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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 01/ 4/2007

Angelina Jolie: Purty as a Picture

By Liz Kelly

"Blessed Art Thou" by Kate Kretz. (Source: Kate's Studio)

When I saw this painting of Angelina Jolie by North Carolina artist Kate Kretz (on display starting tomorrow at Art Miami 2007), I immediately regretted my lunch of three-alarm Tofurkey chili. There ought to be some kind of warning, you know, because a nice bland broth would've been a lot easier on my churning stomach.

See, I pride myself on being a highly creative person who, if I so chose, would produce incredibly relevant, stunning art that would probably change the world in some significant way. I, however, am way too lazy to apply paint to canvas, but feel my hidden talents qualify me to compare this painting unfavorably to a velvet Elvis.

To be fair, though, I sought the opinion of a real critic, someone attuned to the peculiarities of the art world, and someone who might interpret an eccentricity as a bold stroke delivered from the brush of a skilled artisan. After all, one woman's abomination is another's treasure.

So I asked chief Post art critic Blake Gopnik to take a look at Kretz's painting and share his professional opinion:

"Kate Kretz's painting comes closer to magazine illustration than to the subtle fine art you'd expect to see in a major museum of contemporary art. It gets its messages across, alright. It presents Angelina Jolie as our nation's Madonna of Consumption. In a glory of siliconed breasts, collagened lips and foreign-adopted cherubs, Angelina reigns over Wal-Mart's banality -- its all-American brands, its all-American flag, it's all-American obesity. The problem with the picture, art-wise, is that its messages are way TOO clear. It's more like a puzzle-picture than a probing work of art: Once you've deciphered it, there's not much chance of giving it a second look. Its van-art technique, especially, is so generic that it hardly has a thing to say that hasn't been said a thousand times before -- often, much better. The crucial question, in our busy age: Why spend time with this work, when a 500-word Op Ed would do a better job expressing its opinions, and any number of Old Master paintings would mean more to an art-loving eye."

Ummm, what he said.

P.S. I didn't make contact with Kretz for one simple reason: She describes one of her preferred mediums as "hair embroidery." I was scared.

By Liz Kelly  | January 4, 2007; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Brangelina, Extreme Fans  
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Comments

For years I have wondered what it is about Angelina Jolie that men find attractive. Personally, I think she looks creepy, especially the lips. Is it just the bod?

I don't know, I just don't get it. I will say though that the painting above makes her look more normal that she does in reality. Is that possible?

Posted by: puzzled | January 4, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

sorry, Blake, she is silicone-free!

Posted by: Jo | January 4, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I think Carmen Electra is hotter.

Posted by: Stick | January 4, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

What your esteemed colleague is saying is "This painting is crap. Anyone who has this thing on a van or wall is probably a "Meth" dealer, and should be reported."

Posted by: Lisa | January 4, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

It's like great art. If you don't see why Angelina is sexy, it doesn't matter. You ain't never gonna get it.

Posted by: Art Lover | January 4, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Umm...did she really need to paint Maddox anatomically correct? I mean, that poor kid is gonna grow up with enough issues - he needs his little naked self imagined on canvas for all the world to see? Not lascivious, I get that - but still...uncool.

Posted by: Not prude...really | January 4, 2007 11:32 AM | Report abuse

So, the "artist" is comparing Angelina to the Virgin Mary? Perhaps she needs to brush up on her theology.

Posted by: pnina | January 4, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

sorry, Blake, she is silicone-free!

ummm, nope, she has breast inplants

Posted by: Irish girl | January 4, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Hair embroidery? It's is wrong that I'm scared as well but strangely interested in finding out what's involved.

If you do manage to talk to her, ask her why Angelina is only holding two of her three kids? is Brad out buying another rasta hat? why are two of the three kids naked? and why is it that no one notices the descending Angelina and kids?

Posted by: petal | January 4, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

What a lousy painting. I thought it was just some net-art junk, but the idea that it's being peddled by a gallery at a major art fair is just sad.

Posted by: JBL | January 4, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

that painting is scarier than pat robertson.

Posted by: b | January 4, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

You guys are all wrong. That's the best painting EVER! If we put a reproduction in every world leader's office there'd be no more war, nor hunger.

Posted by: David Flores | January 4, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm tired of her, her causes, her public attempt to re-create a happy childhood.
She looks thin and haggard. The people shopping below are having a better time and at least they don't look starved.

Posted by: RoseG | January 4, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone else notice the stabb at Jen. The US mag cover features a story on why Vince left!

Is it me or is that just wrong???

Posted by: bored... | January 4, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

US magazine blames Jen for the demise of the "Golden Couple."

Posted by: Lisa | January 4, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"The problem with the picture, art-wise, is that its messages are way TOO clear. It's more like a puzzle-picture than a probing work of art: Once you've deciphered it, there's not much chance of giving it a second look. Its van-art technique, especially, is so generic that it hardly has a thing to say that hasn't been said a thousand times before -- often, much better."

THANK YOU Ms. Kelly and Mr. Gopnik! I'm an artist and I see mountains of boring junk like this succeeding in the art world and it really depresses me. I guess the art world is like every other world where the denizens hunger to see only what they expect and love it when things are spelled out for them. Woe!

Posted by: MelissaW | January 4, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

How typical. A cynical, lazy, overstuffed armchair of a critic hasn't got the wit to decipher the message of the painting herself, but says she wants to hurl because it's Angelina Jolie. The art expert actually does a great job of explaining the work, but then pans the artist as lazy and blatant. Gee, I wonder what he would have had to say about Goya? And these people, these critics and experts, are why the finest artists of the modern generation are making TV commercials. Their message is wasted on knee-jerk intellectuals who claim to be experts, and experts who claim to have a greater vision.

Hire the artist, fire the critic.

Posted by: Ellen | January 4, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious!

Posted by: Islamorada Girl | January 4, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Melissa. And also I wonder how much this thing would probably sell for. Probably some collector in New York would pay big bucks for it.
What I see in this work that is so much like the other crapola work selling for big bucks is the slick image, the cheap and easy message, and the "holier than thou" view of the artist. She's the one who thinks she's god, not Angie Jolie. And can we stop dissing fat Americans shopping in Wal-Mart? Get over it..that is the kind of stuff you'd expect from a student.
I would LOVE to know "what kind of hair and whose" is used in the embroidery. Go for it Liz...ask her! but don't tell the artist all the mean stuff we're saying about her.

Posted by: Barb | January 4, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

The artist painted this as a sarcastic commentary on our culture of celebrity worship. I don't think it's meant to be considered serious art. I saw a write-up about it on a website yesterday.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 4, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

nope, no breast implants and the lips are real. she has huge boobs now because she is nursing.

Posted by: Jo | January 4, 2007 12:55 PM | Report abuse

I think the painting is hilarious and sad because it is a perfect commentary on the pathetic voyeur nation we've become. I would call it pop art. Don't you think it looks like one of those cheesy paint-by-numbers sets?

Posted by: methinks | January 4, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm sympathetic to Jolie. People always take humanitarian leaders and try to portray them as superhuman and then tear them apart. They're doing it to Bono and Borgen also. Women seem to get it worse though, Mother Teresa and Princess Di couldn't sneeze without being criticized.

Posted by: bobby | January 4, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Boy, am I tired of the news media feeding Jolie's pathetic need for attention. Constant attention. Never-ending attention.

Okay, so her father ditched her. No one's life is perfect. And hers ain't that bad.

Posted by: diane | January 4, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Oh, come on. It's at least funny. What kind of art show is this at the Miami convention center anyway?

Posted by: Erik | January 4, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I thought at first that the painting was from the gallery of the absurd. It's pop art, plain and simple.

Does pop art necessary have deep metaphors? It's pretty surface. This painting in particular isn't saying anything new or risky.

Posted by: Wash DC | January 4, 2007 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't knock Jolie; Angelina is my best friend; she's my EVEry--. I think it's a pretty good pop art/social satire. Its fun to look at unlike some monstrosities that passes for art these days. The majorities of "great art" in its day were dissed by the critics of the day. Just because it looks like "van art", which it does, does not mean its bad art. I think it's at least interesting and funny as hell. Too bad the rest of the people on this forum has nothing original to say than simply lip-syncing the columnist and the "critic".

Posted by: jake | January 4, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone google the artist? The psychological clothing -- the purse? Yipes!

Posted by: Hair embroidery? | January 4, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

It struck me that she really is the patron saint of the check-out counter - my trip to the Shoppers' isn't complete unless I see A.J.'s flawless visage and child-laden form, strolling with her blond man-god through the ravaged areas of Earth....in that sense, it's fun, satiric pop-art.

Posted by: Maritza | January 4, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

That's no a very believable painting at all. There's no Wal-Mart that clean.

Posted by: Sallie | January 4, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Damn.. when was this painting done? I happen to still have Time magazine's May 8, 2006 issue - 100 influential people (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1187349,00.html) and the painting on pg 98 is VERY similar.

You can see Anita Kunz's work here: http://www.anitakunz.com/media/p88=.jpg

This was before the third child was adopted? Even the placement of the two kids is the same. Booo Kretz (or Kunz if Kretz was first).

Posted by: HP | January 4, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Viva Angelina. She is the best so caring and thoughtful. Her Husband is intellectually very advanced.

Posted by: Luke | January 4, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Methinks - I'd say you're 100% correct. Our Art Scene in Miami is very into pop art; and there's some really interesting stuff emerging down here... but as our City has a MUCH different cultural Vibe than my hometown of D.C., a lot of people up North don't get the social commentary.

As for me, I'm thrilled it's Art Weekend II, and I'm looking forward to seeing the painting up close on Friday.

Posted by: Jay | January 4, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that she only puts clothes on her biological child, but makes the other two adopted children run around buck naked??? I'm calling social services....

Posted by: sue | January 4, 2007 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's no sculpture of Britney giving birth...

Posted by: Jeb | January 4, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh cool, that cloud looks like Angelina Jolie.

Posted by: CMoney | January 4, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Funny. Nice comment by Gopnik. I'm an artist that is interested in doing art in which the more you look at, the more you "see." This is a process which is supposed to make people explore and open up to be able to see what is within themselves and what is around them and what the artist is trying to communicate. Good art is not just a pretty picture.

To say the least, this painting is garish. (And I don't feel like analyzing it any further.) Blah. No matter what its subject matter is, it's not good art.

Posted by: charlie | January 4, 2007 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else think Angelina looks like a Bratz doll? The head appears to be abnormally large...

Posted by: Emmie | January 4, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Her adopted children are cherubs; bio-child has no wings.

Discuss.

Posted by: maryann | January 4, 2007 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Darkly ironic Norman Rockwell minus 60% of the talent. 50 years from now, we'll get all nostalgic over this.

btw, since I'm from West Virginia, I can say that this painting would have been a better choice for the back of our quarter. Far more of us shop at Wal-Mart than go rafting under the New River Gorge bridge.

Posted by: wmav04 | January 4, 2007 5:27 PM | Report abuse

hahahahahaha. liz, your comment, as well as some of the early comments (i couldn't read them all: i actually have a life to live . . . uh, after I write my own commentary) are more entertaining than the holier-than-thou image of angelina. it's extraordinarily cheesy!

but i do wonder, why are we so consumed with celebrities? they are only larger than life when they are on the big screen. and their hurts and pains are magnified by the lens they live under. don't we all have better things to do?

however, she's hot. if i were gay and could get close to her, brad wouldn't have a chance.

Posted by: carol | January 4, 2007 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Blake Gopnik's analysis is excellent, very refreshing read on this particular piece, he is right on the money. The painting is a sarcastic allegory on modern American culture, the author's dopey (what he said) take on the analysis is cute, but he isn't saying anything you don't get in freshman art history at a decent college. What's that? Not one of you tool art history? That's why all your ignorant comments prove that it tells a meaningful story about art ignorant Americans, America's ignorant pop culture, and the general hopelessness of you all.

Posted by: CK | January 4, 2007 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree. It's too blatantly obvious, sophisticated art strives to have a sense of ambiguity.

Posted by: Dheepan | January 4, 2007 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Elvis on velvet is kitsch. This is satire.

BTW, I dont find Angelina to be that hot. She looks so ... fake. Oh well, who doesn't any more?

Posted by: blindfish | January 4, 2007 9:37 PM | Report abuse

hey, the washington post has deigned to let our apostrophes show in our comments! praise be to angelina!

Posted by: mcleangirl | January 4, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

I bet Angelina is better than most of the people who wrote nasty things about her. I bet they are just jealous because Angelina has almost everything a woman would want and a man would desire. You can say whatever you want about the way the artist paint but do not criticize Angelina. I think she's doing far more good things than a lot you those who sent a nasty comment about her. Why don't you just be like Angelina who cares for children.

Posted by: lbrooks | January 4, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse

It's simpleminded and badly painted, two traits you won't find in a Goya.
The end.

Posted by: JBL | January 5, 2007 1:04 AM | Report abuse

Thank you, Lbrooks. My sentiments exactly.

Posted by: Marie | January 5, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

For those that think that Angelina is unattactive I'd love to know what you look like. Most likely a hot mess!

Posted by: Marie | January 5, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

U can all figure out what is going on with the artist and her intentions at her awesome blogsite:www.katekretz.blogspot.com or her website:www.katekretz.com...THEN maybe most of u can stop being so ignorant with your lack of knowledge of Kate who just left a 10yr job as a college professor to pursue her dream of just being an aritst!

Posted by: Jenny | January 5, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Strangely, I recently ran into MS Jolie in a small French convienience store in Paris, where she asked me to hand her the toilet paper because it was too high. I aske dwhat brand and she began speaking in English, asking which one I used. I siad, you don't wanna know. The cheap recycled stuff that makes your butt itch. She said she'd have the same. It was then that I recognized her. Quite different up close (so close in fact, that I didn't even really realize she was preggers.) So imagine MY shicjka t the image of her as the supermarket virgin!

Posted by: device | January 5, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Clearly this is not a post about the painting, but rather, the more pressing question re: Angelina Jolie's luscious, er, breasts and lips. Real? Fake?

REEEEAAAAAAAAL, baby!!!

Posted by: depeche | January 5, 2007 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Never mind the painting... let me analyze the art critic's artspeak:

1. "Real" art must be subtle in order to be of museum quality.

2. "Real" art should never be TOO clear in its message (otherwise who'd need critics to interpret it for us?).

3. "Real" art should "say" something, but not too clearly, and that something shouldn't have been said too many times before.

4. Old Master paintings, because they're done by dead Old Masters, can say something in a heavy-handed way, and really clearly, but that's OK, because they're Old Masters and not some new painter who's clearly never gotten the memo that painting is dead.

Posted by: Lenny | January 5, 2007 11:06 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing is that a lot of you are doing exactly what the artist expects you to do. Aggressively defending this celebrity you don't even know proves the artist's point about America. Yes it's obvious and not a Rembrandt, but I must say it's slightly refreshing to see an artist just make a their point without trying too hard to feed the ambiguity and the critics. If a piece isn't terribly complicated to understand, it can still stand as art. Just as well, complicated pieces are often terrible. Maybe more people would support the artist if she carried some adopted foreign children down the red carpet.

Posted by: cat | January 5, 2007 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Lenny I completely agree with your post. Most art critics get pretty defensive about the Old Masters because their dead. This critic made some good points about art today, but many of those points are the ones that are keeping art from evolving. Let the woman paint a celeb or make a vagina purse. These are her interpretations and ideas and I don't think the critic gave her enough credit for her efforts.

Posted by: cat | January 5, 2007 11:56 PM | Report abuse

I should also say that Liz Kelly makes MY stomach sick with how she treats the artist in her column. The fact that the term "celebritology" even exists promotes the idea that people don't have enough interest in their own lives. If it weren't for this painting as subject I wouldn't even be commenting.

Posted by: cat | January 6, 2007 12:07 AM | Report abuse

I saw this painting in person today at the fair. It is a large painting with obsessive detail, done in a Renaissance glazing technique, not airbrush, as is implied by the "van art" comment. It is a commanding and powerful piece when you are standing in front of it, and I overheard many fascinating interpretations as I spent time in the booth: some people hated it, some people loved it, but no one could walk by without stopping.

Blake's comment "there's not much chance of giving it a second look" seems especially inappropriate in this case, as people spent a tremendous amount of time finding subtle ironies in the minute details of the work as I stood there.

I find it appalling that a critic would make a such a strong statement (which now, incidentally, stands as the definitive word on her work in an AP news release) without ever seeing the work in person.

And Liz, you should not be writing about art if you are afraid to call the artist because hair embroideries scare you.

Posted by: Michelle | January 6, 2007 3:22 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the angle to this story brought up by Lenny, who stays away from discussing the painting or the artist herself, but highlights the typical galvanized and ignorant immediate response from the art critic, too full of anachronistic high art words and dismissiveness.

Imagine that this painting, exactly as it is, had been done by a darling artist of the art set - say Damian (or is it Damien?) Hirst? what would Gopnik's opinion say then?

I bet that he would have praised the painting as an "extraordinary commentary on today's obsession with Hollywood stars as the new iconic saints and contemporary royalty, and yet the more time that we spend deciphering this modern masterpiece, the more clues we find to the artist's firm grasp on the footprint of contemporary American society, drunken in its own stupor of cheap goods, cheap food and off the rack spandex pants. Hirst once again proves his extraordinary ability to grasp a moment or a thought or a happensance and present it in full, CLEAR glory, readily absorbed by the most learned of art lovers or the common masses filling Wal-Mart's coffers. It is a memorable work of art which sets the pace for social commentarism in the contemporary artistic dialogue of the 21st century.

Posted by: Adam | January 6, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Dear Liz: You need to actually see the painting and the other works by the artist. To think that you can comment on the technique without seeing it is simplistic. Anything you want to say on the subject matter goes, but if you are as lazy as you admit (and seem), then shut!

In any case.....all publicity is good publicity and this artist deserves it more than some bloggers I know!

Posted by: freddiemd | January 6, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Its difficult to imagine that any responsible critic would form and publish such an opinion without ever seeing the work in person. Not really any different than writing a review based only on an exhibition catalog, lazy and irresponsible.

Whether you appreciate the work or not, the artist and the arts in general deserve more effort than was given in reviewing this piece. It's utterly ubsurd that someone who failed to rise from his chair to form an opinon, has the audacity comment on the merits of this work.

If the artist is commenting on the deification of celbrities, perhaps it would have been more useful for Liz to write about her perceptions on the same subject. Rather than do a weak job of repeating someone elses poorly formed critique. At least it would have been more in keeping with her column title, and her forte.

Posted by: Ron. A | January 6, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm not a huge fan of the painting. But all its attendant hullabaloo forces me to point out what an absolutely small-minded, petty little "critic" you are. Oh, so the "hair embroideries" scared you? Poor thing. Go crawl under the middle-American rock where you belong.

Posted by: Sun | January 7, 2007 6:12 AM | Report abuse

If you read her blog, the kitchy effect was entirely intentional.

Posted by: Michelle | January 7, 2007 6:46 AM | Report abuse

I look at this and my first interpretation is "she's in heaven (without being there yet) while the others are in hell (but aren't there yet either). Life is what you make it.
So as for "her unattainable beauty" it's sad to see how most people have let themselves go - to the point this is how they're happy looking.
It isn't unattainable beauty, but it isn't 4000 calories a day coupled with 5 hours of daily boob-tube either. Some halfway decent clothes (or maybe tucking your shirt in) would go a long way too. Painting or Not - You DO see these people every day, there's no shortage of them and it's like they don't even care to TRY anymore.

Posted by: Richard | January 7, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Of course you can't compare this painting to other artists' work. It is not a Goya, it's a Kretz! (Aren't we all supposed to have our own style)? It is not about anyone "liking" Kretz' style or method (if you have not even seen it). It is about stirring up an emotion, she obviously made a statement because we are all here blogging about it. Amazing, all this buzz about this one painting and everyone wants to clobber her "style". Any comments on any of her other pieces of work or just this one that is in the news. I see every single blogger has been to Miami and have seen the piece in person... Hmmmmm.... I see we have a bunch of true art critics.... missing the boat...LOL ...Fair weather art critics...too funny!

Posted by: Rhonda | January 7, 2007 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, if someone has not even "seen" the painting in person..how can "anyone" post about technique, method, style or even talent. Focus on the message.

Don't be a Pixel Painting Critic.

Those of you who have seen it...critique away. I liked the posts of the folks who had actually seen the piece...they hold much more credibility.

Posted by: Rhonda | January 7, 2007 4:46 PM | Report abuse

The virgin Mary is way too innocent to be compared to Angelina Jolie

Posted by: Anonymous | January 7, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Angelina as the virgin Mary is shocking! Another thing that makes me shiver is Walmart being a place directed by Satan and not seen as a place where angels from heaven watch over it as this picture suggests

Posted by: Mary | January 7, 2007 11:45 PM | Report abuse

The critic always seems to be despised. It's easy to see why here. Did Kelly/Gopnik actually 'review' the painting from an jpeg thumbnail on the web???? It certainly doesn't sound like this was based on an actual visit to the gallery. What kind of 'professional' does their job that way? It's like reviewing a movie based on the trailer. Pathetic and pointless. Learn to do your job or find another one.

Posted by: Johns | January 8, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The painting is interesting and encourages thought. What more is necessary? Art does not require agreement with the message. Ms. Kelly should be ashamed for posting her article. Words carry weight in this information age when they will be linked and circulated extensively and more responsibility should be shown before penning a hit piece on an artist.
Perhaps this is from of a lack of perspective caused by a career of writing about "celebritology".

Posted by: Mike | January 8, 2007 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I could not agree more with Lenny's comment regarding the art critic's artspeak. Professional critics should especially refrain from analyzing technique without having directly observed the painting. A jpeg image does not provide enough visual information to reveal the artist's creative process. I am now more curious than ever to see the actual painting in order to analyze it, rather than rely on Gopnik's uninformed critique. While Kelly admits to being lazy, Gopnik should as well - he did not do his research. It is an absolute shame that their laziness can affect an artist's moment of recognition. I hope that other critics will be more responsible and review the work first-hand, and if unable to, they should aknowledge this as a limitation.

Posted by: Tendai | January 8, 2007 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Oh my. I just googled Kate Kretz. Her hair embroidery is skin-crawlingly creepy. It reminds me of Ed Gein, the serial killer who made bowls out of human skulls and table tops of human "leather." It also reminds me of the rooms upon rooms of human hair collected from Jews by the Nazis before the Jews were sent to the execution/shower chambers. Ugh.

Posted by: Lori | January 8, 2007 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Jeesh, Lori...grow up and get a life. A Nazi reference because you find something, in your words, "creepy"? What shallow rock do you live under? Please go back if you don't have anything intelligent to say.

Posted by: Larry | January 8, 2007 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Tendai, nice point. One should expect a 'professional' critic to actually be 'professional' and conduct themselves with appropriate care in their work.
However, if you google Mr. Gopnik, there are a number of other people who have found issues with his work previously. There's even one funny site referring to his "jumping the art shark" by doing a cafeteria gelato review. Ha.

Posted by: Larry | January 8, 2007 1:35 PM | Report abuse

While first impressions, made with little thought behind them, are an ongoing experience of life, art is meant to evoke more than that. In paintings that are meant to be more than a "pretty picture", the richness of human dialog and experience can be found. This (and other) work by this artist is rich with ideas and emotions that many seem to miss the value of. Sometimes, a little thought can go a long way toward understanding and appreciation. The painting isn't about Angelina, or the Virgin Mary and the children didnt pose nude for this painting... look a little further and you'll see that there's much more going on here....

Posted by: Kevin | January 9, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

More good stuff on this subject at this critic's blog: http://hatchetsandskewers.blogspot.com/2007/01/you-know-from-time-to-time-i-have-these.html

Posted by: Rushie | January 9, 2007 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Curator and Art Papers Senior Editor Jerry Cullum has a different reesponse to the painting (and her body of work) in his blog.

http://joculum.livejournal.com/27721.html

Posted by: Michelle | January 10, 2007 8:38 AM | Report abuse

I too saw this painting in person and it is huge and beautiful and thought provoking. There were people staring and talking and heading back for a second look only to notice something new. The technique and layers of glaze alone show the artists devotion to creating a work of art and not just a 'van painting'. Has this critic even seen the painting in person?? And I agree with whomever said that the art critic who is afraid of the hair embroidery is just plain ignorant and should be stripped of her position. Hire me--I'll at least LOOK at the art before passing judgement!

Posted by: Jenny | January 12, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

jonny3

Posted by: jonny1 | January 17, 2007 10:23 AM | Report abuse

jonny5

Posted by: jonny6 | January 20, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

As I saw suggested on another blog, you should go this this artist's home page on her website and see REAL reviews of her work by REAL critics who have seen the REAL paintings in person...

http://www.katekretz.com/home.html

Posted by: Michelle | January 20, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

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