Sunday, 28 September 2008

Punching Bronzino, Punching Coe

An amusing report on damage to works of art in our great galleries shows clearly enough who are the repeat offenders - staff, removal people and over-refreshed 'corporate clients'. Of the damage done by ordinary visitors, vomiting over a Carl Andre installation seems reasonable enough - even prodding a Barnett Newman - but it would be interesting to know what motivated someone to punch a Bronzino. Florentine mannerism can be pretty tiresome, but all the same...
What I'd like to know is this. If someone had barged into Little Lord Coe when he was running up and down in Tate Britain to launch the Kulturolympiad, and punched him to the ground, would they have been damaging a work of art? Or performing a public service? Or even creating another work of art, and a much more amusing one... The prospect of four years of 'culture' to soften us up for the horrors of 2012 is really too ghastly to contemplate. When I hear the words 'Cultural Olympics' I reach for my sick bag. Whoops - too late - there goes another Carl Andre...


  1. "...vomiting over a Carl Andre installation seems reasonable enough"

    You're right, of course. In art as in so many other fields, throwing up is almost never a sign of admiration. Nor does Dom Pérignon ever taste the same coming up as going down. Still, I am for regurgitation, complete and without reservation...

  2. The whole thing may well go on the back boiler Nige, I think the purse is sort of empty at the moment and will be for some considerable time. Unless of course that American abacus operator cuts UK PLC a slice of the action.
    My brother in laws dog pee'd on the base of the angel of the north.
    A/ can the angel of the north in any way, shape or form be considered as art.
    B/ can a dog relieving itself be considered as an act (as in act of vandalism).
    The dog actually has a better pedigree than Gormley, and Selena, he would never, ever boast that he could afford to drink Dom fizzy, actually, he can't stand the stuff.
    I was reprimanded in the Tate for pointing a finger at a Canalleto, DONT touch the picture, she hissed, I wasn't I replied, I was pointing out to my son just how crude it was when viewed from a few inches away, that did it, she went into a huff and retreated.

  3. As far as Lord Coe is concerned, I believe it is the artistic duty of all right-thinking people to violently set about him, wherever he may be. Don't you remember those cringeworthy "Man at C&A" ads he used to do?

  4. Selena: Recrachez le vin! An admonition I failed to follow the first time I was in a good cellar (Hubert de Montille's, an acquaintance in Beaune). I fear I became most drunk and did not do a very good job as an ambassador for America, which was my role. Instead, at the dinner later in Hubert's manse on the vineyard, I was about as nutty as Sarah Palin and far less comprehensible. Thank God I can't remember what I said, not most of it anyway. Oh well. Tant pis pour moi -- I could not bring myself to spit out all those grand crus!