Art No More

I am no longer an artist. I renounce being called an artist. From this day on I will create paintings, not art. I am a painter, not an artist.
If the bollocks that is being shown in art galleries is art, then I do not want to be associated with it. I no longer have the time of day, nor night, for that.
And so the life of the painter has begun.
My next solo exhibition will be entitled “Putting the Art back into Art” – whenever that may be.

What has sparked this outrage?
Well – its been a long time in the making. After taking the Art History paper that focuses on Contemporary New Zealand Art practice (which was very good and very challenging) I realised that the term ‘art’ has been somewhat bastardised into meaning, in a sense, anything ‘of the arts’.
In our last lecture, there was a panel of three ‘art world experts’; a curator of a leading public gallery, a director of an artist run space in Wellington and a leading contemporary New Zealand photographer and lecturer. They addressed certain issues raised with Contemporary art and practice. The director of Enjoy tried to enlighten us to some of the ‘projects’ which occurred at Enjoy in 2006 – of which an artist in residence… well – who knows what she did!? She gathered up views and ideas as to a project relating to a topic, placing a lounge set in the gallery space for people to come and discuss ideas. I fail to see how that can be art in ANY sense of the word!

Whats more, my question which I hoped to raise was of the responsibility of the artist to produce art for the wider viewing public that they can understand. The practitioner artist addressed it briefly saying that artists ‘don’t really care‘ about the public. My second question was prepared for that answer in that it was who is art for then?
I firmly believe art has to be for the viewing public. While art holds an important personal connection with its creator, the real test is whether the public ‘get’ it (either they enjoy it, understand its meaning, appreciate its aesthetic quality, etc…) and this is what art is really for. If art is only for those in the art world – artists, curators, gallery owners – then it is void of logical reasoning as to its existence. It becomes circular in purpose – creating art for other artists who can create art.
No – the public is who it is for. And if the public can’t understand the art of today even on a very surface level, then it is not doing its job. The artist then HAS to care about their responsibility to the public to create art.

What gets me irate is the fact that so much is done in the name of art which is so far from what art should be. Not only this, but that art galleries and curators accept this, accepts these things as art and display them for the public – cementing its place in the art scene – a location it should be dreadfully foreign in!

I can see Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Raphael, da Vinci all turning in their graves as we speak. All of them would be disgusted at the state that art has been led to by its very own. It is these so called artists (or as I would prefer them to be called – exhibitionists) who only seek attention, who are bringing about the downfall of the very thing they think they are creating! It leaves us; the skillful, the trained, the ‘traditional’ (in a loose sense of the term) without a foot to stand on. Art is being left behind for what would be better promoted as ‘projects’ – and a category outside of art is where they belong.

But what can one do to change the views of this art world hurtling towards its own demise. Without staging a worldwide revolution of art, one can only but sit back and watch the ship sink. I for one am getting off this boat before that occurs, quite happy to take my buoyancy aid and float in my own art world. I will be true to the real art. The art that exists for the public. I will be a painter. Paint pictures will be what I will do. And I hope that many will join me. Painters, Sculptors (none of the installation rubbish tho); the true talent that was what art was. It was this talent, this skill, this ability to express the world to the public which spawned art. Not this separate bollocks which graces our shores which we find hard to describe, hard to analyse, hard to define; hard to even consider as anything – nothing tangible – not even really an idea; an idea of ideas??? ITS NOT ART! The sooner we realise that (as I have) – the sooner they realise that – the sooner we might get this boat back to shore and mend its broken hull.

‘Till next time…

Selfish Society

I’ve been noticing the selfish state that society is in.
While walking for example, I have complete control over my speed, placement and direction of my walking. I am also aware of those around me – not just the obstacles in front of me, but the people behind me, to my sides; those walking faster than me, those walking a slightly different path to me, those who are slower than me and the “passing lanes” either side of them and the people approaching.
I’ve been frustrated and annoyed at the total ignorance people have for the others around them.

I was contemplating this very fact, when upon arriving at the train station and walking down the appropriate platform, I noticed a train which was trying to leave. All the doors bar one were shut, and that last door was left open to get the last of the straggling passengers on.
As one could imagine at rush hour, there was a bit of a traffic jam of people trying to get on. The door well was full of bodies. Fair enough, it was going to be a cramped ride home for those people who decided to try and get on that train at the last minute.
However, on continuing down the train, I noticed that the aisles were half empty. One person had established themselves in the very centre of the aisle, and the rest of it up to the door way was full. But after this person, the rest of the carriage was virtually empty and plenty of standing room existed. But no. Not even a door well with people trying to jam themselves into small places could alert this person to the fact that if they opened their eyes and moved down the train, the what would be very uncomfortable train ride and exploitations of personal space could be alleviated for all.
WAKE UP! Stop being so self centred that you can’t see past your own nose! This is basic courtesy. This is basic living. This is basic common sense! This is living in society 101!!!

So please. Stop walking with your head down. Look up. Use your peripheral vision. Pay attention to those around you. Find your place in society, but notice other’s places in society too. Stop thinking of yourself and what you need to do and take the time to notice your surroundings!

‘Till next time…

Israel 06

I’ve been working on a website that my sister built a while back. I’ve been updating the graphics and adding in a bit of useability.
Please feel free to check it out.

‘Till next time…

Update // Affirmation Lite // 26//10//07

I’ve just added another page to my site. I’ve been wanting to do this particular project for a while, and have finally gotten around to getting it up and running.
Its a page based on what used to be – but that site has merged with another site and is no longer as good as it was.
The basic idea behind it is a photo and 13 words to construct a sentence which adds insight into the photo. Very cool. It is set up almost like a web-comic, and I hope to keep regularly updating it.

‘Till next time…

Carl Baron

The weekend was awesome. Vicky, Stu and I set off to Auckland to see Carl Baron in the NZ Comedy Festival.
We left early on Saturday and reached Hamilton at 2pm. Another couple of hours of hanging around the motel, and then getting ready and getting an “On the Go” Pizza to have on the way to Auckland. We arrived north of the Bombay’s with about 30 mins to spare, which was great.
Funniest thing happened. 3 people turned up, and looked at our seats and said – hey – you’re in our seats. We pulled out our tickets and said – No we’re not.
Then we saw the date on their tickets. Yes they had the right seats, but for Friday’s show – LAST NIGHT!
The rest show was awesome. Carl had a mix of new stuff, off the cuff stuff and a few old tricks out of the bag.
We drove back on Sunday and got home just before 5pm.
And I’m still tired!
‘Till next time…

The eve of 6 months…

Yes – it has been that long. Well – tomorrow it would have been! If we’re going to get exact, sometime between 3:30 and 4:30pm!
Anyway – it has been a great 6 months. I have looked forward to every day of it. There have been the rough patches, and a lot of learning has taken place – but we are both better for it!

Today I have another thing plaguing the mind! My Art History 311 seminar on Dick Frizzell is today. I’m kinda freaked about it – yet at the same time – compared with other such ‘speeches’ or presentations – I’m no way near as nervous; and its in front of the entire class of 25-30 students!

So – while the butterflies are coming out of their cocoons, they aren’t fluttering about which is what they in theory should be doing if past experience has anything to go by!

‘Till next time…

Vicky’s 21st!

It was a weekend to remember. Vicky’s birthday was on Friday, and with the usual lineup of Friday events, it wasn’t going to be possible to see her.
That is, before I secretly planned to surprise her that evening.
It was a good night, we spent the time unwrapping parcels, and she showed me her gifts, and then we sat and watched TV for a bit.
The party was last night. And what an event! With most of the attendants being from her Family, it was a bit overwhelming to meet them all and eventually it became a blur! Some of our friends from uni were there with their partners so it was good to meet them and spend some good time.
Yes – there was music. Yes, there was drinking. And combine those together you get some dancing. Now – those who know me know that I don’t dance. There’s a boundary between tapping your feet to music and loosening all sorts of body parts to shamelessly present yourself across the dance floor.
But it was Vicky’s 21st birthday, and she was having a great time showing off her moves and enjoying herself. I wanted to make it that more memorable for her.
So without having a single drink, I joined her and the night blurred off into the distance.

Thank you Vicky, and thanks to your family for welcoming me in and putting on a very enjoyable evening. It means a lot to me, and I feel that much more accepted because of it! Top show!

‘Till next time…

Open Gate; To a world where everyone is welcome, yet few enter

I have finally found enough time in the day to finish this painting. I started it a few months back and followed an example of Turner’s to create something of likeness. I really enjoyed its looseness in subject matter and only added the figure in at the last moment.
Let me know what you think!!!
You can see it in Gallery 5 here.
‘Till next time…