Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Grumpy Robert Hughes (part of an ongoing series)

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful and hilarious and very sad. Robert Hughes is hilarious -- how can you be so brutally confrontational, at the same time that you're being so disengaged and droll? He carries his disinterest into the conversation as a weapon. It's a blitzkrieg of boredom. Is it unfair of him to interrogate an art appreciator with the sole purpose of scoffing at the responses? Somewhat, but I don't have any real sympathy for Mugrabi, seeing as he's the one with all the money.

    It's telling that he's so inarticulate about what he likes about the paintings he buys. It really does make it seem like, below the high-brow surface of art commerce, there's a vast dearth of any understanding or engagement whatsoever. He was about three logical steps behind Hughes at every moment of the conversation. Hughes exposes the essential desire of the wealthy... to leverage their one virtue -- money -- into other less-contemptible virtues, like cultural influence, affability, and insight. And in Mugrabi's case, it's a total fail.

    I know media, so I know that this might be the result of the circumstances of the shoot, and the subsequent editing choices. Even so, it's quite a little package of comedy/tragedy, belonging up there with the best Ali G and Stephen Colbert sketches. And as with those two, by the end of video, I kind of want to kill Robert Hughes, even as he's providing incredibly potent insights about the whole situation.

    "Isn't it a miracle what so much money and so little ability can produce."

    "Well, he didn't have anything to say, probably, verbally, but..."