Just when you think you’ve encountered all the silly business that you can possibly come across about the nature of the Modernist Art world, you come across yet another article that readjusts your perspective. After reading Jonathan Jones’ column on Jeff Koons’ Handbags I’ve lost the will to live. I don’t even know how to comment on this stuff any more. Here are a few choice things to mull over…
“High art needs all the friends it can get.”
“I can’t think of a simpler way to put great art at the forefront of modern minds. This is not a cynical exercise. The hunt painting is not a pop icon – yet – but a serious painting beloved by art connoisseurs. Jeff Koons, for instance.”
“This is not simply a line of luxury bags. It is an artist’s meditation on the masters, in handbag form. Picasso copied and reworked great paintings in his later years.”
I used to think that Jonathan Jones knew better. I’ve enjoyed his column quite often in the past, but after this ridiculous crit I think I’ll have to take a pass for a while. There is no way that anyone with a modicum of sense would actually make this particular claim for an image that’s been plastered on an obscenely expensive handbag…
“F(a)r from rubbing Rubens in the dirt and reducing the sublime to the worthless, these luxury objects look to me like heartfelt homages to great art. Koons clearly has an erudite and passionate love of oil painting, for while his bags touting the Mona Lisa and Van Gogh’s Wheat Field With Cypresses may be easy on our brains, he is also bravely educating us by insisting on the glamour of Rubens, Titian and Fragonard.”
Bravely Educating? Seriously???