The Mona Lisa Curse

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

Courtesy of Mark Vallen's blog, Art For A Change.

Robert Hughes, former art critic for Time magazine, has been writing about art and contemporary culture for fifty years. His film, The Shock of the New, broke ground in 1980 as a television documentary tracing the development of Modern Art since Impressionism for an audience of milllions.

In his 2008 documentary, The Mona Lisa Curse, Hughes reflects on the sea change in modern culture, and the forces behind it, that has transformed art into a major commercial commodity, and museums, galleries, and artists into multi-billion dollar “brands.” Beginning his story with the traveling exhibition of the Mona Lisa to the Metropolitan Museum in the Kennedy era, and the accompanying marketing blitz, Hughes unfolds a compelling narrative of this major metamorphosis of art in our time.

“It’s a story that I’ve watch unfold during the last 50 years. I’ve seen with growing disgust; the fetishization of art, the vast inflation of prices, and the effect of this on artists and museums. The entanglement of big money with art has become a curse on how art is made, controlled, and above all – in the way that it’s experienced. And this curse has affected the entire art world.”    – Robert Hughes, in The Mona Lisa Curse.

The entire 12-part YouTube video release has been pieced together by Larry Groff (thank you, Larry!) into one long, uninterrupted whole which he has posted on his blog, Painting Perceptions.

A synopsis of  each of the twelve parts of the documentary can be found on Mark Vallen’s blog, Art For a Change.


Watch the The Mona Lisa Curse.


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