Friday, 3 February 2012


To my mind autism poses arguably the most demanding challenge possible within a family. Autistic children at a minimum show an inability to make emotional connections, often cannot speak at all, in really severe cases can become violent and destructive.

All or any of which would be enough to drive the unfortunate parents and siblings to despair. But autistic kids can also become fixated on patterns and forms. Letting such a kid loose with a palette of paints would result in something like the image shown here, produced by young Colm Isherwood from Cork. Can you imagine, on top of everything else, the unfortunate parents being surrounded by such monstrosities?

Well, we know-nothings are way off the mark because apparently this is a work of genius. The er, painting has been awarded no less than a United Nations prize and will feature on a new range of stamps to be issued by that organisation. I kid you not. The rest of us must all be philistines.

In the interests of full disclosure I must reveal my own personal modern art story. Some time ago I decided to drop into an exhibition on my way home from shopping. I left the groceries just inside the door of the gallery and checked out the works. Wasn’t too impressed, I must admit. But can you imagine my surprise and delight when I returned to my groceries and found that I’d been awarded First Prize for my ‘sculpture’.

Another of my unrecognised talents………


Franz said...

Gee Savant, you are totally lost, aren't you?

This little autistic rugrat is OBVIOUSLY the latest reincarnation of Jackson Pollock. So it must be good.

By the way: Here in Germany we have a bottomized monkey in a zoo who likes to mess with paint and canvas. His works have that same "edgyness".

P.S: Since Uncle Nasty apparently knows about those things, let me ask: When did all this BS start? Was it in the 20th century or even earlier?

And how did we get from Carravagio to Damien Hirst stuffing dead rotten sharks in marmelade glasses? There must have been a rupture of good taste at some point.

Bemused stare said...

I once got dragged to one of those exhibitions. I also smashed my shoulder joint ending up with my collarbone sticking out of my back while partaking in the joy of motorcycling.

You figure you could guess which of those two events I look back on as the most painful?

Anonymous said...

A very interesting book I read in the seventies was "The Art Game, Again" which was a sequel to a book called (you've gussed it) "The Art Game."

A British author, and an ex-art dealer -- and artist, he made the interesting point that quality art (i.e. nineteenth century and before) was extremely rare, because of the scarcity of artists of quality, taste and talent. Because of this, a very, very limited amount of art dealers could make a living.

So, his theory went, how do you increase the amount of art to sell?

Simple ... degrade art.

Fool everyone into accepting mediocre shit as quality art. How do you do this? Create new concepts of art that do not require the requisite talent and years of practice and dedication to produce. And then denigrate the real thing as passé and dated.

I think you can guess the tribe to which the majority of art dealers belonged.
You can certainly figure out who the most influential critics are, today ...
Here's a hint -- they'e all in New York.

Critics of the time (Ruskin, etc.) actually believed in the elevating quality of art to improve mankind.

This was at a time when a new work of art by a prominent artist had a rip-snorting welcome far greater (and often caused more contoversy) than any third-rate glitzy shleb-riddled extravaganza today.

Everyone -- and I mean everyone -- from princes to prostitutes to chambermaids to dragoons, flowersellers, governesses, duchesses and fishmongers would flock to the unveiling of a new painting or sculpture. Often causing riots.

This was an era when operas could spark revolutions.

When one reads of the childlike naiveté of dreamers like Ruskin, is it so surprising that they were swept away by the cold-blooded materialism and cynicism of the tribe?

Easy pickings.

The hebrew has taken far more from us than our history, our countries and our livelihood ... he has actually stolen our collective soul.

When the tide turns -- and I really feel, now, that it will turn.

It's going to be ... epic.

Hope I am here to see it.

Uncle Nasty

PS: interestingly enough, neither book can be found ... even with Internet book searches. Down the memory hole.

I don't remember the name of the author.


tokyo paddy said...

Franz, IMHO 'this BS' is all part of the long march through the institutions and/or the culture of critique. Debase everything you possibly can about a society and it becomes easy prey.

Ann on a mouse said...

In my first week at Art college I was asked by the 'Fine Art' tutor what I thought of the current exhibition of 'Art' in the college. I replied that the lot of them and their Tutor could do with a few years in the Army. We had to be separated.

I witnessed people who had the talent of a gnat create works of 'Art' without being able to master basic concepts such as painting or drawing. Apparently these days neither discipline is necessary. Anyway the Tutors couldn't draw so it suited all.

One of my favorite Art school moments was when a poor misguided student created an 'installation' where he made a box that he climbed into naked, in the box were strobe lights and loud techno tunes, he danced around throwing paint on himself. He ended up in hospital because the paint was toxic and he had a skin reaction.

Art always moves on, but we discarded basic principles and disciplines in favor of the the usual Soul searching, introverted, self exploration that has become endemic in all aspects of Western culture. Sometimes it seems there will be a backlash... but it's very slow in coming.

Anonymous said...

Perfectly put UncleN.

Great 20th Century representational art was almost exclusively American.

Norman Rockwell,derided,reviled by the elites,beautifully captured a world that they despised,perhaps because they could never truly be PART of that world.Did they then decide to destroy it?.If so they have succeeded.

A safe,clean happy America.Looking at his pictures today I am struck by great sadness for a world I certainly never knew,not in that form at least.Sadness for a world gone forever.

And then theres Edward Hopper,personally my favourite painter.His pictures of rural New England combined with those of New York City evoke an era and capture it better then any photograph.

Nighthawks being his most famous picture of course,many will be familiar with it.A diner in the early hours.Did the couple sitting at the counter just meet?.Or were they out together,at Madison Square Garden perhaps to watch Louis v Conn.Maybe just a movie or dancing?.

Whatever.A world destroyed and apologies for rambling but its something I am very passionate about ever since seeing an exhibition of Hoppers paintings many,many years ago.In Dusseldorf if memory serves.The exhibition was mobbed.Ordinary people enthralled in a way some splatters on a canvas can never do.



Ann on a mouse said...

check this....

Ties it all up nicely. Zionist arms dealers, Holocaust survivors, Anti- Christian Art, modern Art, etc etc etc...

Franz said...

UN said:

"So, his theory went, how do you increase the amount of art to sell?

Simple ... degrade art."

Never thought about it that way before, but it certainly makes sense. Acutally, this is what happened to film and television.

As late as the sixites it took a crew of paid professionals to churn out even mediocre entertainment.

Writers, cinematographers, actors and so forth.

To create real blockbusters, top talent had to be attracted as well as paid handsomely. After all, there are only so many John Hughes and Hitchcocks to go around.

Fortunatly, the industry has found a way to bypass the talent bottleneck.

These days "reality" shows are produced by a bunch of barely functional 19-year old interns. When the dialogue is incoherent, the camera shakes and the cuts don't make no sense - don't worry: It's all part of being "edgy".

Brave new world.

eleos said...

That 'artist' in the box subjected to toxic fumes......a small ray of sunshine in anotherwise bleak perspective.

eleos said...

mr. a - you reminded me of Norman Rockwell. Like you I was astonished that his work was so patrinisingly dismissed by people who class Trace Enim's soiled bedclothes as 'art'. Of course, as Tokyo Paddy says, it's all part of the process to undermine traditional america and white culture in general.

Dr. Wassell said...

Zabludowicz claimed in October 2011 that he was tricked into funding the lavish lifestyle and globetrotting of former UK Defence Secretary Liam Fox and Fox's adviser Adam Werritty[7]and was said to be furious at suggestions that he had received any benefit or access from the payments.

Oy vey! perish the thought!

Bemused stare said...

Ann on a mouse.

Between your discussion with your tutor regarding the benefits of military service in art, (wish I'd been a fly on the wall for that one) and the "artist" in a box bit, you made my day.

Thank you

AOM said...

My pleasure Bemused Stare, plenty more stories like that, one has to laugh from time to time so as not to totally succumb to despair at where we are heading.

For anyone who wants a decent education in the History of European Art check this...

Of course these days Kenneth Clarke is seen as Old fashioned, 'too white' too male etc etc... The motherfuckers can't seem to grasp that this civilisation was built by WHITE MALES.

Anonymous said...


Excuse my rant,for it was rant born out of frustration and not a little hatred.I'm happy you share my view.

Rockwell was a peerless draughtsman but many are.He was also a great,great artist which very few ever achieve.

How often have you read or heard that such and such is "like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting"?.A badge of shame in their eyes.

Indeed just like suburban life is less "real" than living in an inner city.So it is,because we keep on paying the taxes.

@Ann on a mouse.

I could not draw or paint to save my life.I recently drew a horse for one of my grandchildren which so frightened the child she burst into tears.I could'nt blame her,I was pretty terrified myself.But I did,for a brief period write as an amateur "Art Critic"for a local freesheet.
I did not last long as I insisted on ridiculing the efforts,many like you described so well,of those budding Damien Hirsts and Tracy Emins.

The Emperor had no clothes,often deliberately so.Nakedness seemingly being essential,however repulsive.I believe repulsiveness was the entire point.The whole shebang certainly repulsed me.


Anonymous said...

In a nutshell, Ann on a Mouse and Mr. a strike the nail squarely on its pimply little head.

I refer you to another much reviled American artist ... Andrew Wyeth and his contemporary -- Maxfield Parrish

All, however, is not lost ... there is a move afoot -- a very successful one, I might add -- to bring back salon painting. To put the art -- and craft -- back into art, so to speak.

Needless to say, it is driving the dirty laundry, dead fish and paint dribbling establishment to distraction.

They hate it with a passion. Another income stream that they have not hijacked ... yet.

Check it out ... there is work here, worthy of Bouguereau, David and Edwin Thomas.


Artur said...

Indeed, post-modern uber liberals endeavour to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable no matter how illogical their actions.

I posted a similar story on afro uplift here :


- Artur

ironman said...

Artur: A Norman Rockwell painting would go down like the proverbial lead baloon at the NY Slimes, I imagine.

Anonymous said...

Mr a. Says:-

The Emperor had no clothes,often deliberately so.Nakedness seemingly being essential,however repulsive.I believe repulsiveness was the entire point.The whole shebang certainly repulsed me.

Precisely. Render the art of a culture repulsive, and you are well on the road to destroying every thing else in that culture.

Naked jealousy is also a factor.

"The Jew has never had an art of his own, hence never a li(f)e of art-enabling import . . . "So long as the separate art of music had a real organic life-need in it, down to the epochs of Mozart and Beethoven, there was nowhere to be found a Jew composer: it was utterly impossible for an element quiet foreign to that living organism to take a part in the formative stages of that life. Only when a body's inner death is manifest, do outside elements win the power of judgment in it -- yet merely to destroy it. On one thing am I clear: that is the influence which the Jews have gained upon our mental life, as displayed in the deflection and falsification of our highest culture-tendencies. Whether the downfall of our culture can be arrested by a violent rejection of the destructive alien element, I an unable to decide, since that would require forces with whose existence I am unacquainted.

WAGNER, RICHARD. 19th century German composer. (Judaism in Music)

Jewish art:

... and, part the second:-

If you are at all interested in art ... the last two are a good weekend read.

Uncle Nasty

Anonymous said...

So THAT'S why Wagner is a BAAAAD guy!

cannibalrabbi said...

Give it a go!

Think Nazi, when you read Philistine!

Andreas said...

@cannibalrabbi. Most thought-provoking. More please!

beppo said...


What price are you prepared to consider for your prize-winning veg-art?
What guarantee do I have that I would be getting the original veggies that won the prize and not some simulacra totally lacking in authenticity?

Are you prepared follow the example set by Hirst and replace any exhibit which rots away after being purchased.

As you will understand,I am sure,we cannot proceed in this matter without your firm assurance on the above points.

SAVANT said...

beppo - you have the guarantee of my integrity as an artist. Artistic integrity? Guarantees don't come any better.

But you'll have to pay cash on purchase of the exhibit.

Rusty Mason said...

"This little autistic rugrat is OBVIOUSLY the latest reincarnation of Jackson Pollock."

That hack couldn't do this well on his best day.

When did all this BS start? Was it in the 20th century or even earlier?
See: Painted Word by Tom Wolfe.

Abstract art was very popular in the 1980's as multi-million-dollar vehicles for blackmail and payola.

We are surrounded everywhere by this Scheiße here in America. By American standards, the painting in the article is quite good.

Rusty Mason said...

What is it like in other countries? In America, it is extremely rare to see fine art exhibited in a public space. All new exterior art is abstract, from the pieces of scrap rusty steel propped in the large park near my home, to the giant sponge-cartoon thingy blobs in front of office buildings downtown. Corporate offices inside are also depressingly inhuman, displaying only monkey and elephant doodles on the walls. The "fine arts" poster and framing galleries have half abstract pics and half fine art pics, but the latter tend to be the same old popular paintings in many different sizes. America has never had much culture, but come on.