Friday, May 15, 2009
Robert Colescott ~ Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder and Appropriations
Robert Colescott's Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder (1979) was given to the Portland Art Museum in 2007 by Arlene and Harold Schnitzer. The presentation was made in honor of the appointment of Brian J. Ferriso, The Marilyn H. and Dr. Robert B. Pamplin, Jr. Director of the Portland Art Museum! Painted in the seventies, it's not surprising to see Colescott use Matisse's La Danse as one of the themes of the painting. During that period Colescott was appropriating masterpieces of art history and combining them with his own racial, sexual and political themes. As Amy mentioned about the four other works being shown at this time at the Portland Art Museum, Robert Colescott's paintings are provocative. David Lefkowitz commented about Colescott's work with his own provocative statement... "There is something in this work to piss off nearly everyone, regardless of race, sex, and class, and attitude to the history and craft of painting. It's no coincidence that those categories are the primary subjects of his art."
Take a look at this very short video on Robert Colescott. In it you'll get to see Colescott himself talk about Eat Dem Taters. Taters was painted in 1975 and is a riff on van Gogh's The Potato Eaters, 1885.