Arts and Snots

I despise the snottiness and Byzantine pseudo-academic lingo of the art world as much as anyone, I swear I do. I have nothing condescending to say about The Gates. In fact, I think they are marvelous. I read October sometimes, admittedly, but it pains me. Still, the art world is right sometimes. . . .

Some popular art sucks. “The Dancing Butler” by Jack Vettriano is cheesy and the fact that it goes down as being the most expensive Scottish painting sold to date is a slap (even if a small one) in the face of the Scottish Enlightenment. That sounds harsh but, damn it, it’s true. The art world has done well by ostracizing Mr. Vettriano. Populism has its limits.

I would rather be forced to read an entire decade of October magazines (just not the 80s please) than read another sentence along the likes of a Mr. Garrick Saito’s odd and depressing encomium to the forgettable Vettriano:

The Singing Butler has a unique charm, elegance and romanticism that are uniquely Vettriano. People who view this image feel like they are in another world, a world they aspire to be in. It is a world that has no worries, no problems and is the ultimate romantic spot on the planet. Dancing along the beach in a tuxedo and an elegant evening gown, the couple pictured are sheltered from any possibility of rain by a bowler hatted, tuxedo dressed butler holding an umbrella, who serenades them as they dance. This is what the good life is about. Despite the windy and near-rainy conditions, a maid stands by the butler, also holding an umbrella, just in case drizzle turns to rain. You do not see the couple’s faces, but you know what their eyes are saying. They are in love. It’s an unbelievably moving piece.

Yikes, there is no question in my mind that the youth ought to be protected from such opinions. Two further points in the case that Vettiano is dangerous to young and old aesthetiphiles alike.

One, just look at some of his paintings.

Two, just look at him.