Art & consumer culture

Lodge playpool 2014 oil on canvas 23 x 30''

SH"*%%T! I just deleted 60 mins of posting, thats the last time i am writing directly on the web without saving it on my PC. I just finished by saying, whats the difference between a pair of Nikes and a contempory painting in a gallery? Argueably, as an artist if I put the trainers in a gallery they should be worth as much possibly more, and if I write some consumer culture comment beside them and have a video playing of someone jogging in them I think the price will go even higher..
Why not sell art in shops instead of 'galleries' or just call them Art shops, whats the diffrence??
I mean doesnt the Nike Store look like a gallery of Nike Art works? I spend about the same amount of time appreciating Trainers as I do painting generally so..why the huge price diffrence.. at least I can wear the shoes..
And dont tell me its special or original, that rubbish, it very, very, rarely is. So who are these fools who are buying all this crap? I really want to know..
Didnt Warhol & Duchamp make a point out of this? So why do still look at contemporary art as we do a Renaissance masterwork? Entirely diffrent things, nothing in common. Its like when you see the early computers in the history museum the only diffrence is that there are thousands of old pcs which are worthless, and we understand that, but we have not realised that there are millions of 'artists' because pretty much everyone has a point of view about something and can reorganise furniture or media, they just havent been 'discovered', yet..


Resolve it in Flatness

It seems to me that one of the predominate legacies of Modern Art has been 'flatness' meaning the tendency of artists to abstract/remove pictorial space & depth. This seems to have carried over in a lot of today's artwork which on the surface? seems figurative but is actually quite flat, lots of painting from photographs have this what I like to call the 'painting by numbers' look, reducing everything to an outline and then filling it in.. take Peter Doig for example. I do like his art and I think there is much more to his work, but there seems to be a bit too much of this stuff going around.

Cool vs Warm painting

Compare these 2 works, which just happen to be of the same subject, moreover the same photo. Here again you have the muted colours, the geometry and the overall feeling of coolness it conveys. Compare it to the one at bottom. Same image but very different. Notice the man's face in the one below, well how could you not? Yet in the one above the face is expressionless or rather not described fully and picture has an overall effect much like the others gouaches I first described. The watercolour below is entirely different. The subject is engaging with the viewer, there is a sense of story or situation, a man in troubled relationship possibly. The woman sits in front the man partially hidden.
The first makes no real distinction between the subjects, similar tone values, and geometrically laid-out abstracting the picture. While the second definately conveys more about the subjects.
The big diffrence is that one works more abstractly and the other has a stronger narrative? For me the diffrence in making the 2 is one seems to me more spontaneous, the ink line drawing, more chance for it to turn out badly, whilst the other seems more calculated more 'designed?' possibly.
I dont have a preference, but I would say, one takes more skill, at least in terms of drawing, as you could easily trace the figures and do a sort of colour by numbers..like a lot of contemporary art, so maybe I do have a preference...


Watercolour & Humour

Here is another painting/drawing hard to say which, as much ink as there is watercolour...
I do like the simple feel of this and others I've done as well as the ones done with markers, there is a humour about them I quite like. It seems they have a personality as well, but strangly I dont think I would say the personality of the subjects in this case.

Drawing with Markers

Here are a few drawings I did recently, i used markers for the most part, they seem to have a nice relaxed quality, possibly because of their association with 'lesser' arts, childrens drawings, doodling etc. The doodling part is a comfortable place to be I guess, you see this a lot in contempory art practice ; often in confessional type art ... The one above is a self portrait of myself done from a photograph taken in London a couple of years ago, the one below is of my girlfriend Jo, taken around the same time.