Aesthetic Regicide



Abstract Expressionism (AE) remains guilty of aesthetic regicide by reducing the medium of Painting to formalistic determinism (imposing goal posts), a sentence handed down with AE glee in their exaltation of their Painting being the ultimate and final relevance to Art and to the medium of Painting. They murdered Painting and then claimed the reward.Even today conceptual artists like Tracey Emin argue her artistic inheritance derives from the failure of Painting to be relevant; we're termed "stuckists" trapped in yesteryear.

Yet paradoxically although the door has been shut for Painter's, there is more than just a false economy for Painter's, namely the evil eye is looking elsewhere, and is not a distraction. Indeed it is a medium that I originally chose because it went under the radar to question the 'ancien regime' and technologically advanced media of Art, without to much fallout infecting my work. I didn't need brand , cult, designer posturing or public displays of rebellion - all I had to do was be original. Indeed originality is the only 'guts of Art' that matters to me, demanding a fire in my belly to create and not to find an easier route of destruction and cynicism. I consider Conceptual fart as uneventful, a slow-coach that believes it's grease-lightening. More rock n' roll from an ageing rock band of capped teeth and viagra, strutting their stuff like a hideous burlesque whilst followed by ageing fans ,and with a team of psychologists,physiotherapists, yoga masters, dieticians, PR management,permanent hospitality staff etc, whilst pretending to be teenagers. Their great grandchildren watch gramps wiggle on stage forgetting his 9th marriage break-up and getting 'loaded' on teenage 'Art', self-love and testosterone. Art's selfie doesn't impress. These clean living, post-addiction, retro-rehab, fake nostalgia for breakdown/re-birth, clean slate coctail is the metaphor for 'Art- age'. This Art-age governs the anaemic conceptual art and has Painting down as a 'genetic outcast'. This outcast is also a self-taught artistic vigilante but not a vandal, a formal 'outsider' but not an anarchist indulging in the 'War of Art'. Instead,I have found what makes me do what I do; Painting is my passion and I don't know anything else. Just don't piss on my breakfast just because you're taught to do so in college. Think for your selves but not from your wallet or from their's, because I believe that wealthy patrons envy the artist's freedom to think as much as the work that you produce. Or not? You decide.


© 2020 Stephen Hornsby-Smith

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