Monday, December 08, 2008

All's Fair In Love And Hate

The young(ish) male artist who once asked me for my advice – and when I refused to give it, decided to vent his resentful enmity in the comments of this blog – has written again, this time to take me to task for expressing no interest in Art Basel Miami Beach and mocking the middle-of-the-road media aspirations of Mark Leckey. He also accused me of 'hating on' a couple of artists he likes, a generational mangling of grammar that I don't mind accepting as a compliment.
The last place any artist should occupy is the middle ground. Extremes (and complexities) of emotional response are pretty much our stock-in-trade. It might well be the ethos of the middle-brow suburban working stiff to parrot the old-media-spawned desirability of a 'balanced' perspective but the unbalanced, unpopular, subversive, perverse, creepy, critical, curious, unconventional and not-always-well-intentioned are just a few of the acceptable positions for genuinely creative and/or inquisitive minds – and if you disagree, go look again at the works of Hieronymus Bosch,
Francisco Goya, or Henry Darger.
Such minds should not be expected to agree with each other: "I accept your point of view but..." might work as a polite formulation to salve disputes in the corporate arena but artists (and art-lovers) should have no truck with it: the provocative, the incendiary and yes, even the spiteful should always be preferred to compromise or half-hearted consensus.
The irony is my critic has had a lot of leeway in my comments to 'hate on' me all he likes (even as he tries to entice my readers to his blog). But enough's enough. I'm not publishing his comments anymore. And I am going to keep 'hating on' those aspects of art that give me the shits, along with the artists responsible for them.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's interesting, with all his disdain for you and your work,
that he still reads your blog. Hmm...

tysoncrosbie said...

I'm afraid as artists we've become too comfortable with contradiction. Our success allows us the luxury of believing our own bullshit.

I agree that middle of the road fluff and pedestrian works of decoration do not qualify as fine art. However, art must be defined individually. To pretend to dictate and define for others what art is or is not, that I feel is a dangerous path.

frank h. said...

oh, the egos...

Anonymous said...

"It might well be the ethos of the middle-brow suburban working stiff to parrot the old-media-spawned desirability of a 'balanced' perspective but the unbalanced, unpopular, subversive, perverse, creepy, critical, curious, unconventional and not-always-well-intentioned are just a few of the acceptable positions for genuinely creative and/or inquisitive minds..."

Hell yes! Thanks, Hazel.

sarahelizabeth said...

yes.

Anonymous said...

No matter how much you love or hate it, they're just lines on paper or paint on wood.

Anonymous said...

I watched one successful artist recently berate the work of two other highly acclaimed artists, moaning on about how they were damaging today’s art world.

Are these squabbles and criticisms that were being hurled just another part of the art hoax? Engineering controversy out of thin air in order to make their work appear more vital and worthy and gain more column inches. Perhaps it doesn't matter as long as we keep reaching for our purse...


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chris974 said...

Why did you change your RSS feed from full text??

Anonymous said...

Funny...one of my favourite quotes is this...

"I am so surprised by peoples notions of what is or isn't Art.
They are so often so disparate even among themselves, the only rational conclusion is that nobody knows what Art is, they just know what they like."
Hazel Donney

The funny part is that I thought that was one of the most balanced views on art that I have had the pleasure of coming across.
Michelle

Jeff Martin said...

Last weekend a man visiting my studio asked me if he could return later with a work he had created, so I could tell him if it was “any good”. I asked him why he cared for my opinion and he referred to me as a “real artist”. I find this notion staggering and told him I couldn’t help him. However I did ask him if he enjoyed making the work, and he said it gave him great pleasure.

Jeff

Zian said...

Terrible isn't it that artists are no longer allowed to have an opinion while the audience is given free slather...
Apparently as artists we are suddenly elevated to a position of the divine and supernatural and therefore are far too godly to have our feet on the ground and actually have a personal bias and interests of our own...
Like any god, we are expected to become slaves to those who would worship us, and kowtow to such limited expectations. Gods forbid that we might actually still be people...