Monday, 12 August 2013

There’s more to Lowry than matchstick people

#lowry

L.S. Lowry Flowers in a Window 1956

On Saturday morning I went to the Lowry exhibition at Tate Britain. Since learning about Lowry as a kid in the sixties I’ve always liked his work. But I had no idea how diverse of range his paintings were.

In the spirit of my previous blog post I will in no way try to explain or critique the works of Lowry. All I will say is I enjoyed it, as I knew I would but I can’t get over how different much of the work on display was from what I thought a typical Lowry picture was. I found the exhibition very exciting.

For me Lowry was a magnificent ‘people’s painter’; a natural successor to the likes of Turner and Blake. Many of the pictures are quite gothic in feel and their portrayal of the torture of working people chilling at times. My opinion you understand. Just my opinion.

If you think you know Lowry, go to this exhibition. You may well be forced to think again.

Art is not a skill it’s a state of mind

Art can only ever be in the eye of the beholder. Art cannot be prescribed or quantified. Art is beyond criticism. The art critic is but a fool. And anyone following the utterances of the art critic is an even bigger fool!

An artist, cartoonist and printmaker that I found interesting and whose work I have enjoyed was Ken Sprague (1927–2004). He once said “everyone a special kind of artist”(which was also the title of a TV series he was in for Channel 4 in the eighties). Now from this I understood him to mean that anyone and everyone is capable of being an artist. I firmly believe this to be true. Everybody can be and is an artist. You create something that you believe to be a work of art then it is art. It doesn’t mean that anyone else has to recognise it as such. But equally they can’t state that it isn’t art or claim it to be poor or worthless art. You may think that this is an opinion of convenience; a metaphorical foil to parry and riposte the judgement of others, and perhaps you are right, as you are entitled to your opinion as much as I am entitled to mine. I remain firmly of the view that art, all art, is down to personal choice and personal choice alone.

Art appreciation can only ever be subjective. This is why I maintain that you cannot criticise art. You can say that you don’t like a work of art but it cannot be judged. There are no measurements of artistic merit. You either like something or you don’t. This is why Art competitions are a nonsense; the instrument of the pretentious. 

Art means nothing, yet it means everything. Does it really matter what the artist was thinking when she or he created their work? Not in the slightest. The beholder should take what they want from a work of art, and they should never take what they are told to take. Art critics, those pompous, pumped up, self-obsessed experts of absolutely nothing know no more or no less than you or I do about a work of art. Believe nothing they tell you.

Art is yours for the liking, if you so wish. No one can tell you what to like. You decide!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Enola Gay

Today is Hiroshima Day. The day when the world, or at least a caring part of it, remembers one of the countless barbaric horrors humankind has unleashed upon itself. My pacifist beliefs have stayed with me all my adult life. It is one constant I have never doubted.

I thought I’d share this ink sketch; I drew many years ago. Feel free to use and distribute it if you feel it can help the peace cause.

two useful links about today:

Friday, 2 August 2013

Walk a mile in my shoes!

None of us are perfect.
We all make mistakes.
I know I've made loads, and will continue to do so.

I try never to be judgemental, although I'm sure I don't always succeed on that front; not to be confused with the joshing in some of my tweets I might add!

I think this applies to all of us: