13 November, 2005

Robert Hughes

Hughes' views

Here were these hot shots in their Armani suits and their pony tails secured by rubber bands, and I give them my wish list. One suit turns around to the other suit and says, "Shit, what more are these print assholes going to ask for?" (laughter) I was thinking of getting a T-shirt made that said, "Print Asshole."
what always strikes me when I look around is the poverty of information, in areas that I am interested in, on the Net. There is a tremendous amount of zany conspiracy theory stuff, but not much else. So, I don't know. As more and more people use the Net and use such media, the intelligence quotient of it will rise. But it is hard to know. At present, people constantly ask me, "What about interactive video art, etc." I just don't know. I'm a print asshole. I'm a paint boy.
The salon interview.

I was seventeen, a boiling mass of zits and testosterone

We're used to the way that Andy Warhol's silkscreen paintings in the 1960s mimicked the smudginess and graininess of newsprint, but Vincent van Gogh was 80 years ahead of him: he loved not only Japanese prints, whose color was highly sophisticated, but also the crude discordant and even brutal colors of mass industrial printing, which could give his work, he said, the effect of a chromolithograph from a cheap shop.

artists like Jean Dubuffet got interested in graffiti, the lowest of the low, the primitive art of the urban crowd. Comic strips came into the orbit of painting: the Catalan surrealist Joan Miro, for instance, seems to have been deeply influenced by the work of that great and inventive American artist George Herriman, the creator of Krazy Kat.

In the long term, however, the result of mixture and migration is enrichment, an infusion of the energies that keep cultures vital. There is a practical, non-ideological understanding of multi-culti. Which is that people with different roots can co-exist, that they can learn to read the image-banks of others, that they can and should look across the frontiers of race, language, creed, gender and age without prejudice or illusion, and learn to think about others against the background of a hybridized society. This idea proposes, modestly enough, that some of the most interesting things in history and culture happen at the interface between cultures.

Text of a 1996 address to the International Society for the Performing Arts

He was a superstitious, sarcastic man, sometimes rotten to his children, often beastly to his women. He had contempt for women artists. His famous remark about women being "goddesses or doormats" has rendered him odious to feminists, but women tended to walk into both roles open-eyed and eagerly, for his charm was legendary. Whole cultural industries derived from his much mythologized virility. He was the Minotaur in a canvas-and-paper labyrinth of his own construction.

after the war, when artists and writers were thought disgraced by the slightest affiliation with Nazism or fascism, Picasso gave enthusiastic endorsement to Joseph Stalin, a mass murderer on a scale far beyond Hitler's, and scarcely received a word of criticism for it, even in cold war America.

The most powerful element in the story — at least after Cubism — was sex. The female nude was his obsessive subject. Everything in his pictorial universe, especially after 1920, seemed related to the naked bodies of women. Picasso imposed on them a load of feeling, ranging from dreamy eroticism (as in some of his paintings of his mistress Marie-Therese Walter in the '30s) to a sardonic but frenzied hostility, that no Western artist had made them carry before.
on Picasso

on artcyclopeadia

on wikipedia

times biography
The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.

Car wreck

The car in which art critic Robert Hughes nearly lost his life has been made into a work of art. An installation by artist Danius Kesminas on display in Perth, Australia, consists of the wreck of the rented car in which Hughes had a serious accident, displayed inside a clear box. ...Hughes' car is being displayed at Elvis Has Just Left the Building, a Perth International Arts Festival exhibition focusing on urban mythology

more from the BBC 31 January, 2002

the reviewer reviewed

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