Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Rear Guard

If art has an avant-garde, Clement Greenberg once famously said, it must also have a rear guard. That rear guard is kitsch, and its leading practitioner of kitsch in Los Angeles today is J Michael Walker. Above is his sanctifying portrait of Gustavo Dudamel, manipulating the shell of the Hollywood Bowl to outfit The Dude in a mandorla of grace.


Judi Delgado said...

Please familiarize yourself with Mr. Walker's work. I think, taken in context, it might alter your opinion of his Dudamel portrait. His art is definitely not "kitsch", though as the saying goes, "you say that like it's a bad thing" :-)

LBNelson said...

Oh poo on you, Mr. Joseph F. Mailander.

Anonymous said...

You don't seem to get it. What Mr. Walker's work doesn't have is the usual obvious heavy handed irony, deliberate lowbrow (I like some lowbrow- but most "lowbrow" artists try too hard), or the usual overboard on the nose deviant stuff ( I like deviant art, too, but once again too many try too hard) flooding L.A. galleries right now, and hipster art logs like Lost at E Minor. What he does have is nuance, wit, and symbolism, and that has been sorely lacking in the art scene for decades.