And a Brief Look at Chairman Emeritus, Leonard A. Lauder
Do you ever feel you are being manipulated by incomprehensible forces? Do you ever get the nauseating feeling of being had? Do you feel powerless to change it?
You are, have been, and the jury is out on the last.
Currently at the Whitney Biennial, is this gold piece by Michael Smith. Apparently it is part of a installation, but the site only shows this image of a badly stretched surface painted in yellow ochre. To get an overview of more of the artists, go here: https://whitney.org/exhibitions/2022-biennial#exhibition-artworks
But the height of hubris is showcasing Awilda Sterling-Duprey’s performance painting. She blindfolds herself, then gropes for colored pastel sticks, and then draws on the canvas. I don’t think she has the self-awareness of the bigger context, that she is being used to nudge stupidity in the viewers. But I don’t know what is sadder, when I saw this video on Facebook, 90% of the commentors loved it. They don’t know it, but they were brainwashed long ago.
The real culprits of psychological assault are those that make it happen, the Whitney Board of Trustees. They are flaunting their disrespect for you, great art, their artists, and, importantly, reserving self-loathing for themselves. And, as minor as it is, they are are also liars. This is from the museum’s About page:
As the preeminent institution devoted to the art of the United States, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. The Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art, and its collection—arguably the finest holdings of twentieth-century American art in the world—is the Museum’s key resource.
Their agenda is not to showcase the best of American artists, I have written about several artists that own that title, including myself, rather they are doing a BlackOp on you.
Leonard A. Lauder, is one of the world’s richest humans. He is current Chairman Emeritus of the Whitney. And he is definitely a hands-on trustee. From Wikipedia:
Lauder has long been a major benefactor of the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 1971, he joined the museum’s acquisitions board and in 1977, by then president of his family’s business, he became a Whitney trustee. He became president in 1990 and has been chairman since 1994. He has donated both money and many works of art to the Whitney, and is the museum’s most prolific fundraiser. His 2008 donation to it of $131 million is the largest in the museum’s history. Through the Leonard and Evelyn Lauder Fund, he and his wife have also sponsored several exhibitions at the Whitney.
There are a few possible reasons why someone like him would be a leading trustee of a contemporary art museum: their unaltered manipulation of other influential people will give them the illusion of being on top; they are using the museum as a money moving mechanism (the playbook is highlighted in Frances Saunders’s book, The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters); or the nihilistic repugnant postmodern works deeply reflect their own abhorrent self-assessment. A fourth, but superficial reason, could be that they have an extraordinary cynical world view, but that wouldn’t explain promoting it.
Lauder is also a member of “the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an American think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international relations … Its membership, which numbers 5,103, has included senior politicians, numerous secretaries of state, CIA directors, bankers, lawyers, professors, corporate directors and CEOs, and senior media figures.”
The CFR has published the journal Foreign Affairs since 1922. Notably, it has published articles by CIA officials such as current CIA director, William J. Burns.
Lauder is also a Trustee of the Aspen Institute and Chairman of the Aspen Institute International Committee. The Institute has partners in several important international cities, and in 2019 it had a revenue of $160 Million +. The Aspen Institute is also funded by such foundations as the Carnegie Corporation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Ford Foundation, which all have had close ties with CIA. [Saunders, F., Ibid.]
You are most assuredly being played on psychological and aesthetic grounds. Their goal, through this crappy art, is to wipeout your reason, confirmation of your senses, and throttle your emotions―leaving you in a mind-numbing stupor. This type of audience makes it easy for them to get away with robbing American blind, and gives them a short-lived feeling postponing their conscience. But I bet a few of the trustees are laughing at their joke about a blindfolded visual artist and the dumb shits that applaud it.
Not to leave you totally disheartened, there is stuff you can do be the good guys in this cultural war. From my about page on https://michaelnewberry.substack.com/about:
Support and encourage the figurative artists in your orbit. If you have clout, then join a contemporary museum board. If you are in the fine arts, then start curating exhibitions in university galleries, cultural centers, and museums. If you are an art historian or art critic, then write about what great living figurative artists are doing. If you are an activist, then offer to help figurative artists with their PR, social media, and arranging art talks and interviews. If you are psychologically wicked and enjoy research and detective work, then expose the trustees of contemporary and postmodern art museum boards.
Michael, Idyllwild, June 21, 2022
Frame of References:
Aspen Institute. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspen_Institute
Aspen Institute, site. https://www.aspeninstitute.org/
Council of Foreign Relations. Global Board of Advisors. https://www.cfr.org/global-board-advisors
Council of Foreign Relations. The U.S. State Department: The Power of Hip-Hop Diplomacy. https://www.cfr.org/podcasts/hip-hop-diplomacy
Foreign Affairs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Affairs
Foreign Affairs, site. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/
Saunders, Frances Stonor. The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Letters. Highly recommended, and I don’t receive a kickback. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C4GTDBU/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0
Whitney Biennial 2022. Quiet as It’s Kept. April 6–September 5, 2022. https://whitney.org/exhibitions/2022-biennial#exhibition-artworks
One Reply to “At The Whitney Museum of American Art, 2022 Biennial”
I was going to mention that this series of ‘drill-downs’ into the idea of purposeful manipulation seems to be war-gamed, just like recent examples of ‘election’ degradation. The same groups, nodes, individuals, entities are always implicated or tied to ugliness, destruction, or chaos…they are wedded to disorder, mainly I guess, to think ‘they’ (or about 100-500 very wealthy individuals) can install some sort of totalitarian hellhole. It won’t work. Order if more powerful than all combined.
I am looking forward to some more posts like this so as to chase down (and connect the dots) to the players and entities involved in ugliness and disorder. As far as I know, from an art critic lens, not too many paying attention to this.