20 Nov Who would you choose?
This is almost like one of the games that people play at dinner parties. You know the sort of the thing where you list four people through time who you would invite to a dinner party. (Mine, by the way, would be a Medici, don’t mind which, Felix Mendelsohn, Jane Austen and Eleanor Roosevelt.) The game on this occasion is if there was an exhibition of your paintings and you had to choose the work of others to display alongside. Who would you choose?
For Julian Schnabel, this was no dinner party game. The Musee d’Orsay for real asked him to choose from their collection to hang next to his paintings. This has to be the biggest humblebrag in history. Do you choose artists whose work you admire? In that case, most people would be a little reticent. If Van Gogh is your artistic mentor, hanging his paintings next to yours is an overreach.
What is your motivation If you choose artists you consider not as good as you are? Is this to ensure your work is at the top of the pile. But then, the very act of creating the juxtaposition is a humblebrag. ‘I may not be the best, but I am the best of this lot.’
Would you dare hang your best work next to a da Vinci sketch? No one ever has done curls like him and if you don’t believe me, go and take a look. That would take some rare self-importance.