Wednesday, August 03, 2016


There have been some people who have accused OTN of an obsession with Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa and, we’d have to say, this is pretty off left field.  OK, there have been a few mentions (we’ve listed them below – some of them are really extraordinary and well worth a look, it really is incredible that a painting locked up in the Louvre has had such an impact on contemporary culture, the Pogues’ Rum, sodomy and the lash? C’mon, that cover was amazing and how about that photo by Hu Jieming?). But obsessed? We asked around the OTN offices and the general consensus is no, we are not. Although the fact that the painting was first exhibited in the same year that grapes were first planted in New Zealand makes you think. OK, there are no grapes in Géricault’s astounding work but it would have been quite something had there been, especially as the absence of food on the raft is one of its key themes. You gotta admit, G’s raft is hard to avoid. Alexander Sokurov’s movie Francofonia, currently showing at the Film Festival, features it big time (you can read more on that astounding coincidence here) and what did we see when we visited the new Whitney in NYC recently? You got it, Frank Stella’s sculpture Raft of the Medusa part I. There you go, not obsessed. And we didn’t even say there was a 'raft of options' at any time during this post. Not once ... oh.

Raft stuff on OTN
A raft too far
Flotsam or jetsam
All at sea
Raft of references