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Common Ground?

Updated: Jan 4, 2020

Stephen Hornsby-Smith
Stephen Hornsby-Smith

If it isn't fusion is it assimilation ? No! Just common ancestry !

Has some of the Artistic creativity of Photography become superannuated because of Digitalization and the delimiting the original shot remastered by interference in the dark room ? Why has a fixation on technique and technology undermined the freedom of the authentic original shot ? It is not surprising that I've picked-up £1 printed canvasses at charity shops and tried to resurrect by Paint. Perhaps there is no other cheesy source of images of New York, London , Paris hanging on the walls of 20's or 30's year old's first flat that accommodates my retro-suburban need to shock Yuppyville ?

I add Paint, I transform the image or I completely ignore the photograph and do anything else but slavishly touch it up a bit ! But this satirical take misses the point ! I'm not attacking a demographic or detracting from the original, but adding to the very alchemy of the original. No, not the pic before it was put on the canvas but the over-produced consumer product that has demeaned the original ! I'm retrieving something once very precious from photography and doing so by introducing Paint to the process. Significantly, here Painting comes to the aid of a rival Art medium', where Painting leads from the front.

But this is neither a multi-media thing nor a rehash but a Painter's view to celebrate 'moving-on' from tired mass production by individualizing the image again. I enjoy moving images around manually rather than by computer 'photo-shop', because of its more human connection,for both 2D and 3 D objects to re-birth. Fusion? More like 'coincidences' of accidental or improvised intersecting that happens when one moves the jig-saw in or out of place. Nothing is left to good old fashioned inter-media conflict or media tribal rivalry around. There are too many 'cultural differences' inside the Art world, why add another ?

Imagine an Art world in one generational longevity to have experienced the Art of Matisse to Jeff Koons? That's my parents generation ! No television just wireless all the way to Lady Gaga and beyond ! hasn't their generation seen work from Ideological extremes to the post Cold War and more ? The 1980's had a divorce in Western Art concerning he medium of Painting, and that was followed in post Cold War with the YBA's dealing with a world in shock ! But since Art post traumatic stress disorder there has been a Painting explosion by popular consent ! Surely just as Brexit was won by popular Northern vote against the grain of traditional class loyalties in the December election, so Painting has transformed Art on what my grandparents' generation didn't have, namely TV ? Once a possession that indicated great wealth and social status, today mass TV has popularized Painting by mass participation ! Isn't that a a great celebration of Art by returning Painting not just to the fold of acceptability but to mass accessibility ? Once the drowned rat of post 1980's Art Painting has today won a landslide winner in change in Art by not just popular demand but by popular participation ! The standards are quite high and the the viewers are from a diverse social demographic and has held its own against other reality TV shows like Strictly and X factor. The 'stage' has another Painting sensation that values its practitioners as much as its court of public opinion that it has garnered who 4 or 5 series on have ballooned and remained loyal.

This popular 'Renaissance' was what Cezanne yearned for, namely a return to Art that was not exclusively for the rich or the academically decorated cognicienti, and was not poisoned by 'form' and its permanent 'abstract oblique' distortion that was comfort-food of self-importance. How Cezanne deplored the trajectory of Art from Braque onwards. It seemed inevitable that the severing of all ties with Painting would put Painting in a historical context only ; but it was Art regicide that contrived to get hung-up on the physical parameters of the canvas and to see that as a coup de grace which 'form could not rescue' Painting from!! Indeed, it was from beyond the confines of the limitations of form and physical actuality that popular and not' Pop Art' has succeeded in Paint self-transformation. This has liberated the UK from continental Art tectonic plates of the Art world. Faced with an Art world that was not responding to popular demand for expression , the people have spoken ! It is the 'non-Art World' that has taken the initiative to initiate the broad brush stroke of artistic expression and made it its own ! This is not some revolution but a need to do what a lyric from another popularist ( Cole Porter) had written : "Let's misbehave !" The human gene of a finger-print on brush, on paint , on canvas celebrates all that is our human fallibility and our courage to enjoy it ! Art isn't meant to be perfect it's meant to explain 'US' !I have no doubt that any life enhancing mode of Art is restorative to us all whether its on line or in the flesh. Indeed, isn't it better to switch to the rewarding school of original image than ever let enmity,ignorance or cynicism take 'form and abuse it ? It's this simple : Do your 'School' or have some fun ! Better to bunk off than fall asleep in some boring lecture ! The only lecture one should get is a lecture to ones self ! Get on with it !"


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