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The Art of Murder (2001)

por Jose Carlos Somoza

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216797,859 (3.65)16
In 2006, the art world has moved far beyond sheep in formaldehyde and the most avant-garde movement is to use living people as artwork. Undergoing weeks of preparation to become 'canvases', the models are required to stay in their pose for ten to twelve hours a day and, as art pieces, they are also for sale. After being exhibited, the 'canvases' can be bought and taken to the purchaser's home, where they are rented for weeks or months. Many beautiful young men and women long to become a 'canvas' - knowing they are a masterpeice and worth millions seems to make all the sacrifices worthwhile - especially if they can be 'painted' by the celebrated artist Bruno Van Tysch. But there is a darker side to this art movement when it is found that the models/works of art are sometimes used in interactive works - snuff movies, where the 'art' is filmed being tortured and killed. Van Tysch's work is being targeted and the investigators must find the killer before the displays of imitations of Rembrandt's masterpieces - the biggest exhibition of 'hyperdramatic art' yet seen - is put on show.… (mais)
Adicionado recentemente porjncc, bdgamer, madA63, alberce, avillan, llibreprovenza, Eliseur
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I’ve enjoyed a number of Samoza’s works and threw myself enthusiastically into this one. In a short time I began to be quite horrified by the theme but a certain morbid curiosity kept me struggling onward and the more time I invested, the harder it was to pull away from what is finally, a sinister and ugly story. It describes a world where art has descended to a new low. The canvases are now people who, horror of horrors, wish to be enslaved in this exploitative profession for which they are highly paid. The unsuccessful become household furnishings, lamps, tables, ash-trays, worthless trinkets. You’ve seen elaborate tables with marble nudes supporting them. Somoza imagined them real and his terrific imagination was able to conceive that they’d covet and enjoy their work.

SusannaAs always, I admire the sheer scope of his imagination, but he’s begun to strike me, deep down, as a dirty old man. As in much art, his models pass much of their time naked and he revels in describing them and humiliating them. I’m appalled that I made it to the end. The plot involves the hunt for a vicious killer who is destroying valuable works (which happen to be human, but it is their value that provokes the hunt). Lucas Bosch (named perhaps for Hieronymus Bosch, a painter of grotesque works which look cheerful beside the depraved oeuvre described in this book) eventually saves model Clara who depicts a living version of Rembrandt’s Susanna (shown right). ( )
  tchelyzt | Jul 15, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this - the whole concept of hyperdramatism was well imagined and executed, and surreal, a bit reminiscent of Kazuo Ishiguro; and the whodunnit/whydunnit was entertaining even if the perpetrator was easily guessable... it is Art, after all... ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
A mystery and murder novel set in a very near future when art has taken a step further and uses human bodies as the canvas; some artists take this much further and do not even consider the canvas a human with feelings, they are an art product that is shipped as freight, packaged in a box and mis-treated while primed and stretched and given drugs to affect bodily functions to allow them to pose for eight hours or so and then painted and displayed. This sounds horrific in itself without a murder and Jose Carlos Somoza manages to get across why a young woman would want to be a canvas and how this became a career option of choice; you get inside the head of the people who are painted much more than you are inside the head of the artists, who are mysterious and unfathomable.
The novel had a bit of a slow bit in the middle, where I wondered where it was going, but generally was well paced and interesting, as a mystery and the author creates a visually stunning novel.
Feminism is discussed, as most of the people painted are young women and many artists are male and there are few older people who are painted by artists. The novel takes the idea further by introducing a natural version of hyperdramatic art, where owners talk to the people who are posing for them when they have finished work for the day. The hyperdramatic furniture really tested my imagination, wobbly tables sat on the bodies of four young people of slightly different heights was funny in a way, but chairs, where rich people sat on chairs that were formed from other people showed the obscenity of the imagined genre. ( )
  CarolKub | Feb 21, 2013 |
J'ai lu d'une traite ce roman à suspens qui se passe dans les milieux artistiques d'un futur très proche. Je comprends que l'on puisse ne pas apprécier : ces êtres humains transformés en marchandise à haute valeur ajoutée nous font plonger dans un enfer malsain, atroce. Des jeunes femmes ou jeunes hommes, voire des enfants, ne sont plus que des objets, oeuvres d'art ou objets de la vie quotidienne - sièges, tables, cendriers... - ornant les intérieurs ou les jardins d'une oligarchie qui leur dénie toute humanité. Mais les "oeuvres d'art" en question sont les premiers défenseurs de l'art nouveau...
Puis on s'attache tellement à cette jeune Clara, "oeuvre d'art" de grande qualité qui veut affronter ces peurs les plus intimes et devenir l'oeuvre la plus admirée au monde, on tremble pour elle et l'auteur s'amuse à nous effrayer de rebondissements en rebondissements. Et il y a aussi l'humour : ces français qui en réaction à l'hyperdramatisme ont inventé le "naturel-humanisme" qui consiste à exposer de même des êtres humains nus mais qui leur donne de temps en temps un biscuit ou même osent leur adresser la parole m'ont fait rire (rire jaune il est vrai). ( )
  vie-tranquille | Nov 25, 2012 |
C'est un roman plein de mystères et de contradictions, un traité sur l'art et une réflexion sur le psyché - un véritable tour de force qui annonce malaise, fascination, horreur et bouleversements. L'intrigue même est relativement simple, et l'on n'est pas particulièrement surpris par le dénouement qui, s'il se veut sensationnaliste, est en fait prévisible. Ce qui m'a surtout intriguée dans ce livre, c'est tout le discours autour de l'art : son rôle dans la société et les limites qu'il est acceptable - ou non - d'imposer; l'acte de création et le phénomène qui entoure l'oeuvre (notamment, dans le roman, les coups de pinceaux qui sont en fait des coups psychologiques pour obtenir les expressions voulues); la pérennité de l'art et sa capacité à influencer les moeurs - bref, Somoza pousse ces questions au paroxysme pour donner un thriller psychologique dérangeant, mais fascinant. Une fois happée par ce monde étrange et malsain, je n'ai pas pu poser le livre... ( )
  Cecilturtle | Dec 19, 2011 |
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Le beau n'est que le commencement du terrible.
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Pour Lázaro Somoza
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L'adolescente est nue sur le podium.
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In 2006, the art world has moved far beyond sheep in formaldehyde and the most avant-garde movement is to use living people as artwork. Undergoing weeks of preparation to become 'canvases', the models are required to stay in their pose for ten to twelve hours a day and, as art pieces, they are also for sale. After being exhibited, the 'canvases' can be bought and taken to the purchaser's home, where they are rented for weeks or months. Many beautiful young men and women long to become a 'canvas' - knowing they are a masterpeice and worth millions seems to make all the sacrifices worthwhile - especially if they can be 'painted' by the celebrated artist Bruno Van Tysch. But there is a darker side to this art movement when it is found that the models/works of art are sometimes used in interactive works - snuff movies, where the 'art' is filmed being tortured and killed. Van Tysch's work is being targeted and the investigators must find the killer before the displays of imitations of Rembrandt's masterpieces - the biggest exhibition of 'hyperdramatic art' yet seen - is put on show.

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