Saturday, June 22, 2013

Koons. My reflection standing in for Parmigianino's. Pistoletto, for comparison. Koons is more Bronzino than Parmigianino: sharp and perverse.

Koons and Paul McCarthy in the NYT. Roberta Smith

McCarthy's work is shallow and derivative: boring, emotionally and visually unspecific, rehashing the work of every existentialist shock-jock artist from the generation that preceded him, in New YorkCalifornia or Vienna,  50 years after Meat Joy and Flaming Creatures. And once the shock is gone, if it existed, there's little left other than the idea of inversion. It's an old idea, meaning more than 100 years, and the art of ideas doesn't age well, unless the art outlasts the ideas themselves and is seen now as specific to its place and time in a way that continues to stand out. And again McCarthy's work is unspecific. He can't even claim as Baldessari does to be a "closet" formalist. He's a lazy maker of objects dabbling in self-consciously "bad" movies in a time when John Waters has musicals on Broadway and David Lynch and Tim Burton are household names. Martin Landau won his oscar in 1995.  Koons by comparison has an eye, one that reminds me now of Kubrick. I'm surprised I hadn't thought of it before.

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