Art

On Frida Kahlo's Birthday, Check Out Her "Self-Portrait with Stalin"

This is a reminder that creative geniuses are often unbelievably stupid and useless when it comes to politics and morality.

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Frida Kahlo, wikiart

Today is the birthday of Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist who is widely celebrated as a creative genius, a feminist icon, and a Latina/Mexican culture hero. Salma Hayek made a biopic about her and she's known for quotes such as "I paint flowers so they will not die."

She is also a classic reminder that artists can be unbelievably stupid and grotesque in their political commitments. As committed communists, she and her husband, fellow artist Diego Rivera, were pals with Leon Trotsky for a spell while he lived in Mexico. As an architect of one of "history's worst totalitarian regimes," Trotsky is a bad enough egg to roll with (Kahlo even had an affair with him, but as Woody Allen is fond of saying, "The heart wants what it wants").

But Kahlo and Rivera soon grew disenchanted with Trotsky and became admirers of the man who commissioned his murder, Joseph Stalin. A low-ball estimate of deaths under Stalin is around 9 million while other numbers come in around 20 million and more.

So take a long look at "Self-Portrait with Stalin," painted by Kahlo in 1954, soon before her death that same year. That is some fucked-up art right there. Uncle Joe had died the year before and only the most deluded bitter-clingers were under any illusions about his reign of terror. 

Think of say, Andy Warhol's Mao series or his Mao wallpaper, in which another homicidal tyrant is reduced to kitsch by being treated like a cartoonish movie star (Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor) or turned into an absurdist wall decoration. With Kahlo, there's no critical distance or critique of Stalin. Kahlo remained a true believer in a truly godawful ideology her whole life.

Sadly, many great artists have been suckers for terrible, terrible politics. Nobel Prize-winning author Knud Hamsun wrote an obit for Hitler that is equalled only by W.E.B. DuBois's for Stalin ("He was attacked and slandered as few men of power have been; yet he seldom lost his courtesy and balance"!). Richard Strauss was tight with the Nazi regime, Ezra Pound did actual propaganda broadcasts for Mussolini and how many creative types still swoon for Fidel Castro? More recently, the Austrian novelist Peter Handke, a perennial shortlister for a Nobel, figuratively blew kisses to Slobodan Milosevic during his war-crimes trial.

The politics of our artists—whether high-brow as in the case of Kahlo or low-brow in the case of, say, David Allan Coe—are all too often far more disappointing than the very worst of their creative works. That doesn't mean their art or thought must be rejected out of hand (a great example of separating the two involves public reaction to a mural in Detroit by Kahlo's husband). But it's always worth trying to understand art in the context of a creator's time and place while we figure out whether and how we want to make use of it. All too often, we sacralize art and turn artists into high priests and priestesses who are somehow channeling the Divine, touching the Infinite, and tuning into the Cosmic.

Which is usually just as much a load of shit as Kahlo's "Self-Portrait with Stalin." Art, music, literature, and other forms of creative expression become far more interesting—and far more frustrating and infuriating—when we take into account the stupidities of the people who create them. Knowing that J.D. Salinger drank his own urine, Walt Whitman called blacks "baboons," and Dalton Trumbo wrote his anti-war masterpiece Johnny Got His Gun to keep America out of World War II as long as the Nazis and Soviets were at peace doesn't make our lives or hero worship any easier.

But if we wanted easy, we wouldn't be consuming art now, would we?

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  1. Still think Johnny Depp would have been a better choice than Salma Hayek.

  2. It’s some commie’s birthday, and Google hasn’t done a doodle to commemorate it?

    1. That’s got to be a first.

      1. They don’t commemorate Independence Day but they do commemorate a bin Laden supporter. Nothing fishy about that…

        1. They did commemorate Independence Day. I know this because I checked Google’s front page on Monday just to see if they did. Maybe you should actually check things out before repeating them like a gullible moron.

          1. But he is a gullible moron.

            1. Not as gullible as his Mom.

              1. His mom’s not gullible, she’s just easy. And its easier to pretend that you’re fooling her.

      2. who needs 23 commie doodles etc…etc..

  3. It is interesting how many artists’ individualism leads to support for the belief that One Man Can Change the World which in turn leads to the belief in TOP MEN Getting Things Done. And then there is the whole getting funded/praised by the powers that be…

  4. The politics of our artists?whether high-brow as in the case of Kahlo…

    I think her work is best described as uni-brow.

  5. She was truly a socialist artist. Rather than owning and suffering the art and the artistry herself, everyone who looks at it gets to suffer equally.

    1. I was gonna say that’s a really awful painting. There’s probably about a couple million infants who could do better with the contents of their diapers.

      1. But they weren’t blowing totalitarian thugs, so they weren’t great.

        1. You just don’t get true art !

          1. One of my few redeeming qualities

  6. Frida’s mustache was more impressive.

  7. Ah Dalton Trumbo. Convenient that people forget to bring up Thirty Seconds over Tokyo, a Guy Named Joe and Tender Comrade when speaking of Johnny Got His Gun. Or how he pulled it from release when the US entered the war and sent letters of people asking for copies to the FBI…

    Most amusing is this:

    His novel The Remarkable Andrew, featured the ghost of President Andrew Jackson appearing in order to caution the United States against getting involved in World War II. In a review of the book, Time Magazine wise-cracked, “General Jackson’s opinions need surprise no one who has observed George Washington and Abraham Lincoln zealously following the Communist Party Line in recent years.”

  8. So you’re saying I shouldn’t be hanging on every word Matt Damon says?

    1. You should be hanging your towels on Matt Damon.

      1. That’s disgusting. They’ll get all slimy.

        -jcr

    2. The Bourne Loser?

  9. Nobel Prize-winning author Knud Hamsun wrote an obit for Hitler that is equalled only by W.E.B. DuBois’s for Stalin (“He was attacked and slandered as few men of power have been; yet he seldom lost his courtesy and balance”!). Richard Strauss was tight with the Nazi regime, Ezra Pound did actual propaganda broadcasts for Mussolini and how many creative types still swoon for Fidel Castro? More recently, the Austrian novelist Peter Handke, a perennial shortlister for a Nobel, figuratively blew kisses to Slobodan Milosevic during his war-crimes trial.

    What’s Sean Penn on Hugo Chavez, chopped liver?

    1. That relationship’s more vapid and sexual than the one Frida Kahlo had with Trotsky.

    2. Also surprised there’s no allusion to Richard Wagner’s raging anti-Semitism and socialism.

      But, on the upside, Johannes Brahms was one of the most rational men who ever lived, in both art and politics.

      1. Fun fact. Wagner’s daughter-in-law Winifred supplied the paper and ink to Hitler that he used to write Mein Kampf.

        1. Didn’t her kids call him “Onkel Wulf”?

    3. Spiccoli is a celeb, not an artist.

      -jcr

    4. This article is a critique on the misguided philosophies of supposedly great artists.

      Penn is not a great artist. Penn has the acting range of a doorknob. He and Kristen Stewart should star in a May/December romantic comedy entitled: Two dead eyed, drooling idiots stare vacantly at each other and mumble in a near incoherent monotone.

      1. You’re confusing near incoherent monotone with seriousness.

  10. Knowing that J.D. Salinger drank his own urine

    Yeah, well, you’re a phony, Nick.

    1. KILL JOHN LENNON! KILL JOHN LENNON!

  11. Let’s talk about musicians, who make visual artists look like sober, thoughtful, and informed intellectuals.

    1. I was just thinking the same thing. After I grew up and listened to the stuff I listened to as a kid (mostly sixties and seventies rock) I figured out that most of those dumb bastards were pinkos. It nearly ruined it for me.

      1. We actually socialize with our favorites. Big mistake.

        1. These days, I tend to listen to the classical music station, except when it’s the quarterly begging season.

    2. Musicians are the wholesale division of art. They perform for their audience wholesale, and get blown by their audience wholesale.

  12. The example painting looks pretty mediocre to me.

    1. Looking on Wikipedia, many of her other paintings are much better. I wonder if it wasn’t actually finished at the time of her death.

      1. Wikipedia dates the painting to 1954 and that was the year she died…so possibly.

      2. Kahlo was always very self indulgent and a drama queen. The power of her art overcame that through much of her career. But in her last years, the art was overwhelmed.

      3. I always had the impression that she was less engaged when she was doing political art than she was when she was doing stuff that was just weird. Diego did almost nothing but ham-fisted communist propaganda, and insisted that she contribute, too, but her heart never seemed quite in it (judging from the work product).

        1. Rivera early on had a terrific sense of composition and style. Politics ruins everything.

          1. ^ This. If you could just strip his paintings of content and render them 100% abstract, many of them would be awesome.

        2. Sounds like a Krugman situation.

      4. many of her other paintings are much better.

        Damning with faint praise.

        It’s all dreck. The only reason anyone wants her paintings is because she was a notorious drama queen.

        -jcr

      5. Looking on Wikipedia, many of her other paintings are much better.

        And still generally nowhere near fine art, IMO. Skill-wise, she’s clearly not as talented or capable as even Deigo. Her place in art history is cemented much more through her political, social, and professional relationships with Trotsky and Breton than through any more serious skill or acumen.

  13. I also saw Objective Burma! recently on TCM. Two of the three Screenwriters were part of the Hollywood Ten and naturally it included dialogue such as “wipe [The Japanese] off the face of the earth.”

  14. A few months back, a Facebook acquaintance shared an image (I think it was from Tumblr) that blasted white feminists for only liking Kahlo for “painting pretty flowers” (or something along those lines) and not appreciating her radicalism, and opposition to colonialism, white supremacy, and capitalism. I commented, first pointing out that someone can like a person’s art while not knowing or fully agreeing with their political views, and also elaborating on all the odious people Kahlo supported and associated herself with, to illustrate that she hardly held some moral high ground and deserves to be upheld as a righteous opponent of oppression.

    She did not respond.

  15. This is a reminder that creative geniuses are often unbelievably stupid and useless when it comes to politics and morality everything.

    FTFY. Art is stupid and pointless.

    1. “Art is stupid and pointless”

      No. Art is a vast subject including activities and artifacts of variable import.

      Now comments on blog posts, THOSE are stupid and pountless.

    2. No, art is brilliant and pointless.

      You’d have to be some kind of cynical asshole to hate art.

      1. Art’s fine – its *public funding* of art that is stupid and pointless.

  16. I can imagine a contemporary “edgy” self-indulgent artist doing this with Obama.

    1. That implies it hasn’t happened yet…

      1. I have no doubt that the intertoobz have many Obama fanboy fantasy selfies of all kinds.

        And I ain’t agonna go lookin’ fer ’em, neither.

    2. Banksy

  17. The flowers still die

  18. Trotsky would have been at least as bad as Stalin if not worse.

    1. Yeah, I’m not sure why people buy that Trotsky would have somehow prevented the USSR from being a horrific shitshow. He already participated in many deaths and atrocities while helping Lenin establish the regime and was clearly ok with it being a dictatorship. And if I recall correctly, one of his central disagreements with Stalin was that Stalin was too excessively focused just on the USSR and not on spreading the revolution globally. So he presumably would have advocated an even more aggressive foreign policy than Stalin, a guy who invaded (unprovoked) several countries such as Poland, Finland, and the Baltic states, and occupied and established many client states and puppet regimes in Eastern Europe and elsewhere during WW2 and its aftermath.

      1. Yeah, I’m not sure why people buy that Trotsky would have somehow prevented the USSR from being a horrific shitshow.

        If only the right Top. Man. was in charge…

      2. He had no qualms about using whatever form of violence or oppression necessary to silence dissenters and maintain control. He was just as fucking evil as Stalin.

      3. I don’t think Trotsky would have been able to hold together the Soviet Union the way Stalin did. Which would have created some very interesting butterflies in an alternate history.

        1. I don’t know. He was pretty brutal as commander of the Red Army. Enemy in front of you. Machine gunners behind you in case you had any thoughts of retreat.

          Couple choice quotes:
          “Repression for the attainment of economic ends is a necessary weapon of the socialist dictatorship.”

          “Root out the counterrevolutionaries without mercy, lock up suspicious characters in concentration camps… Shirkers will be shot, regardless of past service”

          1. Was that Trotsky who masterminded the blocking detachments or was that Kruschev?

            1. Yes. On AHC they have been playing Armageddon:Stalin and Armageddon:Hitler documentaries. The one on Stalin talks about Trotsky’s use of them.

              https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrier_troops

      4. But he didn’t, and he was murdered, and Stalin did do all that horrendous shit, so it’s easy for people to imagine that Trotsky would have been better. Especially for communists, they need some alternative that was snuffed out to maintain the idea that communism would have worked if only…

    2. “Trotsky would have been at least as bad as Stalin if not worse.”

      Stalin wasn’t bad as a patron of the arts. For a Bolshevik his tastes were fairly conservative and it was thanks to Stalin’s efforts that Dostoevsky was published after being banned by Lenin. Compare the artistic output of Russia under Stalin to any of the other totalitarian states and it looks pretty good.

      1. “Compare the artistic output of Russia under Stalin to any of the other totalitarian states and it looks pretty good.”

        Yeah, those posters of the tractor driver staring off in the middle distance are my faves.

        1. “Yeah, those posters of the tractor driver staring off in the middle distance are my faves.”

          To each his own but I think the music of Shostakovich will outlive any of the music composed under Hitler, and a good deal of that of the bourgeois democracies.

  19. “A low-ball estimate of deaths under Stalin is around 9 million while other numbers come in around 20 million and more.”

    Commie kid approves.

  20. Today is the birthday of Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist who is widely celebrated as a creative genius, a feminist icon, and a Latina/Mexican culture hero

    … for some reason.

    So take a long look at “Self-Portrait with Stalin,” painted by Kahlo in 1954, soon before her death that same year. That is some fucked-up art right there.

    Not to mention amateurish. She wasn’t a good painter.

    1. She wasn’t a good painter.

      You must be a White Mexican supporter of the Porfiriato.

      1. Speaking of Porfirio D?az it seems he was heavily responsible for popularizing Cinco de Mayo in the US since he was present at the battle…

      2. Re: Winston,

        You must be a White Mexican supporter of the Porfiriato.

        I long for handlebar mustaches.

    2. It’s a shitty painting, but she was a great painter. Even Duke Ellington wrote a clinker or two.

    3. SELENA!

      Isn’t it kinda racist that they got a Puerto Rican actress to play her part?

    4. “Not to mention amateurish. She wasn’t a good painter.”

      I’m sure you’re much better. Why, I bet you could paint a house in a day, two coats!

  21. The dark mopped lovely man is svelte in his prose.

    1. Forgot the fucking dash betwixt the goddamn k and m. FUCK

      1. [draws dash on screen]

        I got your back, AC.

        1. Container brimming with hot Asian sluts heading your way, radio man.

        2. Container brimming with hot Asian sluts heading your way, radio man.

          1. Wow. Asian sluts and squirrels.

            RC, you just hit the jackpot!

            1. It’s a stew!

          2. I hope you put airholes in that container.

      2. Kahlo took all the dashes to bolster her eyebrows.

  22. This is a reminder that creative geniuses are often unbelievably stupid and useless when it comes to politics and morality.

    Harsh but fair, Gillespie. Harsh but fair.

    For the record, my uncle (well, more like my dad’s best friend) remembers meeting Frida and Diego when he was five. He thought Frida was nice but Diego was an asshole.

  23. The term ‘genius’ is just another goddamn superiority tag for people particularly alarmed by mortality.

  24. or low-brow in the case of, say, David Allan Coe

    Things cosmotarian faggots say.

  25. Richard Strauss was tight with the Nazi regime,

    Strauss wasn’t a Nazi and it is not true it was tight. That’s a lie.

    From Wikipedia:

    In 1933, Strauss wrote in his private notebook:

    I consider the Streicher-Goebbels Jew-baiting as a disgrace to German honour, as evidence of incompetence?the basest weapon of untalented, lazy mediocrity against a higher intelligence and greater talent.[13]

    Meanwhile, far from being an admirer of Strauss’s work, Joseph Goebbels maintained expedient cordiality with Strauss only for a period. Goebbels wrote in his diary:

    Unfortunately we still need him, but one day we shall have our own music and then we shall have no further need of this decadent neurotic.

    That is HARDLY a “tight” relationship. There’s much more to be said about the psychology of a Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo who admired the second-greatest murderer of people (behind Mao). Strauss maintained more of a low-key relationship with a government he cared little about.

    1. Kahlo and Rivera also admired Mao himself.

    2. ^ This

      From Strauss’ journal:

      “In November of 1933, the minister Goebbels nominated me president of the Reichsmusikkammer without obtaining my prior agreement. I was not consulted. I accepted this honorary office because I hoped that I would be able to do some good and prevent worse misfortunes, if from now onwards German musical life were going to be, as it was said, “reorganized” by amateurs and ignorant place-seekers.”

      He also had a tendency to perform works that had been banned, just to annoy the Nazis (within bounds that kept him alive, of course). Not to mention his praise for and promotion of that dirty Jew, Gustav Mahler.

      1. German musical life were going to be, as it was said, “reorganized” by amateurs and ignorant place-seekers.”

        You know who else wants to reorganize the lives of millions of people by amateurs and ignorant place-seekers?

  26. No.

    Hey Milo SymbolSymbol is on Joe Rogan’s podcast right now. he’s entertaining.

    1. Interesting point =

      “There’s nowhere for people who are counter-cultural now than on the Right. If you want to be dangerous, you have to be right-wing”

      his point is that the culture on the SJW-left is stiflingly monolithic, and that anyone who ‘wants to be different’ is going to gravitate to whatever passes for “right”…

      ….which *could* be libertarianism, fwiw, but increasingly isn’t.

      1. And yet a good part of the left still imagines itself to be the hip counter-culture. It’s almost funny.

  27. The David Allen Coe song linked above probably wasn’t even his craziest one. I mean, check out those song titles.

  28. Would if she were unibrowier.

    1. Basically, a muncheechee

    2. +1 mustache ride.

    3. You do realize she’s not the one on the left Crusty.

  29. Hi!

    Is my self-portrait with GWB over the line, taste-wise? I wasn’t born when Stalin was alive and was a wee tot when Zhou enlai and Mao died, but I was old enough to remember that Ronald Reagan’s policies killed lots of people in Central America. Apparently he’s hot though. Castro’s not.

    1. Oh look, it’s recess at the special needs school!

    2. Oh man, Reagan and Central America! I remember those times… that was when “the left” said stuff like “Hey man, we’re not the World’s cop!” Man, a lot changes in 30 years no?

      1. They still don’t say those sorts of things?

        1. Only when the president has an “R” after his name.

          1. You mean a willingness to consider a humanitarian intervention to stop a famine is evidence that one is a war hawk? Don’t know. I confess hadn’t thought of that. What I was thinking about is all of these total assholes who voted to go to war in Iraq, want to needlessly confront Iran, want to get into a shooting war with Russia over the Ukraine. You know, the typical boilerplate Republican Party propaganda.

            1. american socialist|7.6.16 @ 7:13PM|#
              ‘You mean a willingness to consider a humanitarian intervention to stop a famine is evidence that one is a war hawk? Don’t know. I confess hadn’t thought of that.’
              Yeah, but that’s because you’re an imbecile. We’re so good at helping the good guys, right? Nothing can go wrong!

              “What I was thinking about is all of these total assholes who voted to go to war in Iraq, want to needlessly confront Iran,”
              So OBO voters? Yeah, total assholes.

            2. Was Libya a humanitarian intervention?

              And how do humanitarian interventions disprove that proggies like the U.S. being the World’s Policeman?

            3. Hmmm, humanitarian intervention to stop famine ?

              Tell me again what the leading cause of famine in the 20th century was ?

              Now if I don’t buy the Republican cause to go to war to remove the root problem why would I be OK with war for even stupider reasons by Democrats ?

            4. I don’t remember an intervention that wasn’t premised on stopping a humanitarian crisis, can you think of one?

            5. You mean the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria were actually humanitarian interventions to stop famines that those places weren’t having?

        2. They did from Jan 1981- Dec1992, and from Jan 2001-Dec 2008. For the rest of the time, they got real quiet.

    3. AmSoc derp de derp. Derp de derpity derpy derp. Until one day, the derpa derpa derpaderp. Derp de derp da teedily dumb. From the creators of Der, and Tum Ta Tittaly Tum Ta Too, AmSoc is Da Derp Dee Derp Da Teetley Derpee Derpee Dumb. Rated PG-13.

    4. Remind us how many millions Reagan’s policies killed in Central America?

      1. Winning the Cold War might have saved one or two people.

      2. It was about on par with the number that slobodan milosevic killed. He was a war criminal too.

        1. american socialist|7.6.16 @ 7:53PM|#
          “It was about on par with the number that slobodan milosevic killed.”

          And I’ll bet you have some lame cites for that, right?

          1. They’re covered with poopy from his storage container, so you may not to actually see those cites.

    5. Hey, AmSoc, you fucking twerp, you never answered my questions from an earlier thread. Why are you such a cocksucking shill for murderous developing-world tyrants? Do you enjoy trying to fit their raging hardons into your mouth while they discuss the pleasures of starving millions to death and murdering millions more? Or is it more of a patriotic duty, a little distasteful when they blow their loads deep down your throat but it’s all for the greater good?

      1. Do you have such an attachment to human suffering because you’re a wee bit sad your pathetic, intellectually bankrupt, philosophically evil political crusade against human fecundity has withered on the vine everywhere it’s found its way into power?

    6. Funny though Ronnie never stayed up late to go over the murder lists to make sure the right people were slated to be murdered.

      But if we’re going to count the indirect deaths of foreigners caused by meddling, I think you need to bump ol’ papa joe’s count even higher.

      I don’t remember W killing 9 or more million of his own citizens through purges and more through economic stupidity.

  30. Geez, how many self portraits does 1 artist need? Narcissist much?

    1. Every artist is required to make 37 self portraits before they’re allowed to have access to the nudies. Its an art-school thing.

    2. Wikipedia has a quote which says, “I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.”

      1. These euphemisms are getting out of hand.

      2. These euphemisms are getting out of hand.

      3. DancingPainting with myse-elf.

    3. How old was Obumbles when he ‘wrote’ his autobiography?

      Put that together with his peace prize given for what he would do in the future and the guy really does become an empty suit, a substanceless prop the left uses to project their fantasy Top Man onto. It is pathetic really.

  31. I’ve always had the impression that she was pretty over-rated on account of ticking so many boxes:

    (a) Radical lefty
    (b) Chick
    (c) Mexican

    With that kind of trifecta, practically nobody in the American art scene is going to do anything but gush over her.

    1. You forgot bisexual…

  32. Politico notes strange gaps in Hillary’s email activity:
    http://www.politico.com/magazi…..fbi-214016

    Hint – it’s related to the bribe money paid by foreign governments/entities.

    1. What Difference at this Point Does it Make?

  33. J.D. Salinger drank his own urine, Walt Whitman called blacks “baboons,”

    Miles Davis was a serial wife-beater. Ezra Pound was generally douchey

    I think the point of all the above is that their respective art is absolutely none the worse for it.

    I’ve always thought that you shouldn’t blame art for its creators. They’re often horrible people.

    1. They’re often horrible people.

      Makes sense. In order to be an artist you often need a big ego and a very eccentric personality and many of those people are not nice to be around.

    2. Interesting –

      an essay written in 2010 in the Onion AV Club mused on

      Should Artists’ Lives Or Opinions Affect How People Perceive Their Art?”

      Other people took note of it and praised it

      I can’t actually find the original anywhere. it seems to have vanished from the new Onion’s website.

      1. As for Diego Rivera, it’s hard to separate his opinions from his art, because his art was primarily soviet propaganda posters.

        1. I feel better being completely ignorant of his work or his ideas.

          1. You’re in Manhattan, right? I was gonna pummel you for not knowing about the mural he painted at the Rockefeller Center, but then I remembered that Rockefeller had it destroyed.

            1. I haven’t lived in manhattan since 2000, and i don’t think i’ve walked through rockefeller center more than a few times in my life – 1 of which was when i was 6 and going ice skating…. and the other 2 of which i was drunk and on a Halloween city-wide scavenger-hunt/pub-crawl. Other times would have been “trying to take midtown shortcuts and failing”. I worked around times sq for a while but everything around there was so dull and repetitive that its easily forgettable.

    3. Jackson Pollock was an alcoholic and died in a single-car crash driving under the influence. One of the passengers was also killed in the accident.

      1. hm.

        I think being an alkie by itself doesn’t even cross the line into “full blown asshole” territory. Killing other people because of your own inebriation does, however.

        While looking for that article @ the onion i came across a few ‘lists of artists who were jerks’.

        They tend to be typical left-wing hyperventilating about problematic racism and sexist comments rather than truly sociopathic personalities.

        I have a higher-standard for Epic Artistic Douchebaggery, personally.

        I mean, seriously = Alex Baldwin calling people “Faggot”? isn’t nearly on the same level as, say, “Celine” openly describing the pleasure he took at the mass slaughter of jews….or Phil Spector having a habit of holding people at gunpoint.

  34. Not sure if everyone’s seen the new footage of the Sterling shooting. Closer up then the original. Unfortunately goes off scene during crucial seconds.

    http://hotair.com/archives/201…..g-emerges/

    1. Lots of copsuckers on that thread, like always. OBEY OR DIE.

      1. AmSoc took his tiny chubby in hand and rubbed one out before the end of the video. AUTHORITAH crushing a peasant? HEAVENLY!

    2. No thanks. I have seen this movie before, more times than I care to. Don’t worry, I won’t give any spoilers.

  35. Sadly, many great artists have been suckers for terrible, terrible politics.

    Nick fails to see the relationship between greatness and terrible politics.

    They were heralded as great primarily *because* they had terrible politics.

  36. I keep looking at Frida’s unibrow and thinking that under that dress she was probably as hairy as a chimp. I am guessing from knees to navel.

    1. Crusty will be in his bunk

      1. Tundra will be barfing his retinas out.

        (Sorry, Crusty)

    2. Looks like Desi Arnaz

    3. She was a mess.

      Salma Hayek was creative casting.

    4. under that dress she was probably as hairy as a chimp

      Her nude self-portraits confirm this.

      1. Not really

  37. Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, or John Desmond Bernal are also classic reminders that physicists can be unbelievably stupid and grotesque in their political commitments.

    Karl Pearson or Ronald Fisher are also classic reminders that mathematicians can be unbelievably stupid and grotesque in their political commitments

    PZ Myers is also a classic reminder that biologists can be unbelievably stupid and grotesque in their political commitments.

    Mutatis mutandis ad infinitum

    1. Don’t forget Newton’s Arianism.

      1. Or I might be wrong, and he wasn’t an Arian after all

        But guess who saved many of Newton’s papers for later scholars? John Maynard Keynes, that’s who. And that’s…the rest of the story.

    2. So the Bernal link led me to Boris Hessen who wrote a Marxist analysis of Newton’s Principia.

      Only the proletariat, which aims to create a classless society, is free from a limited
      understanding of the historical process and produces a true, genuine history of nature and
      society.
      The period during which Newton was at the peak of his activity coincided with the period of
      the English Civil War and Commonwealth.
      A Marxist analysis of Newton’s activity on the basis of the foregoing assumptions will
      consist first and foremost in understanding Newton, his work and his world outlook as a
      product of that period.

      The monopoly on truth is always a favorite feature of Marxists.

      1. By the way, is anyone optimistic and totally psyched at the prospect of an Isaac Newton action movie?

        1. I suppose I should say an action and reaction movie.

          [villain dangles Newton over a cliff]

          “Mr. Newton, you of all people should recognize the *gravity* of your situation, ha ha!”

          1. Apples just aren’t that threatening

    3. You know who is not?

      These guys:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMVJGRbc4jA

      Their crowd tends to run small L libertarian to conservative/libertarian.

      Ok, there is Kalashnikov and Mauser, but I wonder how much their associations were purely utilitarian.

        1. That is funny…a progressive that thinks the progressive gun control efforts are about safety and reducing crime.

          1. Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug.

    4. No one with a German last name ever had odious political beliefs.

  38. She was just the forerunner of every progtard asshole sporting a Che t-shirt today.

  39. Kahlo and Rivera were sycophants and boring, much like Pete Seeger. I think it’s far more interesting to discuss someone like Frank Lloyd Wright who was an unabashed elitist and individualist.

    WALLACE: Well then, in the days that have gone by since our Declaration of Independence we’ve gone to the dickens in the hand-basket, but somebody has been responsible and evidently the people have to be responsible. When I say the people, the mob, whomever. People don’t arrive at being President, or Senator, or Mayor unless they are elected.

    WRIGHT: That is perfectly true that there will be no turn for the better until the people awaken to the nature of the thing that has them in thrall, but this matter is not a matter for a tinker, it’s a matter of something that must be grown. And I don’t see it growing as Thomas Jefferson thought it would grow by education. I think education has been lax in all this thing, I believe we haven’t gone to school to learn about ourselves, we haven’t gone to school to learn the nature of things; and until nature study is the basis of our education we’ll continue to be in danger communism, of all the -isms and the -istics, and the -ites that you can name.

    WALLACE: Well, what’s wrong with communism? You just… are free.

    WRIGHT: Communism is utterly, from my stand point, wrong, I am an individualist.

    1. If anyone needed a reminder that Mike Wallace was an asshole.

    2. “WALLACE: Well, what’s wrong with communism? You just… are free.”

      Whut?

      1. From his Wiki page: Wallace considered himself a political moderate. […] Interviewed by his son on “Fox News Sunday”, he was asked if he understood why people feel a disaffection from the mainstream media. “They think they’re wide-eyed commies; liberals,” Mike replied, a notion he dismissed as “damned foolishness.”

        Perhaps he’d blame his statement in the Wright interview on youthful naivete?

  40. As usual, Nick goes for the cosmo-hip birthday, rather than the birthday important to the People: Eva Green turns 36 today.

    1. *boingggggggg*

    2. Mussst resist crushing…on…an…*grunt* actress.

  41. Picasso also painted Stalin. Dali painted Lenin. Film maker Sokorov made a film (Taurus) portraying Lenin and Stalin.

    1. This is a reminder that creative geniuses are often unbelievably stupid and useless when it comes to politics and morality.

      1. “This is a reminder that creative geniuses…”

        Maybe so, but I fear that uncreative geniuses are no better.

  42. Wait, I thought she was an ‘artist’?

    Then why the painting that looks like a not-particularly-motivated teenager painted it? W got laughed at for his painting – but not only is his stuff more accomplished, he doesn’t run around yelling ‘look at my titspainting’.

    1. “Wait, I thought she was an ‘artist’?”

      If you want to get an appraisal of Kahlo’s work, you owe it to yourself to look further than this example. It was done while she was bed-ridden, in pain and dying. It’s not her finest work which can be very powerful.

      1. It’s not her finest work which can be very powerful.

        Disagree. I can think of at least one artist in pretty much any facet of Kahlo’s work *far* more accomplished/skilled/praiseworthy/masterful and I’m sure you can as well. Her skill/notoriety begins with the description ‘Female Mexican Artists who knew Trotsky personally’ and ends with ‘and painted some of the best self-portraits of Frida Kahlo.’

        1. “Her skill/notoriety begins with the description ‘Female Mexican Artists who knew Trotsky personally'”

          I don’t think Trotsky or even her husband plays all that big a role in the public imagination when it comes to evaluating her work. I think it’s powerful to stand on its own. Certainly in Mexico, anyway. I have a taste for surrealism, the most Stalinist art school of the 20th century, so her portrait of Stalin doesn’t shock me.

          You might want to check out the work of Remedios Varo. A lady painter, contemporary of Kahlo. surrealist, lived in DF, and probably something of a leftist, being an exile from Franco, but it doesn’t show so much, if at all. Her work is alluded to in Lot 49 by Pynchon (American novelist whose politics you may disagree with).

      2. Fair enough – but I will also keep in mind that while she was bed-ridden, in pain, and dying, that this is what she *considered important enough* to fight through all that to do.

        1. “that this is what she *considered important enough* to fight through all that to do.”

          I don’t know how important she considered the self portrait with Stalin. She had a difficult life and to some degree all her work was a struggle.

  43. I prefer Norman Rockwell. Good stuff.

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