I felt I had to put my two-penny's worth on this BBC2 programme, presented by the cheery Chris Hollins, with three art critics (groan) selecting paintings to go into an exhibition at the RCA (Royal College of Art)
The selection process is bizarre and sadly, predictable for the BBC. The oft-repeated mantra is that the work must be 'original', show good technique and evoke an emotional response. How sad it is that a well-painted picture is summarily dismissed as 'un-original' and painted so many times before. So, if no-one had ever heard of Rembrandt and he offered one of his paintings, his would be dismissed for the same reason - "we've seen Van Dyck's work and this is very derivative"
Take Karl Terry on last Wednesday's show - Karl offered a fine painting done entirely on site in Rye Harbour :This was dismissed as being un-original, never mind the technical skill of Karl's brushwork and years of grafting in all weathers to catch those fleeting light effects.
Then the three critics went mad over Caroline Thatcher's painting of herself as a child standing on a chair with a vulnerable look on her face. The painting was crude, technically awful, but this was swept aside because of the emotional response it evoked. No light or shade in the painting, awful bright green monotone background (view at www.saatchionline.com/profile/152108).
Then today's (Tuesday) show we had them fawning over Katy Sullivan's portrait of her daughter, (view at www.katysullivan.co.uk/portfolio.php) obviously painted (very well) from a flash photograph - no light and shade on the face at all, single colour and toned background, then David Lee of all of them rejecting Andrew Kinsman's brilliant portrait of a man blowing a bubble (view at www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=158100726686&set=a.158100031686.118698.157030626686&type=1&theater), saying he doesn't like paintings done from photographs ! Absolutely bizarre - obviously hadn't occurred to him that Katy's portrait had been done from a photo, a flash one at that as was evident if he knew anything about flash photography - it flattens and bleaches the features and leaves a white highlight in the centre of the eye. And how did he think the daub of the little girl standing on the chair was done ?
Whilst art is always going to be subjective, especially when chosen by critics who don't know enough about painting, it's such a shame that 'contemporary' always wins out in the media, like the annual Turner Prize joke. Talent is not a prerequisite, in fact a positive drawback - just be different. Put some excrement on a canvas - though I dare say Tracey Emin's already done that.
Such a pity the BBC didn't think it would have been a good idea to have at least one, preferably two artists on the hanging committee - proper artists who know how to paint and can see that a painting has been thought about, has good composition, good technique, an understanding of tone and colour, has meaning and not just paint daubed on randomly or crudely and the artists then waxing on about it with utterly meaningless drivel.
The sad fact is, talentless 'artists' are coming out of college and are being told that they do have talent, further enforcing the myths in their deluded minds, thus assuring the longevity of the garbage offered up. We in Britain are SO far behind the art produced in the U.S. and destined to stay that way unless and until the media give a voice to 'old-fashioned art'. There are only two sorts of art - good and bad, and bad prevails in the media. Wake up you idiots !!!