June 4, 2011

Scott Walker replaces artwork in the Governor's mansion — a painting of 3 children of different races, blowing soap bubbles.

And the artist, one David Lenz, is "deeply disappointed":
"This seems symbolic," said Lenz, referring to Walker's proposed cuts in state funding for Milwaukee schools and city and county services, something he said would have a disproportionate impact on low-income youngsters. "You would think we could all agree on the need to support the hopes and dreams of children."
See, I think we could all agree that Lenz's painting is atrocious and that this seems symbolic of nothing more nefarious than good taste. But the linked article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is insinuating that Walker is a racist and doesn't care about children. Can you imagine having that maudlin nonsense hanging over your mantle and feeling like you can't get rid of it without people thinking you're a terrible person?

Here's another Lenz work, the portrait of Eunice Shriver referred to in the article.

142 comments:

GMay said...

"You would think we could all agree on the need to support the hopes and dreams of children."

This sort of standard leftist pablum is vomit inducing at this point.

Curious George said...

"Shame! Shame! Shame!"

I got that right...right?

Today at Metcalfe's in Tosa they were giving away a free J-S. This is a good example of why I said "no".

wfgodbold said...

I don't think I've ever seen a painting in the uncanny valley before.

Synova said...

I clicked on the link, saw the photo that accompanied the article, did a double-take and realized... oh, is that the painting?

It's nice enough, I suppose. But it looks like a stock photo for a magazine.

I wouldn't hang it on my wall (though it's nice enough, like I said) because they aren't my kids. You put something like that on your wall when it's of your own kids.

And really... when you move into someone elses house, you shouldn't have to keep their decorating choices.

I suppose that Obama didn't need to keep the bust of Churchill either, but I'm guessing that this painting isn't going to be returned to the artist.

ic said...

No accounting for tastes.

Palladian said...

Wonderful examples of photography's terrible effect on the art of painting.

Wretched, sickening stuff, although it's just the sort of thing that so-called "traditionalist conservatives" would love if it was Ronald Reagan on a horse instead of the death mask of Eunice Shriver. You know, 'cause it's "realistic".

If reality ever begins to look like what gets passed off as realism, I'm checking out early.

Seven Machos said...

First they came for the ultra-realist painting of children painting with bubbles in the snow, and I didn't speak out...

Seven Machos said...

Palladian -- I was actually going to go the way you went with your comment. I agree that photography has had a terrible effect on the art of painting. But we probably go off on some wildly different tangents from there.

Have you ever read The Painted Word by Tom Wolfe?

deborah said...

A comment from the first page:

"Why are the kids playing with bubbles in the middle of winter? Is that even
possible???"

I'm not crazy about the composition, but the hyperrealism style blows me away.

Palladian said...

Actually, David Lenz's bubble painting is wonderfully symbolic of the pointlessness and waste inherent in so many civil service jobs: take a maudlin stock photograph of carefully "racially mixed" children. Spend hundreds of hours tediously copying the photograph in paint. End up with a maudlin painting that looks slightly less good than the unremarkable photograph it was based upon. Sell to government.

Seven Machos said...

Agreed about the maudlin nature of the work. Couldn't the government save money by buying up those Thomas Kincaid paintings?

Palladian said...

I've never read the Wolfe book, Seven. I've been wary of his take on art and aesthetics since I read "From Bauhaus to Our House".

ic said...

Looks like a photo projected on a canvas, then the so-called artist traced the image and filled in the color. Not much artistic value in that piece of "art".

Geoff Matthews said...

Uncanny valley is right. It sure looks like a photograph.
However, I kind of like it. Not like-it-enough-to-buy-it, but I do like it.
Still doesn't mean Walkers a racist.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann, while I'll agree the artist's political bullshit is sickening, you're still fighting that Norman Rockwell battle, and it's one you can't win:

First of all, if those are paintings, they're damned good. Look at those bubbles! The sense of realism, is,...well, shocking. I had to look hard to tell if it wasn't a photo (I still can't) and would love to see it close-up, to get a sense of his technique. That guy is amazing. And the painting is sweet. For the life of me, I can't fathom why your video, today, of "wholesome" activities in Madison is O.K. but this isn't.

Second, he's definitely capable of being "edgey," because the Shriver portrait is wicked in it's depiction. I know we're supposed to think of her compassion, but - honestly - that's a picture of a bunch of retards and the oldest one's insane. Is she looking at that kid because she loves him - or because she wants to eat his brains? I really don't know. I also don't know if the artist was trying to be subversive, but that's how it struck me. If I was a Kennedy/Shriver, I'd buy it just so it'll never be seen again.

I know you have a knee-jerk reaction to corn/cheese/kitsch, but, as I've told you, that's (partially) who we are. Get over it - but, more importantly, broaden your horizons, baby:

I still have your rose photos just because they're pretty - and I also like this.

Both - all - expressions are valid if done well.

Lem said...

We were self-taught in the sixties to award ourselves merit for membership in a superior group–irrespective of our group’s accomplishments. We continue to do so, irrespective of accomplishments, individual or communal, having told each other we were special. We learned that all one need do is refrain from trusting anybody over thirty; that all people are alike, and to judge their behavior was “judgmental”; that property is theft. As we did not investigate these assertions or their implications, we could not act upon them and felt no need to do so. For we were the culmination of history, superior to all those misguided who had come before, which is to say all humanity.

That pic the professor linked to is an homage to socialism.. plain and simple.

I don't blame the governor for filling uncomfortable.. it was the gad&8;m socialist policies, before his tenure, that got the finance of the State in the mess he found it in.

Good..

Lem said...

oh.. that quote is from David Mamet's book The Secret Knowledge On the Dismantling of American Culture.

A former liberal found the light.

Ann Althouse said...

"For the life of me, I can't fathom why your video, today, of "wholesome" activities in Madison is O.K. but this isn't."

I'm not saying This Is Art about my video. It's just a couple vignettes of things we encountered today, presented simply and as they were, to be seen briefly, not enshrined.

"Second, he's definitely capable of being "edgey," because the Shriver portrait is wicked in it's depiction."

I agree that the Shriver thing is a whole hell of a lot better than the interracial bubbles.

"I know we're supposed to think of her compassion, but - honestly - that's a picture of a bunch of retards and the oldest one's insane. Is she looking at that kid because she loves him - or because she wants to eat his brains? I really don't know. I also don't know if the artist was trying to be subversive, but that's how it struck me."

I think he was trying to depict love and hope, and the edgy stuff just happened.

Palladian said...

"I'm not crazy about the composition, but the hyperrealism style blows me away."

But it doesn't look like reality, it looks like a photograph. Totally different things.

These kind of paintings are relatively easy to do, but incredibly tedious and completely pointless. Why make a painting that looks like a photograph? What's the point? They do tend to impress people, the way that shiny things impress certain birds.

And Crack MC. But we already knew he was easily impress't.

Seven Machos said...

Well, The Painted Word is exactly the same as From Bauhaus..., so you won't like it.

Of course, I think From Bauhaus... is utterly brilliant. I happen to live very close to the famous four big black apartment buildings that Mies Van der Rohe designed. They're nice enough. A younger me that could be rich and carefree then would even consider living there. The interesting thing is that Mies lived in the building next to the one where I live now, which happens to be an old, pre-war, gorgeous, smaller co-op that with an opulently ornate facade and all manner of frill in its lobby. There's a little sign out on the street there that explains it all.

I always found this curious fact very telling.

Also, by the by, this building is now vacant and Northwestern wants to tear it down. But, naturally, the preservationists are making a stink. Thoughts?

David said...

Walker screwed up.

He should have sent it to Obama for display at the White House.

Palladian said...

"Why make a painting that looks like a photograph? What's the point?"

And if you're going to make paintings that look like photographs, at least do it as an investigation of the relationship between the two media, the way Gerhard Richter has for decades.

But then, why bother, since Richter has already done it to death?

Of course, there's money in it, so that's a good reason.

David said...

Is she looking at that kid because she loves him - or because she wants to eat his brains?

Or because she realizes it's one of Jack's kids . . . .

Titus said...

Oh Please, once Walker sucks out some immigrants pussy we all won't care.

Just wait, some third world hungry pussy will catch his attention and then we will all be ok.

Just relax.. you bunch of whores.

And Synova, could anyone type so much and say so little? I think not.

Just spread your legs whore and shut the hell up.

The Crack Emcee said...

Considering his politics, I think you're right, but shit, love and hope - like hope and change - are scary.

Synova said...

"Couldn't the government save money by buying up those Thomas Kincaid paintings?"

Thomas Kincaid makes people happy. :-)

I'm not going to dis' that, but I'm not going to buy his calendars either. Somehow I seem to always be able to get free calendars with pictures of sushi on them.

Seven Machos said...

I want to play devil's advocate here for just a second. I'm not really impressed with the painting, as I agree with Palladian that there is no joy or value in its creation. However, so much ostensibly great contemporary photography is just inane.

I saw a photograph at the Museum of Contemporary Art here in Chicago or a Barbie doll posed in a compromising sexual position with a Pink Panther figurine. It was well done and I liked it. But, I mean, come on. Really? Is that what any sort of crowning artistic achievement that a great museum pays money for?

Chip Ahoy said...

The DMV has a wall of b&w photographs. One is a wonderful photograph of two boys tearing facross the light rail tracks toward the camera. There is a light rail train in the background gaining on them. One wrong move and >>splat<<.

Synova said...

I am extremely careful to do nothing to attract that sort of attention, and I don't think it's funny.

deborah said...

I don't know, Palladian, the way you put it does make me think, but it is still amazing...but I'm just a bird brain :)

It's a puzzle...is painstakingly copying a photograph true art or a waste of time?

Skyler said...

I'm fascinated by the seemingly new interest in realistic art. Though the Shriver painting is hideous, and the bubbles painting is indistinguishable from a photograph. I'm not sure what artistic merit is supposed to be in either one, but I confess that I've never understood the claims of modern artists.

Personally, I'd hate to have those faces, in either painting, continuously staring at me in my home.

Titus said...

Synova needs to get fucked really hard and really fast before she explodes.

Seven Machos said...

Titus -- Only pick on the people who enjoy it. I'm here. Pick on me. Make jokes about my ass.

bagoh20 said...

I think that stuff is called "surrealism."

Titus said...

Seven, but I love you.

Chip S. said...

The link to the other piece by Lenz is to a photograph of a painting that reproduces a photograph. Nice.

Palladian said...

"I always found this curious fact very telling."

Maybe, maybe not. A lot of artists, including me, don't have their own work hanging around their living spaces. After spending all my time in the studio with it, I like a break when I'm off duty. On the other hand, architects are usually completely, ego-manically self-involved, so they often like to live in their own buildings.

My problem with "From Bauhaus To Our House" was that it was basically just an amazingly-written rant, and in the end promoted terrible things as an alternative to modernism: John Portman? Morris Lapidus? Philip Johnson? No, thanks. I do think that he was right, not so much about the originators and best practitioners of Modernist architecture, but what they wrought among successive generations and how the misuse of their ideas completely defaced cities around the world.

As for the former Prentice Women's Hospital building, I think that's actually exactly the kind of thing that Wolfe approved of in "From Bauhaus..."; quirky, idiosyncratic defacement of high modernism. Personally, I'd rather keep it than live with the inevitably horrible thing that will be built in its place.

Lem said...

Obama renovated the Oval, same as other presidents b4 him.. I don't recall any racial connotations attached to it.

This is the kind of BS that is not helpful. People hear/read this kind of BS and when a real racial thing comes along they dismiss it.. because they can no longer trust their own instinct.. like that video transfer to DVD kid that got some suspicious looking video from a Muslim looking man and did not report it for fear he might be labeled a racist.

PatCA said...

"You would think we could all agree on the need to support the hopes and dreams of children."

No, I would think that their parents need to support the hopes and dreams of their children.

Palladian said...

"Thomas Kincaid makes people happy. :-)"

Odd. He makes me homicidal.

deborah: nothing personal intended in my comment :) I tend to ignore collateral damage when I'm talking art.

Lem said...

Titus and Synova should get together and have Trooper officiate..

I'm just saying ;)

Seven Machos said...

Palladian -- Fascinating. Because at the end of The Painted Word, Wolfe advocates for this exact kind of realism and it's kind of underwhelming after the utterly brilliant deconstruction of modernism that precedes it.

My take on Bauhaus, as I remember it, was that Wolfe was advocating for a return to the kind of architecture that people -- real schmucks -- actually want to live in, work in, and look at.

deborah said...

None taken at all, Pall. You just make me question why I like it, which is a good thing.

Seven Machos said...

I love you, too, Titus. I will think of you my next dump, but glowingly and in a good way.

bagoh20 said...

Titus should stick to stuff he knows something about. I understand that he's quite fascinated by his own shit.

Seven Machos said...

Titus knows a lot. He's very funny -- the funniest guy here next to Trooper when he's rolling.

But I feel sort of bad for Synova because this particular line is not something I think she would find humorous.

But who the fuck am I to officiate? -- and I am done now.

Palladian said...

Seven, the reason Modernism (and later, post-Modernism) took the world by storm was something that I wish Wolfe had gone into. It wasn't the strength of Modernist ideas that caught on, it was the fact that diluted Modernism was cheap to build. The beautiful buildings of the past that people (including myself) like so much, could never be built today; they're too expensive and time-consuming. But, strangely enough, the great modernist's buildings would also be nearly un-buildable today. Mies' buildings were incredibly expensive to build. The "Seagram" building is faced with bronze i-beams.

Beauty is usually expensive and time-consuming, both anathema to today's developers.

Coketown said...

Holy shit. At first I thought it was a high dynamic range photograph. Upon closer inspection it looks like robot-children of the Uncanny Valley. Perfectly atrocious no matter what the medium.

And who plays with bubbles during winter? That's a spring activity. Frolicking gaily in open fields. In winter time, the children's fingers will freeze. Well, they'll all be the same color: blue. Maybe that's the message? Pursue actions that make everyone the same color.

The Hispanic model is ugly.

Why is the white model's face obscured by a bubble? Symbolism?

Little black girl of course has beaded hair. So typical. I'm sure he contemplated putting her in a dashiki.

I am appalled at every aspect of this painting.

Synova said...

"Odd. He [Kincaid] makes me homicidal."

I wouldn't put his stuff up on my walls either.

Nor those Anne Geddes things. Which are very cute.

But many people like them very much, and I decided I was okay with that.

Palladian said...

I don't find the discussion and display of shit very interesting, inventive or amusing, and I'm constantly surprised how many seemingly intelligent people seem to think shit-producers are the cat's meow. For some reason you can get incredible accolades and achieve great success by producing shit and pretending you're serious. Shit-producers can even get away with saying terrible things in public and the powers that be seem to excuse this boorish and grotesque behavior just because they're enchanted with their shit. I put it down to the debasement of taste and aesthetics since the 1960s.

I'm talking about Lenz, his work, and his comments about Walker's politics, of course. I suppose, however, you could apply my comment to other producers of totally overrated shit.

Ralph L said...

In a drawing class I took 20 years ago, the instructor said it always turns out "flat" if you work from a photograph, and I see, with all his technique, she was right.

Seven Machos said...

Palladian -- One of the most striking things I remember about the book was Wolfe pointing out the horrific circular reasoning of modernists. He said it better than I will (I tried to google it). Basically, modern architects didn't design intricacies that require craftsmanship into their work (that was the point of the enterprise, for many reasons, not all economic), and they couldn't hire those guys anyway, because they weren't available. But they weren't available because nobody was hiring them.

This Great Decession notwithstanding, I see a lot of acceptable architecture these days. I am optimistic for the future.

bagoh20 said...

"Titus knows a lot. He's very funny ..."

and an asshole.

Too bad.

Coketown said...

I suppose, however, you could apply my comment to other producers of totally overrated shit.

Gertrude Stein.

Palladian said...

It's funny, because someone like Louis Sullivan was making extensive use of money- and labor-saving devices and techniques in his buildings, such as using cast ornaments rather than carving. But even this sort of economy-ornamentation is too expensive these days.

Building regulations have also caused a lot of concession to ugliness.

bagoh20 said...

I'm impressed by any work that I myself cannot imagine accomplishing which is a low bar.

I wouldn't buy or hang the Lenz works, but I wish I could paint them. I would do something different with that talent. It seems he's wasting it.

Likewise, I would say nice things to Synova or any other woman who has done me no harm if I had any measure of talent, humor or knowledge. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

jja1961 said...

Can anyone here explain what part of the 'bubble pic' is painted? Most of it looks like a photo to me, right down to the gradual loss of 'depth of field' as you move further down the street.

wv: trigr - Roy Roger's horse, or what you squeeze to discharge your weapon (is that how this works?)

Quaestor said...

Althouse wrote: I think he was trying to depict love and hope, and the edgy stuff just happened.

Yeah, that's a suitably grandiose, grandiloquent, and narcissistic theme for post-modern art. Artists like Lenz can't be bothered with mere aesthetics. They're interested in one thing only -- propaganda

What the hell are these freaks doing anyway, standing on a Cape Cod beach appreciating the wind-generator-free vista?

Quaestor said...

jja1961 wrote: wv: trigr - Roy Roger's horse, or what you squeeze to discharge your weapon (is that how this works?)

Yeah, sorta... But the point is to be less than obvious. If the usage isn't funny in an absurdist sense, or pointed ironic in the context of the subject, we're discussing we usually let it slide,

Roy Lofquist said...

F**k the artistes.

Sideways.

With a halibut.

If they are "misinterpreted" then they are damned poor artists. Go post comments at various sites I could name.

Madame Althouse particulalry excepted.

I am a great admirer of Bob Dylan. You may or may not be. But the one thing he has said throughout his whole career is that he wrote what he wrote and sang what he sang and make of it what you choose.

Lot of John Wayne there for the discerning.

Ralph L said...

I never wear pearls at the beach--it's so tacky, and you never know when the oysters will attack.

fatass said...

well i don't know much about art. but that wasn't it. man the old broad looked like a zombie and the kid she was leering at looked as old as she did. i'd have burned the ugly thing.

d-day said...

Takeaway from the article:

The Smithsonian suffers an excess of funds.

Bruce Hayden said...

Titus knows a lot. He's very funny -- the funniest guy here next to Trooper when he's rolling.

Not to disagree, but that one post from Crack tonight had me rolling.

murgatroyd666 said...

What a surprise! An artist is telling the news media that if you don't give unqualified praise to his work you're a racist who wants to crush the dreams of little children. I'm trying to think of when the last time was that I heard anything so self-serving.

Oh, I remember when that was. The speaker was using a TelePrompTer.

Walker should have sent Lenz's painting to the library along with something really good.

Maybe we can get Wisconsin's wise lawmakers to hang Robert Mapplethorpe's "Self-Portrait with Bullwhip" in the Capitol Rotunda. Seems appropriate, somehow.

Joanna said...

I think he was trying to depict love and hope, and the edgy stuff just happened.

Seriously? That one terrifies me. It looks like a Stephen King story in the making.

The Crack Emcee said...

Well I liked 'em both, for the reasons stated above, and because of the time and talent that went into creating them. Do you guys realize how long it takes to not only hone a craft but to develop a technique? We're talking years! It's easy to look at something, like this, and say "I don't like it" without appreciating that.

Not to pick on Ann but I've seen her sketches/doodles, and her photographs, but those activities don't take the religious-like devotion to a skill that goes into creating works like these. Ann shows talent, but she hasn't developed it into anything beyond doodling and point-and-shoot. She's got a good eye, obviously, but that's where art starts - it's not the culmination of the practice.

You guys can claim Lenz "just" laid a photo over a canvas and copied it (which I seriously doubt, but let's say you're right) I still want to see you do it and what kind of results you get.

I bet you'd have a lot more respect once you found out.

Seven Machos said...

Crack -- Althouse has an art degree.

The Crack Emcee said...

More:

Creating those bubbles - alone - had to be a motherfucker. I'm talking a nightmare.

Also, for those that asked about the purpose of photo-realism, it was the opposite trend to Picasso's deconstructions, and the whole paint splatter thing of the 50s, starting with David Hockney's realistic L.A. landscape paintings of homes with swimming pools, etc., and moving forward from there. Lenz (great name for photo-realism) is in the digital age, and it shows - to the point of creepiness. Which is as good a reason for Walker not to want them, as any, I guess.

That doesn't imply they're bad. Just that the results - as well as Lenz's style - are cold.

The Crack Emcee said...

7M,

Crack -- Althouse has an art degree.

Well, I'd like to see something to justify it. I once got an "A" for bringing a trash can full of garbage to class. The assignment:

Find 50 things in nature and arrange them so they stand upright.

I was sitting there thinking, "you've GOT to be kidding." After the trash can episode -which pissed the other students off to no end because they worked so hard - the instructor got a clue and introduced me to sculpture.

FedkaTheConvict said...

This seems symbolic," said Lenz, referring to Walker's proposed cuts in state funding for Milwaukee schools and city and county services,

Oh I see... Walker isn't making across the board cuts; he's just cutting funds for Milwaukee. Racist.

On the other hand Jim Doyle is sainted because he was a Peace Corps volunteer and he adopted two black sons. Nevermind the fact that he screwed up the state's finances.

FedkaTheConvict said...

Some of the posters on a Retouching forum I frequent have mastered "Smudge" painting. The technique involves using Photoshop's Smudge Tool and some custom brushes to transform photos into paintings.

Check out Scott Deardoff's work: http://www.pbase.com/sdfp/root

Erik said...

Holy shit, that's the worst artwork I've seen in a very long time. I've seen more interesting work done by children.

edutcher said...

Perhaps if we saw the painting of Old Abe...

Unless, of course, it looks just like the 101st Airborne patch.

This is one of those things that incoming Chief Executives get to do. Making a big deal out of it is something that would happen when Reagan was POTUS.

Or in a Palin administration.

Robert Cook said...

"This sort of standard leftist pablum is vomit inducing at this point."

It is pretty awful stuff, but I associate such sentimental pictures of children in heart warming scenes of cozy America with religious conservatives and Republicans. If the subjects in these pictures not intended so obviously to convey a "we are the world" sort of feel-good unity of all peoples cosmopolitanism, but instead were a more customary scene of a smiling small town family at dinner together, or praying (at dinner or in a church), I'd bet Ryan would have kept it.

AllenS said...

My 1980 Jeep frame has been sandblasted, primed and painted a gloss white. Yesterday, I put on the rear axle, which also had been sandblasted, primed and painted the same color. Along with the 2 new shocks, it looks beautiful. And that my friends, is art. Functional art.

RuyDiaz said...

Can you imagine having that maudlin nonsense hanging over your mantle and feeling like you can't get rid of it without people thinking you're a terrible person?

In its next investigation, the Journal will find out that Gov. Walker eats whites-only omelets--also evidence of racism.

yashu said...

Wow, that is one ugly painting. Repellent, even. I like Norman Rockwell, so what repels me isn't corniness per se. And I really like Robert Bechtle, so what I dislike isn't photorealism per se. (But then, what I like about Bechtle-- something like, the way it captures the poignancy of the ordinary-- for me links it more with e.g. Edward Hopper, whom I love & adore, than anything I see in 99.999% of photorealist art.) That painting is just, yuck.

The lefty criticism directed at Walker over this is so revealing-- it shows that what much of the ostensibly sophisticated left (as opposed to the ostensibly philistine right) values & judges in art is *not* art, what makes art art, at all. But rather, the utterly un-artistic matter of politically correct content. (Of course, much of the right has its own misguided issues in valuing & judging art. But at least they're less hypocritical about it. Maybe.)

The debate between Palladian & Crack (re whether the painstaking effort/ technique displayed here is tedious & empty vs. impressive & artistic, by virtue of the craftsmanship involved) reminds me of a documentary I saw a couple years ago, which explores this very theme: "Waiting for Hockney," about the artist Billy Pappas, who devoted a decade of his life to a single drawing, based on a photograph of Marilyn Monroe, hoping to impress his artistic idol, David Hockney. As a documentary, I particularly liked that (as far as I remember) it wasn't tendentious one way or the other; it lets the viewer judge & come to his/her own conclusions regarding the artistic merit of Pappas's art. In the case of that Lenz painting, I side with Palladian. In the case of the movie, I side with (SPOILER) Hockney, who (SPOILER) wasn't impressed.

The Pagan Temple said...

Walker should commission a painting of leftist union thugs busting windows and pushing little old ladies down on the sidewalk. They could call the painting "Paid Vacations".

Freeman Hunt said...

Both paintings are grotesque.

The Shriver one reminds me of The Langoliers.

In 2005, the state Executive Residence Foundation began commissioning paintings by Wisconsin artists on subjects intended to remind state leaders of the people they represent. Milwaukee-area businessman Richard Pieper and his wife, Suzanne, fund the project.

...

Even so, Pieper said he saw nothing symbolic in Walker's decision to remove the painting, saying the suggestion was "fecal matter." The businessman gave $9,800 to Walker's campaign fund during the last gubernatorial campaign and $4,800 to his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Alex Ignatiev said...

I guess this is low watermark of socialist painting- a sort of gutless Thomas Kinkaid.

J said...

the Amazing Cracki--a sensitive, Ahht guy! wow. who woulda thunk it.

Lenz does have a fairly impressive technique but it is Walker's house, and he could hang up Bud posters if he wanted to--the point is to change the system, where Walkers (or George Walker Bushes) can't be put in those big governmental houses.

RuyDiaz said...

[...]the point is to change the system, where Walkers (or George Walker Bushes) can't be put in those big governmental houses.

A system where Walker or GWB could not 'be put' in those governmental houses.... Let's see, what would that be.... I know! Totalitarianism.

Onward comrades! Victory is at hand. (*J locks hand and sings The Interantional*)

RuyDiaz said...

Both paintings are grotesque.

The first painting looks like it could overwhelm whichever room you place it in. A stern lecture in visual form.

J said...

non sequitur of the morning, from Ruy Lopez.

Hegel or Marx are a bit beyond you, but Madison and Jefferson themselves wanted capable, well-educated statesmen--ie not just frat boys who passed a few biz admin courses (ie Walkers, Ryans, Boners, etc). Or salmon fisher-gals.

Then, why argue with Alt-tards? Best to just hold up a cross--the power of Khrust compels thee

RuyDiaz said...

non sequitur of the morning, from Ruy Lopez.

No, I'm just following your 'thought' (emoting, really), to its logical conclusion. I belive that's called

You want to 'change the system' to make impossible ('can't be put'), for a Walker or GWB become Governor. The only way for that to happen is to institute totalitarian controls. Hence, your emoting was moronic.

By the way, you never told me about the 'Ruy Diaz' opening. What's the first move, i4?

RuyDiaz said...

Above: 'I believe that's called Reductio ad Absurdum'

Google must be hungry today.

Freeman Hunt said...

Lenz has other paintings that are much better than these two. I would be annoyed if I were an artist and two of my worst works were dominating the news about me.

The Pagan Temple said...

Madison and Jefferson themselves wanted capable, well-educated statesmen-

They also wanted the voting franchise limited to property owners. Since the franchise has been extended well beyond those parameters, its only right to have our public servants (hint, hint) be an actual reflection of the voters, albeit through individuals with proven leadership abilities and real-world skills.

What's wrong with that? I thought you leftist scum wanted our public elected and appointed officials to "look like America".

J said...

7: 59.

Some statist/bureaucratic procedures are not necessarily totalitarian--ie, medical boards for doctors, bar exams for shysters, er laywers. So maybe PhDs or JDs for governors or senators, or at least a real degree--not Walker or Boner's ACME accounting courses. So..it was a non sequitur on your part, and emotivist. Then, you don't know what Ruy Lopez is, so, like why bother.

The power of Khrust compels thee

Ralph L said...

The Interantional
Was that intentional? A little hard to pronounce, but appropriate.

Freeman Hunt said...

So maybe PhDs or JDs for governors or senators

LOL

That's the ticket!

RuyDiaz said...

I have adult stuff to do, so I cannot play 'poke the troll' much longer. So I leave by posting J's theme song:

Right Said Fred

J said...

Scum? You're thinking of your mother, perhaps, Pagan temple? You don't know my politics, okie doke. Nor could you even define the key differences between left and right.

Madison may have wanted to limit the vote to the bourgeois. Jefferson, no. Like his friend Paine, Jeff. generally supported ...the jacobin school of politics. Then, Alttards don't know the French Revolution from their F-150 manuals.

The power of Khrust compels THEE

J said...

i4?? heh heh. There is no "i" column in modern notation, Ruy tard. Maybe like learn to count?

e4

RuyDiaz said...

Was that intentional? A little hard to pronounce, but appropriate.

No, alas. I just meant La Internationale. Gone now.

RuyDiaz said...

i4?? heh heh. There is no "i" column in modern notation, Ruy tard. Maybe like learn to count?

e4


Exactly genius. There is no 'i' in modern notation, just like there is no 'Ruy Diaz' opening. You are too easy!

Oligonicella said...

Another painter who reproduces photographs. I hate that stuff.

Mary Beth said...

Give it to the newspaper to display since they like it so much.

Pastafarian said...

Seven said: "Titus knows a lot. He's very funny..."

Cite?

Seriously. All I ever read here, in the comments or from the hostess, is how subtle and amusing and wonderful Titus is.

And yet all I ever see from Titus is some combination of:

a) Juvenile scatology, like a 2-year-old playing with his own shit

b) Offensively cartoonish portrayals of a gay man, prancing about and moaning on and on about "hogs" and such

c) Misogyny like this, so brazen as to bring negative attention from other blogs who label these comments a "cesspool"; excused, I guess, because he's gay

And here's the kicker: His comments are often intentional derailleurs of the topic at hand. He is the worst threadjacking troll I've ever seen.

Someone, some Titus defender, please explain to me what makes Titus so wonderful. From here, it looks to me like the soft bigotry of lowered expectations.

Freeman Hunt said...

Other paintings by Lenz.

Photo realism isn't my thing, but those are far better than the paintings under discussion.

The Pagan Temple said...

You can always spot a leftist scum by the use of such Commietard words as bourgeoisie.

Marshal said...

I think we can all agree on the complete and total uselessness of Daniel Bice.

When you're reduced to peddling third rate accusations of racism your dreams are pretty much gone. This guy looks up to David Brock.

The Pagan Temple said...

You might also be a leftist fucktard if you refuse to see (ie, admit) that nanny state big government is a leftist conceit.

J said...

Heh heh.

Smurfhousers like most white trash are quite amusing when you rile 'em up. GOLDANGIT

Buh bye for now Smurfhouse.

Pastafarian said...

J's mother just called up to him and told him to get ready for church. In all seriousness, I'd bet money on this.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

Crack says what I would say, only better!

I know we're supposed to think of her compassion, but - honestly - that's a picture of a bunch of retards and the oldest one's insane. Is she looking at that kid because she loves him - or because she wants to eat his brains? I really don't know. I also don't know if the artist was trying to be subversive, but that's how it struck me. If I was a Kennedy/Shriver, I'd buy it just so it'll never be seen again.

Yeah, I definitely got a horror film vibe from that one.

Well I liked 'em both, for the reasons stated above, and because of the time and talent that went into creating them.

I just got to see the Laura Ford exhibit at Frederick Meijer Gardens (and also to meet Ms. Ford, briefly). Her works are amusing in a dark, creepy way that kinda made me think of Neil Gaiman stories. But beyond that, what impressed me was the sheer, awesome detail. I can't fathom the time and focus it took to sculpt little tiny rivets in suits of armor, little hairs in animal fur, and patterns in clothing.

If you're ever in Michigan, Crack, I would love to take you to Meijer Gardens and spend a day discussing the sculptures. I don't have any art training, but I love sculpture, and Meijer Gardens is a world-class sculpture park. It's possibly my favorite place in all the world.

Steve Austin said...

For those of you not from Milwaukee, let me provide some context. When Walker took over Milwaukee County in 2002, we had the same budget mess. He immediately canceled a public artwork project that would have spent 200,000 dollars to construct a giant neon blue button down shirt that would have hung on the outside of the new airport parking ramp.

The liberals and their friends at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel went crazy. How dare Walker break a contract with a respected national artist to commission the work. And of course we had weeks of articles quoting the artist and other Dem pols bashing Walker.

This new article by Dan Bice with help from his socialist historian friend, John Gurda is simply meant to continue the narrative that Walker is a dumb, uneducated ignoramus and his lack of appreciation for this "art" proves it.

The current article by Dan Bice with

The Pagan Temple said...

Pastafarian-

"J's mother just called down in the basement to him and told him to get ready for church."

FIFY

KenK said...

Oh god. Not only should it have been taken down it should be crated up and put in the basement. Ugh.

Oligonicella said...

Crack, checkout Wiki. Article about the artist. He composes his piece, then takes photos to work off of. That thing looks to be some 4'x2'. decently large piece. Lots of little strokes look photographic when seen from a distance or in a reduced jpg.

His stuff *looks* like reworked photos. I saw that at first glance. As mentioned before, depth of field. Everything's flat.

I'll gladly listen to you expound on music and doubt not an utterance.

Length of time + talent != piece of good art.

imbefel: As close to imbecile as this was to good art.

DADvocate said...

In college my art major friends would get dinged for photograph like paintings. No style or creativity. Lenz differs from Rockwell in that Rockwell reflected American society. Lenz paints what he wants American society to be.

Lefties kill the hopes and dreams of children daily in the name of equality, fairness, diversity and all that other bullshit. My kids are fully aware, without any prompting from me, of how people are treated differently due to race/ethnicity and gender. We live in a pretty conservative area, but the biases in schools, government and "helping" professions always run according to liberal dogma.

How many schools could get away with a saying "If you want something said, ask a woman. If you want something done, ask a man?" Yet, the local middle school has that on the front counter of it's office, with the genders reversed.

Cedarford said...

I cannot imagine anything more discordant than decorating the Governors mansion for the Civil War save one very large photo (to most people looking at it) of three victimhood children blowing bubbles.
Nor was the Civil War a minor matter compared to The Children!! blowing bubbles.
Wisconsin lost 7,038 men in WWII. In the Civil War, when the population was a fifth of what it is today, out of 91,194 who served - 12,301 dead. With woundings and diseases survivors never really recovered from - almost 1 in 5 was gone or returned with disability.

Yes, one black child bubbler was homeless, the hispanic girl lives on a central city made nearly unlivable by relatives of the homeless bubble blower, And the white kid lost his parents to drunk drivers. And that bears on making it a permanent fixture - how?

Now, does victimhood make a work of art more poignant and valuable?

Is a photo of Tim Russert taken the day before he died of a heart attack more "cherished" and meaningful than one taken two days before he died? The creative works of a porn starlet who came from a broken home and battled drug abuse and bulemia over a standard issue porn babe?

Frankly, the artist should be happy for the publicity. I could probably hire the 3 kids to run and blow bubbles, take 200 digital shots and photoshop something better up and call it art.

(Oh, and I agree with whoever said that Eunice Shriver 'painting' was so horrific the Kennedys should buy it just so they could burn it - or 'never see the light of day' as it was stated.)

Saint Croix said...

Just spread your legs whore and shut the hell up.

I think Titus is getting the gay pass on his misogyny. Like radical Islam gets to hate on women (or gay people) and nobody says anything. We don't like confronting haters because we're afraid we will get sucked into their pathology.

Trooper is funny. Titus is crude and vile and almost never funny.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

On the subject of photos and painting... I saw an interesting piece of art once in an alcove of a gallery.

On the alcove wall was a life-sized photograph of a nude woman reclining on a blue couch. It was very tasteful, and she was very beautiful, and the couch was a very vivid blue. The frame was nice, too.

On the opposite wall of the alcove, in an identical frame, was the mirror image of that photograph -- but done as an incredible oil painting.

If I had had the money to buy that work, and a proper alcove to display it in, I would own it today. The photo and the oil painting were each decent art in their own right; but in combination, they became something more.

Lincolntf said...

Race-baiting low-life, Bice be thy name.

Maguro said...

Yeah, Titus is quite a piece of work. The mask has dropped often enough that you'd think people might catch on to the type of hateful, stupid little man that he is, but apparently a flaming homo persona gives you absolute moral authority on the internet.

The only time he's been remotely entertaining is when someone posted his real name here and he started squealing like a little bitch about his right to privacy. That was hilarious, everything else, not so much.

edutcher said...

J said...

non sequitur of the morning, from Ruy Lopez.

Hegel or Marx are a bit beyond you, but Madison and Jefferson themselves wanted capable, well-educated statesmen--ie not just frat boys who passed a few biz admin courses (ie Walkers, Ryans, Boners, etc). Or salmon fisher-gals.


Which, of course, is why Jim and Tom also disqualified themselves, as they were mostly self-educated.

Little J is as well-versed on the founding of the government as he is on Paul Revere.

Peter Hoh said...

I'm so late to this party, but Deborah, if you're still reading, you might find this critique of Kinkade interesting.

As for the linked article, I bet if the artist was offered his painting back in return for his commission, then we'd see just how much he values this painting.

As for hyper-realism, I've seen some works that I've enjoyed, but I want to see something more than the technical mastery.

Salamandyr said...

It's really a horrible painting. It's badly collaged, he couldn't be bothered to standardize the lighting between the various photos he mashed together to get his composition. The busy background detracts from the children in the foreground. The color choices are loud and tacky. And the composition...it looks like it was arranged by a bright junior high student. I have nothing against "hyper-realism", in general I prefer illustrative art to "high" art, but painting is about more than just brush strokes, and this painting fails on just about every level. I mean, it was a bad photo collage before he hyper realistically rendered it in paint.

And really, what kind of idiot plans something this loud to hang in someone's living room? I think it will be much more appropriate in the children's wing of some library, because it exactly matches most of the tacky, municipal art you see hanging in those places.

Peter Hoh said...

My problem with the Shriver painting is that the figures don't seem to be in the same three-dimensional space.

It's like a bad photoshop collage trying to pass itself off as a photo.

At least the bubbles painting looks as if it might represent a single moment in the space-time continuum.

Pogo said...

Both Lenz paintings are socialist porn.

The Governor should have said he was taking it down because it neglected and therefore disenfranchised many other ethnicities and is consequently a racist work.

Lincolntf said...

Never thought I'd see Eunice Shriver on velvet.

kimsch said...

One of the points about photo-realistic painting is that one can change the "reality" of the photo(s) one uses as guide or inspiration. The dirty slush and plow-sh*t at the side of the road didn't need to be rendered. He could have "prettied" it up a bit, drying the roadway and removing the dirt.

The only way I'd have an image like that in my house would be if they were my kids.

wv: brableud

The Pagan Temple said...

My problem with the Shriver painting is Eunice Shriver is so ugly she's barf inducing. No one should be encouraged to paint her in anything but surrealist style. Something that could put the ugly in some kind of helpful context.

foxtrot said...

@Steve Austin

The left in Madison only care using taxpayer dollars to tell everyone else how they should live and think, because only academics, intellectuals, and artists have the TRUE intelligence to understand the real world.

The left loves to foment and cultivate racial tension, even when there's no premise for its existence.

Could you imagine how bored the left would be if it couldn't find an excuse to call someone racist.

However, the left doesn't care when minorities are racist to the majority and other minorities (African-Americans vs. Mexicans, or vs. Asians). In their minds, only Caucasians can be racist.

obladioblada said...

I have no objections to artists using a digital projector to produce hyper-realism. There are compositions that can't be done without a projector.

However, I do object to contrived, mass-consumption images being treated as art. These are cool posters for the propaganda poster market. Fine art they ain't.

bailesworth said...

Gee, I don't think it's an atrocious painting, but it doesn't fit with the rest of that room.

J said...

Little Ruy, Sarah P, yr whore-in-charge was wrong--as dozens of real historians have pointed out you stupid fock. Got that yet? Wrong.

And you're no Jeffersonians. Jefferson was about Reason (and di support the jacobins at times). Not a dyslexic Gestapo.

Chip S. said...

That one terrifies me. It looks like a Stephen King story in the making.

I was thinking of Ira Levin: Rosemary's Sister

Milwaukee said...

David said...

Walker screwed up.

He should have sent it to Obama for display at the White House.


Brilliant observation.

Milwaukee said...

Clearly Lenz looks like a modern artist working for the United Soviet Socialist Republics. Or a Giant Great Leap Forward. He must have some technique, but his talent is in promoting propaganda. Both of those linked pictures were too surreal. Propaganda shouldn't be confused with art.

One of my personal regrets at December 31, 1999 was that before then I could say "I preferred art from the previous century." Now I have to say "I prefer art from the century before the previous century." Some modern art is great, some is ok, but too much is pathetic. Has anybody ever suggested to Mr. Lenz that he consider painting on black velvet? That Shriver picture is enough to make one want to gouge out ones eyes. I'm sure she was a good person who deserves much, much better.

Trooper York said...

J said.....
And you're no Jeffersonians. Jefferson was about Reason (and di support the jacobins at times)."


Jefferson was all about fucking his slaves.

Diamondhead said...

I wonder what kind of comments you would get if you posted that picture on Daily Kos and said it was hanging in Sarah Palin's house.

Freeman Hunt said...

I wonder what kind of comments you would get if you posted that picture on Daily Kos and said it was hanging in Sarah Palin's house.

Heh.

Someone with an account there, please do it.

mariner said...

I could not help thinking of Pinkasso.

I especially liked the Gallery of Modern Art.

deborah said...

Thanks, Peter, interesting article. I'm a reluctant Kinkade fan, in that I appreciate the moods evoked, but not the crass commercialism. I saw a Christmas tree of his in a magazine...it was the kind that collapsed down into a circle, and expanded upward to 6 feet. It had guady wide 'ribbons' that went from top to bottom with scenes printed on them. IIRC it went for $500.

In the two paintings of
San Francisco, I confess I like both, for slightly different reasons. His main utility to me is jigsaw puzzles with his scenes...not cottages, but windmills, Venice, San Francisco Harbor, etc. I like Impressionism and also 'jumbled' pictures (eg, a slew of buttons or stamps) for jigsaws.

Finally, I have to disagree with the sentiment here:

"What is so dispiriting about this painting is that rather than being created in order to be challenging or even inspiring, it’s intended only to be comforting. It invites the viewer to enter a world of unnatural nature, a world where the “light” comes from within, and the warmth comes not from the receding sun but from inside the walls of the perfect Anglo shelter."

First, what does 'Anglo' have to do with anything. The writer strikes me as a knee-jerk liberal. Secondly what is painting for, except to invoke a mood? I very much love the cozy effect in a painting of light glowing from the inside. In the same way I appreciate city traffic at dusk, in the rain, the headlights and tail lights glowing cozily. Reminds me of childhood and Christmastime shopping.

Diamondhead said...

It looks like an illustration for an article at The Onion: "Interracial Playdate Goes Well."

Peter Hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Hoh said...

Deborah, Joe Carter is a fairly common name, but I'm pretty sure it was written by the guy with this bio:

Joe Carter founded Evangelical Outpost in 2005. He is the web editor for First Things and an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. A fifteen-year Marine Corps veteran, he previously served as the managing editor for the online magazine Culture11 and The East Texas Tribune. Joe has also served as the Director of Research and Rapid Response for the Mike Huckabee for President campaign and as a director of communications for both the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity and Family Research Council. He is the co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator.

deborah said...

Interesting...thanks again, Peter.

Bob Hurbert said...

Just stumbled across this post. The conversation is old, but it lives on in cyberspace. Amazing so many people are so outraged by a picture of three smiling kids making soap bubbles.

I think the criticism you have for the artist and this picture has nothing to do with the image. Dan Bice and the artist are perceived to be critics of Walker, and you are just defending your guy, the Governor.

If the picture is really that bad, that predictable, that sappy, then this whole thing would have been greeted by a collective shrug of the shoulders. No one would have cared. The article never would have been written, and you never would have commented. There must be something to the painting, and its removal must mean something, otherwise so many would all not have been feverishly typing acidic comments in the middle of the night.