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.
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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.