Donald kuspit essays

"Sainte ORLAN" came from a character that I created for "Le baiser de l'artiste" from a text called "Facing a society of mothers and merchants." The first line of this text was: "At the bottom of the cross were two women, Maria and Maria Magdalena ." These are two inevitable stereotypes of women that are hard to avoid: the mother and the prostitute. In "Le baiser de l'artiste" there were two faces. One was Saint ORLAN, a cutout picture of me dressed as Madonna glued onto wood. One could buy a five francs church candle and I was sitting on the other side behind the mock-up of the vending machine. One could buy a French kiss from me for the same amount of money one could buy a candle. The idea was to play on the ambivalence of the woman figure and the desire of both men and women towards those biblical and social stereotypes. Being showcased in the Paris International Contemporary Art Fair, the artwork was somehow both an installation and a performance," [18] said ORLAN, in her interview with Acne Paper.

This is only a conjecture, but I sense a sharp intelligence working behind the secretive life of the Wyeths. Throughout their long married life, Betsy, his wife, kept all records of Andrew’s work, accounts and business activities, paid all bills and kept a tight grip on reproductions of her husband’s work. In 1970, she introduced Wyeth to Helga Testorf, who was working as a nurse for Wyeth’s terminally ill neighbor Karl Kuerner. By 1971, Helga was secretly posing for Wyeth. He often painted her in the nude, usually at nighttime or in the evening. Several times he painted her nude in the bright sunlight. (Hopper had painted similar scenes.) By the early 1980s, several influential and wealthy collectors were invited to see Wyeth’s Helga paintings and sketches, which by then numbered some 250. The director of the National Gallery, J. Carter Brown, was in on the secret. Supposedly, Betsy knew nothing. In 1986, a large exhibition opened at the National Gallery, entitled the “Helga Paintings,” which included many nudes. The news magazines reproduced those paintings they thought not too offensive, and a good deal of copy was generated about the supposed love affair between the young woman and the old man. Wyeth was suddenly world famous. Some top critics and historians, such as John Wilmerding, waxed poetic over the series. A Japanese consortium bought the entire collection for 45 million dollars, which again made news around the world. When one reads accounts of the transactions, the publicity campaign and the visiting notables, one gradually becomes aware of a shadowy figure moving in the background, yet Betsy always denied any knowledge of the “affair.” In any case, justice was served. The Wyeths had gotten even with all the know-nothings who had disparaged his work. Ironically, he had accomplished exactly what Andy Warhol—the favorite artist of the Met’s contemporary art curator, who had rejected a Wyeth exhibition—had.

Donald kuspit essays

donald kuspit essays


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