Hilton Kramer Defrocked

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Hilton Kramer Defrocked


Published on before 2005

Melville and Brian,

While I tend to agree more with Brian's analysis, the pertinent point here is not whether there might be some 19th Century academic works of art that have subject matter or imagery that could concievably find a position some where on the long continuum of greater or lesser degrees of sensuality, sexuality and eroticism -- either conscious or subconsciously -- intended or not. Certainly there is as much if not more blatant sexual content found in modernist works (albeit ugly and poorly executed).

The real point here is why has Kramer chosen to make these extremely disparaging and venomous comments as he has. The answer is painfully obvious. His goal is sheer character assassination and denigration at what ever cost it might have to the status of honesty and truth. His goal is to claim the most heinous and egregious possible purposes and intents for our great academic humanist masters, with the sheer intent of creating a sense of fear in anyone who might presume to like what they see. He knows that fine academic painting is highly appealing to the majority of people, and so to protect his modernist golden calf, he must label all beautiful and competent rendering of fantasy or reality as horrific, disgusting and satanic.

"Beauty," near death, has been shackled, bound and gagged -- hidden behind a black veil marked evil. Now suddenly, at the dawn of the third millenium, increasing masses of collectors, curators, historians and art lovers of every ilk, are peeking behind this cruel and libelous curtain, -- causing the apostles of modernism ever increasing apoplectic spasms of fearful convulsions that their crude and demeaning trickery (upon which their careers, fame and fortunes are based) will, like false prophets, soon be defrocked, -- pointing the finger of civilization's rage ridicule, and historical judgement finally in the direction where it is so richly deserved -- straight at them.

Whether there might be imagery that might titillate the fantasies of a pedophile or necrophiliac is a meaningless red herring that takes our focus away from the real issues at stake here.

-- Fred