I have been collecting typical questions about artists and art for some time, and here’s the first batch of answers: often biased, sometimes rude, and always right.
Question (typical): Almost all Modigliani’s nudes have eyes, which he left blank in many of his portraits. Why?
Answer (mine): Amedeo slept with his nude models, and sometimes invited women to pose nude to shag them after. He also said, ’When I know your soul, I will paint your eyes.’ Obviously, it took him longer to know the soul of a clothed woman.
Q: Aha! I am beginning to understand nudists… Clothes get in the way of knowing the other person, right?
A: I am not sure it was their original intent, but they would be fools to reject your concept.
Q: Why is he the greatest living UK artist?
A: For the same reason Van Gogh was the greatest entrepreneur of his time!
Q: But Van Gogh was no entrepreneur…
A: My point exactly!
Q: Why is Giacometti’s Walking Man described as a sculpture about urban loneliness?
A: Because the observer wants to know “Why the heck is the guy so thin?” instead of becoming interested in the guy’s life, opinions, character, profession, or at least his destination.
Q: Is this your answer?
A: In a large city, we meet thousands of strangers in a day, and only notice their existence if they are especially thin, fat, ugly, or beautiful. We never get interested in WHO they are. And, reciprocally, all these strangers feel the same about us. Urban isolation is about feeling lonely in a crowd. Loneliness is a consequence of your personality being of zero interest to others. You dig now?
Picasso, Jeff Koons, and others are bound for batch 2. Have unanswered questions? Send them in! Have friends who have questions? Tell them where they can find answers.