Wednesday 14 December 2022

Art and Arthur

 I found this story –  'Soho police force entry to help woman, only to find artwork' (I think the comma is necessary) – amusing and revealing, so, my brain being otherwise, for various reasons, too scrambled for much in the way of serious thought or communication,  I pass it on here, embedded in a sentence clotted with subordinate clauses but still, I trust, comprehensible. 'Revealing', you say? Ah yes, revealing of the lamentable condition of the 'art' world: the 'art sprinkle' provided by a model of a woman with her head in a bowl of soup was intended 'to make people smile, or to horrify, to get a reaction and to grab people's attention' – I'm sure Raphael and Titian were thinking along very similar lines. The gallery owner didn't want to have a £20,000 table without 'something funny or distressing to complement it'. Well, quite.  So the 'art sprinkle' was to get people into a shop full of trendy kitsch objects and flog an overpriced table. That's today's 'art' world for you. 
  In other news, I was sad to hear of the death of Victor Lewis-Smith, writer, journalist, producer, satirist, prankster etc, at the age of only 65 (and in Bruges, oddly). He has been well obituarised in the newspapers, and even on Radio 3 this morning. One prank of his that I don't think was mentioned in the obits and that I'll always cherish was the occasion when, as producer of Radio 4's civilised (if plug-heavy) talk show Midweek, he replaced, for one week only, the cosy and safe presenter Libby Purves with the archetypal cockney knucklehead Arthur Mullard. He got away with it too – those were different times.

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