I drew this abstract in 1993 and it never sold. It’s an arrangement of geometric shapes set in a composition that shows depth. It’s a bit of fun and doesn’t have any academic or emotional depth. I still like it, but these days I wouldn’t even contemplate creating such work for display in a gallery.
There is no doubt that our standard of living here in Australia has improved dramatically over the past 50 years. We are the lucky country and have so much to be thankful for.
Our high standard of living has had its casualties. People aren’t as trusting as they used to be. Credit is too easily acquired. We are told, “retail therapy is the cure for your woes”. Depression is on the increase.
We have so much, but are we really happy?
The art market is closely tied to our economy. When there was plenty of money about in the 70s and 80s art flourished. People regularly bought work for their homes. Art was a luxury item that was affordable. Styles varied, but so did taste, resulting in many imaginative artworks finding their way onto welcoming walls.
Today things are quite different. Many of the imaginative artworks of the past have been superseded by society’s embrace of all things “photographic”. While I acknowledge the skill of such artists, I ask myself why is this “movement” so popular?
Artworks are supposed to make you think, whereas photographs are there simply to “look at”. Most photographs don’t require any serious study, their messages are clear. Of course there are “art photographers” whose work has deeper meaning and I have great respect for them, but they are few in a world of billions of amateurs.
What is the point of painting everything in such a clear, precise and detailed way? Imitation of a photograph is “imitation”; that’s craft, not art.
A “real” painting gives us a message, a story and an element of mystery. There are things to discover and work out. We should be stopped in our tracks as we gaze intently. Add a personal style and you have the ingredients for a great work of art.
The problem with society’s great advances has been that we have been bombarded with realism to the extent that we have forgotten what imagination is. We are told what to do, what to see, what to wear, where to go, how we should look and what we should eat.
The biggest culprits are flat-screen TVs and the Internet.
Our attitudes have changed and art has been a major casualty.