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More Modern ‘Art’ for the Wall of Shame

Examples of the late Cy Twombly's modernist "art" style.

In the movie ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ Gunny says to Vincent Dinofrio, ‘You’re so ugly you could be a modern art masterpiece!’

Another touchstone moment in Modern “Art” degeneracy occurred in late 2017 at Christie’s in New York. While the world and media focused full-court attention on the sale of renowned artist Leonardo da Vinci‘s “Salvator Mundi” (c. 1500) for $785.9 million, a lesser-known late “artist’s” modernist crap raked in a whopping total of $73.7 million.

Cy Twombly’s (1928-2011) huge looping red scrawls (see below) titled “Untitled” (2005) sold for $46.4 million with premium. Another Twombly painting titled “Sunset” (1957) featuring the artist’s signature scribblings on a white background sold for $27.3 million. This comes from what is referred to as the “deskilled school of art”.

Wag rag bloviates about Twombley’s work thusly:

Red is the colour of wine, but also of blood, and these canvases encompass both the sensual pleasure and violent debauchery associated with the god. This contrast is echoed in the paintings’ combination of euphoric loops that soar upwards and vermilion floods of paint that ooze and cascade down the canvas. The unfurling gestures of these paintings were made, like Henri Matisse’s works in old age, with a brush affixed to the end of a pole, which lends them their vitality and scale.

The exorbitant price that the red scrawls fetched wasn’t a fluke. In fact, it could even be called a bargain. In 2015, another of Twombly’s works — also called “Untitled” and resembles scribbles on a chalkboard (see below) — sold at auction for $70.5 million. The funds raised from the sale financed the construction of the 55,000-square-foot Jewish-center entertainment pavilion for Koreatown’s Wilshire Boulevard Temple, Los Angeles’ oldest Jewish congregation. Isn’t it curious how inflated assets are “monetized” to benefit “certain elites”? What a scam!

L.A. arts patron selling Cy Twombly painting to fund synagogue events center
Cy Twombly’s “Untitled (New York City)” brought in $70.5 million. PHOTO: LA Times/Cy Twombly/Sotheby’s

In the following humorous and astute critique, Paul Joseph Watson eviscerates the Modern Art movement.

Art Donation as Tax Fraud

In January 2018, federal agents raided four Southern California museums while investigating an alleged tax fraud scheme involving the donation of overvalued Asian and Native American artifacts.

Since the raids, federal agents have seized more than 10,750 objects from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, the Mingei International Museum in San Diego and nine other locations in California and Chicago.

It’s the appraisers — not museums — who determine the value of donated art. But the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles is investigating whether museum officials furthered the scheme by knowingly accepting donations of overvalued art from suspect dealers and collectors over a decade, according to affidavits.

The allegations mirror past tax-fraud scandals in which museums such as LACMA, the Smithsonian and the J. Paul Getty Museum accepted donations of art with grossly inflated values.

Robert Reich, an economist and former Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, recently argued, “We’ve created a giant loophole right now through which the rich reduce their taxes by supporting culture palaces frequented primarily by themselves.” In the interview, he added, “This is not the way the tax code was intended to be used.”

Collectors and their agents have continually found creative ways to use their art holdings to defer paying taxes. Some establish private museums and foundations. In some countries, airport-based storage “freeports” allow international “collectors” to store artwork offshore and exchanged without incurring customs duties or VAT taxes, as well as facilitate international money laundering. E.U. Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker enabled the establishment of freeports in Belgium airports when he was the country’s prime minister — and now he’s under investigation for it.

Another exploited loophole in the tax code is “like-kind” exchanges. Originally set up in the 1920s to aid farmers by enabling them to defer taxes on livestock trades, “like-kind exchanges” are now regularly invoked by art collectors in order to avoid paying taxes on the sale of artworks — so long as a collector uses the proceeds of the sale of one work to purchase another within 180 days, the tax obligation can be perpetually kicked down the road.

Art as Leveraged Ponzi Units and Fictitious Capital

Robert Reich, in addition to discussing tax fraud, could just as easily been talking about easy credit conditions fostered by the crooks who run the big central banks. This has cleared the way for speculative and maladjusted artificial wealth for the benefit of super wealthy and their criminal networks.

Art auction houses have expanded into financial services for a range of “UHNWI” clients, offering collectors lines of credit, allowing them to borrow against the value of their collections, and sometimes selling works with third-party guarantees, in which the house effectively pre-sells a lot before the auction and may split some share of the proceeds with the guarantor, if it ultimately goes for more than the agreed-upon price.

Read “The Promotion of Pyramid Scheme Inversion Art”

Art as a Vehicle for Dark World Money Laundering

Georgina Adam, author of “Dark Side of the Boom: The Excesses of the Art Market in the Twenty-First Century,” longtime editor at the Art Newspaper and contributor to the Financial Times, sees artworks often used as a vehicle to hide or launder money. Anonymity in art sales has intensified such conduct.

Art purchasing adviser Maria Baibakova, says, “You don’t really know who they are … because they’re very private. So, buying art as a status symbol falls apart right there because, if you’re buying art for status, you’d want people to know.”

Many auction houses don’t even know who’s art they’re selling. According to the New York Times, if a painting at an auction sells for millions of dollars, the auction house doesn’t get a cent from that sale. Instead, they make their money from the fees charged to the seller for brokering sales. There isn’t a lot of background checking into such sellers or the pieces they want to auction, according to Rashbaum Bowley.

In China, which consistently ranks among the top three largest art markets by value since 2009, demand is being boosted by a government-sponsored museum-building boom. More than 1,000 new museums — a combination of state-run and private institutions — have opened in the past decade. There are approximately 200 privately owned museums devoted to contemporary art. Crucially, building private museums serves not only as a status symbol for the country’s elite but as means of gaining state approval for lucrative real estate development deals.

24 Comments on More Modern ‘Art’ for the Wall of Shame

  1. I believe Miles Mathis has hit some home runs.Modern art IS A SCAM precisely as Mathis characterizes it.

    He superbly spots connections and anomolies. I used him as a source in my Dreyfus Affair and Charles Manson articles and you in particular would be interested in knowing in: The Dubious July 16, 1945, ‘A-Bomb’ Trinity Test

    He is definitely an extreme ultra-fake everything theoritican though- so much so that he could be limited hangout. I don’t really think so, he just has an interpretative framework that is not too dissimilar to mine. I do suggest that people read his material and give it some consideration. It is not necessary to buy into it all, but more than once in awhile- bingo.

    • I agree with a lot of what Mathis posts, but his major flaw IMO is that he refuses to believe that the elites could actually be Satanists, despite a lot of evidence to the contrary. instead he insists that all of the occult references and symbolism in the world is made up by intelligence.

      • MichaelCoulin- skepticism in “satanic forces” is akin to belief that this is all just a 2000 year pump fake. I understand these people are liars, but not all the time, and they’re not that organized.

  2. I’ve been to the Mathis site and entertained his theory that the JFK assassination was faked for a while, but concluded that there was too much evidence in favor of it being real ( the aftermath, Vietnam, the people involved, Marilyn, etc.). Still, the possibility that death events are hoaxes is quite strong especially these days. Saw Rand Paul in a recent video talking about the surveillance laws and wondered if we had been told the truth about his assault. If I remember correctly he had broken 5 or 6 ribs and sustained multiple contusions, yet he looked spotless, walked well, and displayed no signs of having been nearly beaten to death as it was reported. Did it really happen? Was he wisked off to a bunker for his own protection? Any of that is possible and that is what is important. Mathis’ art was garbage and it definitely red flags the site completely. I haven’t gone back.

  3. Wolfe’s thesis in The Painted Word was that by the 1970s, modern art had moved away from being a visual experience, and more often was an illustration of art critics’ theories. Wolfe criticized avant-garde art, Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. The main target of Wolfe’s book, however, was not so much the artists, as the critics. In particular, Wolfe criticized three prominent art critics whom he dubbed the (((kings of “Cultureburg”: Clement Greenberg, Harold Rosenberg and Leo Steinberg.))) Wolfe argued that these three men were dominating the world of art with their theories and that, unlike the world of literature in which anyone can buy a book, the art world was controlled by an insular circle of rich collectors, museums and critics with outsized influence.

    A review in The New Republic called Wolfe a fascist.

    • Poland’s new prime minister is a Jewish banker, Mateusz Jakub Morawiecki, formerly Chairman of the Management Board of Bank Zachodni WBK Group (part of banking giant Santander), with an academic background both in Poland and the USA

      Personally of Christian affiliation, Morawiecki in his first speech as Prime Minister, spoke of his “Jewish brothers”, of the Żegota Polish resistance group that helped Jews during World War II, and of Solidarity in which his father was involved

      Perhaps Morawiecki will spark enhanced Polish-Russian relations, as Morawiecki will be able to link closely with Vladimir Putin’s good friends at Chabad, such as ‘Putin’s rabbi’, the also-US-educated Berel Lazar

      Article from the Jewish Telegraph Agency on their Jewish compatriot now leading Poland

  4. Modern art really seems to be a big joke. I will never forget the time in my highschool years when I went to the MOMA and saw a blank canvas hanging on the wall, front and center. A blank canvas with not one drop of paint on it, called ‘blank’ or ’empty’ or some name such as those. I was so appalled by this, I really thought it was a giant joke. An ‘artist’ got paid and fame for a blank fucking canvas. That day was when I realized what a crock this modern art was, and I stopped wasting time and money on it completely. The artwork from the renassanice period is spectacular, full of detail and true talent.

  5. I have to say I cannot join TNN on this visceral dislike of modern painting – specifically in this case mid 20C Abstract Expressionism. I have seen something similar at allied sites re the classical music of the second Viennese school – Schoenberg,

    It’s a long story – … I would just like the commenters to note:

    These paintings are physical objects – fashioned by human hands – (and it does take considerable craft and skill and judgement as well as considerable manual labor to create paintings like these Twombly works). They can be considered to be part of perhaps the final important movement of a centuries long western tradition of “pigment on ground” aesthetic production – and the long-lived Twombly was among the last of the old guard.

    Then I would like commenters to look and try to see just how antique these works seem in the midst of our endless POST-modern present and it’s preferred modes of aesthetic production – that dreadful “performance art” in which the hand and manual craftsmanship have no role and which results in no enduring object.

    Now it’s true that the fine art industry is no less depraved than Miley Cyrus. I know of one long established NYC gallery recently selling outright forgeries as work of some of the Abstract Expres painters (ooops, they said – caveat emptor). But all that is really no reflection on Twombly or his work.

    The Bolsheviks in the years before the revolution had a slogan: “No enemies on the left!” (By which they meant something like: we intend to achieve absolute power but these guys might be useful on the way there).

    Maybe we need to consider something similar: No enemies among classical composers! (No enemies among oil on canvas painters! is even less catchy.) By which I mean what?… that the age in which Twombly produced these works is irrecoverably gone and that our present is much, much darker after the essential disappearance of the tradition in which he worked.

  6. I have been a regular reader of Miles’ site and am most impressed by his clear and rational approach of the big topics. I think you do not need to be rocket scientist to follow his analysis and do some of your own independent research on suspicious events (read: 95% of media hyped events): his most important message (and hardly the advice of a controlled minion i suppose). Only consider the blatant terrorist hoaxes as of late. No academic degree needed to pull that apart whatsoever, neither the MO of these events nor the more than apparent aim of it (a brave new of age of self-inflicted perpetual serfdom). The genealogy part of his papers are demanding yet extremely convincing to me, though admit i haven’t checked every trace myself (full time job and 3 hours a day travelling is time-consuming enough so i let others do that for me…). It is rife with speculating on Mathis’ part, but the patterns in the families running the show is more than obvious. His deep research and analysis to me don’t fit the profile of a ‘limited’ hang-out, especially compared to an intellectually-empty populist shell like a Paul Joseph Watson, + I could hardly imagine what is ‘limited’ about MM, considering the extreme implications of his revelations (his MLK paper for example is earth shaking if you ask me, with it wiping the entire floor of all the so-called grassroots movement, then and now). I cannot vouch for his physics papers, i don’t have the proper background for it, but suspect these are topics of a mostly obscure nature that are hardly interesting to 99% of the population, so why bother going through all the fuzz? Also classical art has been abundant with paintings of naked babies, let’s throw out that bath water as well… Still I am triggered though by your thesis, and would suggest some more elaboration on your theory of 4 persona…

    • I pointed someone to Miles regarding art above. But I disagree with many things that he stands for:
      – he is arrogant and inow-it-all
      – he tends to overgeneralize and overdoes in pattern recognition (although his intuition is often im the right direction, but insufficient for his quick conclusions, e.g. genealogy, some mass events)
      – his “science” papers are the worst, where he claims to “correct” some tjeories, while keeping the gist of them (e.g. pi=4, but Russian space flight is real (space flight is fake – for advanced truthers), Newton did some calculus mistakes, but theory of gravity is valid (it is not – created by freemasonic wizard Newton), theory of Evolution is valid with a tweak (again it is BS, lowering humans to animals by another freemasonic liar) etc.). He is so blinded by his immersion in these fields and his “brilliance” that he cannot see the obvious

      I doubt he is a committee (could still be) or a limited hangout, more like a tollerated useful idiot as he mixes truth and extreme or BS stuff, thus sowing confusion and blackwashing the truth nuggets. He needs to be read with discernment.

    • Yes, it’s a tool, a manipulated and inflated asset with an underlying value that is marginal at best — sort of like Bitcoin. It goes far beyond subjective worth. It’s a scam.

  7. Readers, thank you for all of the though-provoking comments and insights.
    There is so much beautiful art in the world. But it doesn’t really fit in to our banal culture today, does it? Scribbles do though, as do ejaculations on a sheet of parchment paper, framed and hung on a gallery wall. Such “art” succinctly expresses this pathetic anti-art era in which we live. The epitome would be for Christie’s to start accepting payment in Bitcoin.

  8. No Man described modern art better than this man, a leader and real artist:

    “works of art which cannot be understood in themselves but need some pretentious instruction book to justify their existence will never again find their way to the German people”. This so vilified man quite often saw things in common sense terms. – Adolph Hitler

  9. Maria Farmer also named Cy Twombly in her Epstein interview with Whitney Webb. According to her, as an art student being showcased around by Elaine Guggenheim, when she made contact with the hack Twombly, he essentially said “So, you’re going to be my girlfriend for the next few months?”, to which she declined. No shock that this talentless fuckhead had connections to these leeches. Still has a museum named after him to this day.

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