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Friday, October 09, 2015

Hipsters annoy me.

But I have to admit, this Renoir protest is funny--if annoyingly stupid:

On Monday, beginning around noon, Max Geller led six friends and a couple strangers in a protest at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The target of their ire? The art of the celebrated French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, who’s been dead since 1919.

“Rosy cheeks are for clowns, do your job take them down,” they chanted as they stood at the end of the museum’s horseshoe driveway on Huntington Avenue for about an hour. Signs they held read: “Treacle harms society! Remove all Renoir Now,” “God hates Renoir,” “Renoir sucks!”


Amidst the satire are provocative questions: Who gets to decide what gets featured in museums? What sort of standards should museums follow? How does the judgment of art change over time?

If you probe Geller’s dislike of Renoir, he says Renoir was not only a mediocre painter, but also a bad, anti-Semitic person. He alleges that wealthy, powerful people collected Renoir’s art to whitewash dirty deeds they committed to amass their fortunes—hiring private police forces to violently suppress union organizing, real estate practices that excluded African-Americans from neighborhoods. “They use Renoir to placate the public into not taking action against their usury and avarice,” Geller says. “I want people to know that’s not going unnoticed.”

But to make that point, Geller accuses the Museum of Fine Arts of not being elitist enough.

So, it's more a protest of the people who like Renoir, then? Yep--that is elitism. Ultimately, I'm left wondering what Geller would replace Renoir with. I imagine it would be utter crap.