Saturday, September 13, 2014

Dan Colen: Miracle Paintings. Gagosian Gallery

Danny Boy Colen is back and this time he's brought a series of dreadful paintings to push on us. I usually don’t like to heap scorn on another artist or their art, after all we are all brothers and sisters under the gesso, but this current show of his bleak and weak paintings at the Gagosian Gallery that he unbelievably calls “miracle paintings” seems to me to warrant if not red hot scorn then certainly a large amount of dislike. I’ve come to expect very little from this artist (I even hate to use this term with him) especially after his last outing at this space a few years back,but seeing these vapid paintings that he based on stills from the Walt Disney classic “Fantasia” lowers my opinion of him even more. The only miracles about these dour works is that they are being shown at all, and that stupid collectors are paying big bucks for them.Now that is a miracle. Who would want to live with so much nothingness? These are not exciting or inspiring works that can fill a room or a life with joy and insights about the mysteries of art, they just hang there, big and stupid. Their dull surfaces or skins show no feeling or connection to the paint or the act of painting and in fact are an insult to all the terrific painters and artists who struggle each day not only with their art but with the terrors of making a living to pay the rent and continue to make their art. Colen has it made, and maybe that's part of my anger and hostility towards him, that a talentless (and yes I think he is talentless) artist can get this much attention, recognition and buckets of money for this garbage then what is left? and what does this say about a system that rewards such mediocrity. Listen if these dreadful paintings were not being shown at this well touted gallery they would pass unnoticed on their way to the dustbin of art history where they belong. Now my day is Chelsea was not a complete waste, and I did see some good and even wonderful shows, but I think I'll say them for another day.


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