Sunday, December 25, 2011

Priestly Curators

Mary Snyder Behrens, American Canvas Series, mixed media, 4" w x 5.5" h

British artist-writer Patrick Hughes, from the essay "A Bit of Artobiography," in the catalog of his recent exhibition at Flowers Galleries in London, titled Patrick Hughes: Fifty Years in Show Business 1961-2011

"The museum of art has replaced the church for popular devotion, and so the curator is the new priest. The priestly curator's job is to introduce new mysteries and moralities to the impressionable public, backed up by spectacle and verbiage.

My art has always appealed directly to the people, calling out over the heads of the priests straight to the congregation, doing the vicars and bishops of official art out of a job. I am an unbeliever. I do not speak in tongues. Thus officialdom ignores me. I like to think that art is a lingua franca which can be understood by all the inhabitants of the planet. The idea of Korean art or New Zealand art or Polish art or Nicaraguan art or Californian art or Kenyan art is anathema to me. Writers may be stuck in their languages, but we artists can be seen and understood by all."