Queensland Art Gallery – The Ugly

November 23, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, TRAVEL, Ulalume |

November 2021 In liquid heat TVC hit the street and made their way to the Art Array. We are pleased to report there is much good to be found here (of which more in a forthcoming post) but there is also a selection of work that can be kindly called comic (except by Queensland taxpayers).  A sample below: The above work, signed by Ian Di-Jirus, c/- ‘The Lucky Country’, invites the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China to enter into a Treaty. But before treaties, first we have to have a war… One recalls Peter Garrett‘s comment: “[much] contemporary…

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This Thing Has No Heart

July 27, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Ulalume |

Statue of Lady Diana, Kensington Palace, England, unveiled 1 July, 2021 Move over, Robert Jacobsen: the title of Worst Sculptor in the World now passes to Ian Rank-Broadley, whose repulsive statue of Diana Spencer is scaring people. Stiff, awkward, vapid, completely lustreless, uncomfortably masculine and soapy in texture, the hulking, virtually generic Princess stands, surrounded by three kiddies, one lurking behind her recalling the artful dodger. She is wearing something from a discount couturière and has the casual indifference of smooth bronze. It is kitsch enough to be by Jeff Koons. Great sculpture entails inserting heart into stone or metal:…

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This is a Robbery

April 22, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Documentary, FILM, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

(The World’s Biggest Art Heist) (Directed by Colin Barnicle) (Netflix, 2021) The documentary tells (at Dickensian length) an intriguing story: how in 1990 two men dressed as Boston police officers were admitted to the elegant and boutique Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, in dead of night, tied up the two slipshod guards and stuck them in a basement area, and helped themselves, in a leisurely fashion, to 13 artworks, several of them priceless (to use an old cliché). SPOILER ALERT: We have to plough through 4 episodes to learn that, $10m reward notwithstanding, the works have not been recovered, nor anyone…

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Art Deco

April 15, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, HISTORY, LIFE, PETER'S WRITING |

What a Waste The Burial of Art Deco (With apologies to T. S. Eliot) Art Deco is the cruellest style, breeding High tech out of a dead hand, mixing Memory and elegance, stirring Dull wood with sprightly lacquer. Opulence kept us warm, covering Earth in sleek geometric stylized forms, A magpie greed with décoratifs. Le Corbusier surprised us, waging war on decor* With its many forms and guises; we stopped in the colonnade, And went on in sunlight, into midtown Manhattan And drank coffee, and talked for an hour. “The elegant display of surplus labour in privileged objects.”** And when…

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Much More Than Scenery

April 9, 2021 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | ART, Non-Fiction, THUMBNAIL REVIEWS |

Landscapes of South Australia by Alex Frayne (2020) The Varnished Culture has hitherto grudgingly conceded photography as an art; this sumptuous volume has fully convinced us. Over 200 pages of beautiful photographic plates, in brilliant, vibrant tints or tasteful, crisp black-and-white, this is a book for a bedside table, not a coffee table. If one is fortunate to live in South Australia, it fires the imagination and galvanizes the traveller to breathe the immense and often desolate beauty of the State, especially in these days of border-hopping restrictions; for those of us who regard camping as akin to a root…

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