Friday, February 19, 2010

Two Funny Things From The LA Times, Plus Ebert

OK, text-only entry, but whatevs.

First! This really spoke to the art geek in me: Christopher Knight's hilarious take-down of the "Renoir in the 20th Century" show at LACMA. I have a general dislike of the Impressionists, but I really, really dislike Renoir. What some of you may not know is just how bad his late paintings were. Knight, a critic I enjoy very much, encounters the conventional wisdom that "Late Renoir is bad Renoir" and comes to the obvious conclusion that the conventional wisdom may even be understating the situation. The four paintings shown in the review, indeed, are so bad, so very, very horrible that you will laugh. I had a chat yesterday with one of the curators of French paintings at my work, and I offered my opinion that Renoir was actually a key player in the development of later 20th Century bad taste, the types of art featuring big-eyed ballerinas and orphan harlequins. She laughed, but thought I was probably right. But, really, just look at the paintings shown in the LA Times and then look at the "Lemonaid" girls shown in the post below, and note that it's just a hop, skip and a jump from one to the other, both in terms of technique and subject matter. Ew, LOL.

Second! I think the LA Times is a great paper, but finding their "street style" photo features really gave me pause. Take a look at their "Street Fashion: Los Feliz" slide show and wonder if everybody in LA actually dresses this badly all the time, or if the photographer just has no eye for what looks good. Honestly! Every single outfit and about 80% of the individual articles of clothing in this feature are god-awful. It's like the anti-Sartorialist. Maybe I really have, after ten years, become an East Coaster after all. Ecccch.

And since I'm just throwing out web links, lazily, instead of creating my own content, have you all read Esquire's beautiful profile of Roger Ebert yet? I want to make sure you do, because it's as good as everyone says it is, and so is Ebert's response to it. I'm considering printing out the stunning, brave portrait of Ebert and keeping it face-up in a special drawer, so that whenever I feel sorry for myself or think I'm having problems, I can just open that drawer and immediately get over it.

Onward with Friday!


Diane Griffin said...

I LOVE Roger Ebert. I have since the seventies when I used to see him & Siskel on the original "At the Movies" PBS thing, but I find him pretty much indispensable as a movie critic these days. I find out so much about new pop culture stuff and even politics from him & his twitter feed is the only reason I ever log in to my account there. I haven't read the Esquire thing all the way through, but I will now. Thanks, Peter, for pointing it out.

samael7 said...

Roger Ebert is amazing. I only appreciate him more and more as time passes.

"When I am writing my problems become invisible and I am the same person I always was. All is well. I am as I should be."

Makes me tear up a little, no lie.

Matthew Hubbard said...

As for the L.A. fashion stuff, I kind of like the kid in picture #5 waving his freak flag. But on the whole, dreary.

Mistress Cynica said...

Thanks so much for posting the link to the Ebert article.

Frankensteinbeck said...

...are you available for marriage proposals? Sorry, I may be getting overheated. Yes. It's just that I looked at both of those fashion pictorials, and the LA Times one... how can anyone put jeans and a t-shirt in a fashion pictorial at ALL? And in the Sartorial one, I looked at the very first guy, and I was like - yes. It's not showy, but it all works together, it's high quality, it matches his build and colors and he has a theme. STYLE.

And yeah, I'm only distantly familiar with Renoir's work, and he's clearly a good man with a brush, and hey, I like girls as much as anyone, but... well, I'm trying to say that that was not picture composition. And the boy with the eyes that are probably meant to be piercing was, uh... creepy. Mainly because I get the feeling he was supposed to be lovable or something.

Yes, I only just stumbled over your blog by accident for the first time, and I'm all atwitter with the vapors and whatnot. I'm stuck in Kentucky right now, and style and artistic sentiment are not something I encounter on a daily basis.

Drama Queen said...

I never cared much for Ebert. Much more of a Siskel fan. But, after reading that article, he's now on the top of my list of "People to admire because of the way they live their lives." He's figured it out, hasn't he? How to live.