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A threatened species of Art

Stephen Hornsby-Smith

Painting today is a threatened species of Art. It has been given a limited shelf-life in today's market. yet paradoxically it 'draws' attention to a wider global threat of extremist popularism that has caused chaos on every level of life. Yet the wealth of a nation is based upon the freedom of its Painter's. constructive or destructive in their allegiances. It is the greatest test for the Art global community, but it is being failed by the ignorance and cynicism. But Painter rehab is not needed, but the fierce, fresh open air, and the risk of the elements that you can't domesticate.

This unpopular fate is contrasted with the popularistic world of heightening hate, anger and brutality in political life. This coalescence of Painting and politics should however be treated with impartiality. The bloodline of consensus and mutual respect has once again been severed in Painting and in Society. Painting mediocrity, derivative and repetitive Art seems to be on the cusp of exploding into fragments or into new tectonic plates we don't fully understand yet. Certainly the frontier spirit of American Painting in the 1940's and the championing of Impressionist Painting in the 1890s by both collector and practitioner is over. This is the real drama of our age, where we let Painting get filtered into domestication and rehab in a gated community where there are too many rules, fences and boundaries. Why has this pedestrianization not alerted Art today? Is it the Art world playing chicken or the Painter not wanting to chance his/her arm? Why has he/she replaced adrenaline with Valium? Why does in the main, a stretched piece of linen or cotton scare the 21st century so much?" We Painter's have become reliant on benevolence for too long. Why have we

been so restrained when our medium is being swamped with consumer digitalism? Since when did the Art market demand that I have no skill unless I learn to paint upside down whilst eating jelly babies with my teeth or with my toes to be successful? Since when did the Capital of Art media hand me a P45 form or demand that I visit a police station every day? When did I become an Artistic relic or a low grade artistic criminal? Since when did the Art world entomb Painting to be seen in a morgue. rather than as a Art practice of dedication and learning ones trade? And when did popularism so infect with such ignorance the same lack of originality and predictability in Art as in the breaking up of my homeland, my Great Britain and Northern Ireland?You would have thought that Brexit nationalism in my country should have bonded us together, not split us apart by the promises of a continent that we are friends with, and not bed partners. We are facing a world of popularistic ignorance so we must respect the choices that we can embrace This is life becoming a socially, politically produced freedom led by Artist Painter's not Marxist theoreticians or arm-chair lobbyists. Paint is in our blood and its honour in our hearts, to cultivate more than our own currency(Painting). I paint to reaffirm the fragile lot of my fellow countrymen to reject the popularist short-termism of 'Fools Gold'.Of course we must restore as well as re-examine the turning over of our own gold leaf.

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