Tag Archives: Daniel Nanavati

Volume 32 no.2 November/December 2017

In This Issue: SPEAKEASY by BERT BISCOE, talks about the relationship between critics and artists. DANIEL NANAVATI, the UK Editor, takes a look at Dwight MacDonald’s seminal essay from 1962, in Against the American Grain, on Masscult and Midcult. J’Accuse Falmouth University We reprint TIM SHAW’S explosive letter of November 2016. The Shocking truth FREA LOCKLEY, our new Cornwall editor and …

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Every Man has the Right to be Stupid

“Every man has the right to be stupid, but Comrade Macdonald abuses the privilege. (attrib to Leon. Trotsky when talking about Dwight MacDonald and often quoted thereafter by MacDonald.)” Mascult and Midcult in “Essays Against the American Grain, Essays on the Effects of Mass Culture” is a classic essay by the American philosopher and political radical Dwight MacDonald, which had …

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Editorial Volume 32 no.2 November/December 2017

The shared symbolic order that defined much of art throughout human history had a lot to do ( some may say everything ) with theology. From Astarte the many breasted fertility goddess of clay, to the Parthenon through to the Sistine Chapel, endless icons and intricate designs in places of worship were the desires of patrons and states and the …

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Keeping an Eye Open – Book Review

“How far does an artist’s individuality develop as a result of pursuing and refining the strengths of his or her talent, and how much from avoiding the weaknesses?” Julian Barnes has written many articles about artists he admires or from whom he has received deep visual experiences. In this volume these previously published essays are brought together in historical sequence …

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The Plight of the Image

Susan Sontag wrote in ‘On Photography’, that everything today exists to end in a photograph. John Berger in Ways of Seeing told us that reproduction had reinforced an agreed canon of images and given us the expectation of what we see and its worth before we see it. Giacometti in his thinned out, sculptured busts brought sculpture near to the …

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A studio by the Sea

The Studio and the Sea, Jessica Warboys Tate, St Ives – 31st March – 3rd September 2017 The Tate St Ives has always harboured a dilemma; how to live up to its remit to have a permanent exhibition of local artists from the St Ives Movement inside its walls. It has never solved this dilemma though it has promised it …

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Death of Damien Hirst in Venice

“Money complicates everything. I have a genuine belief that art is a more powerful currency than money – thats the romantic feeling that an artist has. But you start to have this sneaking feeling that money is more powerful.” (Damien Hirst) “Becoming a brand name is an important part of life. Its the world we live in.” (Damien Hirst) In …

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Judging Art in a post-modern world

If skill is a thing of the past – or at the least has become disassociated from the artist – and there are no standards by which to judge works, where are we left? Too much philosophising can lead thinkers into blind alleys and back tracking is as hard a task as breaking new ground in thought. But a little …

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Romantic Realities

Speculative Realism and British Romanticism by Evan Gottlieb Edinburgh University Press 2016   Speculative Realism was born in 2007 at a conference in Goldsmith College, the same college that gave us the YBA. Gottleib wishes to ally to a grouping of speculative realist philosophers the names of the Romantic poets as a counter-balance to Kant and his followers. Despite his assertion …

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The Dilemma of Patronage

Let us understand what has been happening in our societies for the past fifty years. The decision to try to end the poverty status of many artists and support them with tax payers grants was, at its outset, a noble move. Patronage has always been a two edged sword and for every patron prepared to give Tchaikovsky a home and …

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Johannesburg—A City in the Making

Johannesburg is a city in the making, with all the crime, good intentions and missed opportunities that that entails. But being just 130 years old this year and still in the throws of independence, it gives us a window into how important symbols are to a country, and how those symbols are chosen and how those symbols spring from art. No …

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Death Stalks Damien’s Imagination

Damien Hirst, whose epithets as much as his work, sum up the vacuous heart of the modern age, is curating an exhibition on Hoyland who, much in line Hirst’s predilections for his work, is dead. Death stalks the contemporary imagination perhaps because life in the West gives so much. What celebrities like Hirst dislike about being dead is their complete …

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A Dream Denied

In January 2015 Derek Guthrie arrived back in Cornwall after a gruelling experience in Chicago when the Newt Examiner for the third time in its history experience a coup attempt which, mercifully, failed. Let me tell you a little about the New Art Examiner. The most widely read journal of art criticism outside of New York still used as essential …

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Humans Can Only Create Corrupt Systems

The regular refrain about the art market being overpriced , overblown and an anchor weighing down creativity in our culture won’t go away. Ever. The reason is quite simple and anyone who has researched patronage even briefly, and the monetary system itself will understand: money panders to ego, vanity and power. So can art. The inherent corruption of money is …

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NEWSPEAK

The Emergence of Orwellian NewSpeak in Art ” In the new speculative market, it is often the quality of patronage, not the quality of the art, that determines its initial success.” Words have a history and a definition. Control the definition and you control meaning and by controlling meaning you control what people understand by what you are saying. Control …

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