Steve Martin Talks Art and An Object of Beauty at LACMA
"If you're too funny, I'm going to have to come on stage and hand you a card to remind you to talk about art," Writers Bloc founder Andrea Grossman reminded Steve Martin prior to his discussion with American art and cultural critic Dave Hickey at LACMA.
Grossman, of course, was referencing Martin's last book discussion, which resulted in New York's 92nd Street Y offering refunds to audience members after Martin was deemed not funny enough. Halfway through the discussion, mediator Deborah Solomon was awkwardly handed a note, asking her to talk more about Martin's career and less about art.
Audience members in LACMA's Bing Theatre, however, received the comic treatment as Martin and Hickey discussed art, the dark side of art auctioning and Martin's latest novel, An Object of Beauty.
"We brought some slides in case we run into trouble," Martin said after sensing the audience was "getting shifty" after a particular segment of art-talk.
The slides were mostly photos Martin shot with his iPhone of his personal art collection. Martin described himself as a collector of "medium things," explaining how he finds beauty in all levels of work and enjoys the "pleasure of the unfamous painter."
Martin began collecting art at age 23 and still feels humbled by his collection.
"Every time I walk past these [drawings and paintings], I think, 'How did this happen to me?' I was born in Texas," Martin said.