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21st century mimesis has failed the medium of Painting


Painting hasn't just been outstripping demand in the 21st century, but it has recovered from the post-Cold War 'Art Painting Iron Curtain'. I visited a gallery and studio in Prague (before Covid) hoping to avoid Conceptual Art and was delighted to view Paintings that were free from 'form' preoccupations of the rest of the West! But has the rest of the West caught-up? No! Painting today is not needing to reproduce any 'Western criteria for acceptable levels of bohemia and the permissive, or state dictat of factories churning-out the old Soviet Union mimesis! So why in the rest of the West have we clung-on to anything but contemporary Painting??!! Why are we still washing our form of Fine Art 'form Iron Curtain' laundry away hidden in plain sight??


Overproduction of 'graphic super realism' by ink or lead pencil as well as enforcing the finite into Abstract Art not by image originality but by its saleability to the consumer, have plundered and blundered itself into creative cul-de-sacs! Why is Fine Art still being contained by the colourist and the Anthropological? Painting is being subjected to a well-placed opposition imposing its own rules of not needing any goal posts in a football match because the Art 1st world wants to possess and occupy by dominating possession and passing the ball laterally, away from the opposition players and some of its own always in their own half??!! Jose Mourinho parking the bus couldn't have done a better job! Why does the Art 1st world do this? Because the post-Cold War victors want to hog the ball but don't want to score with it!??! Remember, possession and occupation are 9 tenths of the property law, but in football terms, ends-up you not winning and undermines any originality or creativity and is an agenda of negative ownership at the same time! Indeed, what if a whole team was just made of defenders? Same result, or ......absence of result.


Okay, that metaphor was a stretch too far, but, what if the medium of figurative Painting was to divorce abstract Painting....wouldn't that get tied-up in the courts in the very paradox of definition? Isn’t that the very paralysis that has harmed contemporary Painters, etc??!! Okay, too obvious, let's try the example of Theoretical Physicist and the Experimental Physicist!! One dreams and speculates, the other disproves it, but in an environment where little has changed since the beginning of the 20th century and the golden years of Einstein! Expectations therefore are very limited, and any change is audited by resentful suspicion! Painter’s Paint by theoretical curiosity, put on the spot and having to stay with any change in the Painting even if it is an unhappy accident, and like a theoretical physicist, has the ideas of the work more disapproved of rather than disproved completely! Highly trained experts get to define how to paralyse even new ideas and how to manage and manipulate alternatives and how to secrete or bury any original thinking to their (not the author of new work) own benefit!! But what if a theoretical Physics genius like Sheldon could Paint his theory and envisage it?! Okay, a little too far with Mr confirmation bias, but what if Amy could Paint and visualize her investigative analysis of the brain, perhaps even the 'brain of the Universe and how it ticks?!!' Isn't it clear that Science and Painting could unlock the secrets of the Universe? But would the Art elite be content having to play 2nd fiddle to visual drama etc? Would they share power with any humanities/social science/ science people creating visual universal realities in both Cosmic images that (they look like abstractions but are or Painted images that are representative and accurately painted? Sharing parallel universes aren't really that popular amongst competitive academics desperate to become successful!??! Imagine if Darwin could paint his experiments.......? Perhaps we wouldn't need a draughtsman to explain literally about Origin of Species', perhaps we would have wanted something more metaphorical like... a visual modernist Painting that engages with the abstract? What is more explanatory than a non-literal visual image to explain how it relates to everyone's lives , and not just to the discoverer of the visual image, the canvas Painting??!!


Perhaps we should ask ourselves what has happened to bronze and concrete Soviet Union, of statues of Lenin and Stalin etc Concrete rubble has become metal and thick armour in the form of tanks and missiles that are penetrated by Ukrainian sheer willpower and courage in which there is no time to Paint a visual image except for those who are too young to process the War who've been traumatised, but can use the 3rd party device of Art work supervised by experts to express the agony of those who should never have been put through the nightmare of War, but can get some closure and take back control of their experiences! The terrors of War afflict every level of society, but Painting for kids suffering from PTSD is just one way we can relieve oppression for all! But how many in the UK suffer from their own terrors? Why not facilitate Painting as a therapy? But here we are in one more Paint trauma - to express via the medium (let's call it a 3rd party again) of Paint etc in how to treat people as they are human too and have value, but not to allow the medium of Paint to flourish in full recognition even in Art Colleges ( mostly off the curriculum ) because it doesn't make any money, and because it has been stigmatised as only for those who have been 'ill' instead of for all to access? Or is it because it is too unfiltered, too unpredictable? And I thought Art is for all, free at the point of delivery?!Doesn't free will that emanates from Painting change destiny and contradict determinism? Isn't mutation (that offers new life) a resource that alters outcome, and human imperfection is made manifest in the alchemy of Paint on 2D canvas, as it actually happens during the painting actually of a Painting? Why not? You decide!



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