I receive a number of email notifications from magazines and galleries which give various images from contemporary painter/artists. I don’t know whether it is the format (online image) or whether it is the art, but I find very few that fire up my imagination.
I find image after image which consists of no more design than plonking an item (be it figure, unnamed form or anthropomorphic animal) in the centre of the image and adhering to nothing more than two or three layers at best.
I seek art that takes my breath away – that awe inspires me. I’m looking for intriguing design, expert technique, a interesting idea, imagery which connects to memory and mediums which support the industry. Only one of these is required for me to be impressed, but I’m constantly disappointed in the vast majority of images I see today, even those by the art world’s heroes and heroines. Most have even lost their ability to shock while others simply disgust me.
Del Barton’s paintings were the last paintings that inspired me from the major art prizes held in recent years. And William Robinson’s body of work never ceases to move me to the heights of artistic ecstasy I keep looking for in other contemporary work.
Perhaps I just don’t get out enough, perhaps I haven’t read enough contemporary writing to convince me or perhaps it is, as I suggest, something in the artwork itself.
I have been pondering on these topics and reading widely to find an answer to the disappointment I feel as I engage with the artworld with my own paintings.
Australia has a dismal record for supporting the arts, so perhaps addressing this issue will help to overcome the deficiencies in the art market too.
I hope so.