04 June 2009

Absolute Brilliance

NYT with an amazing piece about a work of performance art by Icelander Ragnar Kjartansson:
[W]hat anyone who stops by his work space at the palazzo will find, now or over the next six months, is a farcically romantic idea of what the end of the world might look like, at least for an artist: Mr. Kjartansson, standing at an easel day after day, relentlessly painting the portrait of a man who poses before him in a black Speedo, cigarette and beer in hand.

As time passes, the canvases Mr. Kjartansson makes — he plans to complete one a day — will mount up around him, as will the empty bottles and butt-filled ashtrays, all of it a monument to artistic ruin.
I like only the occasional work of performance art - it's one of the easiest mediums in which to become lost in self-indulgence - but this sounds like one of the most brilliant and beautiful performances of which I have heard in some time. I wish I could be in Venice to see it, or get one of the paintings. Alas. Check out the article, though.

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