Thursday, July 9, 2009

Examining the Navel

So here is some good news. My show got a really nice write up (so I am told) in Le MOnde.
The big newspaper in Paris. I think that I have translated the review well enough to say that the guy really liked my work. It is funny but I have this friend here in New York who often writes reviews for the New York Times and I have been having a little back-and-forth regarding my show and Paris and the Art World, etc recently. I don't want to read to into things and take things too personally but sometimes the tone of the emails that I have gotten have been on the defensive and putting down the French and Paris in some attempt to maybe temper my enthusiasm. Or maybe this was just
banter and I am taking things personally when they are not meant to be that way.
But in an attempt to understand things better on my own I am going to share the final back-and-forth here because it really revealed things to me that maybe I should have known, or did already know and didn't want to think to much about...
I will pick it up in the middle ...
Here goes:

SUBJECT: Nice Review

There are probably fewer galleries to cover in
Paris, and I would imagine that art reviews also
get a bigger percentage of their daily paper?
Just a guess. But NYC, where there are
probably around 800 galleries (just a guess
but a slightly educated one) things are spread more thinly.

I always thought the house was just to look cool,
but also to amplify the sense of danger.

[reference to the North by Northwest mention in my review]

SUBJECT: Re: Nice Review

I just think it is funny, after all of my hard work, to finally get some
nice words of praise in the paper of record (of France) and
too not even be able to read the article because I don't speak the language.
I think it is great irony,


SUBJECT Re. Re: Nice Revie

That is funny! I never even thought of it that
way. You can use it in future. The book looks
great, by the way [SNAKE OIL]

I think it's always hard when work is funny or
appears to be light for people to see its
essential gravitas. I feel it's often a problem
for me, for instance. But it will all come out
in the wash, as your career is obviously building
in a very good way.

The book looks great, by the way!

Best -

Anyway- I always thought that humor was the strength of my work...not its weakness.

I hope that my friend is not offended that I used the transcripts here, but it was really to reveal things more clearly for me. But if so- Se la vie - as the French say.
Or was that the Italians?


leigh waldron-taylor said...

I think for some American artists Europeans get them better than the Americans do. And, of course, this is a funny time for American newspaper critics intent on maintaining the American intellectual hegemony...I say this lovingly as I would of an elderly aunt I loved dearly.

david kramer said...

Thanks for that.
I have a friend who has been trumpeting
me as a Jerry Lewis -type figure who
will so much more popular in France than
ever in my own back yard. I cringe when I hear this.
But worse things could happen....