Similar to Diogenes quest in Greece in circa 4th century BC, looking for an honest man, I have been looking for a great contemporary figurative painter or just really just great a great painter. My criteria is simple, the work would have to be placed next to a Velasquez or Manet without embarrassing itself. I shall try to stick to the figurative because that is what I am most familiar with.
I have come to the conclusion that they are rare- which is surprising given the vast amount of material available on the internet. The whole contents of galleries, museums and artist's site are spilled all over the net like giant supermarkets.
This is the age of the con artist, anything to get reviewed, noticed, sold.
The current Classical revivalist movement, though admirable in its return to some kind of coherent standards is simply a dreary rehash of the French Academic painters of the 19th century. There are no surprises to be found- no great AHA moments, except perhaps a misguided thrill at their technical virtuosity, surprising in today's world. They are akin to the chimney pots in Shakespeare's Caesar, anachronisms and in the final analysis really quite boring.These painter's works will be in the dustbin of history next to mine.
I found this essay in "The Prospect" by Ben Lewis provocative.