20 April 2020

great painters are idiots! (and they should be)

A great painting defies gravity, and it must possess a quality of surprise. And I confess that I only wish that I would rise to this idea idiocy more often in my own work but I don't.

The paintings above came from a recent article in the NYT about what artists are getting up to during this time of confinement. I have no idea what to think about them except that they are so original that they make me think of Baudelaire when he said that all original work seems ugly at first sight. These are truly original things. They certainly surprise also. Sadly I have lost his name but he lives and works in New York. 

I had originally begun this text last week before seeing these paintings but realised that they possessed that thing of which I was wanting to say.

It seems to me that most painters are already 
half crazy enough to be painters in the very first place, that confinement or not, we are out of the conventional loops. 

I find that too many paintings of our own time, but also throughout the past are simply exercises in re-affirmations of what we already know. Indeed, Painting has become far too intelligent, and it has robbed us all of that element of surprise. Contemporary Art has become so smart that it needs to be explained to us all through reams of catalogue space and big heavy books.

And yes, I throw some of my own work in with this idea, I am not perfect. But, once in a while I just want to be hit with a freight train feeling.

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