Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Contemporary Realist Movement.

Interesting article here...
I'd pretty much sign up...


Never permit conceptualists and abstractionists to appropriate the terms 'contemporary' and 'modern' for their style and their ideology. These terms are propagandistic, claiming a monopoly on what is valid in the present. Conceptualists and abstractionists are entitled to no such monopoly. Their art is based on experiments and revolutions that are old-hat, now, and which were never great successes. The 20th century avant-garde never produced greater art than that which went before. I don't believe most abstract art is even as good as much of the figurative ('traditional') work, produced by artists and over the same period (however marginalized they were by the art establishment during the years when 'modernism' reigned supreme).

The idea that non-figurative or anti-aesthetic art is somehow more progressive is baseless. We who advocate figurative art as a valid and virile movement should reclaim the language. We should avoid any terms which imply that figurative art is stick-in-the-mud or obsolete. At the least we should put distancing quotation marks around the term 'modernist', when speaking of a particular style related to a badly-aging cultural movement. No artist today should feel obliged to work within any tradition in order to be taken seriously. Choosing to draw inspiration from the Renaissance is certainly no less worthy than choosing to build on the questionable achievements of the 20th century 'avant garde'.

The only reservation I have with the 'contemporary realism' label is that it might seem to imply a focus on the contemporary world, and a mundane focus on the here-and-now. My own commercial art, however, is primarily fantasy. My personal work often reflects my interest in the past, and a certain romanticism and mysticism. 'Neo-Romantic or Post-Pre-Raphaelite', as it were, is more my thing.

Anyway. Here is how my 'Joan of Arc' is coming along... As you see a start has been made on the colour. I have some gold paint for the halo, the yellow is an undercoat.

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