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Why do we still have such a narrow definition of contemporary painting?

Stephen Hornsby-Smith

Why do we still have such a narrow definition of contemporary Painting? Because yesterday's 'modernism' has dulled our senses by likening it to the fall-out in 'classical music's' binary restrictive, crude code and elitist scrape of modernist discordant anti-harmony versus melodious beauty from the traditions of European Art. How did Paint become so poisoned by extremes unable to free itself from sophistry and false 'enlightenment'? We are left with Mozart and melody compared with Schoenberg's cacophony of 'Abstraction' !!! Simplistic and stereotypical reductionism doesn't even begin to cover it !! It has stalled insight and enlightenment by reducing its impact to giving birth to a atonal razor sharp brutalized context of 20th and 21st century youth culture already excluded as it is fueled by contemporary mistrust. Paint and music has failed to articulate (much like sport) a different 'climate of extinction rebellion' - Art and music hasn't just skipped a generation it has abandoned it! Instead of Paint and music as an accompaniment, it has become a blind alley, whilst cinematic Oscar brown-nosing has become the dandy and fop of repetitious cynical mass manipulation pandering to the ear-worm that nags and grates on our senses. What a Soviet supermarket of tasteless 'mock-jazz' bollocks ! Hardly pussy-riot!!?!! Or is it pussy-riot with pipe and slippers? In short we did not anticipate modernism's 'formalist vulnerabilities' and we over-egged 'post- modernist mood-music!'Yet Paint today has diversified its appeal and has stopped being a narcissistic hedonist ex from 'yesterday's modernist agenda'. Its appeal renders those who want to learn from '1980s expulsion', actively deepening its own fears of 'extinction rebellion' towards its own micro-climate from within and from without its own medium. I've been arguing this stuff for 30 odd years, and it will soon be the responsibility of others to give context to the Painting medium. I'd hand-on the baton but I'm not finished let alone exhausted from the rigours of daily confrontation.Having to confront the platitudes and respectability that infect the charge forward against transformation are often even from Paint friends ??! Can't we liberate ourselves without the dependency on 'appropriation' ,need for 'attitude' to forage for 'identity and authenticity ' and materialistic extensions that are meant for us to move-on, or is that 'Painting now', so called 'Beyond Painting'? Just leave the sophistry behind.......Why not back the multiverse of the imagination and leave internal 'follytics' of Art outside Art?

Philharmonic Orchestras...

Philharmonic orchestral music has indeed taken a hit leaving generations new to the medium(and not just its'grand traditions') unable to fully get something from it. Painting today has also suffered at the hands of either tech or revamps or retro pulp swallowing-up its contemporary agenda at the hands of cultural morons. It doesn't help that public perceptions of 'refined melody' occupy expensive seats in palatial Victorian or Edwardian institutions way beyond the public's purse and patience. So how do Painter's resolve their need to music that is challenging them today ? Relocation relocation relocation time! Painter's today must relate to visual contemporary dance or contemporary theatre ? Really? Or do I have to listen to DJ's and adverts? Perhaps radio stations with a specific remit? Perhaps I have to listen to Classic FM for pop classical and radio 3 for the 'deep and meaningfulls'? Should I carve-up my moods to be in sync with specific programmes? Why don't I transform my ear to social media? Come-on music, inspire me more than being made into a 'demographic'! .....and that is how this Contemporary Painter feels towards a non-multilateral non-polymorphous environment that in some way has run dry of musical enlightenment. Perhaps I should enjoy listening to the garden mowers on a weekend instead and call it quits for anything more involving?

Or perhaps we have been preparing the ground for a sudden transformation, a bare white knuckle ride of passionate Artists who commit? Perhaps Painting can harness many of the frustrations of 'rehash versus the minimal' and break-out of its confines too? It is only when musicians truly fight to change the binary squad of Abstract or harmonious, the atonal versus the melodic into a movement that satisfies the human spirit's craving for Art to move them and not just 'tick-box the influences of 'esteemed others' that will give us all the ambition to create in our own media! ? Or does... does Painting not always have that quality to it, that spark of relevance and ambition? I know which horse my money is on!! I also know that either by luck or misfortune the medium of Painting has needed to be 'kicked into the long grass' of relevance by the Art high table precisely because it has needed that experience to self-transform and with it to offer a new direction; Painter's are only now ready to strike back !!! As every musician will tell you, listening to fantastic music opens up your heart and soul, but actually playing a musical instrument as part of a skilled orchestra is a unique accomplishment and an inspirational experience. The same can be said of Painting - join the 'orchestra of self and mutual transformation' and share all its virtues with Paint.!!

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