Glennie Bee:

Nice interview with lovely T’Art Club member and super artist, Mary Lonergan, featuring her ‘Grand Iroquois’ which was shown in the recent NY spectacular, Art Takes Times Square.
Very proud!

Originally posted on All About Travel:

”Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” ~Steven Pressfield

Bay Area Artist Mary Lonergan is a client and friend of All About Travel and we wanted to share with you a bit about her creative endeavors.

I have personally known Mary for many years. We worked together in the Bay Area in the music scene managing bands and producing live events. In fact, Mary and I have created artwork alongside one another working on our own projects, spending the day creating with music in the background. It’s definitely something I miss quite a bit. I actually worked with oils mostly until Mary introduced me to acrylics.

In fact, Mary’s first show in Florence I was going to…

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Sharks ‘n’ Sh*t… (lest we forget)

Right. Where were we?
Ah, yes: “disaffected cynicism”.
(And, in case you’re just about to have your tea, a healthy dose of the scatological.)

It’s a good while since I dusted off my All-Purpose-ArtiBollox-Detector™ (with optional Nut-Crusher) and went Damien-bashing; I began to think it was tediously easy; more to the point, post the monumental display of unbridled hubris that was the Gagosian/Hirst collaboration and then those appalling new ‘paintings’, every bugger was at it.
I hate a bandwagon. So much so, I actively sought out positive reviews. Just for the change.
“Poor Damien. He’s alright, really. I’d buy him a pint.”

Then I remembered: he’s made, like, a gazillion quid from getting other sackless sods to make shite.
He can buy me a pint.

Instrumental in returning me to my senses was a quote in last week’s Guardian from the late, great Robert Hughes (yes, him again; you can’t have too many Hughes quotes):

“The publicity over the shark created the illusion that danger had somehow been confronted by Hirst, and come swimming into the gallery, gnashing its incisors. Having caught a few large sharks myself off Sydney, Montauk and elsewhere, and seen quite a few more over a lifetime of recreational fishing, I am underwhelmed by the blither and rubbish churned out by critics, publicists and other art-world denizens about Hirst’s fish and the existential risks it allegedly symbolises.
One might as well get excited about seeing a dead halibut on a slab in Harrods food hall.”

Ya see?
Degrees of separation between Hirst and experience; between Hirst and authenticity; between Hirst and the real world. What kind of deluded, lily-livered namby-pamby wuss are you, Jonathan Jones, - “No encounter with a contemporary work of art has ever thrilled me like the day I walked into the Saatchi Gallery in 1992 and saw a tiger shark’s maw lurch towards me…” (you lurched towards it, by the way) - if you sustain ‘visceral shock’ over a pimped-up fish-bowl in the admittedly life-threatening, elemental confines of a London art gallery?
Embodied ‘primal fear’ as felt when viewing Jaws from behind a cushion, and to which the only reasonable response is “Big, innit?”

So, Hirsty, in memory of Mr Hughes, consider hostilities well and truly resumed.

On Sunday, happily, I came across this review, and delicious kick to boyo’s nethers, in Charisma Robot’s Day Trips to the Void blog, which reminded me how much fun Damien-bashing is when you put your mind to it. So moved was CR by Hirst’s oeuvre, she/he spent literally minutes creating this heartfelt homage:
Bottom Boom: A Conceptual Fart:

“Bottom Boom captures a moment frozen in time, a moment of existence, an action, that can never be experienced in that quintessential way ever again. Bottom Boom is a study on ontology and the way it delineates our existence… The wonder of the body in motion meshing with time and existence, having awareness of itself and its death, the waste of lives ever moving in a cycle of creation and destruction. The ebb and flow, the yin and yang, the immorality and the morality bla bla bla bla…”

Yes. CR farted into a glass box. Or pretends she/he did. Or, more likely, got someone else to do the farting. Either way, so very ‘Hirstian’.
(Of course, I could add that this work clearly references and engages in debate with Piero Manzoni’s Merda d’artista (1961), but that would be talking crap, and we can’t have that.)

Serendipitously, (the Blessed Robert was surely guiding my hand by now) I then stumbled upon an ancient (2008) article from The Daily Squib:
“Arse Hole, by Damien Hirst”:

“The painting is part of the Hirst ‘Arse Series’ where he depicts himself as the contemporary ‘anal bullshit’ con-artist that he is.
“‘I aim to paint myself as limitless angular momentum in constant toilet flushing flux. My anal sphincter muscles loosen and expel hydrostatic equilibrium into the anus-sphere of existence and of course stick a dead fucking cow in there too,” Hirst writes in Arthole magazine.”

Tee-hee.
I know, I know…
Puerile, facile, really not helpful. Cheap shots, for sure, with far too much ‘arse’.
But Hirst’ll do that to you.
Anyway, I’ve spent the last fortnight in a state of Olympics-induced beatific magnanimity.
It was never going to last. ;)

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Because it’s Shark Week: Ten Fun Facts About Jaws by Holditnow.

Just calling to say…

Hi! How are you?
Long time no see!

Yes, at least half my life has been put on hold while I savour The Greatest Show On Earth and thank God I’m not Australian. I’m no sports fiend, but it’s so exhilarating, so uplifting, to see anyone doing anything to the absolute peak of her/his ability, whether it’s winning a chestful of medals or recording a PB; in a world where gratification and reward are increasingly expected to be instant and involving the least possible effort, it’s a timely reminder that the best most often comes from long, dedicated, slow-cooking.

That’s Jason Kenny on his way to a gold medal.
I’m (morbidly, not pervily) fascinated by the sprint cyclists’ thighs. Who would win a thigh-off between a cyclist and a speed-skater? Where on earth do they buy their trousers?
Important stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.

I also want to mark, as so many have, the fiftieth anniversary of Marilyn’s death. She remains elusive to me, and, I think, to the zillions who profess an opinion on who/what she was; suffice to say, to a gawky, angular, too-tall, un-pretty adolescent she was a vision of what a woman ‘should be’: lusciously ripe, petite, baby-faced, baby-voiced, desired and accommodating.
Then I grew up.

By our youngest T’Art Club member, Dayne Britten.
Very affective, I find.

Finally, RIP the great Robert Hughes, whom I thank for providing my favourite ever art quote. Not this one – you should know which I mean by heart by now! – but it’s pretty damn good too, not least for being applicable to all human endeavour, not just ‘art’:

“There is virtue in virtuosity, especially today, when it protects us from the tedious spectacle of ineptitude.”

Speaking of which: nearly forgot: huge congrats to NASA!
(Why did I nearly forget? Why aren’t we more thrilled at Curiosity landing on Mars? Are we indeed suffering from what William Gibson calls Future Fatigue?)
This is MARVELLOUS!!

Again, as in the Olympics, people, just people, being the best they can be, through sheer hard graft and patience, at what they do.
If you don’t take inspiration from all of them someone should check your pulse.

So, somewhat bitty and rambling, but I just wanted to check in.
Back to cogency, sense (really?) and rampant disaffected cynicism next week when, all being well, I’ll be less distracted and emotional.

Take care, and speak soon.

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Really enjoyed this by Chris at Anxiety and Biscuits: A Very British Olympics…

See more of Dayne’s work here.

Glennie Bee:

Lovely post by Ann; the portrait of a marriage…?

Originally posted on IMAGE OBJECT TEXT:

Keith Arnatt, Untitled, from the series Notes from Jo, 1990-4

Keith Arnatt, Untitled from the series Notes from Jo, 1990-94

Curiosity about others is probably something we all share in one way or another. Whether it’s people-watching at a cafe window or trying to work out what the connection is between those people sitting over there on the bus, it’s hard not to wonder about other people. And the thing we never really know is how other people are at home. Keith Arnatt’s series of photographs Notes from Jo offers a kind of portrait of a marriage. These are notes left by Arnatt’s wife during the early 1990s and documented by him to become a series of photographs. The notes are usually funny, often bossy, sometimes exasperated, occasionally angry; seen together they offer what seems like a hugely affectionate portrait of a marriage with a real sense of two people who care about each one another muddling along together…

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You Talkin’ to Me? Some thoughts on Tino Seghal at Tate Modern

I’ve been thinking a lot about this new ‘artwork’ in the Turbine Hall.

The Associations, by Tino Seghal, Tate Modern

It disturbs me, this idea of strangers in my face, invading my space – what Adrian Searle, in his admiring review, calls “unasked for intimacies”, and Claire Bishop, also in The Guardian and less admiringly, sees as part of the neo-liberal agenda: ‘no choice at all’ masquerading as ‘freedom to choose’.
Forced participation.
I have, by inclination, some sympathy with the latter view.

Then this:
On a very busy Tuesday evening, a middle-aged man committed suicide by throwing himself from the sixth floor of Tate Modern, right in front of the main entrance.
Note the top Twitter comment: ” outrageous performance (my emphasis)”.
Difficult not to view it as ‘performance’; why then, why there, of all places?
For the witnesses to this appalling act, it must indeed have been an ‘unasked for intimacy’, this imposing on others, strangers, of a profound, personal, distress.
Of course, there were images; there always are.

I’m asking myself, how is this act different from what was concurrently passing as ‘art’ in the Turbine Hall, if not only in degree?
Private drama as public spectacle.
I’m reminded of when some ‘artist’ -can’t remember her/his name – caused a shitstorm by declaring the attack on the Twin Towers the ‘greatest artwork of the century’.
It’s not enough any more to be a quiet observer, we have to be/be made active participants, continually involved in everything, even if it’s just by taking the ‘I was there’ photo and posting it on Facebook and Twitter.

Is this a good thing?
It’s all very well, talking about ‘breaking down boundaries’, ‘democratic, participatory art’, and so forth; what I’m increasingly seeing this sort of thing as is pressure, pressure to be ‘in the loop’, to ‘belong’, to ‘get it’; pressure to endorse an unmediated, insidious, ultimately exploitative form of ‘artistic’ confessionalism where all, indiscriminately, is played out in the public domain.

“We’re in the middle of things. It is marvellous”. ~ Adrian Searle

Is it?
I feel like running a mile from this Tate show and everything it appears to stand for and do. (That probably says a great deal about me; something like ‘sociopath’.)
Besides, Mr Sehgal and all your minimum-pay ‘assistants’, the way I’m seeing it, if indeed this is ‘art’, on a bright, sunshine-y evening in London Town, you were comprehensively, and tragically, trumped.

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(I apologise if this piece is less cogent than it should be. As I say, I have been thinking about this ‘artwork’, and very much still am. All thoughts, contributions, objections gratefully received.)

29 July: Another (very positive) review by Laura Cumming. It’s starting to look like I’m just a joyless misanthrope…

The old fella just made an interesting point re the Sheffield ‘migrant’ in LC’s review: perhaps southerners are so entranced by the ‘show’ because, as a rule, the folks Down South do not speak to strangers. Address a stranger on the Tube and she/he will think you certifiably insane. So there’s a novelty value.
Here Up North such intercourse is totally acceptable, but within limits: “Looks like rain again…” is fine; anything more personal and you’re a ‘nosy bugger’.
As a northern ex-Londoner, I’m caught between the two…

Dirty Old Men 2

An addendum to my last post.

Take a look at this; (I’ve pixelated the image because WordPress forbids images of genitalia; when it was posted on Facebook last year FB deleted it and there was no end of brouhaha; it’s very easy to find the unadulterated version):
L’Origine du Monde (Origin of the World) was painted by Gustave Courbet in 1866, oil on canvas, 55cm x 46cm, and currently hangs in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris:

Now, this is ART, right?
A very great painter, a leading exponent of Realism, which rejected, among other things, the idealising of the female form inherent in academic History Painting and the hypocrisy of erotica/porn masquerading as moral edification, creates something ‘honest’.
Technically, it’s brilliant. Look at that foreshortening! The brushwork.
It hangs in full public view in a ‘proper’ gallery.
The frame! Wow, that frame! Only Art deserves a frame like that.
And it’s got a portentous ‘mythic’ title!
Of course it’s ART!

Then ask why it was painted.
It was commissioned by an Ottoman diplomat for his – ahem – ‘private collection’; that is, the wealthy man’s version of a secret stash of jazz mags. It is an aid to masturbation. If you’re really rich, like Mr Playboy himself, Hugh Hefner, hell, you don’t need the images, you can surround yourself with the real thing.

But it’s by Courbet! It’s ART!

So, if a ‘split-beaver shot’ (I believe that’s the technical term) is beautifully rendered by someone famous, it’s no longer ‘pornography’, it no longer denigrates women? Somehow it’s more acceptable and less exploitative than a well-thumbed copy of Razzle?
Bullshit.

You may argue that the painting marks ‘progress’, in that it shows women as they ‘really are’. Actually, it was merely ‘racy’, more arousing to appetites jaded by anodyne representations of Diana with her tits out; pornography, to continue its appeal, must always go that ‘one step further’. (Wonder what Ruskin would have made of it, with his apocryphal horror of pubes?) You can then think about that ‘progress’ and ask yourself why,150 years on, women are more paranoid than ever about eradicating every stray hair that marks them out as equal, grown-up members of society, if not to conform, still, to a male-engendered ideal of how the female of the species should look.

The ‘male gaze’.
The look that continues to insist:
You, lady, are not Like Me; you exist only in relation to me and my desires; I don’t even need to see your face; I don’t care who you are, only what you are.
And so powerful is this gaze of mine, it’s got you looking at yourself in the exact same way.
Woman as c*nt.
Woman is c*nt.

This painting: Edifying? Transcendent? Art?
Dress it up (in androcentric discourse?), but I don’t think so.
How about you?

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22 July: Just discovered this ‘Electric Alarum’ anti-masturbation device for men. Seemed apposite. ;)
http://tarthead.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/electric-alarum.jpg

And just in case women think they’re blamelessly getting away scot free, an excellent post from M.K. Hajdin:
http://exiledstardust.wordpress.com/2012/07/20/how-to-be-a-confessional-artist/

Dirty Old Men…

This made me smile, albeit wryly.
According to a news report, writes Jonathan Jones in the Guardian,

“…the guards at the National Gallery in London are worried that “dirty old men” are sneaking in to look at Mark Wallinger’s peep show, in which nude models recreate the paintings of Titian…”

What??
Unshaven, gaunt-cheeked men of a certain age (think Albert Steptoe), hands hidden suspiciously deep in the pockets of stained, crusty macs, are prowling the sacred halls of this cathedral to Art in search of titillation?
Surely not!

A Wallinger ‘Diana’ at the National Gallery, London

What nonsense.
Fact: men, ‘straight men’ (hate that phrase, with its implications of orthopraxy), like to look at young, naked, nubile women. Always have.
And Art and the purveyors of Art have been one of the major means of allowing them, “dirty” or eminently respectable, to do so.
As Jones says,

“…there’s loads of erotica on view at the National Gallery…”

You don’t need to wander the shady lanes of Soho, shame-facedly incognito; you, sir, can go to the National on a Sunday afternoon in your Abercrombie and Fitch chinos, get a brazen eyeful, and call it ‘culture’.

Diana and Actaeon, by Titian, 1556-9, 202cm x 185cm, The National Gallery, London

As John Berger pointed out, the History of Art as we in the west know it is essentially the History of the Male Gaze: oil paintings in particular have been made in the main by men, at men’s behest, for men’s pleasure. When the Hierarchy of Painting, the classifying of genres according to their ‘respectability’, was formally stated in the 17th century at the (French) Academy, licence to perv was granted officially and unequivocally; top of the list was History Painting, the most ‘morally uplifting’, taking as it did its themes from the Bible and classical history/mythology.
‘Uplifting’ tales, yes.
Also replete with tits and ass.

Examples are, of course, myriad. One ‘theme’, however, caught my eye, in that variations on it appear to be particularly plentiful: Lot and his daughters.
The kernel of the story is this: warned by two visiting ‘angels’ that God is about to destroy Sodom, Lot flees the city with his wife and daughters; the wife, against orders, looks back, sees the destruction and is turned into a pillar of salt; Lot and the girls reach a place of safety; the girls ply their father with alcohol, and rape/seduce him in order to get pregnant and continue his line.

HUH??

Lots, indeed, to discuss here, not least ‘brewer’s droop’; but what’s important is that, in Christian (and Jewish and Muslim) tradition, Lot is viewed as a ‘righteous man’, the founding father through his daughters of the Moabites (ancestors of Christ) and Ammonites; the story is as ‘moral’ as it gets.

Lot and his Daughters, by Wtewael, c. 1595, 205cm x 163cm, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

“Oh, joy!” thinks the (male, monied) patron of art.
“Not only can I demonstrate my piety (and wealth) to the world, I can also have a bloody massive painting of an old geezer who looks pretty much like me having the time of his life with a bevy of fillies absolutely gagging for it!
Result!”

Lot and his Daughters, by Furini, c.1640, 123cm x 120cm, Museo del Prado

I’m not man-bashing per se, I’m telling it how I see it.
I like men. Honest.
Hell, I’m married to one.
But the truth is, the porn ‘industry’ is predominantly sustained by this ‘male gaze’. Call it ‘art’, call it ‘erotica’, call it what you will, but men looking at women in this way is, as it always was, an oppressive act; and it is all the more pernicious in that it conditions women to look at other women from the same perspective.
Saying that, I don’t know about you, but I prefer the honesty of an unreconstructed, unmediated “PHWOAR!!” to the insidious, mealy-mouthed, shit-eating expressions of solidarity with the Sisterhood that some men now appear constrained to evince at every given opportunity to prove how ‘right on’ they are.
(That’s right, men! You Can’t Win! ! Feels good, doesn’t it?)

So, Mr Security Guard (you are male for my purposes; yes, it’s ‘unfair’), cut the hypocrisy and give the ‘dirty old men’ a break; who are they, after all? The ones in the too-big raincoats? Or the ones in the Savile Row suits?
And when you go home after a long, tedious shift round the Raphaels and switch on the computer, what do you search for?
Lets face it, ‘dirty old men’ operate within a very ‘grand’ and ancient tradition indeed. And they’re everywhere.
Poor buggers.

(By the way: ‘dirty old women‘? They rock.)

Creativity and Survival

Glennie Bee:

As ever, a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece from Michael. And clearly written. Important, that.

Originally posted on Creative Ideas for Starving Artists:

Every now and then, you read something that challenges your assumptions and makes you rethink your beliefs.  This article was one case in point:  http://www.context.org/iclib/ic27/orr/ .

What struck me about this article, which dates back to 1991, was that it lays bare some myths about education, which we have come to believe as fact.  I know I accepted these myths without question at face value, too, but there are some good refutations in the article against them.

It got me thinking about the relationship between art education, creativity and what it might mean for our ultimate survival.

What are these myths about education?

1.  Ignorance is a solvable problemThat this was a myth was a startling assertion, to me.  I had always thought that ignorance was a temporary problem, easily solved by a little more willingness to learn and a bit more teaching.  In fact, that view implies…

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Posted in art

“Performance Obscura”: Athi-Patra Ruga, artist

I often bemoan the fatuousness of ‘western’ contemporary art: the money-grabbing, witless monster that is the Hirst/Gagosian axis of evil; the whining solipsism of would-be abstractionists and expressionists; the inane banality of so much ‘concept’.
You hear it all the time on social media: ‘Art changes the world’.
Does it?
Does yours?
We live in ‘interesting times’, yet so few artists seem to me willing to engage with them, take them on.

So coming across Athi-Patra Ruga via Twitter on http://skattiewhatareyouwearing.blogspot.co.uk/ was refreshing and re-affirming: radical; democratic; challenging; affective; he’s all these things.
But above all, he’s brave.

The following is a review of his performance, The Future White Women of Azania (The Prequel), at The National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa; beautifully written by Charl Blignaut, appearing in City Press, Johannesburg, July 6.
(I would have just reblogged Skattie, but if there’s a way to do it I ain’t yet figured it out. I’m thick like that.)

“Testing the limits of liberty

At 10 o’clock this morning an extraordinary creature emerges on the street in Grahamstown. She wears pink tights and red shoes with impossibly high heels. She has on a dramatic frock of balloons covering her head and body.

With shaky steps and an ominous squeaking sound of rubber-on-rubber, she feels her way down the road. Onlookers frown, puzzled. “This is art?” asks a man with disdain. Then, spontaneously, a balloon bursts, bleeding red paint into the road – and the man jumps backwards, alarmed. Hearts are racing.

The monster woman is South African performance artist Athi-Patra Ruga, well-known for his radically fashioned, highly conceptual characters that materialise in public as society’s worst nightmares.

The creature’s route was to be tracked by the camera obscura in the Observatory Museum by fellow-artist Mikhael Subotzky.
Eight privileged spectators would watch the performance from there. I decided, however, to stick with Ruga. A gasp goes up as he stumbles from a kerb and is almost taken out by a taxi. He soldiers on.

In the tradition of Steven Cohen, danger, endurance and the threat of arrest are what define the pedigree of this kind of guerilla public intervention.

Into the informal trading spaces the creature struts, finally taking time to stop and wave at the museum’s camera.Young members of the public start to engage.
Children gleefully gather dropped balloons and play with them. Young men cockily film her with their phone cameras. She pulls out binoculars and returns their scrutiny. They back off, laughing.

Theorists like to discuss Ruga’s role as a radical gay monster in terms of “the gaze of the other” and that sort of thing. “Are they talking to me with this art-world-convoluted-blah-blah? It is an exclusionist, elitist language!” he has told me. Similarly, the gallery with its white walls is, to him, a Western capitalist structure.

African art happens in the street. It is Ruga’s gallery.

He has been known to wear a black bodysuit covered in charcoal and then run inside and throw himself at gallery walls, leaving a stain behind as art.

Into the township the mythic scapegoat labours with staggering elegance, street music versioning a score. As bursting balloons infect the dusty street next to an infected river, tears start to roll down his cheeks.

Raised in an Eastern Cape township and severely bullied for being gay, I am guessing that the tears are of emotion as he reclaims his dignity and his public space – as much as they are about his physical pain.
Back in town, he approaches the angel statue on High Street – “a memorial to the brave men of Albany who died for the empire during the Anglo Boer War”.

Rubbing himself against it, he bursts his final balloons, revealing his peroxide blonde hair and bodysuit and spraying the statue with colour.
People stare. Cars stop. Is this person allowed to do these things?
Patra’s answer would be that he is questioning the democracy of public space.
If he may not be here, then what about lesbians and drag queens, street children, migrant labourers and African immigrants?

The single most heart-stoppingly meaningful and dangerous piece of work at the festival this year, Performance Obscura succeeded on many levels. The most powerful, for me, was its testing of the limits of our hard-won liberty.”

Wonderful stuff.
More, please.

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All photographs courtesy of skattiewhatareyouwearing and Athi-Patra Ruga.
Thanks to Belinda Blignaut for sharing.

More on Athi-Patra here:
http://athipatraruga.blogspot.co.uk/
http://www.whatiftheworld.com/featured-artists/athi-patra-ruga/
http://www.youngblackman69.com/ruga-02.php 

The Art of Getting it Wrong: Caravaggio

Obviously, being me, I couldn’t let pass the discovery of 100 ‘new Caravaggios’ without comment. (See an excellent summary of the story so far on Elliott in Gotham.)
The Higgs boson, and now this.
Truly, tempus mirabilis.

There are a host of reasons to admire Caravaggio; no need to list them: we all know what they are.
But what I love, really love, about him, is that, in some ways, he sucked.
Adriana Conconi Fedrigolli, one of the Milan researchers:

“…the work of the adolescent Merisi… is powerful, realistic, but still messy… Some errors were so deep-seated they reappear years later in more celebrated paintings..”

Criticisms of Caravaggio’s style and technique were rife from the off. From Bellori’s Lives of the Artists (1672):

“…They [the old painters] spread it about that,… poor in invention and design, lacking in decorum and art, he painted all his figures in one light and on one plane without gradations.”

Bellori, while recognising his ‘innovations’ and ‘influence’, agreed.
More recently, Hockney has cited (in Martin Gayford’s excellent A Bigger Message) Caravaggio’s ‘mistakes in drawing‘ (sic) as evidence for the artist’s use of the camera obscura, that being the reason for:

“…anatomical and spatial oddities: arms too far, too short or too long; crammed into a visual space that is simply too small to contain them…”

All of which is neither here nor there.
I challenge anyone to stand in front of a great Caravaggio and not be moved beyond measure. The last thing you’ll remark upon is the disegna, the draughtsmanship. The sum is always greater than the parts.

Great art, for me, does not exist in ‘perfection’; it exists on the cusp, in that fine no-man’s-land between hanging together and falling apart. It’s human, and thus infinitely humane.
Michelangelo will always trump Bernini, in my book.

So again, Caravaggio: not the greatest ‘painter’, but arguably the greatest artist.
Bellori:

“He repudiated every other precept and considered it the highest achievement in art not to be bound to the rules of art.”

That, my friends, is why.

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7 July: See the latest from Elliott here. The sceptics weigh in.

9 July: Is it all Utter Bollocks?