1938 - 2012
I was greatly saddened when I heard Robert Hughes had died eighteen months ago because he, of all the critics I followed, was able to express my own feelings about the contemporary world of art as a painter. Hughes was known to be irascible, combative, and often infuriating, and likely a person you wouldn't want to spend much time around – but he was also capable of connecting the dots and winnowing the meaningful wheat from the obnoxious chaff – from the Pre-Renaissance to the Post-Modernist periods. As a follower of Hughes, I had hoped to continue reading his books and essays for years, and watching his occasional documentaries. But now he is gone and has become another voice speaking from the grave.
1517 - ????
I stumbled across one of my favorite Hughes documentaries on YouTube yesterday while surfing the web. I first saw it six or seven years ago and don't know how long it will remain accessible here, but The Mona Lisa Curse keeps popping up on the web like a ghostly game of whack-a-mole. As it should. Watching Hughes expound on the mismatch between money and contemporary art demonstrates how the high-flying world of painting has jumped the shark and transformed itself into something unrelated to anything of substance. Whether you end up agreeing with Hughes or not I hope you will spend the time to hear him out. This video runs one hour and fifteen minutes so settle down with a pot of tea or a fresh cup of coffee and click it to full-screen. Let the dead man have his say…
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