Friday, May 8, 2015

Today's Art Blaph

How could one parody this?
Tal R paints as if he is starting over, not from scratch but from an amnesiac time warp with vague recollections of early modernists. Although he has been compared to Matisse, Dufy, Balthus, and late Picabia, his work in this show didn’t resemble any of theirs. Tal R’s canvases here veered between being much too pretty and being ugly in all the wrong ways. His colors were too light and shrill or too dense and heavy. But his paintings were suffused with a free-floating anxiety, vulnerability, and awkwardness that had little to do with the modern century and everything to do with our own confused moment. His art was weird enough to stick in the mind and the craw. . . .

While it’s one thing to note that this is a show of female nudes—anti-odalisques, all awkward haunches and exposed breasts—or to remark that the artist’s murky palette can set the teeth on edge (a rosy column of cigarette smoke is a relief, as is the spray of blue that washes over a levitating nude in the shower), it’s another thing to ponder the fact that Tal R solicited mostly strangers as models and asked them to pose nude or semi-nude in cluttered rooms.

Is the artist unwittingly resurrecting the discredited male gaze?
If nothing else I have now acquired a new line to toss off at art openings: I worry that he is resurrecting the discredited male gaze.

1 comment:

Katya said...

He's like a derivative, flattened Philip Guston.