Great Documentary on obscene art prices, Compelling meditation on the wealthy
Rothko and his ilk are just trolls. There is no way a serious human being could endeavour to call that art. It's actually so low a scam that I can't even call such canvases "rubbish". You can say Mozart is rubbish music, as a Palestrina fan, and be justified - but to call Rothko, postmodernists, deconstructionists, and other-such "rubbish", as a Georges de la Tour or Caravaggio fan, would be an insult to de la Tour and Caravaggio.

It's literally some orange and then a bit of red. Of course, the artsy types say "well, many famous paintings are just a bit of blue, green, and red". I ask them what the distinction is between the Baroque vedutisti painters and postmodern painters. They can't make one distinction, because "all art is self-expression and there is no truth so self-expression must be totally subjective". I say that Canaletto enlightens hearts and illuminates minds with his glorious visions of Venice and London; they say that "some people" are not enlightened or illuminated by the Dutch classical painters, and are enlightened and illuminated by Jackson Pollock; thus, Pollock is just as artistic and genius as the Dutch classical painters.

What profound idiocy there is among those who are completely attached to the world! The 1969 Gospel reading yesterday was indirectly attached to this. Peter and the others, with their profitable shipping business (enough to own a boat) left their work "immediately" and followed the Lord. No attachments there, outwardly... but even then, after the crucifixion and "all was lost", Peter went back to fish. It was still an attachment for him, until the blessed Saviour said "feed my sheep"... then, he saw the light.

The rich are more easily attached to things of the world, because their treasures are literally in the world, but the poor can be very easily held to many things too! A poor man who puts his wealth in his best friend, and would not go to Heaven if he knew his friend was in Hell, is a putrid stench to God, just as much as the dolt who spends 22 million dollars on a bit of orange and red that might've been coughed up by an invalid.
Pretty astonishing, and such a shame that so many works of art are just hoarded away (though the less we have to see of Picasso the better  :LOL: )

If I had billions to burn I think I would do what that Canadian newspaper fellow did and buy Old Master paintings and put them on public display. There is such a dearth of beauty in our modern world, if more people saw great art it would improve the health of their souls.

But first I'd build an awesome neo-gothic church building for my parish, donate to the construction efforts of the Norbertines in California, and commission a small army of solid Catholic artists to decorate everything.

I'll be a devil's advocate for a minute and say that while modern artists are lacking in the technical skills of the Old Masters, they are highly skilled at communication and salesmanship. They are excellent at giving form to the ideas of Modernism and Post-Modernism.  Though the fact their works are horribly ugly says a lot about the philosophy they represent!

The best critique I ever read of Cage's 4'33" was in a book primarily about math and computers; "Godel, Escher, Bach, an Eternal Golden Braid".  The author asks us to imagine sending two recordings into outer space, a Bach fugue and that Cage piece.  An alien species finds them, and presuming they can decode and play back the recording, the Bach piece will be recognizable as music/information right away.  The Cage piece however, will be received as complete nonsense unless it was packaged with a complete history of Western music and culture up until that point, and an explanation of how his work is a "reaction against" all of what came before.

And that is the weakness of modern's only intelligible as a reaction against something, it has no substance in and of itself.  Even worse is post-modern's only a reaction against modern art, which is itself only a reaction against something else!
Just shows you how useless money is past a certain point that people are able to pay this amount of it on a piece of art.

They cannot eat 10 steaks a day or pay to have better orgasms or significantly better health, the food they eat is much the same, they are constantly on their mobile phones, talking to brokers, money managers, business managers, accountants and lawyers.

In the past the rich had power over the life and deaths of their serfs and their lifestyles were significantly better relative to the 99%.
careful alphonsjr will be calling you a marxist.
(01-22-2012, 06:22 PM)Crusader_Philly Wrote: Will watch later tonight.

BTW, how close are the Eastern Calendar's readings and the traditional Latin rite's? I have never been to an Eastern Rite Liturgy.

Pretty much completely different, as far as I am aware.  The Latin Rite lectionary dates back to St. Jerome, but the Church has several others, including the Byzantine and Ambrosian.  For your information:
(01-23-2012, 05:42 PM)ggreg Wrote: Just shows you how useless money is past a certain point that people are able to pay this amount of it on a piece of art.

They cannot eat 10 steaks a day or pay to have better orgasms or significantly better health, the food they eat is much the same, they are constantly on their mobile phones, talking to brokers, money managers, business managers, accountants and lawyers.

In the past the rich had power over the life and deaths of their serfs and their lifestyles were significantly better relative to the 99%.

Dr. Barnes used his wealth and gave a lot of artists an opportunity to eat. Just like Pope Julius II.  Barnes spent enormous sums of money on paintings and hung them up in his factory.  Several afternoons each week the factory would stop production early and the employees would all gather and analyze and discuss the art.  Barnes bought Picasso's for something like $40 that were eventually worth tens of millions and he paid hundreds of thousands for old masters, egyptian art, the impressionists, sculpture antiques, because he wanted to build a school that was capable of having the art as a "laboratory" of study. 

The fact is, despite the scam of the "artworld" there are very, very, very ,very few people that can organize and put together a painting on the level of Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, Rembrandt, Rubens and a few others. 

You want those paintings in your city, university or collection, well, a lot of people and so, if there were more artists of that calibre the prices would go down. 

But our uneducated masses don't know the first thing about real art.  And the artschools don't teach anything of real substance.  So what is rare and of quality becomes valuable monetarily speaking and two competing factions add to the bidding, those who appreciate the art and those who are interested in it because of the monetary value.
Yeah and then the corrupt local philadelphian political whores violated Mr Barnes final will and testament by claiming some bogus "community (COMMUNIST) rights". That was a travesty...wasnt there a great documentary on the Barns bonfire of the vanities?
Here's a much better documentary on art:

While we are on the subject, I thought this was always a very interesting article.

The Plot Against Art, Part 1

Dr. Lasha Darkmoon

September 19, 2009

“Never before have so few been in a position to make fools, maniacs or criminals of so many.”

HG Wells, The Shape of Things to Come.

I’ll begin with a confession: I am a failed artist. Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to paint. The only thing that stopped me was lack of talent. The first time I did a self-portrait, checking with the mirror in my bedroom to see how I was getting on, my mother put an abrupt end to my artistic ambitions by exclaiming, “Gosh, what a cute little chimp!”

It was a rude awakening for a nine-year-old artist.

About a decade later, I asked myself was art was all about. One day I found this sentence in a biography of Burne-Jones, and I jotted it down in my diary and pondered it for a day or two, “I mean by a picture a beautiful romantic dream of something that never was, never will be — in a better light than any light that ever shone — in a land no one can define or remember, only desire — and from forms divinely beautiful.”

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Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott, 1888.

Art as it used to be, when painters knew how to paint. This would now be considered kitsch.

When I read that sentence, I almost fainted. I was a sensitive girl, given to fits of swooning at the slightest opportunity. It was then I realized there was no real difference between poetry and painting, between painting and music. All, in their own ways, sought for God — albeit a God who might not exist — but a God nonetheless. God was beauty. God was longing. God was the fire in the rose.

That’s what I thought then. I was young and foolish.

Art, I found out later, was about making money. Organized Jewry taught me this. Art dealer Paul Rosenberg says, “A painting is only beautiful when it sells.” Jewish president of the Marlborough Gallery, Frank Lloyd, confirms this: “There is only one measure of success in running a gallery: making money.”

The question we need to ask is: Who runs the Art Market and how did it become a freak circus?

Art Should Make You Miserable

Let’s take a little trip round the art world with Israel Shamir. Mr Shamir, after all, is not only well-informed about art but is also a tour guide in Jerusalem. He agrees with me about the sacral nature of art. “No art without Christ,” he says. By “Christ” he means much more than the historical Jesus. He means the Logos, or Christ Principle, the rule of law in a divinely ordered universe.

Since Darwin and Freud, there has been a complete “revaluation of all values.” Everything has been turned upside down. We can mostly attribute this parlous state of affairs to the machinations of organized Jewry, in particular to a group of revolutionary thinkers known as the Frankfurt School.  (For a detailed introduction to the ideas of these neo-Freudian Marxists, most of whom were Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Germany who fled to America, see Chapter 5 of Kevin MacDonald’s The Culture of Critique).

Just as one of these Frankfurters, Theodor Adorno, set out to destroy Western music, assuring the world that atonal music was a good thing because it was discordant and ugly, others in the group set out to destroy art and push it to its reductio ad absurdum: lights going on and off in an empty room, unmade beds with condoms and bloodstained panties strewn around, and sealed cans containing the artist’s own excrement.

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Tracey Emin’s  My Bed

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Piero Manzoni’s Artist’s Shit

One of the founders of the Frankfurt School, Georg Lukács, asked rhetorically, “Who will save us from Western civilization?” He began the rescue operation himself, convincing himself that the best way to do this was to create “a culture of pessimism” and “a world that has been abandoned by God.” Cool.

Another of these mental giants, Walter Benjamin, believed that the purpose of art was to make people as miserable as possible, for pessimism was an essential preliminary to world revolution. “To organize pessimism,” he pointed out portentously, “means nothing other than to expel the moral metaphor from politics.” Benjamin succeeded only too well in making himself miserable. He committed suicide.

Marxist revolutionary Willi Munzenberg made no bones about his mission in life. It was to destroy Western civilization. No kidding. To accomplish this, he said, the Frankfurters would have to “organize the intellectuals and use them to make Western civilization stink. Only then, after they have cor­rupted all its values and made life impossible, can we impose the dic­tatorship of the proletariat”. (My italics).

To summarize: Let’s create a culture of pessimism. Let’s make Western civilization stink. Let’s create a godless world and drive people to despair. Let’s corrupt society’s values and make life impossible. In short, let’s create hell on earth.

It will soon become clear to you, if you are a struggling artist, that the art world is dominated by Jews who are only too anxious to bring about this hell on earth. Their control over what now passes for art is as tentacular as it is terrifying. Art has morphed into Anti-Art.  “For Jews,” Israel Shamir points out, “their group interest lies in undermining visual art, for they can’t compete with it. Even deeper group interest is to undermine Christianity, their main enemy.”

To undermine. To corrupt. To create discord. To drive crazy. To destroy. Verbs to remember. Let’s begin our tour of the art world, with Israel Shamir as our guide, and try to gain an insight into what is going on.

Gallery Hopping With Mr Shamir

One day, Shamir finds himself in the Basque capital of Bilbao in Spain. He has come to check out the museum of modern art built by the fabulously rich (Jewish) Guggenheim family. The biggest building in Spain, the Guggenheim Museum impresses Shamir profoundly — it’s like something out of a science-fiction movie — but once he steps inside the building he is acutely disappointed.

Hey, what on earth is all this junk? Pieces of corrugated iron lying around like in a scrap yard. Rusty iron plates in one corner. Video screens blinking away inanely. Bare geometric forms. And, believe it or not, an entire floor devoted to a collection of Armani suits. Boy, I’m outa here! Shamir mutters to himself, making a beeline for the Exit.

And what does he do next? He hops on a plane to Venice, and now we see him poking around the famous Biennale Museum, trying to make sense out of a collection of  trashed cars on display. Mopping his brow feverishly, he needs to sit down to collect his wits. No, don’t sit there, sir — those chairs are a precious work of art! You want to read a good book, Mr Shamir, to take your mind of all this junk? No problem. Here’s a bookcase full of books. Help yourself. Or rather, don’t help yourself! This bookcase, crammed with moldy old books, is also a sublime work of art! Yes, all the way from sublime, artistic Israel!

One might have thought that, after suffering all these disappointments, Mr Shamir would have packed it in and gone back to Jaffa, determined never to set foot in an art gallery again. But no, a glutton for punishment, our art guide now decides to visit a museum in Amsterdam where he is confronted by a collection of decomposed pig trunks. To his astonishment, he learns that a cadaver immersed in formaldehyde, on display in this same museum, has been purchased for $50,000 by a rich American. Wow, a corpse collector!

His disillusionment is total when, on visiting Copenhagen, he finds himself in the church of St Nicholas. Being a convert to Christianity, maybe he goes in there to pray. If so, he is saddened to have his mind polluted by the pictures he sees on the walls of that venerable old church. Here’s a color photograph of a naked old woman, withered and sick. And here, right next to it, is a huge blown-up picture of the female genitalia.  And what’s this? Oh, nothing to worry about! Just a photo of a couple of guys having oral sex.  Hey man, c’mon! This is a healthy and natural act! What better place for the celebration of joyous pagan sexuality than a Christian church?

“Whatever they proclaimed as art, was art,” Shamir concludes ruefully. “In the beginning, these were works of some dubious value like the ‘abstract paintings’ of Jackson Pollock. Eventually we came to rotten swine, corrugated iron, and Armani suits.  Art was destroyed.” [My italics.]

The Jewish Connection

So what does all this have to do with the Jews? Plenty. If you want to play that fascinating game known as Cherchez le Juif, let’s continue our tour of the contemporary art world.

You will meet many artists, quite a few of them pliant and accommodating non-Jews, who are prepared to jump through the hoops set before them by their Masters: the ubiquitous Jews lurking in the shadows. The men who call the shots. The men with the money. The men whom the artist must learn to please and flatter if he hopes to get ahead and become rich and famous.

The ambitious artist will find himself drawn inevitably into a Jewish world. He will learn to pepper his conversation with Yiddish phrases. He will never breathe a word of criticism  against Israel, no matter what atrocities that country is in the process of committing. He will sneer at Muslims, the Qur’an and the Palestinians. He will find it pays dividends to insult Christianity, the religion of his forefathers. He will mention the Holocaust, whenever possible, with moist eyes; and he will paint as many pictures of Auschwitz as he can, preferably with chimneys belching black smoke.

All this has been done by goy artists. The proof for these claims can be found here in this enormous archive of art information. I have drawn upon it heavily.

Even the great Picasso knew he was appeasing the Jews when he embraced his friend Pierre Daix and confided in a low voice, “To think that painters once thought they could paint The Massacre of the Innocents!” He was clearly echoing or anticipating Adorno’s “There can be no poetry after Auschwitz.” If there can be no poetry after Auschwitz, there can be no art either — certainly not Christian art.

Andy Warhol knew better than most how to ingratiate himself with the Jews. His 1980 series, “Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century,” features ten portraits of what Warhol referred to as “Jewish geniuses,” one of whom was Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir — the “genius” who said there were no Palestinians, adding with her famous flair for the witty phrase: “How can we return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to.” Another “genius” was Sigmund Freud, whom Kevin MacDonald has described as having perpetrated the greatest scientific fraud of the 20th century — a fraud that was very useful in constructing the culture of Western suicide.

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Warhol’s portraits of Gold Meir and Sigmund Freud, from his Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century series

Warhol seems to have put his considerable charm to work with Henry Geldzahler, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art — an influential Jew who happened, like Warhol, to be homosexual. “Although they were never lovers, the relationship became intimate,” we are assured by one of Warhol’s biographers. “Andy spoke to Henry on the phone every night before he went to sleep and every morning as soon as he woke up.” I am not saying that Warhol and Geldzahler were lovers, though others have said so. That’s of no interest to me. All I’m suggesting is that Warhol, a notorious opportunist, found it helped his career to cultivate the Jews. His appeal, in the words of film critic Carrie Rickey, was to the “synagogue circuit.”

Transvestite potter Grayson Perry — here he is receiving the Turner Prize for his inspired pots — knew his success depended less on his talents than on the advertising genius of his plutocratic patron Charles Saatchi. He was well aware, moreover, that Islamophobia can always be relied on to win friends and influence people in the Judeocentric art world. “The reason I haven’t gone all out to attack Islamism in my art,” he confides fearlessly, “is because I feel real fear that someone will slit my throat.” Avoiding controversial political statements in the interests of discretion, Perry decided to devote his life to producing ceramic pots depicting “explicit scenes of sexual perversion.” It must have been a tough decision.

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The potter wore bobbysox … Grayson Perry poses with his wife Phillippa and daughter Flo after winning the Turner Prize.

Non-Jewish artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski and Christopher Williams have been almost as prolific in their production of Holocaust paintings as Jewish painter RB Kitaj, a man whose obsession with Auschwitz has often been noted. “The chimney in a Kitaj painting,” art pundit Juliet Steyn informs us, “functions as an indictment on Christianity.” Translation: After Auschwitz, who needs Golgotha?

RB Kitaj’s Passion (1940–45): Cross and Chimney

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Entrance through the Gate Exit from the Chimney by Joseph Bau

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As for Andres Serrano with his Piss Christ and Chris Ofili with his dung-bedecked Holy Virgin Mary — the Madonna surrounded by pictures of the female genitals cut from pornographic magazines — both these emotionally immature artists were clearly aware that contempt for Christ and his mother is often pleasing to the Jews.

Chris Ofili’s Holy Virgin Mary and Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ

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Artists? These men are more like circus dogs, trained to jump through hoops and beg for bones from their masters. It’s the men with the money, the Saatchis and the Guggenheims,  who crack the whip.

Dr. Lasha Darkmoon (email her) is an academic, age 31, with higher degrees in classics.  A published poet and translator, she is also a political  activist with a special interest in Middle Eastern affairs. ‘Lasha Darkmoon’ is a pen name.

The Plot Against Art, Part 2

Dr. Lasha Darkmoon

September 20, 2009

I hate to tell you this, but if you like modern art there has to be something radically wrong with you. To feel hostile towards it is as natural as being repelled by incest.

Modern art is out to corrupt you.

If it doesn’t do this, it will have failed to achieve the primary purpose of its elitist promoters. It will have failed to undermine traditional values. It will have failed to produce a “culture of pessimism.” It will have failed to destroy the sacral core of life. It will have failed to poison your mind and give you the sickness unto death.  It will have failed to make you what Big Brother finally managed to make Winston Smith in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four:  a mindless zombie.

The Wheelers and Dealers

That the Jews dominate the art world, as they dominate the mass media and every other area of influence, is the best-kept secret of the twenty-first century. One is not supposed to mention this. It is anti-Semitic to do so.

In 1989, an erudite academic volume appeared called Sociology of the Arts. In it the authors discuss who is who in the art world. “Blacks, Orientals, and persons of Spanish origin constitute about 7 per cent of the art audience,” the book informs us helpfully. So what about the other 93 per cent?

What ethnic group owns most of the art galleries? Who are the museum curators? Who are the art historians? Who are the art critics? Who publish the magazines in which art is reviewed? Who determine what is good art and what is rubbish? Who are the dealers and big collectors? Who run the auction houses? Who set up the art competitions and raise the prize money? Who appoint the judges? Who are the judges?

Not a word. Total silence. Scary, isn’t it?

As far back as 1930, it was noted by French author Pierre Assouline: “According to dealer Pierre Loeb, four art dealers out of five are Jewish, as are four out of five art collectors. Wilhelm Unde added art critics to this list.” In 1973, it was estimated that 80 per cent of the 2500 core “art market personnel” — dealers, curators, gallery owners, collectors, critics, consultants and patrons of the arts — were Jewish.  In 1982, Gerald Krefetz (Jewish) let the cat out of the bag even further.  “Today, Jews enjoy every phase of the art world,” he admitted. “In some circles, the wheelers and dealers are referred to as the Jewish mafia.”

Writing of his experiences in New York City, Jewish author Howard Jacobson revealed that art critic Peter Schjedhal had told him, “Just about every gallery we go into is run by a Jew. Even the women gallery owners whose wine we absorb are Jewish.”

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Riki R. Nelson, Girl in a Box, Girl in Cherry Silk, from the Saatchi Gallery, London

In 2001, ARTnews listed the world’s Top Ten Art Collectors. Eight of them were Jews. Ponder these staggering statistics: A people who constitute 0.2% of the world’s population make up 80% of the world’s richest art collectors. Out of every thousand people in the world, roughly two are Jews. To be precise, one in every 457 people are Jews. Yet go to a conference at which 1000 of the world’s wealthiest art collectors have gathered and you will find, to your amazement, that 800 of them are Jewish! Phenomenal, isn’t it?

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Nigerian-born Chris Ofili’s Holy Virgin Mary, from the collection of Charles Saatchi, an influential Jewish art collector. The painting is described as “a carefully rendered black Madonna decorated with a resin-covered lump of elephant dung. The figure is also surrounded by small collaged images of female genitalia from pornographic magazines.” The painting caused a public uproar and media frenzy when exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum of Art as part of the Sensation exhibition of Saatchi’s collection in 1999.

If you require confirmation for these citations, see here. This huge cache of outré information has been particularly useful to me in researching the Jewish influence on modern art.

The art world is so densely populated with Jews that one way to get away from the goyim, if you are Jewish, is to take up art. That way, with any luck, you won’t bump into a non-Jew for days! In 1996, Jewish art historian Eunice Lipton confided somewhat tactlessly that the only reason she became an art historian was that she wanted to hang out exclusively with Jews. “I wanted to be where Jews were — that is, I wanted a profession that would allow me to acknowledge my Jewishness through the company I kept.”

On the face of it, she noted, art history would seem to be a gentile profession, if only because the study of Christian art was its hub and center. And yet, she says, “the field was filled with Jews. One might even say it was shaped by them.”

She was doubtless thinking of the great historian of Renaissance art, Bernard Berenson, whose influence has been seminal.  Berenson once described himself as “a typical Talmud Jew” who longed to drop “the mask of the goyim” — hardly, one is tempted to think, a fit interpreter of Christian art to the hated gentiles! Though he had converted to Christianity in 1885, here we see him, almost sixty years later in 1944,  writing an “Open Letter to the Jews” in which he warns them about “envious Christians” who would persecute them “even if you were innocent as the angels.” To my mind, this sounds more Talmudic than Christian.

With the rise of German fascism, Jewish art historians began to flee Nazi Germany, along with those Marxist revolutionaries known as the Frankfurt School. Most of these Jews ended up in America. At New York University alone, the following Jewish art historians were to take up residence: Richard Ettinghaven, Walter Friedlander, Karl Lehman, Alfred Salmony, Guido Schoenberger, Martin Weinberger.
Art historian Lipton probably also has in mind — when she says she wanted to live in a predominantly Jewish atmosphere — the two most illustrious art critics of the twentieth century, Harold Rosenberg and Clement Greenberg. Like Berenson, Greenberg appears to have had a distinctly Talmudic cast of mind. Convinced of Jewish superiority, he once remarked, “The European Jew represents a higher type of human being than any other yet achieved.”

Both these influential critics, Rosenberg and Greenberg, were members of the Frankfurt School and helped to reshape the aesthetic perceptions of the gentile masses.

Bending Art to Jewish Abilities

All art henceforth was to be “Jewish”. It would break free from its Christian roots. Whatever Jewish artists were good at, that would be the art of the future. If Jews were no good at drawing, good drawing would no longer be necessary. Representational art was out, abstract and conceptual art was in. Actual unmade beds, not pictures of them, now became works of art. Marcel Duchamp’s famous urinals — bought in a store and transported to an art gallery where they were magically transformed into works of art. Cans stuffed with the artist’s own excrement. Photos of crucifixes stuck in glasses of the artist’s own urine.

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Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain, photographed in 1917 by Alfred Steiglitz, an early 20th-century Jewish photographer and promoter of modern art. “It does not take much stretching of the imagination,” gushes Calvin Tomkins, art critic of the New Yorker, “to see in the urinal’s gently flowing curves the veiled head of a classic Renaissance Madonna or a seated Buddha.” In 2004, this inspired pissoire was voted Most Influential Work of the 20th century by 500 “art experts” — sorry, “piss-artists.”

“Preparation of these items places no demand on artistic abilities. They can be done by anybody,” Israel Shamir points out, adding somewhat cuttingly, “Such art is perfectly within Jewish capabilities.”

In order to succeed in this difficult profession, the visually challenged Jews had to “bend art to fit their abilities.” It is as if, unable to excel at athletic prowess, the Jews had somehow managed to gain control over the Olympic Games and decreed that, from now on, sprinting and marathon running were no longer important. What really mattered was winning the sack race or the Spitting Competition — accomplishments, possibly, which Jews were particularly good at!

“The Jews were extremely ill equipped for their conquest of Olympus,” Shamir instructs us. “For many generations, Jews never entered churches and hardly ever saw paintings. They were conditioned to reject image as part of their rejection of idols.” In short, the Jews were visually handicapped. Trained in Talmudic dialectics, they were marvelous with words. They had a verbal IQ of 130. Their IQ for patterns and pictures, however, was dismally low: only 75.

The Jews of course don’t wish to acknowledge this. To suggest that they tend to make lousy artists is anti-Semitic. If Jews didn’t make more of a splash as artists in past ages, it is argued, it was because they were “held back” by their Christian oppressors. Unfortunately for the Jews, the great Berenson will have none of this argument.  “The Jews have displayed little talent for the visual,” he states tersely, “and almost none for the figure arts.”

How, then, you might wish to know, are there so many Jewish artists around nowadays? To what can we attribute this fantastic efflorescence of sudden Jewish pictorial genius? The answer, we are told, lies in Jewish networking and hustling: Jewish predominance in the mass media, Jewish economic dominance of the art world, Jewish power, Jewish money.”

How Anyone Can Be Famous

Andy Warhol once said that everyone in the future will be “world-famous for fifteen minutes.” What he failed to point out was that almost anyone, including the village idiot, can be made into a celebrity with the help of public relations. All it takes is constant attention in the mass media.  Charles Saatchi, advertising mogul and art collector extraordinaire, spells it out: “An unknown artist’s big glass vitrine holding a rotten cow’s head covered by maggots and swarms of buzzing flies may be pretty unsalable. Until the artist becomes a star. Then he can sell anything he touches” (my emphasis).

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Interior of Everyone I have ever Slept With, 1963–1995, an iconic work by Tracey Emin, owned by Charles Saatchi until being destroyed in a fire.

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Damien Hirst, A Thousand Years (1990). Richard Lacayo of Time Magazine: “A Thousand Years is a large glass box in which real maggots hatch into flies that appear to feed on blood from a severed cow’s head.” Charles Saatchi and Hirst had a “symbiotic relationship” as collector and artist from about 1992–2003.

How does one become a star? Who gives the Emperor his new clothes and helps to suggest he is remarkably well dressed?

An unmade bed is transformed into a consummate work of art once it is bought by Charles Saatchi and placed in a prestigious art gallery. The artist acquires a mystique created out of the power of suggestion. You must be a genius if everyone is raving about you and your unmade bed. Mass hypnosis does the trick. Advertising and persistent persuasion work wonders. See here and here and here.

Let me ask you a question. If someone tried to sell you his excrement for $10, would you buy it? Probably not. Well, consider this: on May 23, 2007, a can labeled Artist’s Shit, purportedly containing the excrement of artist Piero Manzoni, was sold at Sotheby’s for €124,000 (US$ 180,000).

How is it done? Is a can of shit worth its weight in gold? It obviously is — if people are fighting to buy it.

A larger question: If you can con people into buying shit, can you also con them into evil wars in the Middle East and mass cultural suicide in their own homelands? Nothing easier. It’s being done right now.

Talent helps, but is it essential?

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Tell Me Something Beautiful  is a patchwork quilt stitched up entirely by eight-year-olds from Ecclesbourne primary school, London, with Emin in the classroom offering advice. When the school wanted to sell the quilt for £35.000 ($60,000) to an art dealer, Emin threw a fit and threatened legal action, demanding the quilt be “returned” to her at once.

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The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living by Damien Hirst (1991). Saatchi sold this work to collector Steven Cohen for $12 million, who in in turn donated it to the Museum of Modern Art.

The successful contemporary artist needs to be a person devoid of moral scruples. Confidence trickster, hustler, prostitute, pimp, he needs to mix with the right crowd and know whom to cultivate. “The artist who would be known,” wrote the great folklorist Joseph Campbell, “has to go to cocktail parties to win commissions, and those who win them are not in their studios but at parties, meeting the right people and appearing in the right places.” Campbell was later accused of anti-Semitism, but Jewish artist Julian Schnabel backs up Campbell’s claim. “Much time is spent nurturing liaisons with creatures of the art world,” he notes gloomily. “There is no time for friendship. Later, there is no capacity for it.”

How does a really talented artist succeed in such a rat race?

Painter Helen Frankenthaler had to sleep with art critic Clement Greenberg, but it was worth it: Greenberg gave her good reviews. Willem de Kooning let his wife Elaine bed down with art critic Harold Rosenberg, but it was worth it: Rosenberg gave de Kooning good reviews. Jackson Pollock had to pleasure nymphomaniac Peggy Guggenheim, but it was worth it: her patronage helped to get Pollock good reviews. After all, her daddy owned the Guggenheim Museum.

None of these artists slept around for love. They did it for money. Jackson Pollock famously said of Peggy Guggenheim, his plutocratic patroness: “To f**k her, you’d have to put a towel over her head. And she did want fucking.”

“Incestuous collusion, mutual back-scratching, under the table wheeling and dealing, nepotism and clique allegiance are intrinsic principles of the modern art world,” art expert Sophy Burnham concludes ruefully.

That’s how it is. C’est la vie! It’s so heartbreaking you have to laugh.

If you wish to succeed as a modern artist, be prepared to lie and cheat, to be a confidence trickster and sexual exhibitionist, to flatter your Jewish patrons and churn out Holocaust paintings to please them, to sing the praises of Israel and vilify the Palestinians, to knock Islam and the Qur’an and show contempt for Christianity. Unless you are Jewish, you must lose all allegiance to your people, your religion, or your traditional culture.

Be prepared to prostitute yourself if you’re a woman or pimp your wife if you’re a man. Be prepared to do a Piss Christ like Andres Serrano or a pornographic Holy Virgin Mary like Chris Ofili. Be prepared, like Grayson Perry, to dress up as a woman and produce sexually perverted pots. Be prepared to pull a paper scroll out of your vagina like Carolee Schneemann. Be prepared, like Vito Acconci, to titillate a jaded public by masturbating for them in a prestigious art gallery — and calling it ‘art’.

Leonardo must be turning in his grave.

Let art critic Clement Greenberg have the last word: “I’ve decided the kind of people attracted to art are often psychopaths. You can quote me on that.”

He should know.

Dr. Lasha Darkmoon (email her) is an academic, age 31, with higher degrees in classics.  A published poet and translator, she is also a political  activist with a special interest in Middle Eastern affairs. ‘Lasha Darkmoon’ is a pen name.


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