So dear reader(s) if you saw this blog last week you’ll know that, as an excuse to post all my paintings of the current occupant of the White House, I went on a rant about said moron. Shit, should I stop saying that? Nah, but apparently I hit a nerve with some people, which is of course, not surprising. I lost some followers on Instagram and I also gained some with that post, but I think it may have been a net loss. Can’t remember. Anyway, I hit a nerve with at least one person for sure. The account from a commercial art gallery in the USA publicly posted the following message under that day’s Instagram post: “Your hatred of America is disgusting”. Now I won’t name this gallery, but if you want to know who it was, the comment is still there so feel free to have a look.
I’m not too worried about having offended these people. Although I’m not against finding a gallery to represent me, I’m also fairly content to build an audience online and sell my work that way. And this gallery does not appear to represent artists outside their own state, or even outside of the city in which they are located, so there is no chance of them helping me anyway. But I do like the work they show there, so there’s that. But here’s the kicker: I decided to engage them with kind responses, which is an approach that seems to be lacking on the internet these days. Although Sarah Silverman is a great role model for this. Look up her interaction with a former Trumpist named David Weissman if you’re not familiar with it. So my response was: “Big fan of America! Donald Trump is a whackjob though! Can’t wait to visit the USA again when this covid thing is over. Maybe I’ll pop by your gallery! 🙂”. Their response? “Love your work but your (sic) not welcome here”. A gallery who shows work I like loves my work! I’ll call that a win!
Anyway for the rest of this blog post, maybe I should talk about something less controversial. Something nobody ever argues about. Like, I dunno, art! Yeah, why no ever argues about that!
Now I don’t remember everything I’ve ever written on this blog, it’s difficult to keep track. But I’m fairly certain I haven’t talked about my influences as a painter much beyond my favourite. You know who I’m talking about because you’ve read all my posts, no? Okay, you might not know, but it’s the great George Condo. And ever since I’ve started to make work that’s directly inspired by his, I’ve really grown an appreciation for modernist painting in general that I didn’t really have before. It’s not that I didn’t like it, but I wouldn’t necessarily linger over the modernist painters in a gallery. But I do now. Well, I suppose that’s not entirely true. Back in ’06 I went to the Musée D’Orsay in Paris and lingered over the Impressionists. You remember them, they pretty much started modernism. And what’s not to like about them? And there were always other ones too. Like Francis Bacon and the Surrealists. And de Chirico. Okay, I’ve always liked Modernism, but I like it even more now!
But I guess what I’m saying, is: I started to like painters I had never really thought about before, or even didn’t really like. You might say I didn’t ‘get’ them. One of those is Picasso himself. I know he was an awful guy, but I’ve started to appreciate his work in a way I never did before. I used to think a lot of his work was sloppy, but I’ve grown to appreciate all kinds of approaches to painting and I don’t think that anymore. In fact I may have to get a little more “sloppy” in my own work in the future.
Friends who know me probably think I don’t like abstract painting. That is just not true. I mean, I probably have said that some of it looks easy, or sloppy but I know damn well that it isn’t.
Abstraction is hard. But it’s also freeing. It frees you from representation in a way that makes you creative in whole different ways. I’ll have to write a post about it one day.
Anyway, I guess I’m saying I just love painting more and more all the time. Maybe next week I’ll write about the contemporary painters that inspire me. You know, besides George Condo. In the meantime, here are some of my paintings! If you want to see the works of people I talk about in this post, look ’em up yourself. This is my blog, after all!