Tuesday, February 3, 2009

y'all probably already know this site....

One of the People Whom I Choose Not to Name (except when he is named, misleadingly in passing, on my other blog) kept a file of news clippings labeled, if I recall correctly, “Monstrously Interesting.”

The label had nothing to do with a pun on monsters; he lived in England, and the combination of the two words was meant to convey no more than “instructively odd.”

I have to assume that all my readers already know the monstrously interesting http://www.internetweekly.org since it is the sort of thing that au courant web surfers would indeed know already.

I can’t say that I like the particular humor of the site’s heavy-handed political satire (however much I agree with its sentiments) but the overall quality and imaginative range of the visuality is illuminating, or at least instructive.

The art by others that this site features represents influences that bridge the gap between the Juxtapoz Factor (subtitle of a catalogue from the Laguna Art Museum, about which I hope to publish a book review shortly) and the new-romantic art that I have been seeing a lot lately. I’ve become increasingly interested in knowing how one gets from the art that cynicizes the sentimental big-eyed kids of Margaret Keane to the well-nigh unironic earnestness of Pop Surrealism’s Keanesianism, and from there to the eroticism-lite of the new-romantic work that seems to marry Pre-Raphaelite paintings to children’s book illustrations (there are, of course, earlier bridge figures such as Edmund Dulac who unite the two; see the exhibition catalogue for The Age of Enchantment). Without meaning to do so, this website looks like a source for answering the question of what strands of visuality are out there in the popular imagination.

This is a cultural-studies approach to what is in the alternative-space galleries, but since I haven’t seen any scholarly studies worthy of the name, you gotta start somewhere.

I am not sure that this is the place, or the way, to start; as an instructor wrote long ago in the margin of one of my college essays, "These sentences are grammatically correct, but awfully complicated."


Unknown said...
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Jeremy Abernathy said...

That was me. Looking forward to that book review.

littlejoke said...

The book review turns out to be much more complicated than I anticipated. Expect a long, contemplative piece when/if(!) it finally shows up. The exhibition raises more questions than the catalogue answers, as far as I can tell.