“Orange schmattes on sticks”

The New York Sun’s Meghan Clyne suggests that Mayor Bloomberg may experience “The Gates” artwork that debuted in Central Park over the weekend as a political liability: “Christo’s ‘Gates’ emerge as political issue.” I think that Meghan’s story is most welcome in raising the question whether Yiddish isn’t the true language of art criticism. In addition to quoting Democratic operative Howard Wolfson to the effect that the artwork is “orange schmattes [rags] on sticks,” the story also quotes City Journal editor Myron Magnet condemning the artwork in conventional Greco-Latin derived English adjectives as “‘oppressive, claustrophobic’ and reminiscent of some of Mr. Bloomberg’s policies”:

Mr. Magnet, like Mr. Wolfson, also felt that the focus on “The Gates” reflected the mayor’s misguided priorities. “Of all the problems New York has at this minute, that’s not at the top of his list,” Mr. Magnet said. “It’s government by whim.”
“The Gates,” he said, were “one big, giant, orange symbol of that.”

Click here for Magnet’s review of “The Gates,” click here for the official “Gates” online store, and click here for the AP story/Yahoo slideshow on the “The Gates.” In the meantime, think “schmattes.”
The Reuters caption reads: “‘The Gates’ project created by artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude officially opens in New York’s Central Park February 12, 2005. ‘The Gates,’ a massive public art installation in Central Park, was unfurled Saturday for the start of a 16-day stay covering miles of footpaths in Central Park. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton”


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