Sunday, May 21, 2017

We are Cowards- too many Artists have Given up on Beauty.

Beautiful paintings are not cool today, they not done- they are sneered at and we the artists, have for the most part cowered under the critics. I am not not talking about the endless simpering creations of vapid neo-victorian landscapes and other treacly greeting card images, but images that are deeply, personally challenging and heart stoppingly beautiful and human.,We have to trick out our art with onerous messages and unsightly images for no reason, desperate to show just how serious we are as an artist, the real deal the reason we are paying off our student loans .Worse we have to resort to callous indifference and mine the obscenely rich with clever, sleazy, insincere, showboating crap, anything! to get their jaded and worthless attention. Rare indeed are artists like Kathe Kollwitz who manages to combine beauty and deep humanity. Most of us in the west are poseurs at faux agony. Much of the misery we experience here is self-pity; no-one appreciates our work, can't get a gallery, can't afford to live and work, but even at our nadir we are not in Raqqa, Syria watching our children's heads being blown off. Suffering will not go away, beauty might.Why can't we make work that justifies people's faith in the basic goodness of man? Suffering morphs from one century to another, but our beautiful planet might not continue exist as it is. We are complicit in this.

The National Gallery of London is Having a glorious show of Dutch flower paintings. I can smell the blooms from here.


And if you are not in London, sniff, The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is having two excellent shows- Matisse and Botticelli. I saw them I almost died and went to heaven.  Come to think of it, one of the last things I would like to see, other than loved ones is Botticelli's Primavera, not Jeff Koon's balloon animals or Damien Hirst's shark tank!

Botticelli "Primavera" not in the exhibition but some beauties are. Will add my pictures later.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Very well stated and I agree with you about this. Ironically and on a positive note, the internet is full of the beautiful art that you practice and describe from very talented artists of all ages and nationalities, so it seems we may be finding a way to bypass the myopic and overly academic overthinking of the art establishment and connect directly to a very appreciative audience for beatiful and original work. Thank you for your message on this. Brian Stewart