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The ugliness of Paris, II


Sid, not to get too tetchy about it but didn’t you ever spend time in the plaster pit during your art school days…don’t you have a visceral reaction to what I call ugly plaster (rough, chunky, like REALLY large curd cottage cheese)? Plaster, of course, “is” just the way a human body “is.” It has a few sides, not all beautiful.

Art is nothing if not a bunch of materials to which you react. Segal’s plaster, the same utilitarian stuff used in medicine to shore up broken limbs, is an abject material to begin with. His choice, not mine. I’m just reacting.

As for seeking humor…I don’t know. I agree that one doesn’t normally go to the down side for humor. That said, I’ll take Kathe Kollwitz and Hopper and Hesse and all the rest you mention over Segal who I believe gives you less to think about and certainly pleases the eye far less. My opinion, my taste.

I will say I think Segal has been an influence on succeeding generations of artists. You could almost argue that Kara Walker’s faceless, black silhouettes may have some relation to Segal’s anonymous white 3-D silhouettes. (And speaking of influence, whose art do we think influenced the new iPod/iTunes commercials?) ipod

As for deep criteria I’m all for it. But I’m also here to rile things up, get discussion going, spark debate, cause trouble. I will be injudicious…so that you can be judicious…steer the boat into deep waters.

Finally, I can’t speak for Libby, who wrote about Takeda on Nov. 1, but I find all that kick-ass, parody/fantasy grossness likeable, digestible and full of forward momentum.

It’s most likely a taste thing.