David Thompson


Blog powered by Typepad

« KaBoom! | Main | Feat of Clay »

December 09, 2007



One of Haw's signs is a Banksy donation, indirectly Wallington was copying Banksy and passing the work off as his own.

But this is what Turner-esque "art" is; ever since Warhol did the same thing, his plagiarism was of Monroe, The Queen and the guy who designed the Campbell's Soup labels, they were the "artists" who established their symbolic significance, he just got rich on their coattails.

There is nothing “bold”, “visceral” or “intense” in taking a good piece of artwork and repackaging it as your own, Wallington is not an artist, he's a picture framer.



Well, it goes without saying that Wallinger’s efforts scarcely warrant an aesthetic evaluation. He, and much of the art establishment, has chosen to swoon over the most intellectually lazy, paranoid and immoral aspects of the so-called “anti-war” movement. This isn’t about aesthetics; it’s about posturing. And I don’t see much boldness in reproducing - with explicit approval - material that’s factually inaccurate and morally fatuous. It isn’t clear to me why a 9/11 conspiracy theorist with a poor grasp of events and basic moral logic is deserving of such breathless praise and pointed imitation. Haw is a sad figure - dishonest, somewhat obsessive and possibly unwell - and Wallinger is, if nothing else, an opportunist fool.

Peter Horne

Slightly off topic but possibly of interest is this
by Stephen Rittenberg

"To the perverse jihadis who constitute large numbers of Muslims, the existence of the female sex is threatening, hence women are treated as little more than cattle, with fewer rights than some lower animals. Why do Western feminists keep their mouths shut? Because many are themselves leftist utopian perverts, who also cannot tolerate the existence of two sexes and secretly long to submit to the appealing sadism of the jihadis."

nobody important

Nothing says bravery like consequence-free "disent". These posuers know that the targets of their rantings (Bush, Blair, US, UK, the West, Christianity) will not as a matter of principle (unknown among the Left) react with anything more than a luke warm press release, if that. If we didn't live in such dangerous times, they'd be laughable.


Unfortunately it was no surprise to hear Grayson Perry, the “shocking” transvestite potter and former Turner Prize winner, admitting to a real fear of mentioning Islam in his work, despite it’s obviousness as an issue for supposedly daring and “relevant” artists. Similar hesitation was voiced by a number of curators at modish galleries. An artist can badmouth Bush, Blair, capitalism or whatever safe in the knowledge that such things are free of negative consequences, and are, in fact, positively encouraged. I suppose one might take Perry’s admission of fear (as opposed to claims of “sensitivity”) as progress of a sort, but, alas, I’m not that charitable.

But these are strange times and the moral compass of the art world, and of much of the left (with which it overlaps), is hard to fathom. Channel 4 News recently hailed the addled “peace” protestor Brian Haw as “the most inspiring political figure of the year”, which says a great deal about the leanings and credibility of those taking part. A rival for the award was Aishah Azmi, the Muslim teaching assistant who insisted on wearing her niqab in the classroom, despite complaints from young children who couldn’t understand her muffled voice and found her hidden face disconcerting. Such radicalism, such bravery…

Stephen Fox

I do think Perry's remarks were better than nothing, though perhaps the other fear he might have admitted is that of opposing the massed ranks of his friends in the artworld, brave lovers of the 'other' (any other) to a woman.
It is not to be undertaken lightly. At the very least, I've found arguing at hip dinner parties does my digestion no good at all.
Also: those who succeed in any field may not readily express doubt or fear. Perhaps the inability of so many in public life to recognise issues which are so clear to the rest of us has something of machismo (which conceals insecurity) to it, as a certain type refuses to admit he needs a doctor.
So those who dole out goodies like the Turner Prize, and those who receive them cannot allow that their beloved 'one world' might be poorly, but instead only say it is all the fault of the West, with which of course they have no connection.
In the light of all that, perhaps Perry's comments are actually notable. Though of course, he has actually already won the bloody thing...

Stephen Fox

Er, didn't mean to suggest that anybody here wasn't extraordinarily successful, and in 'public life'. Whatever that is.
Oh dear.



“…perhaps the other fear he might have admitted is that of opposing the massed ranks of his friends in the art world…”

I could only guess at what social and career pressures might inhibit realism among artists, whether at dinner parties or in the media. But, yes, I do see that people in denial, and those who strongly identify with an unsupportable idea, can be rather bitchy and malicious.

“Though of course, he has actually already won the bloody thing...”

Well, yes. And one would hope that the subsequent booty, spotlight and status might be put to more daring use. Unless, of course, Perry’s admission of being afraid of Islam is actually a cunning set-up for the unveiling an enormous bejewelled vase depicting key Qur’anic verses and called ‘Muhammad the Desert Pirate and His Caravan of Fools’.

The comments to this entry are closed.