Protestors claim ‘Renoir sucks’

Group calls for artist’s paintings to be taken down as ‘he can’t paint trees’ and ‘is rubbish’

7 October 2015

THE hastily scrawled signs were out and so were the chants. As the American protesters stood on the steps of the public building.

Was it gun control? Was it abortion? No.

It was the French impressionist Renoir. They wanted him out, and they wanted him out now.

The group of a dozen or so were picketing the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston on Monday where a number of Renoir’s pieces can be found.

They are demanding the museum take them down because the artist is “rubbish” and “overrated”.

The signs said it all: “We’re not iconoclasts, Renoir just sucks at painting” and “God hates Renoir”.

In fact the name of the group, Renoir sucks at painting, also gets to the point.

Its founder, Max Geller, when interviewed in the The Guardian about the protest, accused the 19th century artist of not being able to paint trees

“In real life, trees are beautiful. If you take Renoir’s word for it, you’d think trees are just a collection of green squiggles,” he said.

“The decision to hang Renoir by the Museum of Fine Arts when there are literal masterpieces by true masters in museum storage represents an act of aesthetic terrorism,” he said.

His outspoken criticism of the painter even brought him into a row on Instagram with Renoir’s great-great-granddaughter Genevieve.

Under one photo Genevieve Renoir said: “When your great-great-grandfather paints anything worth $78.1m dollars … then you can criticize. In the meantime, it is safe to say that the free market has spoken and Renoir did not suck at painting.”

At which point Geller responded that the free market was not an indication of quality, given it also produced climate change, slavery, the destruction of habitats and TV commercials.

Here are some of his online critiques of Renoir:

A photo posted by Renoir Sucks At Painting (@renoir_sucks_at_painting) on Sep 12, 2015 at 12:57pm PDT
The treacly #steamingpile of empty calories sends innocent museum visitor into #diabetic shock. #renoirsucksatpainting #renoir #impressionism #insulin A photo posted by Renoir Sucks At Painting (@renoir_sucks_at_painting) on Aug 21, 2015 at 6:00am PDT
We're not iconoclasts! Renoir Just Sucks At Painting! #renoirsucksatpainting A photo posted by Renoir Sucks At Painting (@renoir_sucks_at_painting) on Oct 5, 2015 at 11:43am PDT
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