Kudos to architect Frank Gehry and Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight, the two brave souls willing to kick a little dirt on the shoes of the richest art patron in America, Eli Broad. In his CBS television “60 Minutes” segment, which aired last night, Apr. 24, 2011, correspondent Morley Safer played the clown as usual, mocking contemporary art and making bad puns, i.e. a Tom Otterness sculpture of a giant’s foot provided the opportunity to say Broad was the “Bigfoot” of Los Angeles culture.
Gehry, who applied the “Strings Attached” sobriquet, basically called Broad a jerk, and said he’d never work for him (though Broad has built two Gehry projects, a private home and the Disney Hall), and Knight repeated the well-known complaint that Broad is a control freak who knows not the meaning of collaboration. Though the show trumpeted Broad’s $2 billion in philanthropies, it passed on any comment on the source of that wealth, cheap housing and insurance, two vast industries that soak the lower and middle classes at their most vulnerable. For the CBS story, click here.