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Damien Hirst’s return to skull paintings

Damien Hirst has always been about death. Dead sharks, rotting cow’s heads, dissected bodies, desiccated insects… Some of his work is revolting, such as when it incorporates living maggots, but some, like the kaleidoscopic butterfly paintings (and particularly the stained-glass variant), are beautiful. He got away from death with his dot paintings, which one critic…

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Deconstructing Jeff Koons’ paintings, and why they are an attempt at original art (as opposed to his usual appropriations)

Jeff Koons’ new paintings represent a radical departure from his prior work, though recurring motifs such as foil balloon animals and mild erotica give a false impression of sameness and continuity. However, unlike any of his previous works, in the new body of paintings Koons hasn’t merely appropriated already existing objects or images in their…

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Dismantling the Dominant Art Narrative

I take apart the institutional story of art which I was also indoctrinated into through graduate art school, and offer a more broad, human, complex, and even progressive alternative. This article will help you see through the BS that permeates much of contemporary art theory, and which is used to devalue imaginative visual art and to undermine the great art of the past.

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Better Call Saltz (or not)

The cringe-worthy legacy of celebrity, cheese-filling art critic, Jerry Saltz. I marvel at the fact that for some reason, mysterious to me, people take Jerry Saltz, art critic of New York magazine, seriously. The best I can come up with is that among the most famous living art critics, his name is easier to spell…

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Differences between illustration, fine art, modern art, and contemporary art

Broad Outlines This is intended as a useful device for a very general categorization of visual-based art. The idea is to simplify something that is already hopelessly convoluted. There are inevitably grotesque omissions, outstanding hybrids, uncategorizable outliers, and genres I don’t address (such as folk art, outsider art, and comics…). But it’s worth thinking about…

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Reflections on: The Personal in Art

[Usually I call these impromptu writings “runaway rants”, but that implies a certain combativeness or railing against something, which is sometimes true. “Reflections” is probably more fair, at least when I’m not objecting to something offensively stupid.] Sometimes something is so goddamned obvious we don’t see it, and I would not think this about myself…

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