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Introduction to Bowling a 'Gorilla Wide'!

Stephen Hornsby-Smith

Is 'conservatism' the future of the Art World but not its practitioners?

Retrospectives are not meant to be a self-indulgent shams or'playing fast and loose' by 'laundering'low grade repetition and conventionalizing lazy self-satisfaction, but they often are. People think that that is exactly what Painters do! Surely that must make Painters angry and frustrated. Indeed, why not lay siege against this pitiful excuse for formalistic dissection by the Art World of Painting. Perhaps anger is pure yet uncontrolled, or perhaps contempt at the Art Historian's belly-flop rather than an educated dive works better for me. It grates that contemporary Painting is subjected to this academic vivisection, whilst being seen as formalism's answer to being intimidated by 'deconstructing', where every brush stroke is 'over -predictable' and derivative. Life not half-life nor death by fashion must have 'no dominion' with Paint! Indeed, it must even appear stronger and more vital in its 'survivalism' depsite the contemporary Conceptual Art context or should I say complex;Paint will always adapt like a Darwinian fact. Moreover, Painter's should count themselves lucky to be unpopular and should appreciate the independence they have from all the ruck and maul of dependency on public displays of 'the creativity scrum' and its needy homage to sales.

Imagine canvas prints of ones own Paintings that are transformed by a re-working and a change of direction that invokes originality yet preserves the original Painting. 'Self-perpetuating plagiarism' is a challenge to the medium of Photography too, where issues of reproduction are not resolved in a dark room or by digital fancy footwork but in the original 'studio'. How can the Painter refer to inoculating Paint from its own selfie? Welcome to the contemporary field of self-portrait that transcends photography and releases the Painter to move on and beyond it.

2D or not 3D is the influence of Paint today. So in the most maligned of all Art media, Painting becomes heretical and conservative(with a small 'c') at the same time. Of course Painting is conservative but definitely not negative, and unifies the 'ink, pencil and Paint traditions throughout the world, beyond the trappings of political ideology and renewing the finger print of stability too. Without the harmony and disharmony of light, colour and the cure of negativity how are we meant to brush our lives with all the freedoms and vigour of fear, joy, pain and pleasure? When we Paint we become our own masters and the liberator of our own souls and we become the paradox of mortality and rejuvenation without looking over our shoulders.

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