How To Talk About Art

How To Talk About Art

How To Talk About Paul McCarthy

by Cat Weaver on October 22, 2014

Post image for How To Talk About Paul McCarthy

What, I ask you, should one expect if one asks artist Paul McCarthy to create a Christmas tree for the place of honor at a renowned, must-attend art fair? Well, it’s Paul McCarthy, so there are only two possible outcomes: a turd or a butt plug.

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Post image for How to Talk About Norman Rockwell

You must, and shall, begin every single conversation about Norman Rockwell by addressing the question: “Is it art?” And then you must, and shall, say: “It is illustration.”

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Post image for How to Talk About Oscar Murillo

I know what you’re thinking. There can’t be a ‘how to talk about Oscar Murillo’ because we don’t have a decade or so of commentary, he’s too new to have talking points. He’s 28 for God’s sake, you protest.

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Post image for How to Talk About Art: Christopher Wool Edition (#H2TAA)

Even though Wool has been blue-chip long enough (since 2010) to make him a staple on a newbie collector’s wish list and the likely star of many a speculator’s wet dream, post-auction media rhapsodizing about the “record price” “achieved” by his 1988 painting “Apocalypse Now” has become the gateway to any conversation about him, at least for the next week or so — or until the show at the Guggenheim ends.

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Post image for How to Talk About Art: Banksy’s 3 Ps (#H2TAA)

The best way to begin talking about Banksy, right now, following his October New York Residency, would be to NOT talk about Banksy. Not just because of the press overload, but because there’s something big that the media has been ignoring … and that’s context.

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Post image for How to Talk About Art: Francis Bacon and Lucien Freud Edition (#H2TAA)

As Christie’s preps to sell off Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” for a possible record price of $100 million, it may be a good time to bone up on your talking points for both of these canonized artists.

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Post image for How to Talk About Art: Brevity Is Not Sol LeWitt Edition (#H2TAA)

Did I hear you sigh with half relief/half regret thinking you would never have to talk about Sol LeWitt again? Poor fool, that time will never come!

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Post image for How To Talk About Art: Conceptual Art Edition

You need to read this because you don’t want to be caught with your pants down in front of some inexplicable wall full of squiggles: not only will you get arrested (umm…maybe), but you’ll look like a schmuck.

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Post image for How to Talk about Art: Cindy Sherman Edition

If only you knew how to talk about Cindy Sherman you’d feel better about throwing yourself into the ring with all the art pundits and critics who have been falling over themselves to give kudos to the current MoMA retrospective which covers her 35 year career from when she was good until now.

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Post image for How To Talk About Art: Jeff Koons Edition

With plans in the offing for Jeff Koons’s astounding “Train” to dangle preposterously over the heedless noggins of visitors to the High Line, it might just be a good time to polish up your talking points regarding the greatest of all kitsch artists.

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