Theory: Robert Hughes’ "The Mona Lisa Curse"

The Mona Lisa Curse

Time magazine art critic, Robert Hughes is one of my heroes. His landmark TV series, “Shock of the New” blew my mind when I was in college, and his documentary Goya: Crazy Like a Genius is the best film on the subject of art I have ever seen. He returned to the subject of modern art late in his life with a documentary on the deconstruction and destruction of art in our commercially driven age. It’s scathing, it’s depressing, and it’s undeniably true. Here is the complete program in 6 parts.

Note: One of the subjects of this documentary wasn’t pleased with the way he was presented and filed a lawsuit against the filmmakers for slander. “Mona Lisa Curse” is unlikely to be released in the United States anytime soon. It’s been pulled from YouTube several times already. Watch it while you can.

Part One: YouTube Direct Link

Part Two: YouTube Direct Link

Part Three: YouTube Direct Link

Part Four: YouTube Direct Link

Part Five: YouTube Direct Link

Part Six: YouTube Direct Link

Stephen Worth
Animation Resources


This posting is part of a series of articles comprising an online exhibit entitled Theory.

6 Responses to “Theory: Robert Hughes’ "The Mona Lisa Curse"”

  1. Eddie Fitzgerald says:

    I just watched the entire film and enjoyed it immensely. I agree with everything Hughes said but I’d add that the problem he talked about was inevitable.

    Success in any medium always breeds mindless imitation where the bad eventually crowds out the good, and a crash occurs. Artists should resist this and get mad about it, but it shouldn’t make us bitter or deter us from doing what’s genuinely important.

  2. [...] YouTube: All 12 parts of Robert Hughes’ “Mona Lisa Curse” [...]

  3. Demetre says:

    Much of what he said lit a fuse with me. I always felt like the commercial art created for mass consumption is discarded and forgotten.

  4. Geneva says:

    I watched the whole thing. Going through art school, I felt continually like the contemporary art world was just rich people arbitrating other rich peoples’ tastes. Albeit a skosh melodramatic for my liking, this hit the nail on the head. I’m glad to know it’s not just me and my friends who feel like this. When a teacher showed me painters like Fairfield Porter and Elizabeth Peyton, I just couldn’t believe it. Thanks for posting this.

  5. It’s is very shocking!

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