I am bored with contemporary realism, bored, bored, bored. I love painting the figure, color and beauty but unless there is a way to do it in a fresh and relevant fashion it is totally pointless. Photography does a better job. Is this despair on my part? Maybe, because unless we question why we continue to do our work, it becomes an exercise in banality.
I just went over to see the prizes of the latest excercise in the Bouguereau worship fest- the Annual Art Renewal Salon winners. Always a cause of mirth on my part or horror.
Here is a link to the first prize "winner".
It looks like a set piece for a mausoleum.
I cannot reproduce any of these precious "gems" here because they are under copyright as if any one in their right mind would waste their life making a pastiche like Martinez's in the 21st century of Ingres' already over the top painting of Napoleon. The Art Renewal Center has set back any real innovation in the realism redux movement as it is one of the few platforms for contemporary figurative artists extant. It celebrates the ossified, the overwrought and excessive minutiae of a dead art form already awash in treacle and faux history. I don't see much criticism of him in the realism circles- there should be- but it is I am sure, out of fear of offending Chairman Fred Ross (aka Chairman Mao)- I hope this does, if only to cut the shackles his money buys. The only accepted art on that site is that which passes through his myopic, retrograde and calcified eye. I can see why the New York Art critics ignore it.
I did find Kamille Korey's figure quite lovely. Full disclosure- about 10 years ago I was a finalist or a semi-finalist (whatever) and haven't entered since or before.
an excellent article that explores the dilemma of a Soviet ballet choreographer in a conservative age -this is an especially cogent paragraph.
"To create modern art in a classical mode is to face forward and backward at once, yoked to the past while inching toward the future. Only a fool or a genius would attempt it."
The direction artists like Koons, Currin and Kara Walker is a dead end, I do not find setting sun and cynical work appealing- especially when it is farmed out as in Mr. Koons "oeuvre".. Ms Walker has been repeating herself for 30 years. She has been beating us over the head with the Massa'a whip for at least 30 years- nothing new here folks - move on.
I have been looking at the post Impressionist age, the Nabis, Picasso's early work especially the Saltimbanques. I love the joyous unselfconscious fun of anime- I have mined it shamelessly.
More claptrap from Chairman Ross:
Also the tooth enamel dissolving Falun Gong art contest he hosted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoEExYcfB4U
I don't know what my next tack ( great leap forward) will be but I am sure you won't see me as one of Fred Ross's Living Masters!
Another of his (Edward Hopper's) teachers, artist Robert Henri, taught life class. Henri encouraged his students to use their art to "make a stir in the world". He also advised his students, "It isn't the subject that counts but what you feel about it" and "Forget about art and paint pictures of what interests you in life."