Saturday, 3 December 2011

NEAC Exhibition

Yesterday I went to the NEAC (New English Art Club) Annual Exhibition at The Mall Galleries in deepest London, for a look at the opposition.  I met Karl Terry (hi Karl, hope lunch was good!) also having a look at the show.

It's a fine show and well worth a look, from the atmospheric impressionistic oils of Diana Armfield, loose oils of Francis Bowyer, Bernard Dunstan, Luke Martineau and Richard Pikesley, the quirky oils of Alan Kingsbury, the colourful landscapes of Andrew Macara and interiors of Susan Ryder, the delicate watercolours of Charlotte Halliday, the sublime oil cityscapes and studio interior of Ken Howard and the utterly brilliant, realistic yet painterly plein air street scenes of Pete Brown.

There were a few paintings that seemed to me to be classic cases of the Emperor's New Clothes, and I shall forever fail to see what others (think they) see, but maybe I'm missing something.....but I don't think so.

If you find yourself anywhere near, pop in and give yourself a treat, and don't whatever you do, miss Pete Brown's paintings - they alone are worth seeing and I can't imagine anyone would not like them.  Many find mine too 'tight', as do I, but Pete's seem to be all things to punters and painters alike - he's damned annoying!  All five of his paintings have sold, not surprisingly, and that's a mark of the man's talent and stature.

Talking of art selling, I can't pass commenting on young Kieron Williamson's latest sell-out exhibition (in just 10 minutes) of 12 paintings, for, wait for it.....pointless drum beat to waste a few seconds, a la strictly or X-Factor.....£106,260, averaging nearly £9,000 a age 9.  

Now, this is going to sound like sour grapes, but can it be right that, entirely because of hype/hysteria, a 9 year old with a modicum of talent is selling at the same prices or more, as Ken Howard, David Curtis or Pete Brown, at the pinnacle of their careers with a whole apprenticeship and a lifetime's (in Ken's case at least) damned hard work behind them?   If young Kieron, a lovely little chap, were my age, or say in his twenties, he wouldn't even get a foot in a Gallery door, let alone sell anything, but because he has been hyped up and all the network television companies have had him on as a novelty because of his age, his promoters can ask almost whatever price they like and there are still enough people with a lot more money than sense, willing to buy them regardless of the artistic merit.  Perhaps they are making a wise investment and young Kieron's paintings will go up and up in value, but to me and all the professional painters I know, it is, sadly, representative of some of the ridiculous capriciousness of our profession.
Hopefully, he will stay a nice young lad, but there must be a danger that he will believe the hype that is whipped up about him, and because EVERYTHING he paints is sold, guaranteed, at least for long enough for him and his parents to become rather wealthy, he will think he is the genius that the unknowledgeable say he is.  He is undoubtedly very good for his age, but no better than any other professional artist I know who started painting as early as him, myself included, not wishing to blow my own trumpet, but true. But then, we know much of the art world is mad, don't we?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please leave a comment !