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Terrorist Art Critic


Terrorist Art Critic

History’s first, and probably only, terrorist who was also an art critic was Felix Fénéon. It was he who discovered and promoted the art of Seurat, an example of which I post here. 9_veil.jpgThe woman is not nude but she is certainly beautiful and mysterious and makes you want to see the rest of her. Is that a veil or is it a mask?

Fénéon really was a terrorist. He was once caught with bomb detonators on his person in the streets of Paris, although he was acquitted on those charges. The jury accepted his defense that his father had simply found them on the street. Juries don’t always get it right, although mostly they do. The Fénéon and O.J. Simpson verdicts were aberrations.

Anyway, Fénéon was a perceptive art critic. At the end of one of his essays about Seurat he wrote words that photographers would do well to remember:

Let the hand be numb, but let the eye be agile, perspicacious, cunning.

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