May 23, 2014

"Norman Rockwell Captures the Art Market’s Eye"

Not exactly Ted Williams (1939-1960)
meets Carl Yastrzemski (1961-1983),
but Bostonians like to think so
From the NYT:
BUSINESS DAY 
Norman Rockwell Captures the Art Market’s Eye 
MAY 23, 2014

By JAMES B. STEWART 
“Rockwell’s greatest sin as an artist is simple: His is an art of unending cliché.” 
In that Washington Post criticism of a 2010 exhibition of Norman Rockwell paintings at the Smithsonian, Blake Gopnik joined a long line of prominent critics attacking Rockwell, the American artist and illustrator who depicted life in mid-20th-century America and died in 1978. 

As I blogged in 2010: "If you want a picture of Mr. Gopnik's ideal future, imagine a boot stamping on Norman Rockwell's face -- forever. (But not, let me hasten to add, a well-painted realist picture of a boot stamping on a face. Instead, say, a picture of a surrealist boot stamping on a cubist face with Jackson Pollock-like blood splatters on the floor.)"
“Norman Rockwell was demonized by a generation of critics who not only saw him as an enemy of modern art, but of all art,” said Deborah Solomon, whose biography of Rockwell, “American Mirror,” was published last year. “He was seen as a lowly calendar artist whose work was unrelated to the lofty ambitions of art,” she said, or, as she put it in her book, “a cornball and a square.” The critical dismissal “was obviously a source of great pain throughout his life,” Ms. Solomon added. 

It should always have been obvious that Rockwell was a great popular image creator in the mode of a movie director. (He also had tremendous technical skill as a painter, of course, but it's his narrative creativity that stands out.) Rockwell (1894-1978) reminds me of Frank Capra (1897-1991), although Capra worked from others' scripts.

This doesn't necessarily mean it makes sense to pay lots of money for a painting that was created to be reproduced. Similarly, while it would be kind of cool to own the original master reels of It's a Wonderful Life that Capra worked on himself, I'm not really into saint's relics and would rather buy a DVD of Capra's masterpiece for $15. But, then, the same could be said for a lot of works of art, which often are underwhelming when you are standing there finally looking at it in person, but your feet are hurting. (Noteworthy exceptions: cathedral architecture and Michelangelo's 13' tall statue of David.)

One reason why paintings by famous artists sell for so much to rich guys these days even though interest in painting is declining, is that most paintings were actually touched by a brush held by the great man himself. In contrast, Silicon Valley is likely full of guys who would like to compete with each other to own The Original Star Wars, but nobody is exactly sure what it is.
But Rockwell is now undergoing a major critical and financial reappraisal. This week, the major auction houses built their spring sales of American art around two Rockwell paintings: “After the Prom,” at Sotheby’s, and “The Rookie,” at Christie’s. “After the Prom” sold for $9.1 million on Wednesday; “The Rookie” for $22.5 million on Thursday. 
In December, “Saying Grace” set an auction record for Rockwell, selling at Sotheby’s for $46 million. 
Rockwell isn’t yet at the level of Francis Bacon (top price at auction: $142.4 million), Picasso ($104.5 million) or Andy Warhol ($105.4 million) — all of whom critics eventually embraced — but he’s poised to join a select handful of artists whose work is instantly recognizable not just for its artistic quality but, for better or worse, the many millions it took to acquire one. 
Apart from any critical reappraisal, Rockwell’s paintings show that in art, as well as in the stock market, it can pay to be a contrarian. Rockwell’s paintings have turned out to be a singularly good investment. ... “Rockwell was so out of favor, there was ample room for appreciation,” Mr. Moses said.  ...
The explanation for the sudden and, to many, improbable surge in the price of Rockwell paintings dates to at least 2001, when the Guggenheim Museum mounted a major retrospective of Rockwell’s work. Coming just after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the show may have touched a nerve with an American public hungering for the reassurance of traditional American values captured by Rockwell’s vision. “That was the big turning point,” Ms. Solomon said. “He finally was getting art world recognition.” Still, some critics were incensed by the exhibition. “It shows the Guggenheim further trashing the reputation won for it by generations of artists,” Jerry Saltz wrote in the Village Voice.

The role of simple junior high school-style ethnic animosity in the decades of trashing Rockwell should not be overlooked.
But the show set an attendance record. 
The year after the Guggenheim show, “Rosie the Riveter,” one of Rockwell’s most famous images, sold for close to $5 million at Sotheby’s, setting a record for the artist. The painting was later sold again for an undisclosed price to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., the museum founded by the Walmart heiress Alice Walton. 
In 2006, “Breaking Home Ties” set another record, selling for $15.4 million, far above its $4 million to $6 million estimate. (The buyer is believed to have been H. Ross Perot, the former presidential candidate and founder of Electronic Data Systems. The painting has been seen hanging in his office.) 
Rockwell also gained a Hollywood stamp of approval. Two of the country’s most famous film directors, George Lucas (“Star Wars”) and Steven Spielberg (“E.T.”) were acquiring Rockwells. Rockwell “is a great story teller, and he used cinematic devices,” Mr. Lucas told an interviewer for the Smithsonian, which mounted the exhibition of his and Mr. Spielberg’s Rockwell collections, “Telling Stories,” in 2010. “He ‘cast’ a painting,” Mr. Lucas said. “It wasn’t just a random group of characters.”

I wonder when we'll see Norman Rockwell fakes selling for millions on the art market, like the fake Jackson Pollock that a Chinese guy in Queens made for a hundred dollars but then was auctioned off to a hedge fund guy for $17 million. Or maybe the return on investment in faking Rockwell's isn't high enough because they'd take too much work?

The only known Rockwell forgery was done by his friend Don Trachte, a professional illustrator, who had bought Breaking Home Ties from Rockwell for $900 in 1960. As part of a messy divorce settlement, Trachte painted a duplicate for private display and hid the original inside his wall until his heirs discovered it in 2006 and sold it to Perot for $15 million.
          

139 comments:

Anonymous said...

There was a good article in Smithsonian magazine about him recently. Unsurprisingly, one thing Rockwell said he wished he'd been instead of a painter was a movie director.

I tend to suspect a lot of the interest in him, besides belated recognition of his undeniable technical skill, is from Baby Boomers who are only now realizing that the America depicted in Rockwell's work is completely and forever gone.

Anonymous said...

WWG and the general destruction of American cultural icons by our elites continues apace:

http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2013/11/norman_rockwell_biography_deborah_solomon_s_american_mirror_reviewed.html

The trip raises a complicated question: Was Rockwell homosexual? It depends on what you mean by the word. He demonstrated an intense need for emotional and physical closeness with men. From the viewpoint of twenty-first-century gender studies, a man who yearns for the company of men is considered homosexual, whether or not he has sex with other men. In Rockwell’s case, there is nothing to suggest that he had sex with men. The distinction between secret desires and frank sexual acts, though perhaps not crucial to theorists today, was certainly crucial to Rockwell.

http://www.amazon.com/American-Mirror-Life-Norman-Rockwell-ebook/

Anonymous said...

You seem to be taking the point of view that The Frankfurt School despised Rockwell the Painter.

But have you considered the possibility that what The Frankfurt School really loathed was the culture and the society and the civilization and the values which Rockwell was depicting in his paintings?

Anonymous said...

"One reason why paintings by famous artists sell for so much to rich guys these days even though interest in painting is declining, is that most paintings were actually touched by a brush held by the great man himself."

Further evidence that Benjamin's notion of the "aura" surrounding art would dissipate in our mechanical age was quite wrong.

Whiskey said...

Steve, I used to think paintings were nothing special in the original until I saw a Thomas Eakins painting at the Met in NYC. Stunning. It hit me across the room, the impact was that hard. Interestingly, it was mounted high on the wall. I thought, for sure that HAD to be an Eakins. And it WAS! Even though I could not read the plaque next to it on the wall until I got up close.

Sure, the art at MOCA and LACMA sucks, mostly. It's third rate, unless they have a traveling exhibition. But when you see a masterwork? The subtleties of the brush, the composition, can't be reproduced. At the Norton Simon I once had a similar experience, being simply stunned by the picture, with a Georges Braque painting.

So yes there IS a point in owning an original. Far more than mere brushwork and provenance and boasting. The emotional impact a master painter has with his paints and brushes can't be copied in a print (much of it is after all textural) and has to be seen to be believed.

As for the hatred of Rockwell, its not "ethnic rivalry" but the whole of the elite which is mostly NOT Jewish but IS urban/cosmopolitan and trans-national, in a way that perhaps only the late Roman Empire elite has been. Look at Damien Hirst. A third-rate if that artist, who is in no way Jewish but IS urban/cosmopolitan/international and thus beloved of a global elite.

Look at almost anyone who writes for the NYT, Washington Post, WSJ, FT, or works for the major news networks. They move constantly, all over the globe. They have ties to say, Harvard or Yale or Stanford, and that's who they hire, but little to their nation which they hold in contempt. They believe with religious fervor in urbanization, rootlessness, massive physical migration (they themselves live all over the globe and it must be repeated, view constant travel and moving as good in and of itself).

No wonder a deeply rooted, time-place, nostalgiac nationalist was so hated by the global elite. He's their enemy as much as Modi, Bibi, Putin, Nigel Farage, Philip Larkin, Winston Churchill, or anyone else espousing a national culture and identity. You can't have the globalists and nationalists on the same planet, one has to win and extinguish the other.

Anonymous said...

RE: Rockwell,

Can't say that I was ever an enthusiast for his work. To me, the great American realist of the 20th century was Hopper.

Anonymous said...

Here is Jerry Saltz (very NSFW)

http://according2g.com/2011/04/paintings-from-the-80s-by-marilyn-minter/

I am a near sex addict, but what is depicted is not art; it is just plain ridiculousness.

Anonymous said...

"The role of simple junior high school-style ethnic animosity in the decades of trashing Rockwell should not be overlooked."

Seems to have played a role, no doubt. Interesting to note, though, how Spielberg is singled out as a notable aficionado of Rockwell's work. Perhaps that, along with his lyrical portraits of suburban life*, can be taken as evidence for his assimilation into the national fabric?

* cf films like CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, E.T., POLTERGEIST (yes, yes. I know that it is nominally Tobe Hooper film, but seeing is believing).

Anonymous said...

The problem is that middle-class culture in Rockwell's era really was quite boring. They read Harold Bell Wright and listened to 'How Much is That Doggie in The Window.'

I can't stand Rockwell, either. He suffers from being cheesy.

Eric said...

I'm just a rube who grew up in western mass. I always liked Rockwell's stuff. The Rockwell museum is worth the trip if you find yourself nearby. The Clark Art Institute is great too if Rockwell doesn't trip your trigger.

Anonymous said...

"The role of simple junior high school-style ethnic animosity in the decades of trashing Rockwell should not be overlooked."

You're talking about Jews attacking old-stock British Americans?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the paintings of Mormon artist Jon McNaughton and his subjects(some would called them corny) who are completly at odds from everybody who's anybody thinking will ever sell at high prices? He kinda has the talent of Norman Rockwell.

Anonymous said...

Seems to have played a role, no doubt. Interesting to note, though, how Spielberg is singled out as a notable aficionado of Rockwell's work. Perhaps that, along with his lyrical portraits of suburban life*, can be taken as evidence for his assimilation into the national fabric?

Spielberg is a master at using traditional American imagery to shape the "national fabric" in accord with his particular leftist and ethnic vision.

Anonymous said...

You're talking about Jews attacking old-stock British Americans?

It goes beyond "old-stock British Americans" and towards gentiles more broadly.

Anonymous said...

Way to get rich:

1. Find a modern iconic artist that "everybody" hates, or at least the critics.

2. Buy up some of his paintings at cheap price.

3. Wait for the artist to be rehabilitated.

4. Auction off paintings for millions of dollars.

I will have to admit though that I don't think this strategy will work with Thomas Kinkade, even though I will admit owning a couple acquired as gifts.

-CW

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Spielberg is a master at using traditional American imagery to shape the "national fabric" in accord with his particular leftist"

Spielberg as Leftist? I suppose that it depends on where one places the center. By Hollywood standards, he's quite middle of the road.Perhaps center-left would be about right.


" and ethnic vision."

Well, Spielberg's Jewishness does certainly inform his work (he make MUNICH and SCHINDLER'S LIST, after all). But one could say much the same thing about Coppola, Scorsese, John Ford, Elia Kazan, etc.

Anonymous said...

I think you mean proves that Benjamin was right. No one is paying big bucks for the prints only for the actual aura infused originals. Then again Benjamin was basically just restating basic supply and demand in pseudo-mystic terms. Of course art isn't going to be as special when you mass produce it.

Anonymous said...

"It goes beyond "old-stock British Americans" and towards gentiles more broadly."

Dear me. Are we going to have to suffer through another Kevin MacDonald fueled tirade about the Frankfurt School?

Anonymous said...

Steve:"The role of simple junior high school-style ethnic animosity in the decades of trashing Rockwell should not be overlooked."

Anonymous:"You're talking about Jews attacking old-stock British Americans?"

Yes, he was. Do note, though, that Steve, is not being monocausal. He's simply saying that ethnic animosity should not be overlooked.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Kincaide will never be rehabilitated because of his explicit Christianity, but let's say Thomas Kincaide hadn't been so Christian in identity his early paintings which are kind of impressionistic and technically very well executed would have undergone a half ironic half sincere rehabilitation. In fact some of the distaste for him from non-leftist non-fashionable critics is precisely because he is such a perfect example of an artist selling out.

Yours is a very good idea, but there aren't really that many artist out there with Rockwell's name recognition and critical animus.

Investing wise id say the way to go is small sized bronze sculpture pretty soon even the third tier painters are going to be way over priced and the market is going to have to start looking outside painting for artist to inflate the value of. Plus abstraction never took over sculpture the way it did in painting so aren't eliminating as a potential market all the people that can't stand abstract art.

Matt Buckalew

Anonymous said...

"The role of simple junior high school-style ethnic animosity in the decades of trashing Rockwell should not be overlooked."

Would you give it a rest?

Anonymous said...

Rockwell: Too much schmaltz for my tastes.

d..... said...

"Steve, I used to think paintings were nothing special in the original until I saw a Thomas Eakins painting at the Met in NYC."

Omigod, miracles occur. I was thinking of Eakins myself. I agree with Whiskey! Break out the champagne!!

Seriously, one of the reasons the Impressionists are so popular is that they painted in garish colors, so their stuff reproduces well on posters for college dorm rooms, and tote bags.

Eakins is a much greater painter. The Philadelphia Museum has several masterpieces.

Singer Sargent is also a genius. The watercolors (hard medium) are astonishing.

d said...

Another funny Pollock story is this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_the_*$%26%25_Is_Jackson_Pollock%3F

There's no question the piece of junk is a Pollock. Science has proven it.

Nicolas Carone was strongarmed into saying he wasn't sure, but he admitted the truth here:

http://fineartinvestigations.blogspot.com/p/jackson-pollock-and-nicolas-carone.html

He lied. It's a Pollock.

Anonymous said...

Supposedly, as part of the general purge of the early Bolsheviks, Stalin started promoting socialist realism as an alternative to modern art. (I forget where I read this.) Anyway, do an image search for "socialist realism" and you basically have Norman Rockwell staring at you:

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=%22socialist+realism%22

Al said...

One reason why paintings by famous artists sell for so much...

No need to search for reasons. One's enough and covers 99.99% of cases: money laundering.

Anonymous said...

Modern Art, for the most part, sucks as entertainment. Let's face it, art is entertainment, unless you attach some spiritual significance to it.

I can't stand Picasso and Pollack - they remind me of my sister's 1970s college textbook covers. I do like Salvador Dali because his stuff is funny and morbid. Supperrealists create some extraordinary stuff, like Joyce, they are trying to transtubstantiate the ordinary - I wonder if they yearn to do Rockwell-like stuff but feel they'd lose their art-school-cred.

"Breaking Home Ties"- I've never seen it before (except in real life) and it made me cry, so I guess it wins by entertainment standards.

I saw Duchamp's Fountain at the Pompidou, it didn't elicit tears but it did give me an urge to take a pee, so I guess in some way it was effective.

Chief Seattle said...

You're talking about Jews attacking old-stock British Americans?

Maybe "angry white men" is more how they'd put it. Of course they're the angry old men now. But yes.

Anonymous said...

A factoid: in the evil empire of the USSR, Norman Rockwell was routinely called "outstanding American painter". Pollock was practically unknown.

I am not painting connoisseur, so excuse my off-topic but tangentially related question: is Rockwell Kent known or popular in the USA? As a kid, I got hands on a book of his reproductions and fell in love with them.

hbd chick said...

speaking of rockwell:

"If Norman Rockwell were alive, he'd draw a heartwarming picture of the senior faculty all trying to get the laptop to project to the screen."

(^_^)

Rob said...

If I were around at the time of the 1965 Immigration Act, I'd have bought up as many Rockwells as I could get my hands on as an investment for my grandchildren. One obvious reason for the increasing interest in them is the nostalgia for a vanished world.

vetr said...

Rockwell scares people the way Robert Frost scares people - hey, weren't we taught that painters and poets should focus on the intense and the elite and the "shock" of the "new", and here are these guys who get excited about the way boring unattractive people go through life with their liveable little tragedies and their trite little triumphs. It is almost like art is not some better version of expensive cooking, where the great restaurants and best meals are overwhelming and rare and celebratory, but as if art were some lesser version of religion, where life and empathy and brotherhood, even when beauty and heroism seem absent, are what we were put on earth for. That being said, if you live in SoCal and want to understand why painted and drawn art should be seen in the original, take Whiskeys advice and go to a travelling show of masterworks, or find a real good tour guide for the local permanent collections, in which many of the seemingly not so impressive paintings have passages of genius that are easy to overlook - a tree in the wind here, a certain look about the eyes of a wistful Victorian matron there, a mountain range in the distance where you'd think only the borderline of the light given by the campfire would be...

Anonymous said...

(more) Solzhenitsyn on Ukraine:

""""""""
It pains me to write this as Ukraine and Russia are merged in my blood, in my heart, and in my thoughts. But extensive experience of friendly contacts with Ukrainians in the camps has shown me how much of a painful grudge they hold. Our generation will not escape from paying for the mistakes of our fathers.
To stamp one's foot and shout: "This is mine!" is the easiest option. It is far more difficult to say: "Those who want to live, live!" Surprising as it may be, the Marxist doctrine that nationalism is fading has not come true.
""""""

http://m.rbth.com/arts/2014/05/20/solzhenitsyns_foresight_on_ukraine_proves_eerily_prescient_36791.html

Dave Pinsen said...

"Rockwell scares people the way Robert Frost scares people - hey, weren't we taught that painters and poets should focus on the intense and the elite and the "shock" of the "new", and here are these guys who get excited about the way boring unattractive people go through life with their liveable little tragedies and their trite little triumphs. It is almost like art is not some better version of expensive cooking, where the great restaurants and best meals are overwhelming and rare and celebratory, but as if art were some lesser version of religion, where life and empathy and brotherhood, even when beauty and heroism seem absent, are what we were put on earth for."

Reminds me a bit of Amoz Oz on Sherwood Anderson.

Nobody said...

Rockwell represented the middle America that the left hated( at least since the 1930's).

Anonymous said...

"The problem is that middle-class culture in Rockwell's era really was quite boring." - may you live in interesting times.

Anonymous said...

I remember about 20 years ago that Marilyn vos Savant was asked which artist would be remembered as the greatest of the 20th century and she replied "Norman Rockwell".

Luke Lea said...

I saw Renoir's The Boating Party at the Cheekwood museum in Nashville several years ago. There were very few visitors the day I visited, no security guards close by, and you could stand withing five or six feet of the painting, restrained by nothing more than a rope hanging between to portable posts. I couldn't help thinking of the possibility of vandals, but that didn't stop me from marveling at the subtlety of color in his rendering of shadows, and the reflections of skin tones off of clothing, and the like. Maybe I'm a Philistine but If I could have only one modern painting I would choose one of his.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous at 7-52 - When I briefly worked as a translator, I took a Soviet visitor to see Rockwell Kent paintings in an upstate New York museum(early 80s). His name is about one fiftieth as familiar as Rockwell's, but his illustrations are strongly associated with a couple of classic works (Amazon will enlighten you better than I can on this). In cities like NYC and DC, he is likely to have an exhibition once every two decades or so in one of the better known museums. His coldhearted political foolishness was mentioned at the last exhibit I attended, who knows about the next. The odds of being able to easily afford one of his better works are near zero for non-multi-millionaires. If you are looking for investment advice, pay more attention to comic strip artists than illustrators and painters like Kent, in order to be financially semi-protected, you need someone with a brand name and with more than a thousand, and less than a hundred thousand, negotiable products. By the way, I like his snowscapes, but I am not sure, in the end, that he was not too frigid in his soul to be a real artist.

Anonymous said...

James Stewart was an art critic?

Now what's da big ideayaa!?

Anonymous said...

"I can't stand Rockwell, either. He suffers from being cheesy.


"Cheesy."

Bad word. Oh, I know it's a word and that it somehow refers to a sentimental quality. Is that what bothers you? Sentimentality?

Anonymous said...

Fashion in the art world is weird.

I recently came across the story of how this fantastic painting sold for $1000 in 1960, which the buyer thought was expensive at the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaming_June

It is considered the magnum opus of Sir Frederic Leighton, a painter so highly regarded only 70 years before that he was made a Baron. But it was out of fashion at the time.

Anonymous said...

Michelangelo's David is really something.

Rifleman said...

Rockwell represented the middle America that the left hated( at least since the 1930's).

Rockwell and his admirers are the epitome of goyishe.

Like Mitt Romney and his family... even after they adopted the black kid.

Anonymous said...

""socialist realism" and you basically have Norman Rockwell staring at you"

No. Socialist Realism had a definite end: furthering socialism. The style is best understood as a kind of advertising poster, and the State was the product. Other than Rockwell being a realist and having a story in the picture, they don't have a lot in common.

Stalin didn't "promote" things, he ordered them. In this case he ordered socialist realism to be the official style of Soviet art in part because modern art was confusing and inaccessible to the proletariat--it couldn't be used for propaganda purposes. How do you teach the masses about the glories of dialectic materialism with a Jackson Pollock? Though in later years the CIA secretly promoted abstract expressionism to demonstrate American cultural freedom, that was really just another harebrained CIA idea.

The early Bolshies had some pretty compelling modernist propaganda posters before the modernist faction was shipped off to the gulag.

I was amazed when I saw "Starry Night" in person at the LA Museum of Modern Art. Van Gogh was squeezing the paint onto the canvas straight from the tube, which gives is a 3D effect to which the prints don't do justice.

Rob said...

Nabokov's character Pnin, in the novel of the same name, reflects that Dali was merely what Norman Rockwell would be like if he'd been kidnapped and brought up by gypsies as a child.

jack strocchi said...

Rockwell was a "folk realist" as opposed to a "social realist". Stalins court painters depicted a Potemikin village Soviet society, designed to dupe gullible Lefties.

The trouble is, mainstream American folk really did look like the Rockwell portrayal, to the ever-lasting fury of the lit-crit world who would be out of a job if there were no seamy underside to reveal.

BrokenSymmetry said...

"I was amazed when I saw "Starry Night" in person at the LA Museum of Modern Art. Van Gogh was squeezing the paint onto the canvas straight from the tube, which gives is a 3D effect to which the prints don't do justice."

Absolutely, another artist who's work doesn't reproduce well and has to be seen in the original is Klimt.

dearieme said...

"Noteworthy exceptions: cathedral architecture": not always, but Florence. If only there were some way to liquidate the tourists, I think I'd like to spend months in Florence. But I'd be classed as a traveller of course, not a tourist. "Tourist" is a bit Rockwell, don'cha think?

BrokenSymmetry said...

Kipling would be the equivalent of Rockwell in the literary world, i.e. despised by all right-thinking insiders for ideological reasons. The verse sounds embarrassing to modern ears but some of the short stories ("They", "The Gardener", "The Wish House") are as good as it gets. The savage realism of the Stalky stories have never been bettered in the school story sub-genre. He's never been completely forgotten and there there's been a, if not exactly a revival, at least a re-appraisal of his position, and my bet is that in 50 years he'll be firmly ensconced among the greats while the currently trendy post-colonial, professional ethnic authors that are the darlings of the literary set end up the dustbin of history.

Anonymous said...

Ethnic animosity plays a huge role. I have a jewish friend who said he could never like Rockwell because of what he represented. It didn't matter that Rockwell was a political - or later mused on liberal themes because of his lefty third wife -it was the fact that it repsented WASP america and that, in itself was bad.

Also i recall Saltz and another jewish critic arguing that they no longer had to pretend rockwell sucked because they (the jewish ethno elite and world view) 'won'

Anonymous said...

I am a realist artist. I don't know of any artist who concentrates on craft that isn't in complete awe of Rockwell. You look at his work and if you understand what it takes to execute that you appreciate it like no one else.

Anonymous said...

I have some Israeli friends who love Rockwell. They don't know that they are 'supposed' to hate him.

Anonymous said...

WWG and the general destruction of American cultural icons by our elites continues apace:
I have not read a modern biography of any American Icon that does not have a 'was he gay' section.

Anonymous said...

For me, not an American, Rockwell's paintings evoke Jack Kerouac. So I'm not not seeing the square thing.

Gilbert P

Anonymous said...

It goes beyond "old-stock British Americans" and towards gentiles more broadly.

E. Michael Jones would say that Catholics were a particular target of the Frankfurt School style of thinking that became predominant among intellectuals starting in the 1950s. Wouldn't be surprising given the anti-modernist, semi-medieval nature of the pre-Vatican II Church.

Lionel said...

One of the most famous Rockwells is the little black girl going to school with guards http://www.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_606w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2011/08/28/Style/Images/normanrockwell.jpg We went to the Rockwell museum in Stockbridge MA last year and that one is very prominently featured - I think it was out on loan at the time or something but the museum has lots of prints of it prominently in the gift shop. It epitomizes the "cheesiness" of Norman Rockwell. He was an "illustrator;" he painted what would sell and he knew his market, the mainstream media and what it wanted to give the American public. Who knows what he really thought about integrating schools in New Orleans, living as he did in all white, pleasantly ruralish Stockbridge MA. There are some other paintings that show people around the world that make you think of nothing so much as "I'd like to teach the world to sing" Coke commericials.

Having seen them up close just a year ago, I can say that there is no difference in seeing the actual Rockwell or seeing an image of a Rockwell on my computer. Its the same.

Anonymous said...

Rockwell: Too much schmaltz for my tastes.

Origin of SCHMALTZ

Yiddish shmalts, literally, rendered fat
First Known Use: 1935


It just never stops.

24x7.

Like clockwork.

Anonymous said...

They look like Sailer-as-kid-or-with-dad photos.

No wonder he likes them.

Anonymous said...

"I tend to suspect a lot of the interest in him, besides belated recognition of his undeniable technical skill, is from Baby Boomers who are only now realizing that the America depicted in Rockwell's work is completely and forever gone."

But the style is very much alive in stuff like THE HELP, THE BUTLER, DRIVING MISS DAISY, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, BLIND SIDE, ETC.

Anonymous said...

"The role of simple junior high school-style ethnic animosity in the decades of trashing Rockwell should not be overlooked."

"You're talking about Jews attacking old-stock British Americans?"

More dangerous is Jews appropriating goy stuff.

Hollywood and pop fascism.

Jewish Wagnerian composers.

Jewish Rockwellian directors. Even the Coens riff on it.

PS. Capra at his best had grit, even darkness. Rockwell didn't. There are parts in WONDERFUL LIFE that could be out of noir.
WONDERFUL LIFE is closer to KANE, SEARCHERS, and VERTIGO than Rockwellianism.

Same with Ford.

Spielberg's WAR HORSE was meant to be a tribute to Ford but is maybe closer to Rockwell in spirit. Well-made though.

Anonymous said...

"Spielberg as Leftist? I suppose that it depends on where one places the center. By Hollywood standards, he's quite middle of the road.Perhaps center-left would be about right."

Three black-themed movies.

Collaborates with homo-Jew Kushner.

Great director but a snake never to be trusted. He plays naive and innocent but knows exactly what he is doing.

Anonymous said...

Lucas: Rockwell + Riefenstahl.

Pat Shuff said...

Rockwell's art is similarly offensive to a John Wayne highway or airport, denoting an all wrong America having nothing to do with the contiguous border plus AK and HI but a cognitive real estate/landscape where ideologues battle, a Dylan japes and patters
mulching cultural compost, a stevil gladiates wielding mace against authority's truncheon where the winning idea's outcome consequent in policy which consequent in facts on the landscape, the actual contiguous landscape plus AK and HI. Who/what gets carted off to the landfill, which monuments replace.

Anonymous said...

"Well, Spielberg's Jewishness does certainly inform his work (he make MUNICH and SCHINDLER'S LIST, after all). But one could say much the same thing about Coppola, Scorsese, John Ford, Elia Kazan, etc."

Coppola and Scorsese were very critical of Italian criminal culture.
Spielberg sanctifies Jewishness in contrast.

Anonymous said...

"a picture of a surrealist boot stamping on a cubist face with Jackson Pollock-like blood splatters on the floor."

that sounds awesome. know anyone suitable I can get it commissioned from?

Anonymous said...

"The problem is that middle-class culture in Rockwell's era really was quite boring."

It was more literary. Though Rockwell had an interest in film his works look more literary than cinematic. There's a lot of details to be 'read'. There's a lack of motion(even in things that are in motion), esp because of the extreme precision of details and artificiality of the positioning, as if reality was captured inside a photo studio. It's like everyone has been coached to remain still in idealized positions.


Anonymous said...

Saul Alinskyism saw to it that Obama's image would be Rockwellized.

In our pomo-homo age when homos have appropriated the 50s FATHER KNOWS BEST look, Rockwellism is very much a part of how the progs idealize their own kind.

Hipster whitopias may officially be 'edgy' but they are lame and tame in their own neo-rockwellian manner.

Anonymous said...

John Hughes. MTV Rockwellism of the 80s.

Anonymous said...

Rifleman:"Rockwell and his admirers are the epitome of goyishe."

Guess that that makes Spielberg and Deborah Solomon (author of the laudatory AMERICAN MIRROR:THE LIFE AND ART OF NORMAN ROCKWELL, a key text in the current Rockwell revival)honorary Gentiles...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"I think you mean proves that Benjamin was right. No one is paying big bucks for the prints only for the actual aura infused originals. Then again Benjamin was basically just restating basic supply and demand in pseudo-mystic terms. Of course art isn't going to be as special when you mass produce it."

It's been a while, but wasn't Benjamin's point that the the mechanical age would destroy the aura. Hence, the quasi-religious devotion that we feel for the artefacts that were actually shaped by the master's hand would vanish?

Anonymous said...

Lucas and Moyers(though Libs) made Joseph Campbell--another wasp--famous(though Campbell gained a certain vogue in the 60s with counterculture).

It was in the late 80s that Campbell really became a household name with Power of Myth.

But then, turncoat wasp Brendan Gill outed Campbell as an 'antisemite' like Disney, and he's not heard of much anymore.

But his Jungian ideas are all over in culture.

Remove the names, steal the ideas.

It's like the ancients stole gods from other cultures and gave them a new name.

D.W. Griffith, the man who influenced everyone but gets the least amount of credit.

As Kehr said, The Birth of a Nation is the Birth of cinema.

And its theme of us vs them is alive with us and all over the culture. It just so happened that Griffith didn't like blacks, which is considered veddy veddy bad.
But if the movie had been about hating Germans or Russians, it would be much discussed today.

PC has rules on whom you must like and whom you must hate.

http://www.chicagoreader.com/chicago/the-birth-of-a-nation/Film?oid=1061733

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/movies/homevideo/birth-of-a-nation-born-again-for-dvd.html?_r=0

Anonymous said...

art criticism on isteve is like listening to lesbians talk about football

Anonymous said...

o/t, but from that site, I didn't know the US had halted the building of stations on US soil for Russia's Glonast GPS system - and Russia's now shutting down the corresponding (US) GPS stations over there.

http://m.rbth.com/politics/2014/05/14/russia_to_suspend_the_operation_of_gps_stations_on_its_territory_36643.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Lucas and Moyers(though Libs) made Joseph Campbell--another wasp--famous(though Campbell gained a certain vogue in the 60s with counterculture)."

Campbell was not a WASP; he was an Irish Catholic.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Coppola and Scorsese were very critical of Italian criminal culture.
Spielberg sanctifies Jewishness in contrast."

Coppola's critique of "Italian criminal culture" is vitiated by the fact that he also makes it very attractive.For that matter, bear in mind that the hidden theme of the GODFATHER films is the notion that Anglo-Saxon culture is corrupting Italian immigrant life in the USA. Note, for example, how Michael, the assimilated son, is condemned for killing his own brother. Surely only someone contaminated with Anglo mores would be so evil. Note, too, how the evil WASP senator from Nevada in GODFATHER 2 is depicted as an anti-Italian bigot.

As for Scorcese, he comes closer to actually indicting Italian criminality, especially in GOODFELLAS. But even in that work, there is a level of admiration, a sense that Italian criminals are more vital, more real, than pallid Anglos.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Three black-themed movies."

Which were quite center-left in tone. They certainly pale things (pun not intended) when put beside the Black radicalism of Spike Lee.

Anonymous:"Collaborates with homo-Jew Kushner."

Is Kushner a "homo-Jew" or a "Jewish-homo"? A question for the ages. As for Kushner's scripts for Spielberg, they are quite center-left in tone. Compare them, for example, to the full-blown far-left radicalism of ANGELS IN AMERICA. No, Spielberg is using Kushner, forcing him to serve Spielberg's center-left agenda.



Anonymous:"Great director but a snake never to be trusted."

Who in Hollywood can be trusted?

Anonymous:" He plays naive and innocent but knows exactly what he is doing."

I should hope so. Idiot-savant directors are a are breed indeed.

Anonymous said...

End Times: A sensible comment from Whiskey.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"PS. Capra at his best had grit, even darkness. Rockwell didn't. There are parts in WONDERFUL LIFE that could be out of noir.
WONDERFUL LIFE is closer to KANE, SEARCHERS, and VERTIGO than Rockwellianism."

Yes, people often forget that the happy ending in WONDERFUL LIFE was earned. True darkness had to be overcome to reach it.

Anonymous said...

Been browsing through Rockwell stuff on google images. A lot of craft and technical skill on display.....but the schmaltz.


I suppose the Rockwell question is this: Can technical skill redeem schmaltz?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"art criticism on isteve is like listening to lesbians talk about football"

You think that it reaches that high a standard, eh?

Published Art Critic said...

Rockwell might very well outlast Warhol.

Each to their own anyway.

Pat Boyle said...

You would think that there would be a kind of Turing Test for paintings. If the copy was indistinguishable from the original then you could destroy the original.

Why aren't these crazy prices universally condemned? Shouldn't the rich spend their excess cash on starving blind babies rather than old pictures?

The prices of art seem indefensible to me. If some art thief breaks in to a gallery the way it is so often portrayed in the movies, I would'nt bother to even call the police.

The taxpayers pay the police salaries and it's money well spent on murderers and rapists. But if there is a good photo of a Rembrandt - what difference does it make?

This is truly a victimless crime. The public still sees the picture. If anyone can see the difference from the original they could just move the rope back another foot or so.

If you stole a $100 million painting you should be charged with stealing the price of gift shop copy. Say $20. The millions are some kind of illusion. The thief should be charged with petty theft not grand theft.

Dinosaur bone originals contain information that is not in the casts. But pictures are just pictures.

Pat Boyle

Anonymous said...

Guess that that makes Spielberg and Deborah Solomon (author of the laudatory AMERICAN MIRROR:THE LIFE AND ART OF NORMAN ROCKWELL, a key text in the current Rockwell revival)honorary Gentiles...
Her biography trashes rockwell.

but the schmaltz.
?

Having seen them up close just a year ago, I can say that there is no difference in seeing the actual Rockwell or seeing an image of a Rockwell on my computer. Its the same.
any trained eye can see plenty of difference.

Sots Art specialist said...

Bzzzzztttttt!

Socialist Realism was the decision of a committee of formally avantgarde artists. Stalin didn't stick his nose in there too far.

Anonymous said...

Guess that that makes Spielberg and Deborah Solomon (author of the laudatory AMERICAN MIRROR:THE LIFE AND ART OF NORMAN ROCKWELL, a key text in the current Rockwell revival)honorary Gentiles...


Anonymous:"Her biography trashes rockwell."

How? She argues that Rockwell should occupy a position in American art equal to Hopper's. Frankly, I can't imagine higher praise.

Anonymous said...

but the schmaltz.

Anonymous:"?"

In answer to you question, a key problem in evaluating Rockwell's work is its high schmaltz content.Does the skill and craftsmanship compensate for the schmaltz? I would argue that the schmaltz outweighs the skill.

Anonymous said...


Look at almost anyone who writes for the NYT, Washington Post, WSJ, FT, or works for the major news networks. They move constantly, all over the globe. They have ties to say, Harvard or Yale or Stanford, and that's who they hire, but little to their nation which they hold in contempt. They believe with religious fervor in urbanization, rootlessness, massive physical migration (they themselves live all over the globe and it must be repeated, view constant travel and moving as good in and of itself).

No wonder a deeply rooted, time-place, nostalgiac nationalist was so hated by the global elite. He's their enemy as much as Modi, Bibi, Putin, Nigel Farage, Philip Larkin, Winston Churchill, or anyone else espousing a national culture and identity. You can't have the globalists and nationalists on the same planet, one has to win and extinguish the other.


Oh, no, there's nothing Jewish about an itinerant, rootless, cosmpolitan culture that despises all nations and traditions (but one) and their peoples, really!

Anonymous said...

How? She argues that Rockwell should occupy a position in American art equal to Hopper's. Frankly, I can't imagine higher praise.
you honestly have to ask how? She accuses him of being a homosexual and pedophile, with a thing for young boys...

She wants him to occupy a postion in american art, with that attached to it - it's classic jewish critiquing culture- underneath the surface of goy small town america, there is evil..

Classic projection

Anonymous said...

Stalin and the Bolshies certainly did not ignore the propaganda potential of art. "Engineers of the human soul" and all that. Or as Stalin said in the early 30's, "The artist ought to show life truthfully. And if he shows it truthfully, he cannot fail to show it moving to socialism. This is and will be socialist realism.” It takes a suicidal artist to contradict Stalin.

The Bolshies recognized art as a lever of popular propaganda early on and brought it under state control. In the 20's they used some avante garde styles to advance state purposes. Artists were effectively collectivized in the 1928 five year plan, and in 1932 the Politburo dictated the forms of Soviet art. That the Politburo was issuing instructions on mandated artistic styles is what is called a clue. Gorky on the writers side of the house, and Zhdanov, a reliable Stalin stooge, did much of the work of mandating the new style. The 20's avante garde was liquidated.

It was far from an organic decision by artist's collectives.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

The problem is that middle-class culture in Rockwell's era really was quite boring. They read Harold Bell Wright and listened to 'How Much is That Doggie in The Window.'"

Nonsense. The claims that mid-century american culture was low-brow and unworthy are bulls**t. Middlebrow culture of the 50s, 60s, and 70s was much higher than it is today.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"you honestly have to ask how? She accuses him of being a homosexual and pedophile, with a thing for young boys..."

Do you honestly think that that's going to hinder Rockwell's rep in the art world?One of the best things that you can do for a creative artist is play up the Gay angle.

Anonymous:"She wants him to occupy a postion in american art, with that attached to it"

I think that's it's more a matter of researching her bio and coming across the kind of hints that make a biographer's mouth water...


Anonymous:" - it's classic jewish critiquing culture"

Ah, Kevin MacDonald makes his obligatory appearance...

Anonymous:"- underneath the surface of goy small town america, there is evil.."

I don't recall any references to Rockwell being "evil" in her book. She merely argues that there was a homoerotic element in Rockwell's makeup. The same thing is true of Kipling and Evelyn Waugh.



Anonymous:"Classic projection"

So, you are arguing that there was no homoerotic component to Rockwell?

Harry Baldwin said...

Rockwell did an imitation Jackson Pollack in his painting "The Connoisseur." Pollack's fellow abstract expressionist Robert Rauschenberg said Rockwell's Pollack was better than Pollack’s Pollack.”

Skip G said...

I knew if I lived long enough,Norman Rockwell would finially be honored by the snooty crowd.

Full-Fledged Fiasco said...

"The problem is that middle-class culture in Rockwell's era really was quite boring."

In my experience, it's always social rejects the ones saying this sort of thing.

Anonymous said...

Good!

https://www.google.com/search?q=charles+gibson+illustrator&es_sm=122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=I0SBU9DmN42Dqgb8zoDQAg&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1024&bih=653

Not so good.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Gil+Elvgren&es_sm=122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=F0SBU9XwHM-KqAb1hYCQCw&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1024&bih=653

BenjaminL said...

Reviews of Solomon's Rockwell biography:

Patrick Toner, "False Portrait"

Bruce Cole, "Painting a False Portrait"

Anonymous said...

high schmaltz content
again what do you mean. do you mean your hostility towards gentile norms?



Maxwell Power said...

Whenever you mention Sherwood Anderson's "eye for small-town beauty" don't leave out his prior career: marketing/copywriting in Chicago

Morty Weisenheimer said...

Won't gainsay Rockwell's painting skill or criticize his (presumed) bourgeois solidarity but I think his choice of subject matter and "social commentary" mostly sucked. He was always great at trumpeting the obvious and quick to malign any popular villain of the day, a real C.W. dispenser. Norm basically espoused a Rockefeller Republican civil-rights welfare-state worldview (strangely also common among pre-60s west-coast Democrats) so the idea some of you have floated that he was ever "reactionary" is simply laughable. Sailer compares his cultural prestige to Capra's but a closer analogy would be Walter Cronkite or Princess Di.

Anonymous said...

Grant Wood was realer.

Anonymous said...

http://www.booktryst.com/2011/02/dark-side-of-currier-ives.html

currier be right.

Look at rappers today.

http://www.booktryst.com/2011/02/dark-side-of-currier-ives.html

Anonymous said...

western paintings are good

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_West_as_America_Art_Exhibition

Anonymous said...

http://bjws.blogspot.com/2012/10/1930s-americas-great-depression-john.html

Anonymous said...

http://bjws.blogspot.com/2012/10/1930s-americas-great-depression-daniel.html

Anonymous said...

http://bjws.blogspot.com/2012/10/1930s-americas-great-depression-mans.html

Anonymous said...

http://bjws.blogspot.com/2012/10/1930s-americas-great-depression-palmer.html

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-mttwmF_JbH4/TY57yilk2zI/AAAAAAAAlKg/ZGBq-FdTggo/s1600/Palmer%2BHayden%2B%2528American%2Bartist%252C%2B1890-1973%2529%2BThe%2BWatermelon%2BRace.jpg

Anonymous said...

https://www.google.com/search?q=Eastman+Johnson+paintings&es_sm=122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=8O-BU4XjOKzB8gHLi4HADQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1024&bih=653

Anonymous said...

http://bjws.blogspot.com/2013/07/everyday-life-for-women-in-1800s-america.html

Anonymous said...

Lots of sympathetic paintings of Negroes by white artists long ago.

If anything, Jewish Hollywood depiction of Negroes was more caricaturish prior to the 50s.

Anonymous said...

https://www.google.com/search?q=american+western+painters&es_sm=122&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=JuuBU63VNabb8gGbwoCoAg&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAQ&biw=1024&bih=653#q=Frederick+Judd+Waugh&tbm=isch&imgdii=_

Anonymous said...

high schmaltz content


Anonymous:"again what do you mean. do you mean your hostility towards gentile norms?"

What are "gentile norms?" The Danes and the Japanese are both Gentiles. What norms do hey have in common?

Anonymous said...

high schmaltz content


Anonymous:"again what do you mean. do you mean your hostility towards gentile norms?"

Well, leaving aside the fact that "gentile norms" might be the most meaningless statement that I have ever read on this blog, here are some examples of American art that illustrate (pun not intended) what I mean.

Thomas Eakins:THE GROSS CLINIC. A masterpiece. No schmaltz.

Edward Hopper:EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. A masterpiece. No schmaltz.

John Singer Sargent: THE DAUGHTERS OF EDWARD DARLEY BOIT. A masterpiece. No schmaltz.

Compare these works to Rockwell's.If you cannot detect the difference between Rockwell's schmaltz-filled vision and these paintings.....

Anonymous said...

"It should always have been obvious that Rockwell was a great popular image creator in the mode of a movie director. (He also had tremendous technical skill as a painter, of course, but it's his narrative creativity that stands out.)"

The essence of cinema is motion and time.
Rockwell's work are so still and static.
They are photographic than cinematographic.
Also, he crowds his images with an overabundance of details in keeping with 19th century tradition(and earlier).
Cinema doesn't try to reveal everything in a single frame.

Rockwell's works operate in this spirit:

http://shatenne.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/ilya_repin_cossacks_cossackspolish_lithuanian_desktop_2202x1300_wallpaper-226245.jpg

It is NOT cinematographic. Everything signified and detailed and recorded and told in one shot.

Cinema works by expanding and shaping time.
Paintings such as those of Rockwell compressed time.

Though similar social milieu, there isn't a single scene in WONDERFUL LIFE that is Rockwell-like. It's too alive, too dramatic, too kinetic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k4uYDLhtdPk

Anonymous said...

There should always be room for the Rockwells of the world.

They shouldn't be undervalued(within their own terms) but they shouldn't be overvalued either(as Tom Wolfe does).

It's like Sammy Cahn songs. Good for what it is but aint no Bach.

Anonymous said...

MORNINGS AT SEVEN

http://books.google.com/books?id=JdjFy4ez1IMC&pg=PA174&lpg=PA174&dq=%22norman+rockwell%22+john+simon&source=bl&ots=O2M63k1v_c&sig=4ExWdwVRsS6ejht4mICKx-WZrGM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uymCU8OLAtKZqAbKpoKYAg&ved=0CD0Q6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=%22norman%20rockwell%22%20john%20simon&f=false

Anonymous said...

http://faculty.washington.edu/cbehler/teaching/coursenotes/nationalLACon.html

Anonymous said...

Rockwellian movies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0lof7tFKtE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLfdKM9wjqM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uQCyxBL2O8



Anonymous said...

John Singer Sargent: THE DAUGHTERS OF EDWARD DARLEY BOIT. A masterpiece. No schmaltz.
oh and you should listen to what 'scots irish' art critics say about that.

She merely argues that there was a homoerotic element in Rockwell's makeup. The same thing is true of Kipling and Evelyn Waugh.

I think that is more of a reflection of you, solomon and other of your ilk rather than the artists themselves. (see above comment about 'scots irish' art critiques of Sargent's Boit painting.

As for KMcD, I have heard him maligned, but never refuted. Nothing in your posts leads me to believe otherwise.

Anonymous said...

-mr. scots irish art critic -explain to me what is 'smaltz' (I think in english, you mean over sentimental) about say, Rockwell's wedding license/.

Anonymous said...

John Singer Sargent: THE DAUGHTERS OF EDWARD DARLEY BOIT. A masterpiece. No schmaltz.


Anonymous:"oh and you should listen to what 'scots irish' art critics say about that."

I'm guessing that you mean Jewish art critics? Show some guts. Say Jewish when you mean Jewish. And, last time I checked, none of the critics have argued that it is a bad painting. They've just engaged in a lot of de rigueur psycho-analysis.

She merely argues that there was a homoerotic element in Rockwell's makeup. The same thing is true of Kipling and Evelyn Waugh.

Anonymous:"I think that is more of a reflection of you, solomon and other of your ilk rather than the artists themselves."

You need to read a tad more Kipling and Waugh. For a good start, try reading BRIDESHEAD REVISITED.

ANONYMOUS:"(see above comment about 'scots irish' art critiques of Sargent's Boit painting."

Oh dear, more "Scots-Irish" games again, eh?



Anonymous:"As for KMcD, I have heard him maligned, but never refuted. Nothing in your posts leads me to believe otherwise."

The true believer, so adorable.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"-mr. scots irish art critic -"

No need to stand on ceremony; just call me Mr Jew.

Anonymous:"explain to me what is 'smaltz' (I think in english, you mean over sentimental)"

Don't know what schmaltz means? The term has been current for quite some time. You must not be much of a reader.


Anonymous:"about say, Rockwell's wedding license/."

Oh, where to begin, where to begin? Let's keep things simple. No moment in human life is unalloyed; there is always a tincture of comedy in tragedy, a drop of sadness in joy. In schmaltz, it is all one. Hence, in THE WEDDING LICENCE, the tone is purely cute. For a good comparison with a genuine work of art, try having a look at Domenico Ghirlandaio's AN OLD MAN AND HIS GRANDSON. Note how this painting balances the tenderness of the scene with the eponymous old man's grotesque deformity. True art vs schmaltz.

Steve Sailer said...

Tarantino is a painterly director. He finds the single best spot for the camera but then just leaves it there.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Do you honestly think that that's going to hinder Rockwell's rep in the art world?One of the best things that you can do for a creative artist is play up the Gay angle."

That whole meme of depravity and perversion underlying small-town America (small town gentile America, that is) has a pretty long history by now, and yet the cultural elite still likes to push it. Do you think that this is purely accidental? Here's a hint - when was the last time a rabbi was portrayed as a deviant, something routinely done with catholic priests and protestant ministers.

Anonymous said...

Art enthusiasts, like wine enthusiasts, create ingenious defenses of their aesthetics, and they are capable of the finest distinctions. It takes real genius to tell the masses why those distinctions are in any way important to others.
Art criticism is pilpul.

Anonymous said...

If you can't understand why "Breaking Home Ties" is better than "An Old Man and His Grandson" in the eyes of working class Americans, or Americans from the working class, you are not superior, but oblivious to the experiences of your fellow citizens.

Anonymous said...

One reason I can see why an ART critic might be so fond of "An Old Man and His Grandson" is the grandson's index finger is so much longer than his ring finger.

Anonymous said...

"Breaking Home Ties" will never be understood by a cat lover.

Anonymous said...

"Tarantino is a painterly director. He finds the single best spot for the camera but then just leaves it there."

In kill bill?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"One reason I can see why an ART critic might be so fond of "An Old Man and His Grandson" is the grandson's index finger is so much longer than his ring finger."

Pearls before swine.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"If you can't understand why "Breaking Home Ties" is better than "An Old Man and His Grandson" in the eyes of working class Americans, or Americans from the working class, you are not superior, but oblivious to the experiences of your fellow citizens."

Oh, I can understand the appeal of schmaltz; cheap sentimentality is universal in its reach. It just can't make great art.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous:"Art enthusiasts, like wine enthusiasts, create ingenious defenses of their aesthetics, and they are capable of the finest distinctions. It takes real genius to tell the masses why those distinctions are in any way important to others.
Art criticism is pilpul."

Seems to me that anything that recognizes the yawning chasm between Rembrandt and Rockwell is slightly more important than Talmudic logic-chopping.

Anonymous said...



Mr anon:"That whole meme of depravity and perversion underlying small-town America (small town gentile America, that is) has a pretty long history by now, and yet the cultural elite still likes to push it. Do you think that this is purely accidental? Here's a hint - when was the last time a rabbi was portrayed as a deviant, something routinely done with catholic priests and protestant ministers."


And this means what in terms of Rockwell's artistic stature?

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that anything that recognizes the yawning chasm between Rembrandt and Rockwell is slightly more important than Talmudic logic-chopping.

I think Rembrandt would be impressed by Rockwell's technical ability and the way he captured life in a particular era. Perhaps he would have incorporated some of his style. Why are you so afraid of emotional manipulation? Emotions are an undeniable component of the human animal. Are you equating Rockwell with porn? If I'm a philistine because I don't recognize the chasm, so be it. Maybe I'm dense or maybe your not defining the chasm well enough. Tell me, why does Rockwell suck and why is Rembrandt great?

Anonymous said...

Pearls before swine.

I might be swine, but you have to give me some credit for keeping this thread going.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm starting to understand anti-Rockwellism. Rockwell's elevation of the lives of the working class and his varnishing of them with joy, encourages procreation of the lower classes, and that is dysgenic. I must admit most of the lives he depicts suck much more than he lets on - he's hiding a lot.

Oswald Spengler said...

"I think I'm starting to understand anti-Rockwellism. Rockwell's elevation of the lives of the working class and his varnishing of them with joy, encourages procreation of the lower classes, and that is dysgenic. I must admit most of the lives he depicts suck much more than he lets on - he's hiding a lot."

--------------------------------------------------------------------

The reason Rockwell is scorned by the modern left is he championed the wrong (i.e., white) kind of working class people. Our SWPL betters can't have any of that mawkish retrograde nonsense in their multicultural utopia.

Anonymous said...

The reason Rockwell is scorned by the modern left is he championed the wrong (i.e., white) kind of working class people. Our SWPL betters can't have any of that mawkish retrograde nonsense in their multicultural utopia.

Can't argue with that. If he were alive today, painting field workers and doing portraits of Obama (which considering his politics, those would be his subjects), he'd be a genius of realism, scorned only by racists.

Oswald Spengler said...

[i]"Can't argue with that. If he were alive today, painting field workers and doing portraits of Obama (which considering his politics, those would be his subjects), he'd be a genius of realism, scorned only by racists."[/i]

http://joedonatelli.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/andy_thomas_change_obama.jpg

The works would probably resemble some thing like this.