Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Importance of Being Painting.

As part of an art world that is embracing technology and it's incredible advances we need to be careful not to forget the esscence of our world. This comes down to two things that more often than not go hand in hand; drawing and painting. Rudementary skills in an art school but ones that seem to be percieved as less and less important in the world outside of our art schools, forgive me for generalising.
This is something that I first became aware of in my first year of my degree, painting apparently comes with an attached prejudice or stigma, the suggestion being that if you are a 19/20 year old painting student then you clearly do not know about the art world. I say this from personal experience; my uncle, a sculpture, asked which pathway I would choose, I replied painting, he sniggered. Now, why is it, that the very thing the art world owes everything to, is the same thing that is very quietly being nugged out of fashion? I hold no grudges towards video makers or performers, I am by no means a Stuckist - fuck you Slade interviewers - but no video artist would have gone to art school or shown a real interest in art if they could not paint or draw.
There also seems to be a stigma attached to the subjects you choose to paint, if a painter paints portraits, in a straight quite matter of fact way, they are considered unintellegent, but when did intellegence become the driving force behind making a painting. Of course, intelligence does play a role but so do emotional responses - thanks to James Harris - and if ones emotional response is to their family then that is just as valid as a video exploring light transmissions or a performance exposing the rage of an anxty art student. Why must we feel this great need to analyse so deeply, to point out floors, 'that's been done'. I am not atall innocent, I have my moments where I am incredibly condescending towards paintings, if you do straight portraiture then fantastic but don't rely on it without exploring, anyway I'm going off topic.
Painting is key to art, is always has been, from the beginning with Brunelesci and Giotto, through Rembandt, Monet, Manet, up to Bacon, Rothko, Auerbach, the list could go on but it would lose the point. Of course, there is the small issue of context, that old bastard that has the abilty to ruin ones argument, if Rembrandt had Imovie would he have painted? Well, who the fuck knows, he didnt't and for the better in my mind. But the point I am trying to make, terribly unsuccesfully, is that painting is still just as important as anything else that comes out of art schools, walk around Frieze, I think I saw 3 videos, this bizarre stigma we get for uttering the phrase 'I am a painter' is one that art schools need to get out of there system because eventually videos will be old and we shan't be able to enjoy them as we do now because we'll have to enjoy something else and making a video will be unintelligent. One day, when I'm rotting in a studio my internet might pop up with a blog of a student who still believes in video but is sick of the stigma it has.

Thanks for reading, sorry for keeping you.


  1. It's nice to read your ramblings in legible text. Nice writing, old man.

  2. Any discouragement is to introduce a process of thought between the immediate connation of art and painting.

    Ask someone to name an artist and it will nearly always be a painter. There's a natural link.

    You need to aknowledge that that jump is there and consider it's infliction on your choice of medium; do you see yourself as a painter merely because it's deep rooted connation with the artist? Do you find yourself wearing the image or outfit of a painter merely for it's symbol?

    It's a matter of reflection and you need to distance yourself before you can make an unbias decision. This is why they may seem harsher.