Sunday, May 23, 2010
And Another Thing-The Empty heART of the abstract confidence trick
I grow irritated daily by the number of downtown gallery's I see, paying lip service along with wall space, to bad abstract drivel. Its a masquerade, the artists who paint it are cynical beyond reprieve-and know it's bilge, as do the galleries that peddle the load of old Pollocks to begin with. It's contrived, like a bad mime act, except the patrons buy into the whole Van Gogh travesty, because they'd rather believe the smears they are coughing up mulah for, to be the work of a misunderstood genius, than what they are, which is no more tumultuously cathartically conceived than if the artist had partaken a paint enema.
There are a few practitioners out there that escape my ire- god I could wax lyrical about old school abstractionists like De Kooning, Bacon or Kitaj for hours, and more closely, I count one abstract artist as my friend precisely because he understands the process of deconstruction, and what it takes to master it.
Unfortunately,a large percentage of abstractionist's are no better than con artists, layering paint with pretension when they should use apprehension, or better still-a flame thrower. The work is neither brave, illuminating or relevant-at best a joke that leaves you feeling dumb, because you think somehow you ought to be laughing with the laugh track, when in fact it was a crappy punchline, that was delivered badly.
As someone who works methodically for hours to approximate the visions in my minds eye, and express my inner soul like I truly was excreting paint, the mockery of a certain abstract art strikes me as no less of an insult than if these swindlers had pissed on the shoes of my children.