Luc Tuymans and the Use Value of Irony

George A. Magalios

First Presented at the College Art Association Conference, New York, 2007

A Cynic is a spy who aims to discover what things are friendly or hostile to man; after making accurate observations, he then comes back and reports the truth.
-Epictetus (55 – 135 C.E.)

The Surface: Warhol’s Victory
Ladies, Gentlemen. Artists and Academics:

Let me begin by speaking about the wound…
Or, more precisely: the social/aesthetic disease from which the creative wound today originates: Cynical Irony. Continue Reading

War and Paint

George A. Magalios

If the enemy masses his forces he Loses ground, if he scatters he loses strength.
Mario Merz quoting Vietcong General Vo Nguyen Giap, 1968

Everything has always been about space, about our relationship to movement in space, possession of space, and power over others (nature, animals, and humans) to acquire and protect space. No matter how sophisticated we may think painting has become pictorially, semiotically, as a practice, or as a discourse, we are always painting as dwellers of both geopolitical and psychic space. Continue Reading

The Veil of Irony and Ressentiment

George A. Magalios
July 14, 2008

Cynical irony is a social disease born of cowardice, arrogance, and a derisive sense of humor based on negativity and schadenfreude. In the contemporary political realm of cartoons, sit-coms, talk shows and the relatively recent phenomena of mock news shows such as “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “The Colbert Report”, one sees the development and seepage of irony into the popular cultural mainstream at an unparalleled level. Continue Reading