In [name of painting exhibit], the seeming disparate but not wholly unrelated elements are combined resulting in euphemistic pokes at metaphors that usually bespeak of the time-tested sentiments on mortality, faith and human existence. In one painting titled _____________, where a pile of donuts is intruded by a blue paint brush whose bristles are dipped in scarlet paint, an obvious innuendo may be forthcoming in such juxtaposition, but the titling makes such an association smirkily broken down and takes the very coded invented word as a ludicrous masking to someone who isn't in on the joke.
1. This is an actual press release. We get hemorrhoid-inducing twaddle like this everyday, peddling everything from flip-flops to face creams to credit cards to clothes to, that's it, art exhibits. Anyone who tells me my job helping edit the lifestyle section of the country's no. 1 paper must be a lark gets a cackling laugh; the daily Babel we get on our mail (and have to rework--because the same PR gets sent to the other papers, get it?) can make you rend your garments, don sack cloth and head-butt the wall.
2. Any artwork that requires explanation is, in my opinion, a failed artwork. In particular, much of today's abstract art leans so heavily on convoluted curatorial notes that you end up concluding... a) the artist is so insecure about his work that he has to explain, justify, itemize what it all means; b) the curator/agent who writes the notes/press releases (they're often one and the same, the latter merely lifted from the former) is a frustrated creative writing guy--with apologies to real creative writing guys. Maybe the gibberish is meant to mirror the artwork?
3. Same with movies. Young director whose indie movie I didn't like sidles up to me and says, sotto voce, “Someday I hope to sit down with you so I can explain my film.” Huh? I saw the movie twice, just to try to get it. What happened to “Show, don't tell”?
4. Discuss: “Art doesn't have to be about anything to be good. In fact, the easier it is to say what a work is about, the less interesting that work becomes.” -- Jonathan Jones, “The best art is meaningless”