Art Vent

Letting the Fresh Air In


Art Vent Letting the Fresh Air In

July 26, 2008
In a June news story that lasted about two minutes, Coldplay were accused of stealing a tune from a rock band named Creaky Boards for their new album—as if Coldplay didn’t have enough songs in their repertoire that they had to nick them. The story was nipped in the bud when Coldplay responded that lead singer Chris Martin was in London the night that he was allegedly seen in New York at a Creaky Boards gig, and that the album, Viva la Vida, on which the offending song appeared, had been demoed months before. While I know ideas do get ripped off, and I’ve actually had them ripped off (a book and an article, and blatantly), I also know that two people can come up with efforts that are spookily similar.

My direct experience with the zeitgeist was when Frank Del Deo, my dealer at Hirshl & Adler Modern (now at Knoedler), asked me—this was around 1995—if I knew the work of Italian artist Alighiero e Boetti (1940-94). I didn’t, but sought out his work and when I found it, it was like looking at myself. And, of course, now, I'm a big fan.

Which is Carol's and which is Alighiero's? Okay, mine is on the top and his is on the bottom. And while mine is painted, his is embroidered. But still....

June 28, 2008
[Via] Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly likes to distinguish between what he calls “Patriots” and “Pinheads”. “Pinheads” must be in short supply, because last week he decided Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin was one because of a reference to a fox on one of his songs, which O’Reilly sees as one of many “cheap shots” Coldplay regularly takes at the Fox Broadcasting Company. The lyric:

It was a long and dark December
When the banks became cathedrals
And the fox became God

O’Reilly appears not to know that the word “fox” also refers to a canine animal who lives in the wild and is part of the mythology of almost every culture.

In my Animal Speak reference, I found this: Probably the fox’s cleverest hunting technique is ‘charming’ [where] the fox is seen near a prey, performing various antics. It will leap and jump and roll and chase itself, so that it charms the prey’s attention. While performing the fox draws closer and closer without its prey realizing, as it is caught up in [the fox’s] seemingly non-threatening antics. Then at the right moment, the fox leaps and captures its prey.

This fox, however, looks as if it’s just having fun: