The disregarding of Painting as a credible medium by those on high certainly did not anticipate or desire any spin-off such as according 'Painting sovereignty' to roam in freedom, both from and freedom to exercise the primary function of all artists: to understand, appreciate or devalue and expose those who just destroy or annihilate. Art isn't just the keeping of the peace or policing of 'no go' areas but a feverish often self-destructive force-field that values and validates. Exploitation, misappropriation, and manipulation still haemorrhages all Art, but the threshold and outreach of Painting is only a part of a jigsaw that risks solving equations and unsolving them, both 'other' and a fusion of subject/object. A single immersive Painting, (quality dependent) can resolve, inflict, and conflict, deter but also reward absolutism and imperil it. It can burden and unburden, transcend, or be restricted by its 2 D 'hardware' yet can offer trajectories and propulsions beyond its own physical boundaries! This is against the grain Art! Is there any medium of Art that can encompass being under siege but self-contained, divisive yet diffusive, ambivalent yet completely focused and contrary yet loyal and drawn together by a taxing yet rewarding restlessness!???? It is the great visual dreams and sorrows of the human condition, and we have a chance to bring its 19th and 20th centuries of modernism especially modernist Painting, together with our own 21st century of modernist Painting! Can't we embrace that the Painting-modernism of the last 160 years is punctuated with all sorts of often breaks with its past and unfulfilled decades all exhaustingly stretching the canvas frame beyond the productive and engaged in the negative and the hostile only to re-birth on a trajectory that maybe both virgin or well-trodden territory...? 'Embracing chaos' isn't the finality of popular mythology but just another flight path heading in a direction that we choose and not one that is over deterministic!
So Painting is both contingent, symbiotic, and unique that regulates all other media. It is our 'dark gravity' and is both wormhole for time travel and a black hole swallowing careers and lives greedily. It is in exile and is clearly persona non grata systematically being 'amalgamated with Photography', persecuted so as to paradoxically nurture it as far as 1975 when the last of the fascist leaders in Europe kicked the bucket! So, modernism has cleared its sinuses and has ditched the stigma of often being synonymous with political extremism! 21st century Modernist Painting works as liberating image making without being piggybacked by an ideological radical agenda! You can't flog a dead horse of anti-modernist Painting when clearly Modernism outlasted both Fascism and Stalinism! It is free to evaluate itself and free to judge us or itself! There's only one good extremism and that's one that devours itself and leaves the rest of life to devolve, explore and reconcile in our too short experience of a 'mortal coil'. It is the human experience to further beyond our own designated 'jurisdiction to comprehend' by placing ourselves in harm’s way - I wouldn't have Painted it any other way!
So why does the 'Top Table ' of Art get to play God? Because they are simply 'risk averse'? No, we are survivors of the Cold War generation and resonate with the survivors of the blitz amongst the inner-City rubble! Of course, we can rebuild our own prejudices and not just the architecture! But didn't we fight before and during the Cold War in order to destroy Fascism and Stalinism etc? Weren't the British those who gave up our British Empire' in exchange for destroying Fascism and Stalinism? Moreover, didn't we choose to live in a post imperial world even at great cost that led us to our 'limitations' and our sovereignty that lead us to Brexit to protect the world from us and what we punished ourselves for? Let me consider that last idea .......Do we no longer want to be the bad guy of the 19th century imperialism nor the 19th century breeding ground for Marxist ideas that put 20th century Europe on a collision course walking the high wire act precariously poised to become either Communism or Hitler's Fascism?
Don’t we want to choose our path away from radicalisation in an Elizabethan Age of no longer having to justify, falsify, plagiarise....we are the anti-form Painters, the progressives , the utilitarian’s of optimistic pragmatism !! We promote and yet undervalue our potential unbalancing of the Art-Life, or our resolving of it! We reconcile troubled conflict and belligerent 'gargoyles', in full knowledge (or otherwise) that gargoyles both drive-out evil spirits and look extremely terrifying that actually terrifies the very Painters of whom they are meant to protect!!??!! So, are Painter's actually unable to distinguish between a mask to conceal and a gargoyle to terrify? Or are they the contemporary upgrade from 19th and 20th century 'finding of boundaries' for the 21st century burst of dynamic blast through the risk barrier and the 'form politics' to actually go out and discover the universe in person and not rely on 'Temporary Contemporary Chic Art' to make some stir and then consume freedom by purchase and not by freedom to choose whether to purchase and why! Jealously hoarding ones Art vault with era breaking Painting of the past is just hiding or building a nest to fight against human mortality, is both futile and juvenile! Perfect estates, lawns, mazes, many staff at your beck and call won't prevent the inevitable!
Life cannot exist without a disproportionate imbalance between supply and demand, it can however rely on the Adam Smith notion of the invisible hand' to give life to the counter-anomalies! But Art has always (in the last 1000 years) tried to resist the 'arms race 'version of fashionable and its opposite to regulate the Art world! Wunderkindt, flash in the pans, protegy's etc but there are unique qualities to the medium of Paint can't avoid. It does and can dry in defiance of gravity and is thus open to practical alternatives that aren't universal, whilst being largely restricted to a 2D status. It can be both instrumental and yet be regarded as old school at the very same moment, without trying to disappoint or thrill "! It can be unpopular and yet in ab sentia be more influential than when it was holding court with the Art top table. Even when this Old Oak tree of a Art media in Britain may still have weeds growing around it that suck the life-blood out of it, it can still drop an acorn that will grow further than ever! Or, by an old Oak tree's death, it clears the way for the wood to see the trees and vice versa!
Nostalgia or sentimental this isn’t the ancient wood may value both old and new vistas to its own specifications. The ignominy of being abandoned by the new 'Oligarchs of Art's Top Table' is matched by its tactics of 'slow-rolling’ the 'old man has been whose best days are gone to make way for a younger more dynamic man' will always haunt every generation fearful of being humiliated by something it doesn't understand! Columbus may well have reached America, but 1950s and 1960s America did not shy away from its rejection and in your face competition to historicise and make sacred the American-made ‘Abstract Expressionists'. even if it had to destroy its contemporary reputation by making it over-esoteric and yesterday’s news! Location, location, location certainly relocated the Art world to America and irritate Moscow; money well spent? Sometimes to reward and make unique some believe it has to destroy credit and its collateral in order to re-position. As far away from Europe and to reinforce 'America's first born’?! Absolute access for public scrutiny is meant to authenticate and inform, legitimise, and authenticate, but public opinion is still systemically excluded from cultural analysis of Aesthetics that is still the preserve of the nouveau riche intellectuals and academics of the West and is
still not free of the reek of the Cold War and has actually been engaging with 'Oligarchs from all over the world'; but 'Oligarchy rules' rule whether they are of a Russian nature or from other European interests or from America? African leaders may well say to the new international Oligarchy 'What took you so long?' because they have belonged to the 'Oligarchic circle' under the pseudonym of 'warlord' for 50/60 years since independence from the crony system of European Imperialism! And yet Britain now belongs to the international club of national sovereignty nations rather than global post Warsaw Pact survivor nations! It shares its cultural endeavours but guards its cultural identities - welcome to a UK without presumptions over the status of the Painting medium. Or not? You decide!