Friday, January 28, 2011

Today's Blog - Art Seminar

I have chosen to examine artists Eric Fischl, whom I greatly admire and Damien Hirst, whom I find his art generally unappealing and will proceed to give an explanation of my position.

Choosing an artist I admire and respect is both enjoyable and simplified. Deciding on one that I dislike, is rather complex, in that there is usually something to discover, that is attractive in some way, without doing so within the context of political correctness, and to clarify, I am not interested in being, when it comes to artists, the making of art, and creativity.
Eric Fischl states he is,”trying to find a way of re-engaging the public", through figurative work. Eric Fischl says, “ You have to come up with something where the purpose of life, which is also one of its greatest pleasures is refining your consciousness. He sees figurative realism as being the most powerful tool in communicating with an audience, which he cares about this greatly. Eric I think is a kind of psychological story teller using his painting to examine the stuff of life and providing inner types of guide posts, reflecting and sharing his life experience. This approach engages the viewer in a way that provides depth of meaning and purpose within the framework and function of the painting process and subject matter.

Fischl comes out of the what he describes as being the decade were, “ painting was dead and figurative painting was really dead”, and art schools defined the art world. This premise unfortunately, I believe, is still generally being taught in many present day art schools and today the art world has been circumvented by the define the art market.

The art market is a reality, whether we agree with this or not. The difference between Eric Fischl and Damien Hirst I believe, is a matter of personal integrity, and they have appeared to be diametrically opposed to one another in philosophy and art practice.
Damien 's preoccupation with death and dead animals, appear to be about shock and sensationalism. It epitomizes the premise of most conceptual artists, that art only exists within our minds, and any thing is art.
Damien Hirst has in many ways become the “ it boy”, and a persona, perhaps even a victim of his own persona, that represents all that is superficial, shallow, capitalistic and self-absorbed and dishonest within the art market. In light of accusations and legal charges made against him, being accused several time of art plagiarism, including the public controversial comments he has made, leads one to seriously question his scruples and integrity. In many of his public statements his lack of integrity is evident, “ I can’t wait to get into a position to make really bad art and get away with it. At the moment if I did certain things people would look at it, consider it and then say ‘f off”. But after a while you can get away with things.” Julian Spalding, The New York Times 2008

I have to say, much of the behaviour and attitude exhibited by Damien Hirst was a result of abuse and use of substances and one needs to take this circumstance into consideration when judging his work and who he is as a person taking into account that he no longer is the same person as he was in earlier years. That said, the body of painting has produced more recently, I appreciate and I would conclude he has more to contribute as a painter.

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