Possible Huge Paradigm Shift in Art Culture Coming Up
By Matthew Collings
Nothing else has happened. I was asked to paint a picture for an exhibition celebrating the publication of a novel written by an artist. The fictional narrator is a successful trendy artist. He seems to hate other artists, and he has some accurately cynical observations about their self-delusions. I laughed at this. There are a lot of affairs in the book. This was rubbish of course, like holiday reading, just thoughtless schmaltz, uncrafted, unshaped, but not unenjoyably. The only truly unenduration parts were the clever thoughts about art, which were all affected and sterile.
But even they didn’t stop the book being a hit, I thought, a page-turner. But I didn’t know what to do about this painting idea. I’d like to have done something surprisingly substantial, but I only got around to thinking about it today and the deadline’s tomorrow, and I use oil paint, so that option was out. I had half an unfinished self-portrait I’d been working on once for a trailer for one of my series: I was supposed to paint a self-portrait for the camera, and I thought I’d better get some practice in. My wife has been doing some colour sample ideas on it, and it’s been on the floor, off its stretcher, and we’ve been treading on it, and to my eye this afternoon it looked a bit like something from contemporary art. So I stretched it up again. It was nearly there I though. But there was something depressing about it. I don’t know if I’ll really send it in tomorrow. I suppose this is the kind of thing Sigmar Polke thought on the night before he invented Capitalist Realism in the early 60s, whenever it was. ‘I’ve got that painting of sausages. Maybe I’ll show that. Gott, nein, they’ll never go for it! Maybe the polka dots – oh, if only I’d thought about it sooner! Maybe I could just be photographed with Gerhard Richter and call it a performance!’
Modern Painters, Possible Huge Paradigm Shift in Art Culture Coming Up, Gretta Sarfaty “Water”.
- Matthew Collings – page 34-35, June 2006.
(Gretta's work was published within this article)