Thursday, April 02, 2009

Sometimes the Void Looks Back Through You; Sometimes the Void Decides You Really Aren't Worth the Bother



Once again, John Waters gets it right.

John Waters, my hero, spoke on Sunday about Cy Twombly at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art . I'm sure he chose Twombly because he likes his work, collects it, finds it fascinating, and so on. I think he also chose The Scribbling One because his work typifies the kind of rarified, willfully esoteric contemporary art which just makes people who don't "get it" go crazy, get angry, say, "My kid could do that," etc. In conclusion, he stated the following, perhaps the most profound statement about contemporary art I've heard in years, maybe decades:

To detractors not fond of the work, Waters offered this retort, "This kind of contemporary art hates you too, and you deserve it."


Besides being funny, there is more truth and insight in that statement than you'll find in a lifetime subscription to Artforum.

11 comments:

desertwind said...

I'm looking through you. Where did you go?

OMG, a Beatles song comin' to mind on a John "Hates the Beatles" Waters post!

Did you go to the event, Princess? I'm really bummed to read that it wasn't taped. I love him.

Princess Sparkle Pony said...

I didn't go. *sob*

Muscato said...

The only thing one could possibly disagree with about this post is the label. Anything in which John Waters cogently sums up a world-view is the very antithesis of "off-topic". Brill, and thank you for bringing it to us...

Anonymous said...

Wow. John Cage was once confronted with someone who said in effect: " I could do that". He replied "Yes, but you don't." Somehow Waters inspires the same way with the nifty quote you supply...

justlovely said...

Mr. Waters just keeps coming up with more reasons for me to fall in love with him.

Lau said...

My brother has an ad in Art Forum!!

Sorry, more than completely off topic, I'm just so proud of that kid. I guess to be slightly related, he loves Mallarme.

sfmike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sfmike said...

My favorite John Waters quote is a totally obscure one from some interview with a soft-core gay porn rag, possibly "Manifest," published in the late 1970s. The interviewer asked John what his favorite joke was and his response was on the order of: "I hate jokes. Anybody who tells me a joke, I immediately re-evaluate my relationship with them."

This is Oscar Wilde worthy because he's making some profound distinctions with that remark. There is brilliant humor and then there are "jokes." It was a liberating moment to realize that somebody else understood the chasm between the two, and used it as a not-so-arbitrary device to evaluate people's consciousness.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Waters has always reminded me of you, Pony.
Only you're better looking and don't give off a pervert vibe.
Must be his pencil mustache.

Jim said...

Jokes are what people who aren't funny rely on for social approval.

Buck Thrust said...

oh, how very voltaire-y.

i used to admire this guy too until the 38th Broadway revival of "Hairspray"... divine/dawn davenport died for him and his jive beaver coat