Just Measure It In Column Inches

The most recent edition of SCENE in the Santa Barbara News Press contains a review of THE LAST NEW CENTURY exhibition written by Josef Woodard. I like Joe. He is a good writer, a good musician, and a tireless promoter and provocateur of music and art in my little community. Even so, his new review left several good-sized welts.

I quote from the man himself:

…the show is a conceptually lubed marshaling of available resources.

Cooper’s paintings here delve into tourist-exotic schtick, with fussy postcard views of a Bangkok temple and the Taj Mahal.

The Mission appears stately, iconic, SMUG and sunwashed.

Okay, all of us are wondering how a building can adopt an attitude of smugness. That bit seems… spicy for the sake of being spicy. The jab at Cooper’s Orientalist paintings is a bit more fair, but it also seems fair to mention that global tourism for the upper middle class was an invention of the period (1880-1920), which would seem to merit inclusion. From today’s perspective, they might be a little schmaltzy, but isn’t a little historical perspective in order? The conceptually lubed marshaling of available resources comment was smart and perceptive; it just stung.

I am very pleased that my show was serious enough to merit a serious review. Thanks Joe.


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