Art on Film – Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back

Directed by Maura Axelrod
Thursday 12 October 6:30pm
The Works, 891 South Tamiami Trail
$10 admission; Free for Museum donors and Ringling College students, faculty & staff
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Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back
In the documentary film Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back, filmmaker Maura Axelrod excavates Cattelan’s disruptive and indelible career as the art world trickster of our time. Cattelan shook up the contemporary art world beginning in the late 1980s with a series of action-based installations including his first solo show in Milan, in which he padlocked an empty gallery – barring entrance to critics and spectators – and simply hung a sign on the door that read “Torno Subito” or “Be Right Back.” Known best for his shocking photorealistic wax sculpture of Pope John Paul being felled by a meteorite and of child-size Hitler kneeling in prayer, Cattelan’s work is often wildly offensive and yet incredibly popular, selling for tens of millions of dollars at auction.

Featuring interviews from curators, collectors, art-world luminaries, the film builds a compelling picture of the conceptual artist and what makes him tick.


The Sarasota Museum of Art
museum@ringling.edu
941.309.7662

The Works, 891 South Tamiami Trail

A Contemporary Art Story: Artists and Collectors by Pamela Beck

Mothers and teens, artists and collectors, this is their story: inextricably connected, eternally annoyed.

by Pamela Beck

I’ve known of friendships between collectors and the artists they collect, where everything is simpatico. There’s a meeting of the minds whenever they talk and the collectors get first dibs on the artists’ new work.

But that’s not the tale of this reporter, no. More often what I’ve seen resembles the ongoing turf war between mothers and teenage daughters. Here’s a peek into these rich and often adversarial-by-nature territories.

It starts out:
“I’m interested in your new work and can’t wait to see it, “ says the collector to the artist. (”I’m excited that you found a college you like and hope you get accepted,” says the mother to the daughter.)
That turns into: “When are you finally going to finish that new work?” (“When did you say that admission application deadline is?”)
And ends up: “I can’t believe it’s taking you so long; how hard can it be to complete? (“I can’t believe it’s taking you so long; how hard can it be to complete?”)

In any relationship where somebody wants something from you, you’re probably going to resent being told how quickly to do it. And whether it’s an artist or teenager pressed into service, the response is likely to be a major eye roll coupled with colorful unprintable responses that signal “don’t push me.”

Norman Rockwell
Norman Rockwell, "The Connoisseur", 1962 The Saturday Evening Post, January 13, 1962 (cover) Oil on canvas mounted on board 37 3/4 x 31 1/2 in. Private collection

In the case of an artwork, a personal, complicated act of unique invention has occurred that can’t be punched out on a time sheet for an impatient collector. (The teenager parallel stops here, however. If you’re reading this high school seniors, punch the damn timesheet; the admissions office could care less about your aversion to deadlines.)

When the artwork is finally done, the artist and collector meet again. They exchange pleasantries, but their true heated feelings float above their heads like visible thought bubbles. The collector expects the artist to miraculously distill the abstract process of creation into explanations that will enlighten the collector and rationalize the purchase of this long awaited work of art.

But by this time, the artist, protective of the art and irritated by the collector, would rather donate the work to an overseas children’s orphanage or at least, find a more sophisticated collector. The collector, at this point, often feels the artist is acting entitled or suffers from delusions of grandeur. And what’s more, the collector thinks, the artist should take less money. After all, the artist gets to paint all day, and in comfortable clothes too. What’s to complain about?

But then, they both eye the artwork. The artist sees that the collector really does like it and can buy it on the spot. The collector sees the artist may have a Napoleon complex but the work is really good, so who cares? The artwork wins. It gets sold and all is good until the next round begins again.

Mothers and teens, artists and collectors, this is their story: inextricably connected, eternally annoyed.


For more information on Pamela, visit http://srxq.blogspot.com

Start the Conversation by Pamela Beck

Recently I was at a Sarasota party where a group of older art collectors discussed several art events of this past season. Talk included “Beyond Bling,” the Ringling Museum’s show of hip-hop inspired art; street artist MTO’s “Fast Life,” the now whitewashed wall mural that caused a public uproar; S/aRt/Q’s “Voyeur,” an exploration of observation and art through a peephole; and exhibitions at the new Clothesline Gallery.

by Pamela Beck

Recently I was at a Sarasota party where a group of older art collectors discussed several art events of this past season. Talk included “Beyond Bling,” the Ringling Museum’s show of hip-hop inspired art; street artist MTO’s “Fast Life,” the now whitewashed wall mural that caused a public uproar; S/aRt/Q’s “Voyeur,” an exploration of observation and art through a peephole; and exhibitions at the new Clothesline Gallery.

Of course there were fans and foes of each. Some got kudos for talent and originality; others, thumbs down for technique and “attitude.” Attitude? Yes, that was the word used. Predictably, the age divide was at play here.

This “attitude” label sparked a lively conversation. We discussed how artists use their work to respond to and interpret their private lives; but like the rest of us, they can’t help being impacted by the world at large through the unavoidable exposure to an abundance of constant information.

Seen from the perspective that contemporary art is not only personal but also reflects our shared time in history, some people began to reconsider the “them/us” they unknowingly constructed with artists they disliked. Furthering this thought, the concept that today’s art is tomorrow’s artifact is provocative.

Talk drifted to ideas rather than opinions. We considered how you might not like a particular work but your reactions are valuable for what they reveal about yourself, the artist and our culture. This led to a discussion about the importance of looking at all kinds of new work for both personal satisfaction and as a firsthand way to participate in our current evolving world.

All this resulted from a conversation about a couple of artists with “attitude” problems. Good thing; otherwise it might have been a short night.


For more information on Pamela, visit http://srxq.blogspot.com