Tuesday, October 19, 2010
This is Damien Hirst's Armaggedon. It is composed of dead flies and glue.
Scott Burdick's gave a speech "The Banishment of Beauty" that is available on Youtube. His thesis is that modern art is driven by critics and investors to the detriment of classical beauty. He contends museums and galleries actively avoid art considered realistic or beautiful. (He notes that a museum had a workshop with prominent plein-air painters, to raise money that would enable the museum to buy more modern/ugly art.) Some people are labeling his argument simplistic or sour grapes.
I went college in the late sixties when abstract art was all the rage. One professor told me my work looked like smudge by numbers. I stopped painting for 30 years.
I admire a good deal of modern art. Shaun Richards has a show at the Target Gallery that is thrilling in its layers of commentary and visual impact. My art doesn't have a subtext or global meaning. And for a while now, I've felt bad about that. Inadequate, actually. Scott Burdick's speech makes it easier not to wince when someone calls my work "pretty."