Monday, August 13, 2007


What people want... Do we care? Are we here to appease the public? kowtow to a socialites tastes for impressionistic throughbacks, a country kitchen rednecks lust for thomas kincaide or a ponte vedrans taste in 80's pastel vomit abstraction? We have been educated in art history and most of us have traveled far and wide and devoured every issue of AiA, ArtNews and American Painting. I say, WE are HERE to tell them what they want. We need to stand up for our knowledge and announce boldly the existence of art that is valid to these times and have context and meaning. I'm glad I got that out. I'm very tired now.

10 comments:

Byron said...

yes. perfect. thanks for reposting. definitely think everyone should have a chance to read that....

flutterbake said...

Is it completely impossible for someone to glean a bit of inspiration or clarity from Thomas Kincaide? Now, I loathe "his" work as much as anyone else on the planet, but art has never been about anything absolute. Validity is just such a concept that appeals to the art socialites- those who relish art as exclusive. Isn't art inclusionary? It can't exclude people or ideas. Context and meaning are ever-changing (not static) products of art.

SharlaTV said...

Excellent points! I was hoping someone would take me up on my latenight grumpy posts.

I don't think it's about being exclusive.. it's about keeping art alive. And doing so means that an artist must be aware of whats been done in the past and not repeating the past without good reason and embarking on new explorations.

Now Thomas Kincaide has created an industry and there was mention of it all being conceptual in another post. I can't even bring myself to go into it because, like you, I loathe his work. I just don't have the heart to talk about it.
But I don't mind letting anyone who wants to know about the validity of art...it would be doing them a favor...saving them from spending money on art that will be featured in their garage sale one day.

Context has to do with its place in art history and you are absolutely right... that is always changing. But do you really think those pastel vomit paintings from the 80's will ever be valid? Of course someone in the future may do a kitschy rendition of them. Maybe someone should play around with that now. Maybe Kincaide is playing around in the same way?

As for socialites, the ones I've run into have been completely misguided in their choices, easily led down a path of ripoffs and decorative art. Buying posters of impressionistic works and spending big bucks framing them. They could've had a piece of original art for what they paid.

What I've found is.. the best patrons of the arts are "us". We buy and trade more paintings -- more than anyone. We donate our works for charitable auctions of all sorts. We collect our friends works and we know what to collect. We are the procurers of future museum collections because the public just doesn't understand.

You see...we're too wimpy to stand up for ourselves. Much like a scientist who will state boldly his findings and a philosopher who pronounces her ideas, we artists need to make public stances and stop hiding our heads in the sand and wimpering that no one supports us. There I go again... I promised myself to stop posting when I'm tired. But thank you so much flutterbake. I'd love to know more of your thoughts.

Skinny Man Studios said...

"What people want... Do we care?"

My answer is no, "do what you love F*** everything else"

jim draper said...

Sharla, I am certainly no fan on
Mr. Kincaide, but I think that as
an art project he is certainly worth looking at, from a phenomenological
perspective. I have interviewed,
from a benign point of view, many
Kincaide "collectors." Mainly to find out what it is that moves them to buy. One thing that I learned is that the Kincaide stores lie to the consumer with some mumbo-jumbo about the quality of the product. Those things are printed with the same printers that do magazines,
they have a cost of pennies each.
The "dab-a-do" that someone does on them is also cheap and unimportant.
Nevertheless, those who love his work and buy them speak of his
images with tears glistening in their eyes. So, what we do as
naturally inquisitive beings is
try to find out what the "trigger"
is. Kincaide is a huge hoax, what
is in his head? I don't know.
Otherwise, I think that an artist
should follow his head, doing exactly what the muses dictate.
I also think that artists should
be careful when they cross into a commercial situation. I have known
many artists who refused to sell their work, they would make it for
themselves and then give it to people who admired it. So many things about art I don't know anymore. I used to know more
and now I just sit back and watch.
Interesting that the worlds that
open up in the quiet.

SharlaTV said...

Thank you, Jim. I used to discount norman rockwall as a commercial artist and then was disgusted when AiA did a big feature article about him. I even argued with a friend who was defending his status... Then I saw the new aquisition at the cummer. It changed my mind. His blacks were so rich and the painting had such a wonderful historical feel and I loved his brushstrokes. It pains me to think that after Kinkaide is dead, he will be memorialized the same way. that looking back on his body of work, we'll see something else... something in relation to these times that he is trying to tell us... but, for just the reasons you've mentioned, I hope not.

jim draper said...

Yeah, The main difference with Rockwell, who by
the way is one of my favorite illustrators of all time,
is that he refused to let anyone call him an artist.
He would correct evrybody who referred to him
as an artist, and say, "Oh, no, I am an illustrator."
He was, a little known fact, idolized by DeKooning.
Elaine said that Bill would get the Saturday Evening
Post, when Rockwell would do the covers, and stare
at them for hours in amazement. They were good
friends. Rockwell also was a very strong socialist
also and targeted a lot of his work towards societal
inequities. Personally, I don't know if Kincaid has
any of these qualities. I should think that he doesn't.

jim draper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kurt polkey said...

Could you image filling Gagosian gallery with all Kincaides? It would be amazing, or at least funny, to find out the joke was on us. That he is the ultimate conceptual artist or social satirist.

Jim, how was your show the other night? Sorry I couldn't make it, it was my son's first soccer practice.

KP

Roman Bradley said...

Well, this is kind of an important but silly rant. What is essential in the make up of an artist? I always envied and kind of looked up to kinkaide for having all those brushes, for instance the photos of his studio space with millions upon millions of brushes. What a reason to live. I couldn't afford five brushes
that I wouldn't eventually have to throw away.

One interesting thing about the Kinkaide family is that the name is famous for these old southern style brick and mortar houses which really dominated the south until after the civil war. It was kind of
a positioning where the Anglican slave owning south gave way to selling their properties to the Scottish Irish who were up until that time living on the fringe.

It's interesting that someone named Kinkaide would have to grow up in a trailor park, but it's quite true that he studied with very well informed california artists and possibly knows his Sentimentality
is overbearing. Which is probably why he is now working with other styles. Showing his weaknesses in impressionism and plein air lighting. Still the change is apparently celebrated because of the loose hands that bind these "beauty pagents for art" as I call them. So he has wedged his way in there with even his Psuedonym.

In no way does Norman Rockwell stoop to Kinkaides' Level. Yet, a sincerity of his work does edify it in some strange if not abysmal way.

Artists are too negative sometimes.
Replace this anger with Emphasis for the "new" because everyone likes the new and even if there is nothing new you can find a really interesting raw way in which to establish yourself as an artist.

Though if you paint a picture, it might be best to keep it to yourself. Sculptures for so long have been telling you that you're dead.


Let's have some serious discussions about Miquel Barcelo, Antonio Tapies, Ricard Saura.... All those
Art Povera Painters of the Mediteranean leftist wing of art.
Sometimes a little cold in feeling but I feel that poor artists in Jacksonville will pull towards this
approach to painting. Due to our own climate, the cost of airconditioned storage units and
the rising prices in real estate, with a decline in real estate value.

Unless we ban together and start raiding Craft Stores or better yet
stop Art Supply trucks at gun point.

If every painting has to be political let's get political.
My old neighborhood's turned ghetto and so has yourn.

Believe in the light that is Thomas Kinkaide!