The end of the year is a time for reflection. As I pour over internet postings, I am astonished to notice that “representation” is no longer an oddity. When I was a youth, in contrast, it was axiomatic that picture-making was passé, “nobody” (one was told) “is doing that now.” There was an avant garde that did not include renderings of the visible world. And that was that. While it’s true that the art world was governed by a kind of anything goes, what it really meant was “anything but that.”
Anyone looking at art today easily sees that the old rule is gone. I am astonished how much figurative painting is unabashedly made now. And I blame the Internet. The “art world,” as has happened to so many other Establishments, has lots of competition now. While it was always true that private galleries sold representational art, probably sold more representational art than abstract art, yet in the old order all the prestige accrued to whatever ArtNews crowned. But that’s just not true anymore.
Well, it never really mattered anyway. If you loved whatever it was, you were inclined to do whatever it was. Lots of artists have persisted in my generation following their heart’s desire. All I say is that it’s good they did because “ding dong the witch is dead” and Dorothy’s got her slippers, the Wizard of Oz has taken off for parts unknown, and the midgets are singing their hearts out. And life goes on.
Before long, painting a simple vase of flowers is going to be the ne plus ultra. It’s just a matter of time.
Ah, and you will have known me when!
(As for koi, don’t get me started ….)