I thought I would write a measured, though somewhat critical, review of the recent and ridiculous puffy NY Times novella on the renowned artist Nikko Sedgewick, which appeared all over the Arts & Leisure section November 5. Yet, due to the onset of nausea at the notion of actually rereading the piece, I figured I would recollect as best I could and attempt to convey my initial impressions. Sure, when I curate shows I might, from time to time, make a decision on the basis of something other than merit, like repeatedly showing the guy who found my dog when he was stolen, for instance; but low and behold, to my surprise, there are even people with decision making processes more corrupt than myself.
Hilton Kramer is right (in his NY Post column): the NY Times does suck. Nikko's benevolent grandfather must have a controlling interest in the NYT holding company, or have some incriminating information on one or another editor. The evidence was the ink spilled on the 31 year old wunderkind, cigar chomping, bare chested, painter of decorative patterns. With the artist depicted 4 times shirtless, including in color on the cover, the article resembled a failed Calvin Klein spread. Besides, should anybody be reviewed who looked upon the Bleckner Guggenheim celebration as an epiphany? Say it's not so that our beloved NYT captions a paragraph in their testimonial: "Nikko Gets A Haircut". And not surprisingly, the man with the catchy name's only trusted confidant in the art world, in addition to his grandfather, was that other NYT poster boy, the enterprising Gavin Brown.
Friday the 17th of November comes along and none other than Michael Kimmelman himself reviews Nikko (run through spell check suggests a change to "ink") in a coveted spot in the review section. That cutting edge, deserving and fabulous Dillon Gallery, has had a banner month indeed. In a meager attempt at saving face for his department, Kimmelman stated that the bone-headed painter, I mean the painter of bones, was way short of the prowess of pattern painter Taaffe. Enough said. Ah, vanity, alas it's all vanity.
Your comments are right on.Here is some more interesting info on that "cutting edge" gallery. Most of the artists represented by dillon receive 30% commission on sales and must share in steep discounting. Sometimes as much as 30%. The artists must also pay 50% of any advertising the gallery does for them. Nice. The Art Police.
Dear Kenny, I have been all over the net searching: NYtimes reviews, music, etc. looking for the email address of Edward Rothstein, Chief music critic for The New York Times. Could you, perhaps, help me find this elusive info???? Many thanks from a lady from Oklahoma who wishes to share an idea/question re music theory with Mr. Rothstein. I saw his book, Emblems of the Mind, advertized in my new Science News magazine. Thanks, again. Sincerely, Peggy Malone 10/07/96 firstname.lastname@example.org