Archives for posts with tag: Posing with artitude

“Is Ai Wei Wei a political artist or an artful politician?” wondered Peter Schjeldahl in the pages of The New Yorker – he released an extremely silly video of himself mugging and dancing to the Korean pop juggernaut “Gangnam Style.” It’s not exactly the comportment one expects of the world’s foremost political artist and dissident.



Roberta Smith refers to Francesco Clemente as “genuinely starlike” [ “Clemente: Slouching Toward Anonymity,” Dec. 2 ] . That is about as correct as calling Christopher Columbus a hero. What they have in common is arrogance, self-absorption and theft. Their small talents exist only because of their “discoveries” of other cultures. This is an ideological continuation of the great American Manifest Destiny, i.e., take, use, destroy and justify whatever the Western world wants from the non-Western.

    Of all the art stars to emerge in the early 1980’s, Francesco Clemente may be the most genuinely starlike. His exotic handsomeness, his distinctive way of dressing and his quiet, self-contained manner added up to a charisma that seemed made to order for Neo-Expressionism and the unprecedented media attention it attracted. More to the point, in the early 80’s in particular, this Italian artist, who is now 38, was such a ubiquitous motif in his own art that when one met him in person, it was a little like running into a famous actor on the street.
    December 2, 1990
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