Runaway Rant: Did Duchamp Make Art an Exclusive, Elitist Practice?

[Quick rant over my morning cup(s) of coffee.] By changing art from an image to be seen, into a thing in a gallery or museum to be contemplated in that environment, art stopped being a universal medium and became a practice for the elite only. I live in the so-called “developing world” in Asia [and…

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Confession: I am a Renowned Conceptual Artist.

This work by me appears in the video: The Case for Copying, by The Art Assignment / PBS Digital Studios, at @7:00. The purpose of the video is to defend the sometimes maligned contemporary art practice of appropriation, and when giving historical context it returns to Duchamp’s “Fountain”, and then quickly segues to my appropriation…

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Art is not a conversation piece for mental masturbation!

Sometimes I say or do something that’s so obvious to me that I can’t believe nobody else has done it or said it. Apparently the above is an original quote by me [I also made the graphic.]. You can even take out the “for mental masturbation” part, and “art is not a conversation piece” is…

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F_ck The Fountain!

[An unedited rant written in one go over a cup of coffee. This time I’m leaving in my typos and other shit. Yes, I know that “it’s” as a possessive doesn’t get an apostrophe, and I know the difference between “your” and “you’re”, and between “there” and “their” and “they’re”… But when I type, I…

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Great Art by Famous Artists Lost, Destroyed, or Censored

Some of my favorite pieces by famous artists are unknown. These works have become, for me, like vivid dreams forgotten within seconds of awakening, or photo albums destroyed in a fire. Most are lost treasures which only now exist as JPEGS that people such as myself happen to have downloaded. Not only are these works…

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What is Real in Art?

What is Real in Art: With a Revaluation of Brian Ashbee’s Infamous “Art Bollocks” So much of the art of the recent past can be seen as attempts to get away from mere images, and confront the viewer with the real… ~ Brian Ashbee, 1999. The real in art is the evidence of self-awareness, or…

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Duchamp killed Picasso, but only if you’re blind

[Morning rant. I’m writing this in one go, not editing, and I’m not putting pics in it. Update: I went back and edited it. So, now it just started as a rant.] I wrote a while ago about Duchamp Versus Picasso, and I am probably just repeating myself, but with just a bit more context…

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“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” Not so fast.

“Good artists copy, great artists steal.” What does this maxim mean? Why do people like to repeat it now? Something smells fishy. People seem to think this is about taking shortcuts, but it’s nearly the antithesis.

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It’s time to finally retire “radical”

Radical’s washed up. It’s been exploited for over a century, trotted out to justify just about anything, and finally ended up a parody of itself. In the same way literally is now commonly used to mean figuratively (“Donald Trump is literally Hitler”), radical has come to signify its antithesis: academic convention.

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The Big Bang of Conceptual Art [Why People Hate Conceptual Art: Part 4]

A little reflecting on art history can help make the problem of the opposition of conceptual and visual art abundantly clear. As all students of art history know, Marcel Duchamp kicked off the conceptual art ball rolling when he tried to exhibit a urinal as a sculpture in an art exhibit put on by “The…

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Why People Hate Conceptual Art: Part 1

The Problem of Conceptual Art Vs. Visual Art There is terrible conceptual art, and there is terrific conceptual art, but the genre as a whole is reviled by the general public. There is a surprisingly simple explanation why this is so. No, it’s not because the people who don’t like it are conservative, anti-intellectual, unsophisticated,…

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The song that changed music forever

It’s NOT what you think! The year was 1969. The venue: Woodstock. Over 400,000 people came to watch 32 acts perform, including the Grateful Dead, CCR, Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix.

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What if I’m wrong?

I’ve now written a heap of art criticism, and most of it fairly cutting, though that may more reflect our times than my temperament. I try to come to conclusions using reason, doing research, and coming at a problem from different angles. But I also try to remain open minded. Last night I watched a…

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Art versus Anti-Art

Art is intended to be looked at, anti-art isn’t. People are confused on this, and even I’m confused on it, which is why I’m trying to clarify my thoughts on it here. Riiiiiiight, you like them both. That would be most people who’ve studied art, but it’s a bit like saying that you believe in…

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Why only anti-art survived, and anti-music, anti-literature and the other anti movements died.

In 1916 a renowned Austrian chef, one Sascha Prodoprigora, had the brilliant idea of serving “anti-food” in a restaurant. He served up bars of soap lightly dusted with talcum powder and a garnish of chimney soot. What should have been the dawning of a culinary movement on par with anti-art, died before anyone got halfway…

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Duchamp Versus Picasso

Much of the discourse surrounding the importance of Marcel Duchamp, and his status as the most influential artist of the 20th century, operates as if Picasso didn’t exist. It’s somewhat surprising to think that Picasso’s career completely eclipses that of Duchamp, so that while Duchamp was declaring visual art “too retinal” and moribund, Picasso was…

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Worse than Hirst, a review of my art

Article from Fine Art Alert*: Billed by some as Germany’s answer to Jeff Koons, Erich Küns (who spells his name with or without the h or umlaut) has been making conceptual pieces that challenge the supremacy and legitimacy of the reigning champions of the art world. His newest piece, a 50 foot androgynous, anatomical cut-away,…

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What’s wrong with this picture?

Any takers? Can you guess what I think is the problem here? It seems to point to a real problem with contemporary art, and how we think about it, which significantly DOESN’T apply to other creative genres like music, film, or literature.

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