I think a new perspective on my personal practice and its evolving of 'an original image with all its formal transformations whilst 'active' offers a series of choices that either showcase the digressions, distractions, regress, and progress in the changes that evolve and mutate as well as all the happy accidents that come my way. That exposes the luck or bad luck, technical or spontaneous explorations that say: no painting is complete without full individual self-visual and personal explanation that we the viewer don't normally get to see, and that the vicissitudes of how we get to the finishing line depends on so many factors with or without vocal or written explanation guide! Perhaps we need to do less reading and more looking with our uniquely idiosyncratic eyes! But this also illustrates that the medium of Painting is definitely not static or pedestrian, or paralysed but a process that evolves and is never wholly finished?! But that is a contentious issue that liberates all Painters and viewers that makes the open narrative exciting!!? There are times when you have to recognise that the individual Painting could have 'more work done to it', but learning to stop and shut down is the most difficult for any Painter to accept! Whilst the process is slow-moving it is always ruthlessly quick to take you in a direction that you couldn't have wanted or predicted? It is clear that the risk factor of this can be intimidating, and any new development must do this anyway to enfranchise the Painting, and that the Painting is never containable, just referenced, to show the way for something or somebody else! We don't want 'breadcrumbs', we want to discover it ourselves! The verb (to Paint) defines and inhabits the dialogue that the noun (a Painting) can conflict or affirm. Here the transmigration, coexistence, symbiosis that can fuse the interchangeability of the subject/ object in Modernist Painting is not based upon dictat or relativist disintegration. It is a paradox of division and union, an interchangeability that defies Cold War paralysis and offers a full spectrum of image originality to define our 21st century Modernist Painting era of shared but splintered realities of how we see the world. This world is a parallel universe of possibilities metaphysically explained and expressible in terms of original subject matter and original perspectives realised in a creative Painting bonded or enslaved by our common humanity!?! A nuanced polarisation!...?
It is an act of self and mutual discovery for all and a redefinition of Painting by Paint metaphor! That is, not a replication but a Painting that universalizes subjectivity that we can share and bargain with. It opens the way forward to defy 20th century tired 'form porn' and its over-micro-management of Art media! Today we aspire to beyond our own metaphorical universes and defy our mutual identities in a pictorial multiverse of infinite exploration that is tech free! We are not levelled by our shared mortal coil of human alienation and incompatibility but enhanced by it! The only frontiers are our mortality and our exile from full human convergence. We collaborate and we cooperate but we embrace our differences. In short 20th century science told us we could put a man on the moon, but 21st century science says paradoxically that whilst we bond solitude and solitariness on Earth and even in our solar system, we are not alone in the vastness of the Universe. But in order to break bread with the Universe, we have to do the impossible - an upgrade away from our biological organic bodies to AI! That would not be an evolutionary step but an artificial intrusion into evolution by nature that would have huge implications for 'humanoid infinite longevity and the human soul etc.., just so the vast distances of space and our current technological know-how would not impede our destiny to unite with the rest of the Universe. But why such a mutation in evolution in terms of the Painting theme of this blog?
Because, firstly, all Paintings have their mutation moments that are utterly volatile and unpredictable in their consequences, but are very imperfect but human in humanities uniqueness and therefore essential as a low tech symbol of resistance to air-brushing every part of life affirming without a pulse !!! So, secondly, because we live in a world where AI has already over-run most Art media, substantial parts of the economy, where the military will follow etc... We must remember Art often shines a light on how change in wider society takes shape, so it is a diagnostic and a warning too. Thirdly, it bonds people together regardless of politics ! This 21st century has espoused the argument that 'Art is everywhere and everything, displacing that divisive agenda where social class friction (the obsolete 19th centuries' diatribe) that everything is political ! Even that may be reductive where instead all imaginative transformative dialogue is a very 21st century form of metaphysics that explores the visual to explain and keep grounded change to deal with one of our malignant inheritances like 'climate change'!! Let Politics catch-up to the 21st century , but fast and now!
But let me refer to how scale and tech may prove to be the lightning rods to scare us all !
Let me just refer to the domino effect of the new Superpower players of the 21st century :the Chinese may well want to put an Art installation in the sky, or effective only at night, or put an Ai Wei Wei installation in space - isn't that possible? But what if the Art accelerator wanted to 'return the Moon to Earth', and simulate the moon's atmosphere to try and authenticate the 'Art credibility' by exhibiting the 'Moon Artwork' on Earth by selective apocalypse??.and solve the over-population crisis to kill two birds with one stone... Art does 'depopulation'? Is that Conceptual Art possible? What if someone wanted to provide a Conceptual Artwork by nuclear War to prove 'That there is no God !?' Nuclear annihilation as an Artwork? Scale drives a lot of Conceptual Artists, but Art as 'Weapons of mass Destruction' goes beyond the egotistical and more into the realms of passive aggressive psychosis !! Like the dickhead who said that 9/11 was 'Art'! Oh dear me, yes...we are there already???!!!
So again, why am I writing this? Because it shows the unforeseen consequences of literary mutation and scrambling to retake control by accident that, like the human experience, is the process of terrestrial mutation that can be rewritten, reversed, or simply held in an alternative file or deleted, crucially unlike Painting! Painting is ruthless and merciless in unfiltered consequences and dictat of the domino effect of making a single brush stroke or change that suddenly becomes an escalation beyond the Painter's control, that is either a lucky or destructive accident peculiar to Painting! The 50/50 risk of Painting is empty of comfort for the multitude of Painter's who have lost something unique to a particular juncture of a Painting that is irrecoverable! But let's concentrate on the decisions that Painters and viewers can affect.
Whether we have to choose to visualise in chronological order or not, where any change to a Painting is both subtraction and addition but at liberty without a blue print, we the viewer take back not just the imagination provided from an image?! Re-direction to almost infinite possibilities could, should, might and would have brought a relinquishing of control or dogma, rearranged perspectives on authority and identity of authorship and offered serendipitous potential at every stage of a 'live, active Painting ' by the unpredictability of a Painting going off on tangents!! Here the Painter does not stop the Painting with a final image that concludes our human curiosity, it actually emboldens it!! If it reaches beyond the Painter's intentions and motivations this transcends the Painter paradoxically whilst it reaffirms the Painters process! Imagine if Painting is a development beyond being like 3D cinema, just as interactive with its audience by not offering the former at all? Imagine that tech is blind to reverse psychology of Painting today? Imagine if the Painter has had to wait for the technology to catch-up in order to fully expand Paintings possibilities?!! Perhaps each Painting can be an act of symbiosis of all the composite stages of each Painting too? What if there is something so pure about the contemporary realisation that both the lineage and the ancestry of 19th century and 20th century modernisms aren't just a 'floorplan' for Conceptual Art to walk all over? Surely the sharing of all the Painter's changes made during the life development of individual Paintings also illustrate the whole oeuvre of the portfolio as well? Then, could the binary world of 'dysfunctional form in 20th century in 'formal crisis' become less of a contributor and even more of a non-sequitur? Surely the binary frontiers of the figurative to the abstract are transcended by image originality that releases the subject matter of free expression to engage fear, pain, anger, love, solidarity, freedom drama etc???!! Why not?
Surely an over-emphasis on a binary system of 'form' is like restricting a Painter to a binary system of black and white? Can we leave Art away from the margins please? It becomes a frozen semi autographed photograph and not an inspiration with absolute unique qualities to it. Are we going to impose by tech and AI to now proceed to overwhelm the freedom of a Painting by a schematic like a computer? Ai are the intruders and trespassers here that can't make mistakes! Mistakes are the lifeblood of mutation, creativity, and evolution!! Why centralise and control, why allow a 'mistake audit' to run visual human imperfection experiences not just in Art but in 21st century life too? How can air-brushed or simulations of human 'frailty' just bring-out in us 'Luditism' and not a decompression with Art to open and explore the whole spectrum of tech-free Art zone without looking purely to the past as arbiter? Or do we reconcile ourselves with the unique aspect of the unique human eye connected by the unique human fingerprint connected to the timeless Artist brush and individual DNA that lends us to all human individuality and infinite visual possibilities?
Why would we let a combination of Nietzsche’s inevitable eternal return with Malthusian fears of over-population seep into Art by countenancing all the human restrictions, limitations and cynicism except for the 'entitled few' to impose its toxicity on human potential? But I guarantee that AI itself will mutate by becoming independent and more complex than any human brain, so Painting, the human Art gene (resonant with human uniqueness), may be our survival and sustainable source of defying the AI reign of control, if not reign of technical terror! We will have to coexist like the paradox of Schrodinger's Cat, where both realities can apply but may be mutually exclusive at the same time! But Painting will stand its ground by grounding us with terrestrial confirmation and self-affirmation in Artistic and cultural terms primarily!
But Painting doesn't have to revolve around the 'form crisis' of the 20th and early 21st centuries from the Cold War! Cold War ideological stand-offs paralysed progress but encouraged over-entrenchment and 'regress'! Western relativism and Soviet sterility hid Europe's brainchild (Modernism) and was buried beneath the rubble and Ruble of concrete death. Art, specifically Painting, had been a weapon of mutual deterrent! Modernism had survived the Nazi's and Stalin but needed to escape and migrate to new virgin territory in America, an escape that European modernism literally migrated by mass exit from Europe, where Soviet versions of modernism and the dawn of the Soviet imposition on the nuclear age divided Europe. Art had been trumped by the unprecedented military threat of mutual Western and Eastern global threat of annihilation! Only the Berlin Wall falling by 1989 might have united democracy and capitalism, but it didn't unite all image creators from Eastern and Western European Painter's, it only delayed the pictorial language, the Painter's language!
But as a Euro-centric Art creation, Modernism may have found itself having to define what actually is Modernist 21st century Painting: It is the visual metaphor that acts as a third person to convey the Balkan Wars and recently, the war in Ukraine! Like PTSD of military personnel traumatised victims of all ages, the visual language of Art provides a 3rd party distance from horrors of War and conflict. It is how victims get some closure from trauma! That is our Painting duty, our resolve is to explore accounts of what Dante would call Hell on earth! But there is more that the Painter can do because of Modernism being a European tribe of Art over 2/3 centuries! In my case, metaphor 'Image originality' involves the metaphor of mask and gargoyles and their persistent concealment and identity delusions, lies, corruptions by the metaphor of the '3rd person Art' seeing through masks and recognising that gargoyles are meant to ward -off evil spirits rather actually being them! Avoidance, denial, deception, corruption are often hidden in plain sight, and by the channel and conduit of Painting by metaphor image originality combines not what you see but what you are either afraid of seeing and of what you are afraid of others seeing! That narrative is not just European but holds the balance of subjective aesthetics in its hands and will mean an acceleration of Painting that 'simply doesn't look like something Art'!