Thursday, February 02, 2017

"Art" criticism in the Chronicle

I get it that artists, galleries, and critics can call anything they want "art." This has been true at least since Fountain by Marcel Duchamp in 1917, which was/is a urinal. Har har! What a good joke on art, real artists, and art galleries!

But to continue pretending that it validates crap like the above by Cary Leibowitz simply belabors that lame, century-old joke, which apparently amuses Chronicle art critic Charles Desmarais (At Jewish Museum, all signs point to Cary Leibowitz’s wit), who finds that "the humor in this art is infectious."

But I think my ilk is being asked to turn away, Pontius Pilate-style. To leave judgment to the crowd. That would be best. This is an exhibition, like a great comedic performance, resistant to analysis. You had to be there. Still, let me tell you why you will want to go. Cary Leibowitz is a silly artist. He has worked hard at looking witless for some 30 years, mocking homophobes, anti-Semites and, mostly, himself, creating a body of one-liner social commentary in the tradition of the court jester and the Shakespearean fool.

In fact Desmarais is passing judgment: he likes this stuff. Linking Leibowitz to Pontius Pilate and Shakespeare trivializes them and fails to elevate Leibowitz into anything but a successful "art" hustler like Jeff Koons and Keith Haring.

Guess what the work below is called? “Sad Rainbow, Happy Rainbow”! Get it? I bet George Lucas gets it.

Speaking of Lucas, read Christopher Knight's account of how L.A. "won" the right to host Lucas's museum: The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is a bad idea. Here's why.

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