Kurt Kauper, Diva Fictions [ePub]

by Michael Duncan

The Posture and Attitude of the Diva

Kurt Kauper is well known for his larger than life accounts of groups of people who to him represent a social strata apart form the rest of us. And here is this very fine catalogue KURT KAUPER DIVA FICTIONS he concentrates on the image that the great opera stars exude. Each of these paintings is larger than life and each is unnamed except by number. The opera buffs in the audience will definitely pick up on the divas he has selected: the image of Kathleen Battle may be unnamed but has all the beauty and elegance and haughtiness of that great soprano.

According to the catalogue comments 'Kurt Kauper's Diva Fictions are paintings of imaginary opera singers, invented characters who live somewhere between artificiality and realism, glamorous condescension and brilliant fashion, reinvention and tradition, excessive theatricality and overt emotionalism—all of which stand as metaphors for a wide range of contemporary cultural realities.' Well said and difficult to improve upon. But spend time with Kauper's Divas and find a hint at why they hold such a lofty rank in our society - as though they represented rare air that none of us can breathe. These are wonderful paintings and together they make a continuum of thoughts that insist that we addresses these elegant 'queens' with respect and adoration - even though they are imaginary!

Grady Harp



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