Cocteau idolaters praise him as a courageous avatar who maneuvered his way through both the excitement and glitter of les années folles, never hid his homosexuality, and challenged conventional surface realities. All of which is, to a degree, true.
Unlike the dwarfing monumentalism of the Louvre Palace, where the caramel weight of a faded empire bears down on every square centimeter, this new Louvre-on-a-coal mine is as light and airy as a Nordic cloud.
Stunningly nightmarish is an entire room packed with 36 seemingly identical paintings of carcasses. The beef carcasses are among the most realistic of the artist's paintings, even as they are also semi-surreal dream-memory works that seem to explode into your eyes.