Robert Hughes: “Isn’t it a miracle what so much money and so little ability can produce.”

Cantankerous, opinionated art critic Robert Hughes died this week at 74. In this 2009 (?) video, Hughes meets with contemporary art collector Alberto Mugrabi, one of the brothers in the acquisitive Mugrabi family, whose huge collection is said to include hundreds of Warhols. Despite the unthinkable collapse of Lehman Brothers at the time, the Mugrabis had just paid a record price for a Damien Hirst piece at auction. Watch as Hughes quizzes and bullies Mugrabi about art and basically tells the collector he’s full of shit. When Mugrabi suggests that collecting art buys immortality, Hughes just shakes his head and chuckles. I may not agree with Hughes, but I love that he boldly said what was on his mind without hiding behind a pseudonym or the timid anonymity found throughout the blogosphere. RIP Mr. Hughes.

Screen grab from a Google search for images of Robert Hughes.
For more Robert Hughes videos, check out GalleristNY


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  1. Hughes always called it how he saw it — (ps that mugrabi clip is one of my fav art moments of all time….) — damn it, but I'll miss that curmudgeon!

  2. Hughes cut through pretentious nonsense like a knife through butter.

  3. " . . .timid anonymity found throughout the blogosphere."
    Aptly put.

  4. There's a longer clip which includes him blasting Lauder for his $135 million purchase of Kilmt's Adele Bloch-Bauer I portrait… funny.

  5. Is there such a thing as a grouchy, cranky breath of fresh air? Clearly.

  6. I love that he boldly points out "the emperor has no clothes."

  7. Jeffree Skewes

    they took it down … oh well money talks finaly

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