Artist: William Kentridge
Place: Marian Goodman Gallery. London, 2015

 

Still life with drawing pins

–Oscar, tell me what you think about this bodegón (‘still life’ in Spanish, but also ‘cheap restaurant’).
–Bodegón?!
–Well, this naturaleza muerta. (also ‘still life’ in Spanish, but literally, ‘dead nature’).
Naturaleza muerta?! I never use these terms! They remind me of dark oil paintings with dead game animals and glasses of wine on the table. The English term for them is much better, still lifes. Mmm… still lives, or better still, silent lives, especially when they depict flowers.
–Oh, right.
–What I’d say about this work is that I’m very surprised by the scale of it and the technique. It’s a work that’s worth hundreds of thousands of euros, painted with India ink on hundreds of pages of an old encyclopaedia and stuck to the wall with drawing pins. It makes we wonder about such mundane things as how to move it.
–Of course, but this work isn’t intended for hanging on the wall in your house.
–Kentridge’s art, and most contemporary art, is made for art galleries, whether they’re private or public. You can’t imagine these works hanging in your living room. These days people paint for art galleries in the way they used to paint for churches.

Artist: William Kentridge
Place: Marian Goodman Gallery. London, 2015

 


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