Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Jerry Saltz on Dan Colen's Misguided 'Poetry' -- New York Magazine: "The problem is not so much with Colen himself, who is just a willing pawn in a dead-end game. It’s his kind of faulty thinking, and the brassy, vacuous spectacles staged at Gagosian and elsewhere, that are poisonous. Once upon a time in the nineties, art that wanted to be complicit with the system, that tried to lure collectors as it criticized the artist-dealer-buyer complex, had an edgy Trojan-horse coerciveness. A lot of people got rich creating a gigantic industry of artists, dealers, and curators who’d do almost anything for the limelight. By now, Colen’s high/low art—paintings made of cheesy materials; kicked-over tricked-out motorcycles; those skateboard ramps—is not only lazy thinking. It is old-fashioned art about old-fashioned ideas about commodity-art-about-art that no one cares about anymore. At this point, continuing to follow in the footsteps of Warhol, Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons appears derivative, completely mechanical, and possibly corrupt. Colen fetishizes a moment that no longer exists, and behaves like nothing’s changed. People seem scared to say a lot of this art is bad; it’s as if they fear being uninvited, cast out from the circle of social light."