Friday, January 25, 2008

Rodney Graham, “The Gifted Amateur, Nov. 10th, 1962” (2007)

Rodney, who is the gifted amateur?

He’s a fictional character: a professional in the midst of a midlife crisis who has just discovered art. He saw a 1962 Morris Louis exhibition at the Andre Emmerich Gallery and decided, “I’m going to give this a shot. Any idiot could do it.” At first, I was going to call him "the aficionado."

Tell me about the gifted amateur’s living room.

It’s a bit of a fantasy of males my age: The guy has a kind of Playboy Mansion bachelor pad. I looked at a lot of interiors in Architectural Digest. I wanted it to look like an upper-middle-class, West Vancouver adaptation of Richard Neutra-like architecture—a house built into the mountainside. And I wanted it to look like a decorator did it all. There’s no trace in the decor of any prior interest in art. The interest is a sudden explosion; there are art books piled up all over the place.