The Adventures of Hergé


As a self-taught artist, Hergé had the truly talented inability to value his rare gifts. He was amazed that something he considered so frivolous should be taken so seriously. He considered his little drawings to be art without wings. His idea of art was something far loftier. Not impressed with his success he tried to become an abstract painter. As abstract art is the art form of the untalented — the artistic equivalent of crochet — naturally he failed. Hysterically he set about collecting modern art — to modern minds a dead giveaway. Miró, Delaunay, Dubuffet, Stella, Rauschenberg, Warhol (whom he knew), Lichtenstein. The list is as long and boring as life itself. He made his last acquisitions dying in his hospital bed. Talk about deadication.

How wrong he was. There is no furniture quite so dull as art. Pictures deface walls more often than they decorate them. And what is a frame but a warning that the wallpaper is not art? As you get older, entertainment soon ceases to be what it is for most bores — a substitute for culture. It is culture that is a substitute — and a poor one — for entertainment.

more from The Spectator here.