This man is a brilliant artist.
Thea headline caught my eye.
‘He stole Hitler’s favourite painting!’ – the naked genius of my friend UlayGuardian
It’s a piece about Ulay, photographer and performance artist, “most memorably 1976’s There Is a Criminal Touch to Art, when he successfully stole Hitler’s favourite painting from a Berlin museum and brought it to hang on the wall of an impoverished Turkish immigrant family. He then called the authorities to come and retrieve it. This was art theft as artwork.”
Not just the ‘theft’, but the messaging of it, what the Aktion is saying, the communication.
Art is always a communication, always. In the same way as writing is a communication, or singing, perhaps without exception. Art is deeply communicative, a single image or symbol can communicate an almost infinite wealth of questions and answers, perspectives and viewpoints, thoughts and feelings.
Take two lines. Make a cross. Now you have created a doorway to Life, God, and Humanity.
The power of art is infinite.
“One can learn many things in life,” he once said, “but not art. The madness you need – the must which is shaking you all the time. You are an artist even when you are asleep. Because of the must.” He was an artist to the bone.
And still is.
Ulay. Photograph: Primoz Korosec