Tuesday, May 12, 2020

the last book I ever read (Optic Nerve by María Gainza, excerpt nine)

from Optic Nerve by María Gainza (Translated by Thomas Bunstead):

The murals that never made it as far as the Four Seasons are horizontal smears of dry blood on brown backgrounds. When photos of them came out in the press, everyone agreed that it was little surprise they had not ended up adorning the walls of such an establishment: these works were as dead-end as anyone had seen, leading directly nowhere. I couldn’t agree less. Rothko had imagined paintings that would be as welcome as shards of glass in your risotto: his own direct and unabashed way of unsettling U.S. society. “Actually, on second thought,” he said to poor Mell, the longtime recipient of her husband’s speeches, “what’s the point? These people will never get it.” That day in the Four Seasons, it dawned on Rothko that no matter what he painted, his work would all end up as mere baubles. Just another thing for bankers to acquire, like the pretty wives sitting at the tables around him.

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