I stopped off yesterday and saw the Saul Steinberg show (Illuminations) at the Pierpont Morgan mansion. It made me laugh out loud. Wow, he was good. Don’t know when I’ve ever smiled as much at a museum show. It’s work that is profound, clever and funny often at the same time — there’s also a lot of political commentary and sadness — and it’s not just the famous drawing of a New Yorker’s xenophobic view of the world from 9th Ave. west.
I flatter myself, but I think he had a similar problem to my own in his art career — he was a contemporary and friend with Rothko and Pollock and the other big U.S. official fine artists at the time, and he showed in the “right” galleries as well, but his work was never accepted as high art the way theirs was. Maybe it was the size — his stuff is small compared to theirs. Big stuff can be sold for more money. Rumor has it that Warhol began grouping his silk-screens in pairs and bunches because they would then fetch a bigger price — and they did. Maybe Steinberg’s problem was also because his work is sometimes funny — funny is not serious. Or maybe it’s because he was successful as an illustrator — his commercial success sabotaged his art career.
From the Center For Land Use Studies — a fake “town” in California where cops practice shoot-‘em-ups. (Car chase track in background.) Note the name of the bar.
Watch out, because if you lived here, this could be you — two of the targets:
Looks like he got hit a lot more than she did. What does that say?