From: Judy Seigel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 09/22/03-10:06:25 AM Z
More irony -- Darry's description of Witkin's "humanism" vs. Serrano's --
what I would call self-serving claptrap, tho I don't recall that he used
those exact words below.
However, tho I love Witkin's work, I find myself very skeptical of that,
um, rationale -- certainly it has nothing nothing to do with the work's
appeal to me, which actually accrues from something much less easily
defined: that's *art.* Witkin combines WILD imagination with consumate
graphic skill. ( I daresay Jeffrey Dahmer was much inferior, his esthetic
sounds more like the grid pattern, which went out with Warhol...)
Meanwhile, I don't know if it's true, tho it may add some interest -- I
have READ that the really really fat woman is Witkin's wife.
On Sun, 21 Sep 2003, Darryl Baird wrote:
> I do know JP Witkin's work and have loathed-then-loved it. I went to
> hear him speak about two years ago. I had a 1.5 hour drive to a nice
> Catholic University in S. Michigan, Sienna Heights University. I sat in
> a packed crowd waiting for someone resembling Vincent Price to appear,
> but instead found a middle aged man of moderate voice and stature on
> stage in a nice black leather jacket and a turtleneck. Looks a bit like
> Paul Mazursky.
> What I wasn't prepared for though was his rationale for making such
> (arguably) shocking work. He wants us all to consider our mortality and
> also how lucky we are to be whole, or blessed with definitive (?) sexual
> organs and feelings (unlike a transvestite), or with a normal body, etc.
> etc. He is a bloody humanist. He also is a person of some ability when
> it comes to persuading people to perform. He's had years of practice,
> first with co-workers in the Albuquerque restaurant where he worked
> while finishing a grad degree at UNM, later with Hollywood trannys, and
> just about every "DIFFERENT" lifestyle we can imagine (some maybe we
> can't?). He never uses a corpse of someone who isn't "unclaimed" at the
> morgue, ... which were in Mexico. He has both a huge interest in art
> history and allegory and is ruthless with his processes to get the look
> we all must admit is incredible.
> He had a heart attack about three years ago and has since slowed down. I
> haven't seen any new work, but I know he really cut back on the work.
> As a little contrast -- I also drove a great deal of distance to hear
> Andres Serrano and found him completely lacking as a human. He seemed
> utterly comfortable with shock and the allure of big bucks. I was really
> bummed, but Witkin really lifted my spirits. It is nice to have his work
> "out on the edge" opening up new territory to explore. At least is is
> something different from landscapes, still lifes and nudes and the rest
> of the last century's oeuvre which dominates so many photo galleries.
> Loris Medici wrote:
> >1) "Limits in imagination" ?! ... This is a pure oxymoron.
> >2) Dahmer - Witkin analogy ?! ... A very shallow one.
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: ARTHURWG@aol.com
> >To: email@example.com
> >Sent: Sunday, September 21, 2003 12:41 AM
> >Subject: Re: PS About Witkin Re: Diane Arbu s
> >Yes, I know Witkin is immensely popular-- as well as financially successful.
> >But if he's a genius I think "evil" must be the operative adjective. Yes,
> >perhaps it's only his imagination that's "psychopathic," and that in every
> >other regard he's a solid citizen. But I doubt it. Yes, it's only
> >"shadows," as someone put it. But there are limits, don't you think? Perhaps
> >Jeffery Dhamer was a Witkin fan. I remember that when the cops opened his
> >fridge and saw those silver painted severed heads, Dhamer told them they
> >were artworks. And the cops believed him. ...... Arthur
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