Blog Debate Over the Merits of Lynch's Paintings

Discussion of all things David Lynch

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RStandfest
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Blog Debate Over the Merits of Lynch's Paintings

Postby RStandfest » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:32 pm

For those of you interested, who may wish to engage in the conversation, I am currently debating with a New York art blog critic over the merits of Lynch's non-cinema work. This is the sort of spirited conversation I am often searching for on this board, rather than personal problems with shipping and discount and the collectibility of items. So if there is anyone out there, like me, hoping to have a change in discourse, then please visit:

http://www.artfagcity.com/2009/08/18/david-lynch-solo-show-opens-at-griffin-in-santa-monica/#comments

Looking forward to additional commentary.

Cheers.
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RStandfest
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Re: Blog Debate Over the Merits of Lynch's Paintings

Postby RStandfest » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:43 pm

Also, here is a beautiful little video of Lynch at a recent exhibition of his still photography:

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Simbabbad
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Re: Blog Debate Over the Merits of Lynch's Paintings

Postby Simbabbad » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:42 pm

Honestly, I'm afraid this blog doesn't deserve attention. Talking about "weird for weird's sake", picking on "Fire Walk with Me" while pointing the majority of reviews agree with him (not knowing the majority of reviews since changed their mind), suggesting "Lost Highway" is void of meaning, and stopping at "it doesn't look good" to comment on Lynch's paintings... this blog did all the cliche things one says to trash Lynch, pretty much in order. Oh, and making fun of dwarves, he did that, too.

About the subject, I was lucky enough to see an exposition years ago, in Paris. I'll cut and past what I said about it on my site :

--

Back to something like 1998, a David Lynch painting exhibition took place in Paris, while I happened to be in the city (I didn't live in Paris back then). My father, who knew how interested I was in Lynch, told me about it on the phone, so I called a few friends and rushed to take a look at it.

I don't know if you've ever seen Lynch's paintings, but I can tell you digital copies you can see on the Internet don't do them justice. You have to be there, in front of them, to really appreciate how outright disturbing they are.

They look like dead, aborted animals, like something that was created to live but couldn't because it was too weird - a bit like a Frankenstein monster - and their corpses are displayed in front of you. But what actually struck me was the writing. Lynch likes to write the title of his creations on the painting itself, and his handwriting really intrigued me. It looks like a disturbed child's, or some serial killer's who would carve messages on his victims (it actually reminded me of the one from SE7EN's serial killer).

--

... so, yeah, you really have to be there. They really make you ill-at-ease, and you don't have to like Lynch to be receptive to them (most of my friends didn't know him much and they were impressed). As pictures on the web, though, they aren't worth much. They all have volume, Lynch really meant it when he said you could "bite them", so they lose much of their impact as JPG images.
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RStandfest
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Re: Blog Debate Over the Merits of Lynch's Paintings

Postby RStandfest » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:44 pm

Simbabbad:

Yes, I agree-- that blog is pointless. The art world continues to disgust me, as I am a practicing artist and teacher that occasionally comes into contact with it. Particularly in the United States-- there has been a critical and museum-world dismissal of Lynch's non-cinema work. The author(s) of that blog, are very much embedded in the New York art world, and write for the major "taste-making" publications. So my dismay and subsequent attempts to point out their unfounded dismissal of what I think is work well worth taking note of, fruitless as it may be, is a means for me to vent.

I have long wanted to see Lynch's non-cinema work honored in his own country and respected for what it is, but I suspect that this failing has much more to say about what American society feels (or don't feel) about art in general. As an art educator, I am frequently dealing with the low value most place on art. It is true-- the French care a great deal about art and literature and film. I understand why Crumb moved there. I wish I could transplant myself. Sadly, here in the States, everything must be viewed through the sentiments: "Yes, but will it make alot of money? And will it make that money fast?" I so wanted to travel to Paris or Milan for "The Air Is On Fire," but in today's economic climate, the cost was prohibitive. I may still attempt to trek to L.A. to see his recent work, however.

I find it very telling that the Museum of Modern Art in New York, is doing a full-on Tim Burton exhibition of the art he has produced. Burton is much more palatable to the average American audience, not to mention a bigger box-office draw than Lynch. The museums and galleries here are suffering from the need to consider cash flow first, instead of challenging the public with an exhibition along the lines of "The Air Is On Fire."
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gavriloP
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Re: Blog Debate Over the Merits of Lynch's Paintings

Postby gavriloP » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:56 am

I have to say that this is what I miss now that I live in the countryside. When I used to live in town (large by our standards, minuscule to big world) it was so nice to pop in all those nice small galleries that had exhibits from unknown artists, painters photographers, etc. Paintings have to be seen in their original form to truly feel them. Of course images of them are nice but they are not the same. And even if artist isn't so great and famous, you can still enjoy and be moved by their works that are objects of reality.

I haven't seen Lynch's exhibits (definitely will if he'll ever comes near this country) but he is real artist. Not the greatest painter ever but obviously the real deal. I would really like to see more of his photographs. It is just always so that people who are famous from something are belittled when they do something else (even if like in Lynch's case, they were this something else originally). Of course when some rock musician gets to publish poetry just because he is that famous musician it is different thing but this is clearly not the case with Lynch.
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Buck's Student
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Re: Blog Debate Over the Merits of Lynch's Paintings

Postby Buck's Student » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:18 am

What I have seen of David's art is very fascinating, and I don't think it deserves any negative critique from those who have no experience in the realm of art. Of course, everyone's entitled to an opinion, but if you say something outright sucks, you're missing the point.
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Re: Blog Debate Over the Merits of Lynch's Paintings

Postby brokentiny » Fri Nov 13, 2009 5:10 am

RStandfest, your blog is fantastic. It's great you have dedicated a blog site to his non cinema work. Even though it is standalone work, I feel everything crosses over to a degree, his films are just a part of a larger art practice...the fact that they get the most attention notwithstanding. I too am a practicing artist (albeit mainly working with video and sound installation) and part-time teacher at an artschool here in Tasmania, Australia and I too am dismayed by the conservatism shown in my own country towards art. I even get a little worried about how straight-laced the attitudes are from some of the students (mind you they are mainly first years...I'll show them some Vienna Aktionist performance footage and New York Cinema of Transgression and scare the conservatism out of them by the time they complete their degree...;-) )

I've been heavily inspired by Lynch, not really his work per se (though his influence is definitely there), but more his approach, his willingness to experiment and try different things. I genuinely think that contemporary artmaking is about a crossover of ideas, one is not just a painter or a filmmaker of a sound artist. One has the opportunity to all these things and sometimes the lines are blurred. I read a bit of the debate, and short of calling them philistines (which would be as arrogant as ArtFag), it's very short- sited and conservative (which has seemingly sprung from a 'hipper than thou' attitude). Of course the merits of artist's work will be and should be questioned, but this seems generally ignorant.
Keep up the good work.
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