Desecration of originals or new type of Restoration or original take on the orthodox 'retrospective'?
-Watch out for the singularity in 2D and (with 3D printers) 3D Art. Therefore are these traditional mediums to be consigned to the past or to be catapulted into the present and future? Why the latter? Because you get to see all the human blemishes of random layers of paint, brush strokes unique variations, transformation of ideas valued by their idiosyncrasies and failings rather than their technical ability and seamless experimentation that are airbrushed. It is a little more protracted an issue for sculpture because of the existence of the original mold, that has been around for centuries, but the idea of robbery and plagiarism by exact replicas or bettering the originals 'mechanically by 3D printer, is just as terrifying. So why not pre-empt and stop it in its tracks? Take charge. Do your own and by contrast and expose the fraud of the second rate mechanical.
- Cannibalism of ones own Retrospective?! Perhaps the emphasis of authenticity by reverse psychology was too easy a target for me. Have 68 canvas prints made of originals from all corners of my 30 plus years practice enabled me to reflect on past work without endangering the original process and reasoned context for the originals. How ? By transformation of the canvas prints made, by negating the mechanical by grading how much of my handiwork I'd committed myself to alter the printed canvas. Human hand meets human struggle leads to the more work I do makes it have more value to me and to the price system I applied." It's great to see all the work but they are nearly all originals that are different from the original Painting", was the general feeling towards this exhibition at Oxmarket. " You've cannibalized your own work" was another. Both are relevant, but both didn't cover the idea of showing old originals 'within the new context that don't always shy away from confronting the static Painting from earlier years. Such artistic 'movement' or fluidity still relies on the original but is not deterministic and inflexible in exacting a mimetic image of the original. Why not deviate from being constrained by the past. This is not reinvention by rejuvenation. Furthermore I have no doubt that I'm referring to any plagiarized versions that I'm told have been 'modified' so as not to be an exact copy. But I'm firmly stating that this new ground from me to me is warning intellectual property thieves' I will catch you'! But even on that note of caution let me also state that I am emphasizing not just a rejection of the staid old formula of the 'Retrospective but an innovation that can widen hinterland of each original made into a unique new work without duplication. There is too much talk of 'decapitation' of originals and not enough about blowing away the cobwebs on this issue.
Balding and fat off the old block of conceptual Art It is still clear to me that Conceptual Art is middle-aged, and the YBA's occupied the place where the Cold War vacated. At this time its rise was inversely proportionate to the expulsion of the Painter's from the promised Artistic land of the top table and this also was timed to conceal the end of Thatcherism and Reaganism. Or to gently usher it into the background. Such 'desecration' conveniently removed the male gaze from the high profile that was exposed in Painting. Don't get me wrong, I don't think we're talking Harvey Goldstein here, but critical counter-culture feminism had begun to be manoeuvred into a move from public political argument to academic analysis across the Art and Social Scientific ivory towers,and crucially keeping at arms length any public controversy. Why did that happen? To my mind it's another form of higher profile is open to gentrification by new forms of academic status., when in effect it is a gagging order to not rock the boat. Perhaps some of the 'Jimmy Savill's were given a 'reprieve' for the time being in the 1980s and 90s. But eventually they'd catch them! How benevolent were the Art patrons who were allowed to circumnavigate a touchy subject and still give generously to post Cold War Post Thatcherism beneficiaries who just wanted 'life's short let's party' : the revellers(YBAs) no not the travellers or the 'Hippies' of the 90s. . Some of their stuff is great but not breakthrough Art, just a new way to make enough dosh to spend it all. OK that's OK. But if you massage a reputation of crashing and burning then prepare for the actual Art work to be made tabloid.
If I was critical I'd say: Perhaps Art could have opened its eyes rather than opened its cheque books? Hardly refining or destabilizing or reinventing or punk meets Dada destruction or comfortable convenience or public convenience or is the convenient truth that it was all very 'pissed vomit all over the taxi'? These weren't even brave enough to vomit in a gallery! Would they sell their vomit on ebay? These cult of 'ex-painters united' under a new manager won the double in his first season in charge of the Art market - 'Vidal Sassoon Saatchi' - the Jose Mourinho of the Art market. Well they won over the market for almost 3 decades. But frankly what opposed them?Dreadfully earnest toe curlingly sincere austerity of the Left? 'Ideological Priests' are no match for the ferocity of life according to Saatchi.
I suppose some will say they were ironic or brazen or new or newer Labour, cooled by The Spice Girls' warmed by the hearth with a bottle of something expensive of Tony Blair's high table. Non Painter's became the slop left in the trays of the pub the night afterwards and the mixed media got the artistic version of the stubbed-out cigarette butts to 'comment on Art' with. Open the turbines by closing the gallery space. The only thing remotely human was the failure of its potential; welcome to fallibility alley, but without the human contact some of us were hoping to see. Indeed, all the fates of the Tate's became monoliths, a time capsule of itself where its mechanism of momentum is based upon generic rather than the unorthodox. So why did I undermine a comfortable retrospective show of golden oldies from my own collection of my work? Let me guess...? Could it be because I wanted to keep my fingerprint today of what happens today rather than gentle free-wheeling down hill in a pleasant country lane reflecting on our youth, drunk on a bottle of cheap cider laced with artistic tamazipan?
So can I ritualise the destruction of my past work? If it is not a performance against mechanical self-perpetuation, why shouldn't I colonize 3D images with Paint rather than be a Luddite? Why can't the 3D objects remain dormant in contrast to the Paint I've used to make the paint the human finger print on that 3D object?Why can serious Painter's only be taken 'seriously' if they paint grey or sepia? Why do Painter's today have to paint like a photograph only not in terms of form but reduced to an absence of colour? Where is the inclusivity?. Doesn't modernist principles of expanding the social demographic whose practice is to Paint become Painter's without having to go through a College system brainwashed with anti-canvas/paint/values? Or are they de-barred? Why have we set up an exclusion zone around the medium of Paint?
Going too far?
Here's Blake Gopnik, the chief Art critic for the Washington post, quoted by Charles Saatchi in 2005:"..painting is dead and has been dead for 40 years. If you want to be considered a serious contemporary Artist the only thing you should be doing is video or manipulated photography." ('My name is Charles Saatchi and I'm an Artoholic':Phaidon, pg52 2005) F.U. Blake! If you want to shoot down modernism, no doubt you'll leave the carnage of 'prettified water lillies as the end of Painting as we know it! Perhaps the vicar will come round for cucumber sandwiches as well!?
No! You should lose your job if in an occupation of communication you fail to meet the requirements of communicating to the court of all of public opinion. Perhaps you prefer to be in your own 'cube' surrounded by clones straight out of Art College desperate to not do 'anything wrong'. is that a healthy atmosphere for good Art?
Perhaps we should best be guided by the Art that Hitler and Stalin hated - anything spring to mind? Or do you still want be interested in Art History but without any Art or History involved? Perhaps the 160 years of modernism is too demanding and too relevant to Art practice today and you'd prefer to be an Art rock star? Remember if Hitler and Stalin couldn't destroy Modernist Painting', I'm sure Blake can! How powerful a rock star can high end 'Art investigative journalism' be? Ok so you wanted to be an absolutist and a bete noire to Painters at the same time. Give the prize to Mr blinkered on the Left here!