Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why care about Hitler paintings?” you ask? Good question. Timely too. (Besides, it beats answering all those questions about private parts. Seriously, ladies, if your naughty bits concern you, send your pictures and videos to your rascally writer and he’ll see what he can do, mmmkay?)
In case you missed it, people are selling Hitler’s paintings . . . supposedly. Jonathan Jones of The Guardian confirms that collectors are forking out “considerable sums” for Adolf Hitler’s paintings in Germany and other places as well.
It’s controversial because they’re buying up “the art of a man who caused murder and cruelty beyond imagining.” Many folks think this is “repulsive and sick.’ He also adds that in most cases, it’s “transparently dishonest”.
Due in part because art historians are not interested in authenticating “the artworks of this monster, the market in ‘Hitler’ paintings is littered with fakes.” It’s not been stopped because folks think it’s funny that the dumb@sses who just have to own a painting by Hitler are being scammed.
History and Jones confirm young Hitler studied “art in early 20th-century Vienna, the city of Klimt and Schiele. Rejected by the Austrian capital’s prestigious Academy of Fine Arts, he became a dropout who painted topographic views . . . first in Vienna and then in Munich. That is the extent of his career as an artist.”
He adds that Hitler’s “authentic work has zero personality” and that they are “dull”. Obviously, no one would buy them with the name Smith on them.
Jones also reports that “the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman have bought paintings offered as Hitler originals and used them to their own ends, adding grotesque jokes to these toxic artworks. The Chapmans know full well the art they have bought as ‘by Hitler’ is probably a forgery. That’s part of the joke. In a recent exhibition at Hastings, they displayed an obvious, hilarious Hitler fake.”
Some folks also are upset because they feel Hitler’s art doesn’t deserve the attention and yet as Jones himself confesses it’s “too sensational for reporters to resist.” He also believes people enjoy “that frisson of unease (they) get from looking at art that is supposedly by Hitler.”
Jones agrees the problem is that whenever “a supposed painting by Adolf Hitler appears, unquestioned, in a newspaper or on TV, someone will be thinking: “That’s not bad, the man was an artist.” It falsely humanizes him.”
He concludes that it’s time to officially exhibit “Hitler’s art at a serious museum. This would be an opportunity to define his style more clearly and demolish myths and exaggerations about his ability and output. For Hitler was no artist, and the trade in his purported works is a sick joke on his millions of victims.”
Why care about Hitler paintings? Now you know.
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