In Mexico City, karma came for what passes in the modern world for 'art'

Modern art is an interesting phenomenon.  Once cameras came along and religion faded out, art no longer had its three major reasons for being: to record the world, to elevate the powerful, and to celebrate faith.  Instead, it had only two paths remaining to it: decoration and "statements."  The thing is that, if the art is making statements, the viewers sometimes want to make statements back.  That's what happened in Mexico City, to the tune of $20,000.

Art critic Avelina Lésper was at the ZONAMACO México Arte Contemporáneo art fair in Mexico City when she came upon a work by Mexican artist Gabriel Rico.  Rico's overarching artistic statement derives from contrasting objects in nature with man-made objects, presumably in celebration of the former and to the detriment of the latter.  (One wonders how he copes with the fact that his art is itself a man-made object.)

Rico's piece at the art fair consisted of a tall metal a-frame supporting a piece of glass in which were implanted a feather, a soccer ball, a branch, a knife, and a few other objects.  To show her disdain for the work, Lésper set a soda can atop it, only to watch the glass shatter into thousands of small pieces, scattering the frame and the embedded objects across the floor.  It was then that she learned that the art was valued at $20,000.

The Instagram post shows the work in its before-and-after state:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

En OMR estamos muy tristes y decepcionados por lo que sucedió el día de hoy en la feria de arte @zonamaco. No entendemos como una supuesta crítica profesional de arte, destruyó una obra. Gabriel Rico fue seleccionado para la Bienal de Venecia el año pasado, dentro de la selección oficial, con piezas en el Giardini y Arsenale. A sus escasos 39 años ha tenido exposiciones individuales en museos de la talla del Aspen Art Museum en Colorado y su obra será mostrada la semana que viene en Frieze Los Ángeles; en fin, es uno de los artistas más buscados de OMR por coleccionistas e instituciones del momento. A pesar de que parece haber sido accidental y que es irrelevante como sucedió, la acción de la Stra. Lésper de acercarse demasiado a la obra para ponerle una lata de refresco encima y tomarse una foto para hacer una crítica, sin duda ocasionó el destrozo, y es sobre todas las cosas, una enorme falta de profesionalismo y respeto. Estamos hablando con los organizadores de la feria y contactando al artista y los mantendremos informados sobre lo que proceda. #ZonaMaco #Mexico #SemanaDelArte #GabrielRico

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Google Translate offers the following translation:

At OMR we are very sad and disappointed by what happened today at the @zonamaco art fair. We do not understand how a supposed professional critic of art, destroyed a work.

Gabriel Rico was selected for the Venice Biennale last year, within the official selection, with pieces in the Giardini and Arsenale. At 39, he has had individual exhibitions in museums such as the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado and his work will be shown next week at Frieze Los Angeles; In short, he is one of OMR's most sought-after artists by collectors and institutions of the moment.

Although it seems to have been accidental and irrelevant as it happened, the action of the Stra. After getting too close to the work to put a can of soda on it and take a picture to make a criticism, it undoubtedly caused the destruction, and is above all, a huge lack of professionalism and respect.

We are talking with the organizers of the fair and contacting the artist and we will keep you informed about what is appropriate.

For her part, Lésper apologized for the damage, saying she had not intended to destroy the piece.  She also "offered to repair the piece after the gallery rejected her idea to leave the installation shattered, to show its evolution."

Lésper's offer, even if made sarcastically, shows how divorced modern art is from the past.  Then, an artist used his best efforts to promote the powerful, to record the visible world, and to teach and inspire contemplation about the religious world.

Nowadays, art is the equivalent of a lost soul.  God is dead (at least in the art world), the rich and powerful live on television and in glossy magazines, and every cell phone enables us to record our world with almost nauseating frequency.

For those who have graphic skills, there are two paths: commercial, graphic art and the highbrow art world.  As to the latter, given the severe limitations the modern world imposes on what was once the artist's purview, the only thing left for the person with genuine artistic talent — or mere artistic pretension — is to produce things that make the critics happy.  If you can't have wealth, at least you can have praise from a rarefied class of academics and "art" magazine journalists.  It won't pay the rent, but it will make you feel good about yourself.

These critics, living in or coming from academia, all hew Left.  To them, it's art only if it challenges what they perceive as the West's failings: her religiosity; her crass commercialism; her grim, depressing people; and her sexual perversions.  Lésper was wrong to treat cavalierly someone else's property, but she was on the right track when she said that, whole or in pieces, it made a statement, and that, sadly, is mostly what modern artists want to do anyway.

Modern art is an interesting phenomenon.  Once cameras came along and religion faded out, art no longer had its three major reasons for being: to record the world, to elevate the powerful, and to celebrate faith.  Instead, it had only two paths remaining to it: decoration and "statements."  The thing is that, if the art is making statements, the viewers sometimes want to make statements back.  That's what happened in Mexico City, to the tune of $20,000.

Art critic Avelina Lésper was at the ZONAMACO México Arte Contemporáneo art fair in Mexico City when she came upon a work by Mexican artist Gabriel Rico.  Rico's overarching artistic statement derives from contrasting objects in nature with man-made objects, presumably in celebration of the former and to the detriment of the latter.  (One wonders how he copes with the fact that his art is itself a man-made object.)

Rico's piece at the art fair consisted of a tall metal a-frame supporting a piece of glass in which were implanted a feather, a soccer ball, a branch, a knife, and a few other objects.  To show her disdain for the work, Lésper set a soda can atop it, only to watch the glass shatter into thousands of small pieces, scattering the frame and the embedded objects across the floor.  It was then that she learned that the art was valued at $20,000.

The Instagram post shows the work in its before-and-after state:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

En OMR estamos muy tristes y decepcionados por lo que sucedió el día de hoy en la feria de arte @zonamaco. No entendemos como una supuesta crítica profesional de arte, destruyó una obra. Gabriel Rico fue seleccionado para la Bienal de Venecia el año pasado, dentro de la selección oficial, con piezas en el Giardini y Arsenale. A sus escasos 39 años ha tenido exposiciones individuales en museos de la talla del Aspen Art Museum en Colorado y su obra será mostrada la semana que viene en Frieze Los Ángeles; en fin, es uno de los artistas más buscados de OMR por coleccionistas e instituciones del momento. A pesar de que parece haber sido accidental y que es irrelevante como sucedió, la acción de la Stra. Lésper de acercarse demasiado a la obra para ponerle una lata de refresco encima y tomarse una foto para hacer una crítica, sin duda ocasionó el destrozo, y es sobre todas las cosas, una enorme falta de profesionalismo y respeto. Estamos hablando con los organizadores de la feria y contactando al artista y los mantendremos informados sobre lo que proceda. #ZonaMaco #Mexico #SemanaDelArte #GabrielRico

A post shared by Galería OMR (@galeriaomr) on

 

 

Google Translate offers the following translation:

At OMR we are very sad and disappointed by what happened today at the @zonamaco art fair. We do not understand how a supposed professional critic of art, destroyed a work.

Gabriel Rico was selected for the Venice Biennale last year, within the official selection, with pieces in the Giardini and Arsenale. At 39, he has had individual exhibitions in museums such as the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado and his work will be shown next week at Frieze Los Angeles; In short, he is one of OMR's most sought-after artists by collectors and institutions of the moment.

Although it seems to have been accidental and irrelevant as it happened, the action of the Stra. After getting too close to the work to put a can of soda on it and take a picture to make a criticism, it undoubtedly caused the destruction, and is above all, a huge lack of professionalism and respect.

We are talking with the organizers of the fair and contacting the artist and we will keep you informed about what is appropriate.

For her part, Lésper apologized for the damage, saying she had not intended to destroy the piece.  She also "offered to repair the piece after the gallery rejected her idea to leave the installation shattered, to show its evolution."

Lésper's offer, even if made sarcastically, shows how divorced modern art is from the past.  Then, an artist used his best efforts to promote the powerful, to record the visible world, and to teach and inspire contemplation about the religious world.

Nowadays, art is the equivalent of a lost soul.  God is dead (at least in the art world), the rich and powerful live on television and in glossy magazines, and every cell phone enables us to record our world with almost nauseating frequency.

For those who have graphic skills, there are two paths: commercial, graphic art and the highbrow art world.  As to the latter, given the severe limitations the modern world imposes on what was once the artist's purview, the only thing left for the person with genuine artistic talent — or mere artistic pretension — is to produce things that make the critics happy.  If you can't have wealth, at least you can have praise from a rarefied class of academics and "art" magazine journalists.  It won't pay the rent, but it will make you feel good about yourself.

These critics, living in or coming from academia, all hew Left.  To them, it's art only if it challenges what they perceive as the West's failings: her religiosity; her crass commercialism; her grim, depressing people; and her sexual perversions.  Lésper was wrong to treat cavalierly someone else's property, but she was on the right track when she said that, whole or in pieces, it made a statement, and that, sadly, is mostly what modern artists want to do anyway.