Sunday, June 19, 2011

I am sorry? What??

This blog post is in response to an article in the June 3 issue of the wall Street Journal entitled:  The Art Assembly Line. (please read the article if you wish).

Artists – Real Artists – around the world, have been stoically absorbing the gutting out of art among the elite experimenters and marketing  gurus who call themselves art critics, connoisseurs and of course gallery owners and dealers. These intruders have infested the hallowed halls of art for over a century now. First advocating and marketing deformations of genuine and genius abstract art and now moving further to selling the virtues of factory art. And guess what? They will get away with it.

Remember the art slave factories of China that churn hundreds of hand made copies of classics a day? Remember how that was frowned upon and considered plagiarism and outright theft? You can still buy those at every decoration store from IKEA to Home Outfitters. Artists have sort of accepted this anomaly and moved on. We sort of made peace with the  idea that there will be people who want to hang a fake Monet on their wall even if it is a knock off, rather than hang a poster of a Monet. Of course the poster would show an image of the true details and work while the fake is an inferior rendition of the work, but to some people that does not matter. They want a canvas on the wall and they will never figure out the difference because they will never go to see a real Monet.

As horrible as the idea of a Chinese slave painter is, what is happening now is even more outrageous. While the slave paintings are relegated to the home d├ęcor stores, these new ghost paintings are actually being peddled by art dealers and galleries. Listen to this:

[Mr. Gorlizki lives in New York City. The paintings are done by seven artists who work for him in Jaipur, India. "I prefer not to be involved in actually painting," says Mr. Gorlizki, who adds that it would take him 20 years to develop the skills of his chief Indian painter, Riyaz Uddin. "It liberates me not being encumbered by the technical proficiency," he says.]

Say what? What exactly is Mr. Gorlizki? A Paris Hilton of the art world? He is essentially commissioning art in the slums of India and stamping his name on it! The spin doctors then come in and do their magic and make this work part of his “genius” and sell the works for over $10,000!!

Thank God there are still galleries and art lovers who refuse to swallow this as art. But we must all be vigilant so that the likes of Gorlizki do not become the norm in art.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Beaver Dam, Watercolour on paper

The weekend turned better than expected especially after the deluge of Saturday. It really looked like it was going to be a washed out weekend. But Sunday was a blast and Monday (I had the day off) was summer at its best
Too bad that I had chores to do and wanted to stay close to the family. I could have gone for a quick plein air either day, but its ok. Summer is just beginning up here.
This afternoon while everyone was busy doing their thing I decided to do a small watercolour just for the fun of it. Since I started working in oils a couple of years ago, my watercolours have been mostly collecting dust except for the odd small work. I hope to do more of them this summer. They are really fun for me.
beaver dam500
Beaver Dam, Watercolour on Montreal hand made paper, 7”x9”. $85.00

I did this one from a reference photo I took a couple of years ago in the Haliburton Highlands. Beaver Dams are all over the place up here. That is why we have the beaver on our nickle! They are ubiquitous. To some they are pests, to others they are the ultimate engineers!