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Tag Archives: Napalm Girl

Two of the topics I’ve covered here in the past are subjects of recent news items on the Huffington Post and elsewhere.

First comes at least a partial resolution in the case of the Clyfford Still Museum Ass-Rubbing Incident that I wrote about in early January.

Carmen Tisch has pleaded guilty to rubbing her bare ass all over Still’s  1957-J No 2 and then peeing on the floor next to it.

1957-J No. 2 (Clyfford Styll, 1957)

Anyone who, like me, was hoping that the act was a deep and introspective statement on Abstract Art and the Human Condition can now be officially disappointed. The chick was just drunk. Apparently really drunk. The latest report is that she copped a plea and was sentenced to two years of “mental health probation,” including treatment for alcoholism. Go figure.

On a more positive note, the napalmed Vietnamese girl immortalized in Nick Ut’s Pulitzer-winning photo from 1972 has turned up in yet another Huffpo story that tracks her life from that fateful day in 1972 through her defection to her happy and productive life in Canada. I discussed the Napalm Girl photo in this  post last September. I am still just as moved by that image and really glad that the girl in the photo, Kim Phuc, is doing well. Not many people came out of the Vietnam with anything positive.

Napalm Girl (Nick Ut/AP, 1972)

The first story reminds us that art breeds weirdness, which we all should know already. The second underscores the fact that, sometimes, a well constructed and well-used image really can alter the course of history. These are both important lessons the keep, for different reasons, at different times.