Fiction. Mace Caslon walks into the Metropolitan Museum of Art and throws acid on Universal Woman, a forty-one million dollar Picasso. This provocative act throws him into the center of a media-crazed frenzy: Exploitive television personalities, enraged museum officials, terrified collectors, confused dealers, aggressive lawyers, a U.S. Attorney on the make, instant psychiatrists, shocked ex-lovers, hyper-cool teenagers, hustler artists, and anti-art demonstrators each demand their time in the spotlight. "I thoroughly enjoyed Everett Aison's novel about a regular guy who commits an acte gratuite, the desecration of an art world treasure, and its wildly snowballing consequences. Mace is a funny, slightly sex-obsessed, and not always sympathetic protagonist, for this story of a provocation is itself a provocation. Humane at its core, though, this novel takes a bead on the obscene mix of art, money and the media with the best possible humor"--Molly Haskell.
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About the Author
Artrage is Everett Aison's first novel. His feature film screenplays include "Ted Sears," "Growing Up In America," and "Work In Progress." He has written and directed three award-winning theatrical shorts: "Post No Bills!" "So Much In Common," and "Choices." Mr. Aison co-founded with Silas Rhodes the School of Visual Arts Film School. He has designed and illustrated the children's books "Arthur" and "The American Movie," published by Atheneum, was art director of Grossman Publishers, and designed the logos, posters, and opening titles for many films, including Kurosawa's "Yojimbo" and Polanski's "Knife In the Water."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Artrage based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Mace Caslon seemed to have it all. He had been a brilliant student with a full scholarship to Williams College, graduated top fifth from Yale Law School and now he is a full partner in one of the most respected law firms on Wall Street and a serious collector of contemporary art. Yet one day he walks into the Metropolitan Museum of Art and throws acid on Universal Woman, a Picasso painting which just sold for forty-one million dollars. The question is why? This is something everyone wants to know. His act puts him in the middle of a media crazed frenzy. Everyone has something to say including television personalities, artists, museum officials, collectors, dealers, lawyers, a U.S. attorney looking to enter the Senate, psychiatrists, ex-lovers and anti-art demonstrators. Everyone wants their time in the spotlight¿everyone wants to know why. Artrage is not a mystery of who-done-it but why-done-it. Thru an in depth character study Aison takes a close look at our society and it¿s fascination with so called ¿celebrities¿ and their fifteen minutes of fame. He lampoons the art world, art connoisseurs, the media and our society¿s remote control personality which cause us to latch onto whoever is in the spotlight at the moment and forget about it seconds later when the next ¿celebrity¿ comes along. Aison has created a fascinating novel filled with interesting characters and a thought provoking storyline that will leave you thinking about it long after you finish reading it.
An intensely engaging story, skillfully structured. Everett Aison¿s ¿Artrage¿ unlocked sensations I long ago encountered with Camus¿ ¿The Stranger¿: Mystery, Ambivalence, Motivation, and a profoundly peculiar appreciation that the world I¿d anticipated is far from rationale.
Since he was a boy, Mace Caslon loved art and although he couldn¿t draw, he became a well known collector. He works as a lawyer in a fancy and powerful art firm that allows him to indulge in his hobby of collecting paintings. At a New York auction Cora and Simon Nobel make their dream come true when they buy Picasso¿s Universal Woman for forty one million dollars. They are going to loan it to the Metropolitan Museum for two weeks so the public can view the rarely seen picture. --- Mace is one of the visitors but instead of appreciating the masterpiece, he destroys it by throwing acid on it. He is arrested and everyone including the police wants to know why a man who had everything risks going to jail to destroy a painting. Even Mace isn¿t certain of the reason. His act causes a media frenzy and a high profile lawyer asks to represent him while the D.A. thinks Mace is his ticket to higher office. When the trial gets underway, no one is certain what will happen, especially his lawyer and the D.A. because of the resulting publicity. One thing is for sure, this will be no ordinary trial. --- The protagonist remains a distant figure so it is hard for the reader to understand why he committed such a crime. The enigmatic quality of Mace propels differing factions of society to ascribe their own theories to him. His one deep relationship with the young son of his ex-lover has such a strong rendering quality that readers feel for Mace even though they don¿t understand or empathize with him. The mysterious Mace makes this thriller worth reading. --- Harriet Klausner