Individual proliferation doesn't need or want 19th century 'Proletarianization'


Stephen Hornsby-Smith

Freedom was most stifled, and censored in the Eastern Warsaw Pact Cold War countries, but such was the determinism of Soviet imperialism that it also restricted and prescribed Socialist Realism in Painting too; I believe that the issues of state dogma vis a vis State defined Socialist Realism had also a detrimental effect on the medium of Painting in the West too. Subconscious collateral damage on fighting the abomination of 'Aesthetic chains' of the USSR stigmatized the pursuit of contemporary Western Painting too. The Cold War is over, let us not be shackled or not prepared to de-stigmatize what skid-marx that were left behind of a discredited Soviet experiment!


So hunting Eagle or slow Pheasant destined only for the pot? Which is contemporary Painting? Do we still have to be hung-up on 'Form' still? Stuck and dead? Can you be both? Lip-service to fashionable digital or tech Art that is derivative from Marcel's urinal? Where is the most recent Art top table back-peddling ? How long will the court of public opinion let the medium of Painting sink into the peat to be resurrected in 20 thousand years from now ? Will anyone notice that tech upgrade has put Painting in the stocks indefinitely? What happens when Conceptual Art becomes left on the shelf ? Well to some it already has !


Isn't the fate of Painting and 'form' wrapped around its neck like what has become of 'pop-music'? What or where does pop music go when it has 'done' the complete cycle of youth rebellion manifested not just in lyrics but also in style ? Let me list them :Folk, Rock, Heavy-metal,Hippy, Glam Rock,Punk, New Wave,Ska,2-tone, Mods,New Romantics, Funk, Soul, Disco, Rap, Electronic, Hip-Hop,...etc the list goes on, but the 'form' equivalent tells us that the time of Youthful sub-culture has lost its way in giving anything of wholesale change that many of the music,epoch changing styles above did; I'm sure music is great without the bite of angry outrage and authentic not over-produced non-sanitized rebellion, and I'm sure we all get the 'it's ironic 'post post-derivative' bollocks of today, but if music is dependent only on the ability to rebel manifested in a sub-culture, why is music today still strong? An insatiable appetite for the adrenaline rush of sub-cultural self-transformation doesn't have to visually explicit ! Clashing with sartorial standards, lifestyles and norms are too obvious! Smart is the new generation. They do not need a 'new look' that has already been tried and exhausted by the 'failed generation' of their parents, and Glastonbury etc is fun but too orthodox. Relativism diminishes every ideologue, where re-invention is never as pure as the original. Raw anger can be seduced by 'swagger' and reduced to popularity where a product is conceived of and sold on. The 'Z' generation inherited this post-Cold War world and it's up to them to reform it where necessary; they must choose how to exercise the freedom that comes of it.


Welcome to the false flags of 'Form' !!! Today's music will live on without the massive sub-cultural change that took-over the UK in the 60's,70,s, 80's'90's etc.... Perhaps we should look at high fashion to understand music's influence today as opposed to reacting at 'street level' against the oppression in the USSR by demonstrating our individuality and our capacity to rebel ! Does that mean that the Cold War was a factor in provoking Western youth culture to self-transform? It's a factor that we can't ignore ! If it took to 'burn our bridges' in youth music movements by exhausting the whole visual spectrum, to free our friends behind the Iron Curtain then that's something to be proud of !!


Or perhaps we are looking at the anti-Painting thing at the wrong angle? Perhaps we should see Painting not as exhausted but over-heating and over-reliant on 'light' that it can't control. Our impulse is to trap or grasp light and its fleeting quality. from Impressionism to Post- Expressionism. Van Gogh to Lucien Freud desperately wanted to capture every movement and every tone of light, and one feels genuinely moved by a sense that both Painter's never felt they'd been successful because they put such store on the frail resolution of understanding their medium. But light is not a foot race that man can win. So, even with the death-knell of minimalism and abstract expressionism it wasn't that Painter's reached a dead-end but reached a Painter's Block' that would only be broken by being prepared to jettison the obsession with 'form' that should have galvanised Painter's to break-on through to the other side to a Post-form' era, pioneered by the Painter's who'll self-transform their medium as well as cutting the apron strings across the Art spectrum ! A physical restricted space shouldn't have been subconsciously pinned-on to the matter of 'form' any way ! That should have given us a clue from the outset of this very Artistic 1980's panic locked up with 'form'. Why should we have to mine for formal purity when life in Paint can rely on another 3.7 billion years before our sponsor and solar guide dies - 'plenty of time before lights-out then'? ! I'm sure we will have another 'Art Race' but not necessarily between the East and West this time ! Between then and now we have work to do! This is the Painting medium's time ! We have to be infectious by contrast, by colour, white and black, as well as a rebellious modus operendi that challenges and betters this world of fat , middle-aged, men and women wearing suits that render their lives empty except all the aggravation that their over-burdened series of responsibilities wreak on their tired lives ! The Z generation have a default position on Climate change that offers them their reincarnation that will not be lost to a 'testament of youth' on battle grounds like their great grandfathers. My job is to Paint and defy every one who wants me to 'lose the Painting'. It's not a great sacrifice in the wider pantheon of Art today, but old fat and marked-up, hasn't succumbed to the 'form brigade on a strict abstract budget'.




© 2019 Stephen Hornsby-Smith

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