Gormley’s ‘One and Other’: Brian Sewell’s ‘Critique’ (or Rant!)

another plinther
another plinther

Tuning into Antony Gormley’s ‘One and Other’ live project, the guests this week were the art critic Brian Sewell  and writer, comedienne Sandy Toxvig.  Sewell was scathing about the work, he doesn’t agree with it and says it detracts from the National Gallery.   It is also ‘ A futile waste of time’and ‘no one is worthy of that plinth and it should be empty, because no one could fill it, no one is worthy!  He then goes on to say that  Nothing should have been done and that the plinth loses it point by placing someone on it.  Controversial eh?  One thing abut Sewell is that he always speaks his mind lol!   He was soon ushered off to make way for Sandy Toxvig’s more liberal view.  She liked it because it drew attention to stuff that was happening in the world and made people look upwards.

brian sewell (the poor luvvy)
brian sewell (the poor luvvy)

But Sewell hasn’t finished yet….It  (the live installation) has nothing to do with art according to Sewell, these people are not artists he says, they are daubers.  He then goes on to insult  the  people that are on the plinth , saying that they are there because they arent worthy of anything.!  The plinth is very telling when its empty according to Sewell.

a merry plinther taking the air
a merry plinther taking the air

Sewell is hilarious when he is rattled (and he IS rattled!)  Plinther 1941 made a photo mosaic of Antony Gormley, made of lego.  This was chosen because of the building block element. The plinther explained he wanted it to reflect the product……..  probably multi faceted?  Sewell  socks it to em with ‘ it could have been anyone ! futile crap!  Poor Sewell, he is in a  bad mood lol!   He said he would sooner have blank walls that any old rubbish.  He also makes the point of the plinthers not  being seen from below, or even heard properly.  That the plinthers   can’t be seen except on TV, and that these  people know that….grrr!

They then went on to show, ‘entertainers’ playing guitar, quoting Shakespeare, playing the mouthorgan….reading a fairytale….mmm beginning to see what you mean Brian darling!

looking up to the plinthers
looking up to the plinthers

Toxvig likes it because it makes us look upwards  instead of our mobiles.  Sewell says ‘nothing works on the plinth, it just doesn’t work on that level. Its worse than BB in it’s dieing throws!’lol!  Toxvig says that the plinth is treated as a giant soapbox and applauds it.

Well, I was laughing my head off  at Sewell in a strop, until I saw the woman protesting about him slagging off  Liverpool.   

liverpool, Sewellfree at the moment....
liverpool, Sewellfree at the moment....

Dreena  Boyle Liverpool said it made her blood boil when she heard Sewell badmouthing her city ( and MINE, too, I was born in that fabulous vibrant city!).  She now refers to him as  Brian Sewer and insisted that Sewell had missed exceptional art from all over the world by his dismissive attitude.  Sewell however was unrepentant, and when given the opportunity to retract, would not, advising that ‘a trench should be dug round the city and it should be towed off to sea!’   Much as I respect Sewell as a critic (some of the time) as a man he is an incredibly pompous snobby git and seems to  celebrate  the fact (by himself I suspect).  I myself was appalled by his ignorance (and he’s far from ignorant)…it must be down to snobbishness (or he’s never been there? in that case he is ignorant to be judging a place he’s never been to).  He is going soon he said.  Well expect a warm Liverpool welcome mate – you’ve earned it!

Tate Liverpool, one of the many cultural  attractions
Tate Liverpool, one of the many cultural attractions

Read about Sewell slamming Liverpool HERE

Marvel at the shortsightedness of the man HERE..and  HERE and laugh!

14 thoughts on “Gormley’s ‘One and Other’: Brian Sewell’s ‘Critique’ (or Rant!)

    1. Good for you Dan for taking a stand (well, not taking a stand)! Are you the first one to do so do you know? What do they do in these instances? do they leave the plinth bare? Do they announce that the person hasn’t turned up and put the next on OR is the statement you are making allowed to stand (empty) for a whole hour?
      Kind Regards

  1. I don’t know if there are others. I think they should have left the plinth bare for an hour but no. They have stand-bys. One & Other have divorced me from the shenanigans. I received a bit of abuse on twitter from the die-hards watching it online 24/7. Gormley said at the opening the piece was about self-expression. I didn’t need or deserve to be there.

    1. I couldn’t agree more Dan, they should have left it bare for your hour, THAT is your statement! I’m bewildered and amazed you have recieved abuse on Twitter! I have just written yesterdays post about whether to join! lol! So they have stand bys eh…….. talk about the show must go on. I’m beginning to see what Sewell is getting at when he refers to people performing to the cameras now. I take your point entirely and respect your right NOT to participate. It’s a shame that the respect you have shown towards the ‘real’ hero’s hasn’t been reciprocated by others towards yourself. As they say, less can speak volumes…unfortunately the one and others don’t want to leave any gaps!
      Kind Regards

  2. Twitter is great but you have to hunt for value and try and create some yourself.

    I’ve thought about Gormley’s sculpture, by not attending the plinth I am still a part of (and apart from) the work – negative space – I will not be included in the 2400 hours of video footage or official record I expect. Its been an interesting experience not doing it!

    1. Thanks Dan, I may give it a go. I too have thought a bit about what Sewell said, and I have to say that he had a very good point. It’s more the ranting snobby way he goes about voicing his opinions that discredits him sometimes. A shame, because he does make some good observances. At least you won’t gain noterioty by not going up (that’s probably on par with going up in front of the cameras and defeats the object) Personally, I think by deciding NOT to go up you have made MORE of a statement about what the British people are all about these days……FAME. Surely as a snapshot of Britain, Gormley may have fulfilled this criterion. Not everyone desires fame though, some have humilty and actually don’t think everything is about them. It’s this diversity that makes our country still great! Well done!

  3. I do not agree than Brian is a snob,he is an intellectual,elitist,yes; But, in our dumb down ‘culture’ we need many more of those.
    You can test this ,write to him a sincere and lucid letter, and you will receive, a kind thoughful reply. I have four times and he never failed to reply,by hand,in his own scalwly hand.
    What a gent! To trouble himself ,to take timeto take the time, to write to Hoi-Poli like me!
    Try that, with any of our called populists intellectuals,and you recieve nothing,that is ,(in my book )being a snob.
    Brian, is not a snob ,he is a national Treasure!

  4. Calm down Jonathan:) I respect Sewel as an art critic, its his criticsim of Liverpool and the way it came across which sounded snobby. He IS a National Treasure as you say, but he shouldn’t make sweeping statements about Cities thereby condemning them culturely, or he will get sweeping statements back. Its refreshing to hear that he will at least take time out to answer people this makes him more human and accessable than he comes across sometimes. Thanks for visiting:)

  5. I would like to make a correction to this blog. My wife was one of the plinthers, in fact she is Andrina (not Dreena) Boyle, who had her own rant at BS. Doesn’t BS stand for something else! Best wishes Patrick Boyle.

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