Friday, October 12, 2007

Whew-hew! I'm going to the Derriere Guard!

What the hell is that? Oh if you only knew. Nothing to do with guarding derrieres (though I am available please send a sample photo first however) . It's about art. The 10th Anniverssary of the original:

Adieu to the Avant-Garde

As the artistic regime shifts, realism, rhyme, and representation make a comback.

Tom Wolfe is holding his audience spellbound with what seems the unlikeliest of stories.

Spotlighted in a bare, black "performance space" deep in downtown Manhattan, Wolfe is evoking the careers of a trio of mostly forgotten 19th-century French painters. The story's certainly entertaining, thanks to Wolfe's talent for such narrative. But what's really interesting is his reason for telling it: Wolfe is here to celebrate the approaching fulfillment of a prophecy of his, and to announce the end of a cultural epoch.

First, though, his story. "Exactly a hundred years ago," Wolfe is saying, "there was a survey taken by a French newspaper--they used to love to take this kind of survey--in which they asked leading French art dealers, critics, curators: Who would be the French artists of the 19th century who would still be the giants of art in the year 1997? By the standards of that day, it was a huge survey. And the results were, number one, Adolphe William Bouguereau; second, Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier; and, third, Léon Gérôme. They were looked upon as the giants."

Short version: It's a cheekily coined 'movement' of Painters that believe you need to know how t draw, Poets that believe poems should rhyme and, perhaps most shocking of all, composers that feel music should have melodies.

Anyway, got on the list to attend the discussions and hear Tom Wolf speak. I hope to get some particularly acidic commentary on Frank Gehry's 'architecture'. Stefania de Kenessey will be there along with some great painters, artists and poets.

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