The 'Renoir Sucks At Painting' Movement Is Escalating Quickly

About a year ago Max Geller went to the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, the home of the largest collection of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s work in the world. After reflecting on the visit, he realized “Hey man, Renoir kinda sucks at painting,” and the Instagram account Renoir Sucks At Painting was born. And as the account garnered over 7,000 followers — and quite a bit of media coverage — Geller has gotten his fair share of notice in the arts community.

After a headline generating protest at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston — with Renoir Sucks supporters sporting signs like “God Hates Renoir” and ““Put some fingers on those hands! Give us work by Paul Gauguin!” — the criticism has been harsh. After Boston Globe art critic Sebastian Smee called the protest movement “sophomoric,” Geller has now challenged the writer to a duel. “He can pick his weapon, he can pick his second, and he can meet me at high noon at Boston Common,” Geller said. 

It’s all pretty arty and dramatic if you ask us. But now the great debate rages on: does Renoir suck at painting?

“When your great-great-grandfather paints anything worth $78.1 million dollars (which is $143.9M in today’s dollars), then you can criticize,” wrote Genevieve Renoir, the supposed great-great-granddaughter of the famous painter. “In the meantime, it is safe to say that the free market has spoken and Renoir did NOT suck at painting.”

But let’s be real, the dude didn’t even give women fingers! Is he really a good painter? Geller not only despises the literal painting of Renoir, but also the politics behind the man. “Well, I hate his vile anti-Semitism and his rampant misogyny,” Geller argued to the Huffington Post. And as an artist, I more than just resent his jejune treacle. Renoir’s eyeballs all look as though they were colored in, violently, with Sharpies. In reality, the human eye imparts real emotional force. Renoir just sucked at painting.”

All in all, Renoir might not be the best French impressionist. But the importance of his work is pretty undeniable. All of this is just proof that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder — even if those eyes look like they were colored in with Sharpies.

Follow the Renoir Sucks Movement on Instagram here.

Imagery via Renoir Sucks.

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