Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Susan Stamberg aka the woman who can't open her mouth without a cliché coming out of it has one of her reports about famous art by famous artists on the Radio as I start to type this.  I wish there were some way to test to see if someone who had never seen anything by the artist she reported on [I decided to not name the painter to make my point] had any idea what his pictures were like from her kulcha vulcha reporting but her descriptions of his pictures wouldn't lead me to think they'd have any idea of them.  Here's what he said:

[The artist has] plenty of joyous pictures left to paint. He still sees the world in the colors of Oz — hues so vibrant and alive that they look back-lit

Inside [a book of his pictures] you'll see..., palm trees, flowers, his dachshunds, the Grand Canyon, portraits of rich and not rich friends, landscapes in the U.S. and Yorkshire, designs for opera sets. He won't linger over any of them and doesn't pause to answer questions. He keeps turning, leafing through a life's worth of works in vivid blues, greens, oranges and fuchsias.

If you'd never seen the artists work you wouldn't have any idea what his pictures look like - IT IS RADIO, AFTER ALL -  I think, since I removed one dead giveaway subject from that description, even someone familiar with their work would have trouble figuring out who she was talking about from just her description of his art.  ON THE RADIO, for Pete's sake.  

Considering that everything she says is a cliché, it could lead them to think it's like the art of someone else whose pictures are described in exactly the same terms.  From what she said I can think of many a painting on black velvet or as seen reproduced at the dollar store or on a drug store calendar that would fit those descriptions.  I don't agree with her qualitative description of it, I don't find his work "joyous" at all.  I think he's an iconographer of banality whose method seems to be to remove meaning and significance from whatever he paints, often choosing to paint banal subjects and to make them more banal by choice.   In that I don't remember having ever seen one of his pictures without feeling more depressed.  But, maybe I expect more of the emotion of joy than she does. 

The radio piece was full of Susan Stamberg's signature celebrity name-dropping both movie and kulcha stars and locations.  Why they even put them on the radio is about the most interesting thing about her stuff and that's not interesting, either.  What a waste of air.

Update:  Looking at a range of his pictures as seen on Google Images, I don't see a single one that looks like he used back-lighting effects, those with enough depth to discern the direction of light. Lots of them look dead flat.   I think she might have mixed that up with another scribbler's description of another artist. 

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