Monday, December 21, 2009

The Emperor's New Paintings

It seems like a waiting kind of time. I've got paintings that are just NOT drying, which I'd wanted to send out to one of the galleries before Christmas. They were supposed to go Friday, then today - but this morning I checked, and the paint is still not dry. ARGH! So annoying. One of them is dry, I guess I'll send that off alone and wait on the rest.

By the way, have you seen the latest winners of the RBC Canadian Painting competition? I read through my latest issue of Canadian Art and saw the winning paintings. I have watched this competition for a number of years, and have been consistently disappointed by the winners. This isn't bitterness speaking - I'm ineligible to enter, given that it's for emerging artists. I keep waiting for a really wonderful painting to win. To be inspired and awed. (And I definitely don't have a problem with non-representational work, btw.)

I'm just a painter, not an art critic. Perhaps my background (BA in Fine Art and 12 years professional experience) is not enough to give me a good perspective on what makes great art, worthy of a rather large cash prize... but I just can't see it. The last three years, the grand prize winner ($25,000) paintings have all been very simple imagery on a white ground. Let's take a look:

The 2009 winner, Brenda Draney's painting Aim is Important.
The 2008 winning painting, Jeremy Hof's Layer Painting Red.
2007's winner: Arabella Campbell's Physical Facts Series #6

Hmm, see a trend there?

I am thrilled that there's such a large and career-boosting award for young Canadian painters. But I'm not convinced that, based on the past winners, it is giving young Canadian painters much to strive for.

To me, painting is about technique, beauty, and colour, with 'making a statement' present, but firmly in the last place. And while I am perfectly aware that much of the art world thrives on theory and artspeak, the greasy language of the art world 'elite', I find that aspect of art to be eye-rollingly pretentious. It's as if the talk has superseded the actual art.


Okay, art rant over.
Some giveaways for today -

For baby:
For the ladies:
For anyone:

1 comment:

  1. I know little about art but I'm not impressed with these. In fact, I may even be able ro replicate them and I have no creative talent whatsoever!


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