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The writing's on the wall

I hate this preponderance of the display of 'nice' art. And thousands supply the market.

I do not want art to espouse the opposite pole, to be overtly political in a partisan sense. I saw enough of that in Russia. That there is no good 'Social Realism' is a blanket view not borne out by the products, though much of it is indeed poor quality and noxious in its adherence to the doctrinaire. It is clear why an artist living under a restrictive regime might need to express dissent via his work, though sometimes that demands a courage beyond most of us lucky enough to be in liberal democracies. But to join in with the propaganda is utterly reprehensible. The easiest way out is to make bland, small work, ready to carry away from the gallery and hang on the parlour wall.


That you can wall into Home Sense or Dunelm and pick up a mass-reproduced canvas print for a handful of quid underlines the demand and the availability. And many 'serious' galleries pander to this taste because artists churn it out and the hoi polloi gobble up the products. It's just that sometimes the struggle to stick to one's pre-determined choices is very difficult. But here I am contemplating spraying an oil drum, mounting it on a sturdy trestle and calling it Pluto. 'Who will buy my beautiful artwork?' to appropriate a certain song...


The pictures at Babylon were OK, but with so little edge. The only ones I would have given houseroom to were photos, somewhat simple in their nostalgia, but nonetheless both aesthetically pleasing and interesting in content. The two I really liked were infused with a certain tristesse.

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