Friday, 20 May 2011

The Culture Show

Well, what a surprise, the first of the new series of the Culture Show last night featured who else but Tracey Emin RA, y-a-w-n. Miss Emin makes good copy for the media in the same way Wayne Rooney does, in that you never quite know what they're going to do next, but it will most likely be controversial and foul-mouthed; the difference being that Wayne Rooney is really good at what he does. Their is no evidence of any equivalent artistic skill in Tracey Emin's 'work'.

Everything she does is autobiographical and because she has managed to pull the wool over so many contemporary art buyers' eyes for so long, she can 'do' anything, give a personal story to it and it's part of another voyeuristic exhibition.  A classic case, if there ever was one, of the Emporer's new clothes.

Do we really care what banal things she's done in her life, and do we really want to see an animated film of her drawings, rodgering herself, or her used tampons?  The Culture Show confuses me and I suspect the vast majority of the country's art-loving population with someone who gives a damn, but if the Saatchis of the world wish to further swell Miss Emin's vast fortune, more fool them. 

For Brian Sewell's priceless review of her exhibition, far more eloquent than mine, settle down with a cup o' tea and a dictionary and read it at

If only the Culture Show would give similar air time to the other great exhibitions going on in London and the provinces all the time, by artists who can actually paint, like Ken Howard, Trevor Chamberlain, David Curtis or others too numerous to mention.  There is a fabulous one on right now in Bath at the Victoria Gallery by Peter Brown, link 
 All Peter's work is completed en plein air, in all weathers, together with some stunning interiors. What a breath of fresh air it would have been for the BBC to have done a 10 minute feature of Peter's work, showing him painting and talking about his work without the bullshit, backed by his grafting away for years to produce truly superb, honest, skilful paintings - a feast for the eye. Pete gets good money for his work and rightly so, but ironically he will never be a multi-millionaire like Miss Emin.  David Lee, Charlotte Mullins and Roy Bolton should go and have a look and see what real 'art' is, though I expect they'd dismiss it as unoriginal and derivative.

As my friend said to me yesterday in an email, I really should stop sitting on the fence and say what I really think !  Back to the bull...the portrait of one I'm painting in Pastels.

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