modern art critic

The reason that many radicals as well as conservatives fail to grasp the powerful message of art is perhaps not far to seek. The average radical is as hidebound by mere terms as the man devoid of all ideas…But since art speaks a language of its own, a language embracing the entire gamut of human emotions, it often sounds meaningless to those whose hearing has been dulled by the din of stereotyped phrases.
—  Emma Goldman, The Social Significance of Modern Drama (1914)

Playboy: In terms of modern art, critical opinion is divided about the sincerity or deceitfulness, simplicity or complexity of contemporary abstract painting. What is your own opinion?

Nabokov: I do not see any essential difference between abstract and primitive art. Both are simple and sincere. Naturally, we should not generalize in these matters: It is the individual artist that counts. But if we accept for a moment the general notion of “modern art,” then we must admit that the trouble with it is that it is so commonplace, imitative and academic. Blurs and blotches have merely replaced the mass prettiness of a hundred years ago, pictures of Italian girls, handsome beggars, romantic ruins, and so forth. But just as among those corny oils there might occur the work of a true artist with a richer play of light and shade, with some original streak of violence or tenderness, so among the corn of primitive and abstract art one may come across a flash of great talent. Only talent interests me in paintings and books. Not general ideas, but the individual contribution.

Playboy: A contribution to society?

Nabokov: A work of art has no importance whatever to society. It is only important to the individual, and only the individual reader is important to me. I don’t give a damn for the group, the community, the masses, and so forth. Although I do not care for the slogan “art for art’s sake”—because unfortunately such promoters of it as, for instance, Oscar Wilde and various dainty poets, were in reality rank moralists and didacticists—there can be no question that what makes a work of fiction safe from larvae and rust is not its social importance but its art, only its art.

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–From the SDM Gallery of Modern Art–

Title: “Duality

In this piece, the artist takes his theme to the nth degree, and uses glitch-like duplications in many forms to reinforce the work’s underlying narrative.

Surprising restraint is shown regarding the facial features, with only enough corruption used to make them vaguely unsettling – Velma & Daphne’s especially.

Obvious symbolism might be seen by the viewer in Freddy’s orange ascot, divided into thirds whilst he sits between his two companions – however, far be it from us to declare there only one way to interpret a piece of art with such depth and nuance.


  • Curator’s Rating: 7 Scooby-Snacks out of 10
  • Final Remarks: High in concept, but unpolished – plus, Daphne’s legs are too distracting
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unpacking my library:

Metaphors on Vision by Brakhage, Anthology Film Archives/Light Industry

“… a collection of writings on the film and, in particular, on the film as Stan Brakhage sees and makes it. Yet more significantly it is a testament of what makes mythopoetic art. Mythopoeia is the often attempted and seldom achieved result of making a myth new or making a new myth.”

Despicable Meepmorp

Peridot’s newest art piece comes to her in a dream: construct a space laser to carve her and Lapis’ faces into the moon. But when Blue Pearl, disguised as a modern art critic, shows up and claims to be interested in Peridot’s project, the Crystal Gems must engage in a bidding war to keep the device from being taken back to Homeworld and used as a weapon. It’s the Crystal Gems vs. Blue Pearl vs. Onion, and Peridot couldn’t be more excited to see such enthusiastic fans.

Daniel R. Quiles and Klara Kemp-Welch take a close look at the current MoMA exhibition Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980 in two new essays

[Juan Downey. Video Trans Americas. 1973-76. Installation view, Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, September 5, 2015–January 3, 2016. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2015 Estate of Juan Downey & Marilys B. Downey. Digital image © 2015 The Museum of Modern Art. Photo: Thomas Griesel]

Jennifer Lawrence Gives 'mother!' Haters the Middle Finger at Screening
Jennifer Lawrence and director Darren Aronofsky attend an official Academy screening of mother! on Sept. 21, 2017 in New York City. (Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images)

Well, that’s one way to greet a crowd.

Jennifer Lawrence and her director-turned-boyfriend Darren Aronofsky attended an Academy screening in New York of their new film mother! on Thursday. And while the film recently got slapped with a rare F rating from audience polling service CinemaScore, the couple proved they aren’t afraid to clap back at the haters.

During the Q&A portion of the night at the Museum of Modern Art, Lawrence gave critics of the divisive film the middle finger onstage as Aronofsky laughed alongside her.

The actress stunned in a black maxi dress with a floral pattern, while Aronofsky kept his look simple in a green button down and black pants.

mother! stars Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a newlywed couple living in the middle of nowhere. Their marital bliss is interrupted when two unexpected guests — a man (Ed Harris) and his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) — arrive at their doorstep.

CinemaScore grades films based on reactions from moviegoers at the start of the opening weekend.

“We knew it was going to be polarizing,” Lawrence told reporters at the Toronto International Film Festival. “So it’s just hilarious to see, you know, the people who love it, love it and they think it’s amazing and they get it. And then the people who don’t like it, absolutely despise it.”

“There’s no in between,” she added.

mother! is in theaters now.