Art World In Uproar Over Realistic, Non-Abstract Painting
New York, May 21 – Artists, critics, and art aficionados are all expressing bewilderment at a watercolor-on-canvas that depicts a scene realistically, apparently without a hint of irony or fantastical or exaggerated imagery.
The painting, currently on display at Gallery Montfort on the Upper East Side, depicts a woman walking her dog along a major city avenue. Each detail of the image is rendered with apparent meticulousness, such that in several spots the casual observer might mistake it for a photograph. Completely lacking are tricks of the light, political overtones, and the overall pretentiousness that suffuses most art, a fact that has sown both confusion and insecurity in the world of highbrow art.
Venerable artist Jeff Koons remains silent on the message of his piece. “I uh… I painted a woman walking her dog,” he says of the work, which he labels Woman Walking Her Dog. “Is there supposed to be something else? Do you think I left anything out?”
Critics are divided on whether Woman Walking Her Dog is groundbreaking or merely revolutionary. “This is nothing less than a watershed moment in art,” says Sotheby’s executive L. William Smoot. “He is so daring, that Jeff Koons. Who else would be so bold in today’s art world?” he mused, “I foresee tens of thousands functionally identical work lines libraries, nursing homes, and hospitals all over the world.”
Christie’s spokeswoman Ivana Kahn-DeScend disagrees, calling the piece “a searing indictment of modern art and a welcome return to basics,” which she hopes will inspire others to eschew shocking, provocative imagery intended simply to garner attention though shock value. “We all appreciate the sight of a Bible covered in hippopotamus feces, but that particular kind of conceptual art has lost its ability to titillate, and we’re looking for things that are even more over-the-top. This might just be it.”
The arts arena was in similar upheaval last year when venerable Broadway producer Edwin Black elected to stage Romeo and Juliet as taking place in the medieval Italian duchy of Verona, as Shakespeare wrote it, and not, for example, as a 1970’s Mossad-KGB thriller.
Check out PreOccupied Territory, where we make fun of an entirely different class of hypocrite.