THE MIDAS CONSEQUENCE by Michael Ayrton

THE MIDAS CONSEQUENCE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A generally high-spirited, fortunately not overly reverent, champagne tour of the many-chambered public-and-private image of a world famous artist who could only be Picasso. The sculptor Capisco, known to his infatuated circle as ""Cape,"" is to be the subject of a filmed documentary. The ""fete galante' or ""glamorous happening"" begins, and cinematic statements with various narrative voice-overs are constructed via the dinner-table games played by the Master's ""elite with nicknames,"" and via brief shots of Cape pubic and public--he appears nude and snorting; he collects beach debris (in a pram) to Transform into Art. And then there is the climax, hopelessly symbolic, when his vengeful, sadistic son, for scrambled Duchampian reasons having to do with rape and machines, stages a floodlit gangbang of a virgin, gilds a ram, and attempts to stab his father. After the event Cape broods on the consequences of his golden touch, the peculiar isolation of the artist by fame, and he and his young earth-mother wife play with myth and the possibility that Cape is simply ""a kind old man with abundant talent."" An intricately refracted portrait in which the author, an art critic, does his own fanciful analytic beachcombing and invents mild dolce vita inanities. Rarefied but certainly amusing.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1975
Publisher: Doubleday