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Double bind

So here’s my comparison of the day.

Remember how so many African-American women artists are upset by the work of Kara Walker (which I admit to adoring), because Walker has gained extraordinary recognition from the white art world for work they feel demeans African Americans?

Well, it’s not so different from my reaction to John Currin.

Like Walker’s work, Currin’s is disturbing. It has the beautiful painting thing going for it at the same time that it feels demeaning. And, like Walker, he’s using that tension to make a social comment that’s the antithesis of the apparently demeaning content.

No wonder these two make a lot of people squirm, myself included for Currin.


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