 12:20 PM

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