Thursday, September 11, 2014

Art History can kick ass sometimes






Glittering Images: A Journey Through Art From Egypt to Star Wars – Camille Paglia (2012)

            Camille Paglia is one of my favorite writers on Art History.  She attacks the subject with a rage and fervor seldom seen in the art world.  She is an outspoken feminist, who pisses off many feminists.  She is an outspoken lesbian who enrages many in the gay community.  She is a professor who places equal importance on “high” art and culture as she does pop culture.  In short, she is an instigational asskicker of rare quality.

I wonder what Camille Paglia would think of this?


            This is her latest book, which is framed as a journey through art history told by choosing a few dozen artworks from as far back as ancient Egypt, to the recent film work of George Lucas.  Each section explores an individual work of art and discusses its merits, impact, and beauty.  It is quite cool to read, as Ms. Paglia is never afraid to include knowledge from all her fields of experience in the analysis provided.  She is a kick ass writer and avoids the high-minded, formal, strict language of most art critics and historians.
            I recommend this book as a cool primer to people who like art and who want to know more about what artworks mean and how they affect the world around them, and who do not want to be talked down to like they are ignorant fools who barely qualify to experience art, much less read about it.  (Can you tell I have issues with art historians and their books?)

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