Saturday, October 27, 2007
The Greatest Artist in the World
There's a new ARI (artist-run-initiative) in town. Let me explain...
I was doing my 5pm power walk around Centennial Park on Thursday, when I encountered the opening night fanfare of Art Sydney at The Royal Hall of Industries, where hard-bodied suits were parading down the red carpet with their pregnant Double Bay wives. Replenishing my fluids more than necessary, then pretending to tie my Nike shoelaces, I waited awhile hoping to spy someone semi-famous. Be careful what you wish for! I didn't just see someone famous, I saw Arie Levit, the self-proclaimed "Greatest Artist in the World". Admittedly I didn't know who he was; I'm just guessing he's famous and I didn't know because I cancelled my subscription to Parkett, like, ages ago.
It was quite amusing actually because Arie (who I gather has a mental illness or something) was rejected by Art Sydney and letting everyone know with his makeshift stall showcasing his precocious talents. What does he do? He paints, not with a brush, but with a trowel. I guess it's better than action painting from your asshole. I took a few phone snaps of management fighting to have him removed while an amateur TV crew (who I suspect were booked by Arie) filmed the commotion. As I was about to leave to finish my now interrupted power walk, Arie bailed me up with a brochure. Grammar may not be a strong suit, but confidence is. For that I feel blessed to have come close to such greatness. As Ari says:
Since the invention of the camera painters have had to compromise on the only thing that turns a painter into an artist... skill. Arie is the only painter in the last 200 years to put skill back into the art where it belongs. "I can do with my towel what the great Salvador Dali did with a hundred brushes. I paint the best paintings in the world, you can touch them, you can clean them with a cloth, you could even spill red wine over them, just mind the carpet mate!!" Aries fresco paintings amazes everyone who ever touches them. "When people touch my art my art touches them".
Pity his trowel isn't being used to craft the old-fashioned art of commas and apostrophes.