Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bedridden, the artist takes breaks from embroidery to begin Peter Plagen's new novel, The Art Critic, being released in installments on Artnet. An excerpt of the protagonist's trials and tribulations:

"Don’t misunderstand me, Arthur argued with himself while he put his coffee cup into the dishwasher in his compact but smartly appointed downtown apartment, it’s not the real estate bonanza nor the wussification of a formerly gritty Noo Yawk neighborhood that gets me down. (I’m il wusso del tutti wussi.) Nor is it walking up and down those Alphaville Streets in desperate search of art with feeling rather than strategy at its core; nor is it, particularly, the monotony of one deluded, aspiring David Thornton wannabe after another displaying -- to the accompaniment of laughably pseudo-enigmatic publicity material -- another artist they think to be the next enfant terrible. (I can usually assent to either half of the term, but hardly ever the whole.) No, it’s the art itself that gets me down.

How many paste & doodle shows am I condemned to see today? he asked himself as he plodded up the subway stairs at 18th Street. How many discarded supermarket flyers drawn on in attention-deficit anger spasms with crayons or Sharpies, à la Jean-Michel Basquiat, will assault my eyes? How many dentist-diploma pseudo-academic "texts" with every other word ending in "-ification," written by artists acting as their own theorists-at-law, embalmed on birch plywood under glossy layers of polyurethane, will I be forced to read while I stand on fucking cement? How many Rocky-­Horror-­Picture-­Show-­meets-Fashion­-Week performances will I be forced to endure? How many Granny’s­-attic­-on­-crystal­-meth installations need I stumble through? How many huge Cibachrome prints of exquisitely posed suburban-gothic banalities, produced with budgets that must have consumed whole trust funds in a single gulp, must I try to decode?"


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