After stops in Fort Worth and Denton, British artist, culture critic and broadcaster Matthew Collings ends his North Texas tour at the Nasher Sculpture Center tonight. Not sure whether he's worth your mind's precious time? Here are five reasons.
1. He's a tastemaker And even though he surely finds that word atrocious, he embodies what it means at its most basic. Martin Kippenberger, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and Gerhard Richter were on his show, BBC 2's The Late Show, before they were household names. Collings has a history of focusing on work that's challenging over ready-made for the museum.
2. You might learn something Collings is prolific in his writing. His resume includes, Artscribe, The Observer Magazine and The New Statesman. His writings and television series can be looked at as a document of modern art in the last 35 years.
3. He doesn't give a shit about popularity contests "When I'm being extreme, I'm capable of thinking that frankly the whole art scene is made up of a bunch of idiots. And I have no desire to get millions of ordinary people to queue up to look at that stuff. Why should they? It's got nothing much to do with them. To suddenly expect it to be popular is asking the impossible. There really is very little in it for a mass audience and I think this mass audience it's suddenly now got, knows that really. And they're not really interested; they're just along for the ride, for the nonsense. The mandarin people in charge of the Turner Prize, and the media people at Channel 4, and middle-class people who run the art columns on the broadsheets, all assume ordinary people must have this stuff explained to them -- but the motivations for doing that are completely bullshit." - Interview with 3 A.M. Magazine, 2002.
4. His series, This Is Civilization, is a mind-fuck And it just might be one of the greatest meditations on where we came from, where we are and where we're going. Bouncing around the world, Collings pieces together past cultures and art movements into a psychoanalytic session, with mankind laying on the couch.
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5. He's a "maverick" in every sense that Sarah Palin is not Erudite and witty, Collings disarms readers by cutting through the bullshit of the critical community's overreliance on insider jargon and hype to deliver to the masses challenging and engaging connections on how modern art relates to the human experience.