oops i'm going to do to michelangelo what i've been known to do, say, to bruce springsteen: infinitely overrated. the stuff is incredibly overblown, grandiose, extremely pretentious, humorless. it was produced for the corrupt and theologically perverse catholic hierarchy, which shows. it is, in my opinion, wildly conflicted about the nature and meaning of sexuality and, in general, embodiment. michelangelo is obsessed with gigantic musculature: every fresco another schwarzenegger. it's one thing to assert that christianity and pagan antiquity are compatible; it's another to try to capture that mistake in actual images: let's turn jesus into apollo. well, something - perhaps everything - is being severely misunderstood. obviously, this is a problem for the italian renaissance in general, and in my view many of the attempts to render these things compatible were just half-baked or yielded material of extreme or comical incoherence, which i think is at its most excruciating in michelangelo. taking the oeuvre as a whole, it's a kind of orangeish body-building mag. supposedly all the huge bodies mean something spiritual, which would just make the whole thing more ridiculous, or more self-deluded. typically for artists with his sort of neo-Platonic orientation, the work is both absolutely dependent on depicting the real world and devoted to sort of erasing its detail, so it's blank=ideal: that's what this sort of thing really amounted to. there are few artists in the whole tradition who leave me so cold. bleck:
ok, ok, incredible moments. those slave sculptures, for example.