Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Polishing My Snark: Fine Art edition

I'm trying to be more "snarky" in my blog postings. My previous entry on "Charm School" left me feeling unsatisfied. So I'm taking some recent news items from the world of "Fine Art" and snarking on them.

First: In Toronto, a couple of paintings found in a Goodwill donation bin sell for over $100K:

A sharp-eyed clerk spotted the pair of paintings during a routine review of the daily discards at a Toronto store.

"I look — if I see something special, I put [it] aside," said Goodwill employee Helen Zhuang. "I said, 'Wow, this is not a regular one.'"

Zhuang said she knows very little about art but recognized the paintings were special.

Snarky observation:
She may not know art, but she knows $100,000 worth of discards when she sees it.

Okay, I clearly need some work. Let me try another one:

Second: A sketchbook of Pablo Picasso's valued at about £8.6m was stolen from a museum in Paris:

Police said there were no signs of a break-in nor was the alarm set off at the Picasso Museum, which houses more than 250 paintings, 160 sculptures and 1,500 drawings by the artist.

Snarky observation:
"Drink to me, drink to my health, and where the hell is my sketchbook? That thing's worth a lot of scratch!"

Yeah that one's a little obscure, I'll admit. It's a reference to Pablo Picasso's supposed last words, which were "Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can't drink anymore." But if you have to explain it, it doesn't work. Plus, I'm not sure it qualifies as "snark." I'll go for another one:

The world's oldest art festival recently opened in Venice, Italy:

The Venice Biennale has been running since 1895, featuring architecture, dance, cinema and theatre as well as decorative art and is often described as the "Olympic games of the art world."

Snarky observation:
I wonder if their "anti-doping" policy is as strict as the actual Olympics?

Uh- okay then. Still not exactly "feeling it." Maybe this next one will be the winner:

In the midst of a world wide economic recession, artists are looking for new ways to express themselves creatively:

Recession has jarred the world of contemporary art as much as any part of the economy, but for art, the shake-up may turn out to be inspirational. A wave of small-scale, independent initiatives is leading a shift from self-referential conceptualism and production-line output toward a rediscovery of accessibility and classical skills.

Snarky observation:
But there's always going to be a market for Thomas Kinkade.

Thomas Kinkade, of course, is the painter who goes on QVC, and has or had several stores all over the country, in shopping malls and in little tourist trap cities, where he sells prints of his (some say) kitschy work. If you got the reference, then it works as snark, but if you didn't get it, then I guess I just don't care anymore.

I'm ready for a nap.

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