Friday, 19 August 2011

Reward without effort

The riots in England’s major cities have understandably provoked a lot of reaction. It has been proposed that one of the causes is the promotion of reward without effort within current society. Merely wanting something is sufficient to obtain it.
These sort of ideas have been promoted by easy credit, advertising and television programs like the X factor.

In art the same theme has been current for many years. People no longer train to become artists. They may go to college but unless they are unusually dedicated there are not required to put in the groundwork. Technical knowledge or ability are not required or desired. It is imagination and “cutting edge” that is important. This is why every year thousands of people graduate Art College striving to find some new gimmick to get themselves noticed and find fame. Painting in elephant faeces, modelling in your own blood are some of the ridiculous ideas that have got “artists”, 5 minutes of fame.

Of course to challenge these notions risks criticism and being labelled among other things, a “stuckist”.

“Your paintings are stuck,you are stuck!Stuck! Stuck! Stuck!"

Tracey Emin

“Maybe Tracey but I can paint.”

Mark Cox

Joseph Beuys said, “Everyone is an artist.” This is just as ridiculous as saying, “Everyone is an electrician.”

Mind you I have been to a Joseph Beuys exhibition, not for me I am afraid. What do you think?

What would make more sense is to say, “Everyone could be an artist.” Yes with hard work and application most things can be achieved.

In this society instant reward is coveted in most areas art being no exception.

The painting above of Alex was once in our living room and was 4ft by 3ft. It is no more.

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