Rindy Sam, who kissed a Twombly painting in 2007.
Twombly received big media attention in 2007 when an artist by the name of Rindy Sam gave one of Twombly’s paintings a kiss. The gesture left a red stain on Blooming, a Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things, a 9x6 ft. painting hanging at the Collection Lambert in Avignon, France. The artwork was then estimated at $2 million, and Sam was ordered to pay €1000 to the painting’s owner, €500 to the gallery, and a symbolic €1 to the painter himself.
Man, I am really disappointed that none of these are the reasons why I do actually think Gauguin is pretty horrid. Yes he’s a terrific painter by formal standards, but his whole “let me make already colonized natives dress in my idea of what their previous native dress was and pose like innocents ala my fantasy about Eve and uneducated/civilized women being a truer more real type of woman (and by woman I mean 14 year old) so that I can convey to the world what real people are like at their base level and depict where life came from via my very edited, posed, and arranged depictions of a world that exists mostly in my head, a world in which (in my head and in reality) I am in the role of the colonizer” is kind of fucked up. No, they were not forced to pose, but I am still just really not into his primitivist bullshit.
Not that I condone destroying art or anything, just he happened to be one of the few painters I really do not appreciate, and the painting is unharmed, so I had a bit of a laugh over this story in hopes that perhaps it was motivated by similar dislikes. You know, on the other hand, once a woman kissed a Cy Twombly painting out of her own overwhelming appreciation. He is my favorite painter, so I can’t blame her either. This opens up all sorts of preservation and how-do-we-respond-in-a-physical-way-to-flat-hanging-art-type-questions.
Reblogging for the same sentiment about Gaughin … andddd the fact that a women kissed a Cy Twombly. The power of images, people!
In light of all the complaining we art world professionals too often engage in (and who can blame us?), I offer Dominic Eichler’s essay “Value Added” published in Frieze in October 2009. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in a similar situation, where, after a rant about how difficult it is to work within the art world, someone asks “then why do you do it?” and all I can do it throw up my hands and sigh, “because I love it!” I hesitate to use the word ammunition, but Eichler provides some helpful… rebuttals to this scenario. (For easier reading, I have changed his eloquent semicolon-filled stream-of-consciousness list into bullet points.) My favorite has to be art is the sibling of language, and sometimes they have good fights. Pick your favorite, or come up with your own!
"So why on earth do we in the art world continue to do what we do? Is it possible to mount a reasonable defence, which might make sense to the […] lay person, or even just to comfort ourselves in dark moments of existential doubt? Ranging from the serious and seductive whisper to the arms-waving, tearfully impassioned plea (OK, just drunk and exasperated), all of the following points are ones I have tried in conversation, to mixed results:
- art is the only place left that still allows a relatively autonomous, wild and profound discussion on just about anything that matters to anyone and everyone
- art is just as pointless, useless and necessary as any other activity in the world
- while there has arguably never been a truly adequate depiction of art in film or on television, no good film or television programme could have been conceived without lessons learnt from art
- whether justified or not, contemporary art has symbolic power in Western culture, and this power gives art context, responsibility and agency
- art can transform images, things and situations into more than they would be if art didn’t exist
- art is the sibling of language, and sometimes they have good fights
- art embraces the absurd, irrational and irreverent
- art people often abandon conservative notions of family
- art has a wayward conscience in an unconscionable world
- there are gender issues and all kinds of racial and sexual discrimination in art, but at least they are being discussed as problems
- art is preferable to religion because it’s not about finding a ‘one size fits all’ resolution
- some experiences of art can be better than the best love affairs
- history shows that art is what remains
- art is an alternative value system
- art is in everything people do, so someone needs to address that
- there are hierarchies within art, but they are volcanically volatile – bursts of energy can come from nowhere and change the landscape overnight
- the idea of art is nimble enough to defy definition
- art loves problems, misfits, hermits and the reckless
- art challenges death and despair
- art may be full of contradictions, but at its core lies the idea of championing freedom.”
Amen, Eichler, amen.
Of the ten Swedish artists of the year, so-named by Konstvärlden magazine, nine are women (the one male being Jens Fänge). Swedish newspaper Expressen complains that this is Karin Mamma Andersson’s fourth year in the row in the #1 spot, but I’m interested in the fact that so many ladies made the list. Judge for yourself with links to these artists’ work below:
1. Karin Mamma Andersson (+)
2. Cecilia Edefalk (+)
3. Ylva Ogland (+)
4. Nathalie Djurberg (+)
5. Ann-Sofie Sidén (+)
6. Johanna Billing (+)
7. Kristina Jansson (+)
8. Astrid Svangren (+)
9. Jens Fänge (+)
10. Christine Ödlund (+)
Read more about gender equality in the art world in Jonas Cullberg’s article on Vanja Hermele’s recent study (sorry for the poor quality, it’s a link through Google Translate, but you’ll get the gist.)