Monday, August 27, 2012
New prospects in contemporary art
You just couldn’t make this up.
A new line has opened up in contemporary art…
Maybe it deserves a name, like The Power of Disfigured Art,
and a brief description, like the social relevance of the new contemporary art.
The disfigured fresco which I wrote about two days ago has now acquired an iconic status. According to reports, hundreds of visitors have been crowding into the little church to view it and express their admiration, forcing the little church to display it behind a security cordon.
But, wisely, the little church has also set up a collection box, to swell its revenue from donations.
A petition has been signed by no less than 19,000 in less than two days, asking the authorities not to allow a group of experts to undo the “damage” that Cecilia Gimenez did to it in trying to restore it herself, which resulted in Christ looking like a monkey.
The story has gone viral on the internet. Many have tried to do similar “virtual” restorations on other iconic works of art.
The petition says that the Cecilia Gimenez’s restorative work has made of the painting “an intelligent reflection of the political and social conditions of our times” – a description that can hardly be bettered by the erudite descriptions that some in the art world attach to obscure pebbles and filing cabinets.
They see in the painting a “subtle critique of the creationist theories of the Church” and compare it in style to …wait for it… the works of Goya, Munch and Modigliani.
Well, a director of a contemporary art museum could not have asked for more.
As I said, a museum of contemporary art should acquire it now, while it is still (relatively) affordable, before it goes under the hammer at one of the world’s “prestige” auction houses (like the one which tried to sell (unsuccessfully) an empty canvas, describing it as one in which the painter “had applied the seductive idea of nothing to a canvas, [which] asks the viewer to reflect” and its creator as “the most underestimated and overlooked minimal artist in Britain …[who] didn’t get the recognition that he deserved”.
Do such descriptions differ very much from the descriptions in the petition quoted above?
The great Cecilia Gimenez has surely convulsed the art world, and may yet find herself among the celebrated artists of our time.
This story may, just, be a wake-up call in the art world!
But I rather doubt it.