For the better part of five years, I have had the privilege of absolute access to some the worlds greatest, and most expensive works of art. To make matters even more exuberant, I have gained this astonishingly and completely, for nothing. I owe my thanks to Tony Blair, and his new age 90’s labour government, that almost certainly, convinced the youth of that decade that they were in fact living in the sequel to the 60’s. Making all government owned museums and art galleries for free to the public was certainly one of labours greater moments. I would find myself walking the grand halls of the Tate, V&A and the National Gallery in a state of complete awe. I find an artists talent to be intimidating, for me, it is the purest form of expression of ones highly advanced skill and talent, projecting their emotions in whatever form they wish, be it clear or cryptic. Nevertheless, can artistic skill be taught? Of course it can, and to a great degree, however there are those that live among us, we’ve all encountered these lucky beasts (they’d might as well have acrylic for blood!), that are naturally excellent at holding an image steady in their mind, that they magically conjure up from the depths of an awesome creativity tank, and then to guide the brush, with perfect accuracy, across the paper, producing an image of pure, staggering beauty. As you can probably tell I envy the naturally talented artist with a rather overwhelming enthusiasm. I have longed ever since I put pencil to paper, to be able to produce the images I hold in my mind, the only problem? These images were never still, instead they were (and continue) to be constantly caught up in motion, producing a series of simple gestures or engaged in complex combat, nevertheless moving too fast for my colouring pencil to keep up! In my earlier years I never once thought for a second that my life would end up with me becoming an artist, however as I crept my way through my teenage years, I began to notice how others had broken the rules; the cloak of deception cascades on all things, especially that, that is, creative.
Art is the most beautiful deception of all. And although people try to incorporate the everyday events of life in it, we must hope that it will remain a deception lest it become a utilitarian thing, sad as a factory.
Many of those dreaded teenage years spent helplessly in identity crisis, I struggled gaining the attention of my peers. Terrible at sport with the co-ordination of a ladybird taking flight, always the last one picked with a runts physic, school days, were tough. Humour would be my salvation, eventually, however such a skill came from practice, and with know one to listen how could this be achieved? I decided to take a back seat and watch. People are (especially teenagers) fascinating to observe. In time my funny bone would develop, it was a grand investment and I was in it for the long haul, but I needed a quick fix, something to tie me over with, to at least give me some kind of social standing. I started to lie. I found to begin with, that my stories I relayed back to them, from other encounters (mostly women), needed a bit more clout. I would fabricate all manner of yarns to entertain my friends. These combined with my boasting of family celebrities and my ever increasing need to make the stories more exciting, caused my favour to dwindle over time, as naturally they became increasingly more transparent. Nevertheless, this was in fact, my first taste of creativity, where I got to use my imagination to fool others, just as many a modern artist has done to us.
It is not hard to understand modern art. If it hangs on a wall it’s a painting, and if you can walk around it, it’s a sculpture. Tom Stoppard
Two years ago my sister came to visit me in London. Well, I say she came to visit, she actually came to see Pink live at the O2 Arena (different Dad), I managed to steal her away for a few moments for a lunch and a walk round the Tate Modern. My sister had always been an excellent drawer. I remember as a child she would create wonderful replicas of Disney characters, they looked as though they came from a great love of art, I was however, very wrong. The Tate offered my sister a great many reasons to doubt artistic credibility. A canvas with a hole in it to demonstrate the social divide in society? Or how about two identical canvas’ (see boring picture to the right) that reminds you of the difficulties of parenting. I must admit, it is ridiculous. Art appears to have become a sake of doing. If you build it, they will come! Art is one big massive creative lie. PR spins the arts world on its head, rolls it up, and shoots it out of a canon exploding it all over the walls of upper crust galleries around the world. Because, after all, everything is worth what it’s purchaser will pay for it.