Wednesday, 16 September 2009

a quick thought on art

To say that a work of art is good but incomprehensible to the majority of men, is the same as saying of some kind of food that it is very good but that most people can't eat it.
Leo Tolstoy

Friday, 11 September 2009

the garden: a new oil painting

I have recently finished another oil painting. ‘The Garden’. Oddly, all the plants are poisonous. You will find Hemlock (little sprigs of white flowers bottom left) among them. Socrates was forced to take Hemlock for upsetting his fellow Greeks.

The daddy of them all however would be the Castor plant (the red one mid right). The husk of its seeds contain ricin. An amount of ricin the size of a grain of salt will kill any human. Which is why it was great favourite of the KGB. It makes even the deadly Hemlock look like an antiseptic mouth wash.

The hubrisious grower has not yet notice the poison ivy climbing the rake. Too busy looking proud. The overgrown garden is in the process of turning on its faithful soon to be victim who has so diligently nurtured them.

I suppose it is a ‘Reap what you sow’ allegory. We all in reap what we sow in the end.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Where is british art heading? are the yba's really dead?

I attended a debate at the Mall Galleries Threadneedle Prize this evening. Where is British art heading? Are the YBAs really dead? Who or what is going to replace them? Attending were leading Brit artist Bob and Roberta Smith, writer and broadcaster Brian Sewell and realist painter and Threadneedle selector Jock McFadyen for a lively and topical debate during The Threadneedle Prize exhibition. Arts columnist Karen Wright chaired the panel.

Brian opened with the statement:"Twenty years or so ago I attended a debate like this and I said that British art was more or less dead. Now there are two things that happen when something dies. First it pisses itself, and second it shits itself. Well the YBA (Young British Artists) are the ensuing piss and shit from the rotting corpse of British art and its time for change."

Well now there is an opening (rubbing hands together).

As the debate/battle went on however I found that the points drifted somewhat and stayed very much in the present. Some lamenting the dreadful current state of the teaching standards in our art colleges, others blaming Messers Saatchi and Serota for all the worlds ills. This was further hampered somewhat by Jock McFadyen who insisted that the YBA's did not exist at all which led nowhere. Brian broadsided his vast dictionary across Jocks bows in reprise. (The crowd jeered!)

There was also an undertow from some members of the audience promoting the HATE of contemporary art no matter what. Culminating in one or two pointless, personal and spiteful comments directed at Bob Smith (who seemed a fine chap to me). They at the same time viewing Brain as an artistic messiah. Brian seemed uncomfortable with his new promotion to 'the right hand of the father' and shifted in his chair.

No final decision was made on the future of our art though I did rather enjoy it all the same. Lots of long words with a touch of the Hogarthian cock pit!