Last night I dropped by the opening of the 13 Most Beautiful Avatars exhibition at The Postmasters Gallery in Manhattan. It was the typical hip arty crowd standing around with plastic cups of white wine. It was worth venturing out on an ass cold winter’s night just to chat with Mark Wallace (who tipped me off to the event on his blog) and Jerry Paffendorf of Electric Sheep, who both always seem to have something interesting cooking.
At one point I was looking at one of the portraits when an older gentleman with crazy Einstein hair and bright red corduroy pants came up to me and asked if I liked the exhibit.
"I think it’s quite lovely," I replied.
"Bah, it’s terrible," he scoffed. "Do you really like it?" he asked.
"Yes, the portraits are very beautiful."
"Beautiful? It’s horrible. So artificial!"
I tried to reply to him that all art is artificial, being formed by a human’s meddling into creation. But Einstein was already headed for the door.
5 thoughts on “The 13 most beautiful avatars and Einstein’s critique”
I can’t critique the exhibition, because I wasn’t there, but I imagine if I went I wouldn’t be questioning the artificiality like Einstein. I think I would be questioning who they decided to pick to model, why they picked them, and what made them think they could use the superlative “most beautiful.”
haha I know that Einstein guy. Well, I don’t actually *know* him, but he’s one of a small handful of New York characters that seem to be professional opening-goers. I’ve been seeing them around art openings and parties of similar nature for almost 15 years. It’s funny, though, because sometimes you write them off as crackpots and they turn out to be important gallerists or something. (I have no idea whether Einstein is crackpot or gallerist. I suspect the former.) Anyway, they’re definitely people who took the YouTubean life-as-performance thing seriously way before we were YouTubing it up. In fact, when I was a teenager / grungy 20-something in San Francisco, we used to call them — and those of our friends who looked like they were heading in that direction — “life artists.” Now everyone’s a life artist. Hmmm, I smell a 3pointD post coming on.
And of course a post of my own about this show, even though you beat me to it.
/me shakes fist at Rik’s blog
Good to see you the other night. See you at the meetup!
Vincent, my understanding is that the whole thing is somewhat a meta-critique / wry take on the whole obsession with beauty, artificiality, perfection, etc.
Mark, that Einstein guy also appears at public dance events like at Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Museum. He does his own freestyle groove in a corner by himself.
Just part of the wonderful weirdness that is New York.
Oh, I gotta go to this – this is nutty.