Friday, March 2, 2018

Joseph Holtzman at Bel Ami


"After all, style—clothing, curtains, the smell of someone’s body, a social circle, a painterly movement—requires a material subject, someone with an instinct for impressions. [...] a close investigation of the details that make up a body, and the surfaces and the colors, which inform its moods, instincts, and mannerisms. Style, ventriloquized through painting, drives the show home." - pr

We're trying to rescue "style" away from its pejorative kidnapping by the schools of it. That, apart from an individual's subscription to a genre of style, (bauhaus, hipster, monderist, minimalist, bobo chic, et al), style is an individual's outward expression of a subjectivity, even the unfashionable, plain, manifest "style": did conceptual art not dress itself in the style of bureaucracy.  This distinction is clear in Holtzmann's interior design magazine which inverted the "shelter magazine" template, no longer publishing authority its readers were meant to subscribe to and replicate in their own homes, but rather a document of other's own idiosyncratic expression, famously documenting a diaper fetishist's personal crib. The more or less latent sexual desire that sediments as objects, homes, and design, having a lot to do with art. And so if the pr is seeming quick to defense of Holtzman's pizzazz, its because the most of us have confused flourish as "style" and thus puerile, and not as the grave expression of our own internals, painted on marble, and heavy, like flesh laid over bone.