Although giving props to white men right about now is the last thing we should be doing, I have to give some (is it a mass noun?) to white male playwright John Logan for being the first person to depict serious art and the modern art world without making me scream from the cringe. (“Sunday in the Park with George” is not about modern art and it is still the best depiction of the artist and the creative process ever to exist in the history of the world.) Whenever I’ve watched stories about self-important artists, fictional or not, or even just gone to a modern art museum (ew and oh no) my main thoughts have been ‘oh my gooooood get over yourself’. The whole ‘I have something to say and this splash of paint thrown against a singed canvas represents that but also progress and our birth’ charade makes my blood boil. Maybe it’s just because artists are so often portrayed in pop culture as pretentious wankers who really believe they have something urgent to say but they really really don’t, like Sky in “Red Oaks” (great under-the-radar show, go watch it). And all of her insufferable artist friends man alive they are the perfect example of this. You just want to Cher in Moonstruck all of them. Anyway before I start ranting even more about all the various portrayals of arrogant, affected artists in movies and TV, let’s talk about this representation of a modern artist that I actually bought into and understood, the play “Red”, about Mark Rothko’s tortured creative process.
READ IT ALL!