Tuesday, 2.17.09

This morning we viewed 2 segments from each of 2 two DVDs:

  • Klimt, the 2005 film about Gustav Klimt starring John Malkovich and directed by Raul Ruiz.
  • Frida, the 2002 film about Frida Kahlo starring Salma Hyek and directed by Julie Taymor.

Some thought bites, sound bites & observations include:

Klimt: scene 5:  Vienna – The secession

  • The man has courage – easy to have if you’re well-paid
  • He really works and that’s all he has to show for it
  • You can’t make an omelet if you don’t break eggs. What he does is break eggs without making an omelet
  • Difference between caricatures & allegory? According to Herr Klimt, nothing
  • In Paris your work would be charmingly poetic, here it is decadent. Here decadence is synonymous with diabolical, in Paris it is just naughty.
  • A triumph that may feel at the moment like a defeat, but a triumph nevertheless
  • It is not a portrait, it is an allegory
  • I think it’s beautiful, sublime, revolutionary
  • Steal the paintings? That doesn’t make sense, they’re no longer yours.
  • The press is going to attack you on every front, which is a good sign
  • You’ll find yourself in the middle of a an awful stink – I repeat, congratulations
  • Was the exhibition a success? If you measure success by the number of visitors who take off their hats I’d say it was a disaster

Scene 10: Coffee House Philosophy

  • They say you found a “new” Chinese style
  • Klimt & Egon Schiele drawing and Schiele asks “who’s winning”?
  • Who’s drawing is this, yours or mine?
  • The young people say you have to stand outside of history
  • They say philosophy is rubbish
Gustav Klimt: The Kiss

Gustav Klimt: The Kiss

Frida: scene 5, Diego’s Compliments

  • I don’t have the time to chat with school girls
  • I need a straight forward opinion of my work
  • If you’re a real painter you’ll paint because you can’t live without painting, you’ll paint until you die
  • I don’t have time to fool around just for vanity
  • Leave the best one here. Go home and paint another. If this one is any good I’ll come look on my day off
  • What if I told you easel painting like yours is finished? That it is headed for the trash like other elitist, bourgeois pastimes?
  • These are good paintings, you have real talent. These are original paintings, none of the usual tricks
  • You have to trust a true compliment as much as a critique
  • Do you believe that I should continue to paint?

Scene 13: The Price of Integrity

  • You knew my politics when you hired me
  • I would defend you, but a portrait of Vladimir Lenin would offend many people
  • It is against my principles (to alter the Lenin detail)
  • You’ve adjusted your principles to come to our parties & eat at our table. I hope you reconsider
  • You’ve got a crowd out there – half think you’re the devil & half think you’re a hero
  • If you lie down with dogs you should expect fleas
  • Forget about artistic integrity, whatever happens you’ve aroused people
  • You’ve made them get passionate about their ideal, there’s not another painter who can say that
  • He can walk in here and tear it down, you’d still have won
  • I will not compromise my vision
Frida Kahlo: Self Portrait w/Monkeys

Frida Kahlo: Self Portrait w/Monkeys


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